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How to Macrame a Shamballa Style Bracelet

Updated on July 31, 2014

Simple Shamballa Style Bracelets

These 3 shamballa style bracelets differ only in the number of beads used to make them.
These 3 shamballa style bracelets differ only in the number of beads used to make them.

Shamballa Style Bracelets

Mads Konersup, according to EliteDaily.com, created Shamballa bracelets in Paris, France, and opened his first boutique in 1994. I don’t know where EliteDaily got their information from, but I think it is credible enough for me to use here. Suffice to say that Shamballa bracelets have been a fashion trend for several years.

I think that Shambhala (the word from which Shamballa is derived) is deliberately misspelled in order to differentiate between art and religion. I don’t consider the bracelet to be a religious accoutrement, although some people do. More to the point, it is easy to find pictures of celebrities wearing Shamballa bracelets but difficult to find a picture of a Tibetan Buddhist (as in, a Buddhist literally from Tibet) wearing one. I’m not a Buddhist; I make and wear the bracelets because I like them.

I can make a lot of Shamballa bracelets in one day if I try. In a spur of the moment decision my daughters and I made 30 in one day. Our intention was to sell them at the city festival the following day. Unfortunately it rained (hard) the next day, so, although we were ready to sell our Shamballa bracelets, there was nobody there to buy them. As we walked around in the pouring rain we stopped to look at each of the jewelry vendor stalls; not surprisingly, most were selling Shamballa bracelets. Some of the bracelets were better than ours; they used expensive beads and complex variations of knotting. Some of the bracelets were not as well done as ours; their closures were messy, and didn’t use interesting color or bead combinations. It was pleasing to see where our work fell in the greater spectrum of Shamballa bracelets.

It is easy to make Shamballa bracelets like the ones you see in the store. They require very few supplies, and only a small amount of your time. Because they are so versatile, as you become more experienced, you can make them increasingly complex to suit your mood.


The instructions for all the bracelets are basically the same. The differences are in the number of knots between each bead on the core cord and the number of beads used.

The tools required for all these bracelets are: a ruler, a pair of sharp scissors, a bic lighter, a macramé surface (macramé board, clip board, safety pin and jeans).

Simple Shamballa Style Bracelet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The finished bracelet.Tools and materials.Tie 3 square knots, then add a bead.  Continue adding a series of beads and knots until you have used all 9 beads.
The finished bracelet.
The finished bracelet.
Tools and materials.
Tools and materials.
Tie 3 square knots, then add a bead.
Tie 3 square knots, then add a bead.
Continue adding a series of beads and knots until you have used all 9 beads.
Continue adding a series of beads and knots until you have used all 9 beads.

Instructions For Simple Shamballa Style Bracelet

Materials: (9) 10mm rondelle beads, (2) 6mm rondelle beads, 20" 1.5mm Chinese knotting cord, and 60" 0.8mm Chinese knotting cord.

Step 1

  • Place all 9 of the larger rondelle beads onto the core cord and secure both ends to a macramé board so that it is taught (or secure the top of the core cord to a clip board, or safety pin the end of the core cord to your jeans).
  • Find the middle of longer piece of knotting cord; this will be your working cord. Place the middle of the working cord 6” from the top of the core cord and tie a square knot. After tying the square knot measure the ends of the working cord against each other, they should be about the same length. If there is more than 1” difference between each side take out the knot and retie it so that the sides are even.

Step 2

  • Tie 2 more square knots and slide a large rondelle bead against the last knot.
  • Tie 3 more square knots slide another bead against the last knot. Repeat the series of beads and knots until you have used up all 9 rondelle beads and have added your final 3 knots after it.

Step 3

  • Pull the last square knot very tight.
  • Cut off the excess working cord about 1/4th inch from the knot.
  • Using the lighter, and holding it about 1/8th inch from the end of the cord, melt the cord and immediately press the melted part against the knot with the side of the lighter. Do this to both sides.

Step 4

  • Fold the bracelet so that it forms a circle with the ends of the core cord overlapping each other.
  • Using a piece of the excess working cord, tie 5 square knots around both ends of the core cord, this will be the closure of the bracelet.
  • Carefully open the bracelet to the minimum circumference, which allows you to easily put on the bracelet, do not to pull the core cord completely out of the closure.
  • Add a 6mm rondelle to each side, slide the bead against the closure, knot the core cord behind the bead, cut and seal the ends of the core cord per step 3.

This is the easiest Shamballa bracelet I create. It is fun and fast (less than 1 hour from start to finish). It looks fabulous and feels great on the wrist.

Simple Shamballa Style Bracelet With More Beads

When I create things like Shambala bracelets I usually look at a pattern and say to myself, "Self", I say, "this time I am going to follow the instructions exactly, then, after I have made this according to the directions, I will do it again with my improvements." I have the same internal dialogue when I cook with recipes.

Although I have the best intentions, 

I can't force myself to follow instructions that I don't agree with, for example: button/loop clasps, and cloves in chili.

I finally figured out that my likes and dislikes are based on aspects of patterns rather than the patterns themselves. This small paradigm shift helped me develop my particular style and allowed me more access to my creative process.

Look at several bracelets and think about why you like them, use those thoughts and feelings to create something. A foundation of creating things which you like is important. This foundation will help you develop confidence in yourself as you move on to more original concepts.



