How to Tie a Slipknot for Bracelets

    by Pam Raymer-Lea

    About the Author

    Pam Raymer-Lea is based in Los Angeles. She holds a M.F.A. in film and television, a master's degree in education and a B.S. in fine art. Raymer-Lea has taught a variety of subjects including filmmaking, writing, art, art history and science. She is a jewelry maker and is skilled in a variety of crafts ranging from glass blowing to home improvement.


    Jewelry-makers often use slipknots instead of clasps. These knots range from simple to complex and give a bracelet a natural, native look. By definition, a slipknot is a knot that will slide, or “slip,” up and down the cord, rope or string it is tied around. A slipknot may enable you to tighten a loop when finishing a bracelet or other piece of jewelry.

    Things You'll Need

    • Measuring tape
    • Chalk
    • Jewelry cord
    • Scissors
    • Beads (optional)

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    Use any color of chalk to mark your cord since it will wear off.

    Measure around your fist, add at least 14 inches to this measurement and cut the cord to this length. Find the center of your cord and mark it with chalk. Divide your fist measurement by two, measure that distance from the center and mark it with chalk on both sides of the center.

    Use a faux "slipknot," another type of knot or beads as a focal point.

    Measure around your wrist and subtract that length from the measurement of your fist. Add anything you would like to string onto the cord, as long as it is no longer than the difference between your fist and your wrist. If you add other knots into your bracelet as decoration or to hold beads, add an additional inch or two for each knot into the length of your cord before cutting.

    Make a version of this knot around all the cords.

    Lay your cord in a circle on a flat work surface, crossing the ends at the chalk marks. Allow the tail of the left side to bend back in a “U” turn 1 inch past the chalk marks. Use your left thumb to hold both chalk marks and the tail where is passes them. Make another “U” turn with the tail, bringing it below your thumb, over the tip, around and under all the cords, then through the loop over your thumb. Gently tighten the knot.

    This is actually two knots, which can be slid apart by pulling on the tails.

    Wrap the tail around the cords to the right of the first knot to form a tunnel of loops. Tuck the tail through the loop made by your first “U” turn and gently pull to tighten the knot. Repeat the process with the other tail. Tighten the bracelet by pulling on the tails, which are now sticking out of each side. Loosen the bracelet by pulling on the sides of the main cord.

    • Suitable cording for a slipknot bracelet includes leather, hemp, silk, satin or any smooth material. Elastic cord is not suitable for a slipknot. Work with thicker cord, which is easier to manipulate, until you feel comfortable tying your knots.
    • A slipknot closure can be made with just one knot with each tail around the opposite cord.
    • Some knot makers use a temporary additional cord inside their coils so the knot is loose enough to slide.
    • Use a drop of instant glue on the slipknot to make it secure.

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