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Tips & Techniques

Get tips and techniques to become a better beader at Lima Beads.


Using the Half Square Knot

About this Tip:

The half square knot gives the effect of flat twisted ribbon. If you already know the square knot, you'll pick this one up in no time. The video will show you how to make a simple half knot macrame bracelet with hemp and a few beads.

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The products featured in this tip are listed below.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
Start with 4 lengths of cord that are about 7 times your bracelet size.
Step 2:
Create an overhand knot at the fold, leaving a loop. Before you tighten the knot, make sure it's large enough to fit your clasp.
Step 3:
Secure your knot to something that will allow for some tension when you're tying the knots. For this bracelet, we used a clipboard.

Make sure the 2 short strands, or core strands, are in the middle and the longer strands, or working strands, are on the outside. We'll use those for knotting.
Step 4:
Create the shape of a number 4 using the working strand on the left.
Step 5:
Take the working strand on the right and pass it over the top of the left working strand, keeping to the right of the core strands.

Pass the working strand on the right behind the core strands and through the loop created by the working strand on the left.
Step 6:
Pull both working strands to tighten the knot. Make sure you're keeping tension on the core strands.

You've now completed one half square knot. Repeat steps 4-6, always starting with the working cord on the left.
Step 7:
After doing a few, you'll start to see that natural spiral.
Step 8:
To insert a bead into your square knot design, simply string the bead onto the two core strands. Round beads and cubes with large holes work best.
Step 9:
Once your bead is strung, pull the working strands around the sides of the bead and continue on with your square knots.
Step 10:
To finish the piece, string your clasp onto the core strands and secure it with an overhand knot.
Step 11:
Trim excess cord and dab the knot with epoxy.

Designs using this Technique:

Buy Products from this Technique

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Tessa
    Tessa says:

    Just found this site and I am enjoying finding my way around..learning about hemp bracelets and necklaces..thanks!!

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    Janel S says:

    great site, good products with lots of variety.

  3. No Photo
    Katie j says:

    just attempted this bracelet–never macramed before–wondered about #1 saying start with four cords 7 X size of bracelet. Then # 2 says create an overhand knot at the fold—-What fold–Then # 3 says to use the two short strands for the core strands and the two longer ones for the outside. What happened to #1 that said to cut 4 cords all the same length. Found it very confusing.

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    Moogie says:

    I’m with Katie J! Totally not understanding these directions. I think I can try it from what I see on the video but the lengths of cord seem to be different & what fold?! Tell me if this is right: cut 2 lengths of cord 7 times the length of your bracelet size & 2 lengths twice bracelet size (?), make an overhand knot at one end, using all strands, large enough to fit your “clasp” bead. Apply epoxy to this knot to secure. Continue with directions as written. Before adding beads, check size of bracelet to be sure beads are placed where you like them, e.g. In the middle of your wrist, off center or random. Finish bracelet as directed. Would this work?

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