Simple Shamballa Style Bracelet With More Beads

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The finished bracelet.Tie 7 square knots, add a rondelle bead on the core cord, add 2 size 8 seed beads on each working cord.  Tie 7 more square knots.Series of rondelle beads with 2 seed beads on either side.The beaded closure of the bracelet
The finished bracelet.
The finished bracelet.
Tie 7 square knots, add a rondelle bead on the core cord, add 2 size 8 seed beads on each working cord.  Tie 7 more square knots.
Tie 7 square knots, add a rondelle bead on the core cord, add 2 size 8 seed beads on each working cord. Tie 7 more square knots.
Series of rondelle beads with 2 seed beads on either side.
Series of rondelle beads with 2 seed beads on either side.
The beaded closure of the bracelet
The beaded closure of the bracelet

Instructions for Simple Shamballa Style Bracelet With More Beads

Materials: (20") 1.5mm Chinese knotting cord, (60") 0.8mm Chinese knotting cord, (5) 10mm rondelle beads, (2) 6mm rondelle beads, (16) size 8 seed beads.

Step 1

  • Place 4 of the larger rondelle beads onto the core cord (reserving 1 for the closure) and secure both ends to a macramé board so that it is taught (or secure the top of the core cord to a clip board, or safety pin the end of the core cord to your jeans).
  • Find the middle of longer piece of knotting cord; this will be your working cord. Place the middle of the working cord 6” from the top of the core cord and tie a square knot. After tying the square knot measure the ends of the working cord against each other, they should be about the same length. If there is more than 1” difference between each side take out the knot and retie it so that the sides are even.

Step 2

  • Tie 7 square knots and slide the first rondelle bead against the last knot.
  • Add 2 size 8 seed beads to each working cord and then tie 7 more square knots below the rondelle bead. Repeat 3 more times.

Step 3

  • Pull the last square knot very tight.
  • Cut off the excess working cord about 1/4th inch from the knot.
  • Using the lighter, and holding it about 1/8th inch from the end of the cord, melt the cord and immediately press the melted part against the knot with the side of the lighter. Do this to both sides.

Step 4

  • Fold the bracelet so that it forms a circle with the ends of the core cord overlapping each other.
  • Pull one side of the core cord through the closure bead (10mm rondelle), then pull the other side of the core cord through the bead in the opposite direction.
  • Using a piece of the excess working cord, tie 3 square knots around both ends of the core cord on one side of the closure bead and 3 square knots around both core cords on the other side of the closure bead.
  • Cut and seal the working cords from the closure.
  • Carefully open the bracelet to the minimum circumference, which allows you to easily put on the bracelet, do not to pull the core cord completely out of the closure.
  • Add a 6mm rondelle to each side, slide the bead against the closure, knot the core cord behind the bead, cut and seal the ends of the core cord.

Simple Shamballa Style Bracelet With Even More Beads

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tie a square knot and make sure both working cords are the same length.Add 8 seed beads to each working cord.  Add a rondelle to the core cord, slide the seed beads up to the first square knot so that they surround the rondelle, tie a square knot to hold everything in place.  Repeat this process 11 more times.The series of beads and knots should look like this.Form a bracelet and tie 7 square knots for the closure. This bracelet is heavy and the closure needs to be strong.Make the bracelet large enough to fit your wrist.  Add the end beads, then tie and seal a knot after each end bead.
Tie a square knot and make sure both working cords are the same length.
Tie a square knot and make sure both working cords are the same length.
Add 8 seed beads to each working cord.  Add a rondelle to the core cord, slide the seed beads up to the first square knot so that they surround the rondelle, tie a square knot to hold everything in place.  Repeat this process 11 more times.
Add 8 seed beads to each working cord. Add a rondelle to the core cord, slide the seed beads up to the first square knot so that they surround the rondelle, tie a square knot to hold everything in place. Repeat this process 11 more times.
The series of beads and knots should look like this.
The series of beads and knots should look like this.
Form a bracelet and tie 7 square knots for the closure. This bracelet is heavy and the closure needs to be strong.
Form a bracelet and tie 7 square knots for the closure. This bracelet is heavy and the closure needs to be strong.
Make the bracelet large enough to fit your wrist.  Add the end beads, then tie and seal a knot after each end bead.
Make the bracelet large enough to fit your wrist. Add the end beads, then tie and seal a knot after each end bead.

Instructions For Simple Shamballa Style Bracelet With Even More Beads

Materials: (20") 1.5mm Chinese knotting cord, (60") 0.8mm Chinese knotting cord, (12)10mm rondelle, (2)6mm rondelle, and (192) size 8 seed beads.

Step 1

  • Place all 12 large rondelle beads onto the core cord then secure both ends of your core cord to a macramé board so that it is taught (or secure the top of the core cord to a clip board, or safety pin the end of the core cord to your jeans).
  • Find the middle of longer piece of knotting cord; this will be your working cord. Place the middle of the working cord 6” from the top of the core cord and tie a square knot. After tying the square knot measure the ends of the working cord against each other, they should be about the same length. If there is more than 1” difference between each side take out the knot and retie it so that the sides are even.

Step 2

  • Push the rondelle bead against the square knot.
  • Thread 8 seed beads on each working cord.





  • Push the seed beads down to the first square knot and and tie another square knot below the rondelle bead.
  • Repeat those steps 11 more times ending with a square knot.

Step 3

  • Pull the last square knot very tight.
  • Cut off the excess working cord about 1/4th inch from the knot.
  • Using the lighter, and holding it about 1/8th inch from the end of the cord, melt the cord and immediately press the melted part against the knot with the side of the lighter. Do this to both sides.

Step 4

  • Fold the bracelet so that it forms a circle with the ends of the core cord overlapping each other.
  • Using a piece of the excess working cord, tie 7 square knots around both ends of the core cord.
  • Cut and seal the working cords from the closure.
  • Carefully open the bracelet to the minimum circumference, which allows you to easily put on the bracelet, do not to pull the core cord completely out of the closure.
  • Add a 6mm rondelle to each side, slide the bead against the closure, knot the core cord behind the bead, cut and seal the ends of the core cord.

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