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Using A DIY Macrame Board

Updated on April 3, 2014

Using the DIY Macrame Board

If you made the macrame board in my previous blog and you want to know how to use it, this is the place. The board is very easy to use and lends itself to beading projects as well as macrame. I haven't tried to use it as a loom but I will post what happens when I do.

Required Materials


The required materials: a macrame board, 1.5" T-pins (at least 2 but 4 is better), and a macrame project.

My project for this example is a simple bracelet made from half-knots. This is one of the easiest and shortest macrame projects I know, so, if you have never done macrame, this is the place to begin.

The only material you will need for this macrame project is 1.5mm Chinese knotting cord (you can use one color for both the core and the working cords, I used 2 colors so it would be easier to discern the cords from each other). The tools required are: a ruler, a scissor, and a lighter.

Supplies and Tools

Step 1

Prepare your cords. The core cord of the bracelet is 15" long. The working cord will be 72" in length. Cut each length of cord and seal both ends to prevent fraying.

To seal the ends hold a lighter about 0.25" away from the cord for about 2 seconds (if the end catches fire you were probably holding the flame too close or for too long, just blow out the flame, it won't affect the project).

Sealing the Cord

The end on top is unsealed.  The sealed cord is below it.
The end on top is unsealed. The sealed cord is below it.

Step 2

Secure the core cord to the macrame board.

The goal here is to place the center of the core cord over the center of the board. Wrap one side of the cord around a t-pin and push the pin all the way into the board. Pull the cord taut then place the other t-pin on the opposite side. To make the cord extra secure, wrap and place another t-pin onto both sides.

Attaching the core cord to the board

Wrap the end of the cord one time around the t-pin, then push the pin into the board.
Wrap the end of the cord one time around the t-pin, then push the pin into the board.
This is what the board will look like when both sides of the core cord are pinned to the board and the cord has tension.
This is what the board will look like when both sides of the core cord are pinned to the board and the cord has tension.
You can put an extra t-pin on each side.
You can put an extra t-pin on each side.

Step 3

Place the middle of the working cord under the core cord on the edge of the raised end of the board (it doesn't matter which end you choose).

Tie a half-knot and pull both sides of the cord evenly until your knot is tight. The goal is to have an even amount of working cord on either side of the knot (it doesn't have to be exactly even but the difference between each side of the working cord should be less than 2").

Continue to tie half knots until you have about 6" of knots. As you tie the knots the working cord will twist, this is the nature of a series of half knots. It is ok to let the working cords relax and turn naturally as long as you continue to tie the same knot (I untwist my working cords every 5 or 6 knots). Try to use the same amount of force when you tighten each knot so that the knots are all the same size.

Middle of the working cord under the core.
Middle of the working cord under the core.
A loose half-knot.
A loose half-knot.
A tightened half-knot
A tightened half-knot
A series of half-knots with the working cords wanting to turn.
A series of half-knots with the working cords wanting to turn.
A series of half-knots with the working cords after they have been turned.
A series of half-knots with the working cords after they have been turned.
Approximately 6 inches of half knots.
Approximately 6 inches of half knots.

Step 4

Take the core cord off the board by removing the t-pins. Pull the last knot very tight and trim the working cords so that there is 0.125" left after each knot. Use the lighter to melt the cord until it is against the knot, use the side of the lighter to push the melted cord against the knot. Try not to put the flame too close to the cord when you are sealing it, you want the cord to melt and retain its color. If you burn the cord it will turn black (however, on this particular bracelet, it wouldn't be that noticeable).

After pulling the last knot tight, trim one side of the working cord.
After pulling the last knot tight, trim one side of the working cord.
Seal the end of the trimmed working cord.
Seal the end of the trimmed working cord.
Trim the other working cord.
Trim the other working cord.
After sealing both working cords it should look like this.
After sealing both working cords it should look like this.

Step 5

Bend the core cord into a circle so that the ends overlap.

Using a piece of the left over working cord tie a square knot in the middle of the overlap. Try to place the working cord evenly so that you have the same length on both sides, then pull the knot tightly.

Tie 2 more tight square knots. Trim the edges of the working cord and melt them to seal the knot.

Form a circle with the project.
Form a circle with the project.
Tie a square-knot in the middle of the overlapped section.
Tie a square-knot in the middle of the overlapped section.
This is what it should look like after you have tied 3 square-knots.
This is what it should look like after you have tied 3 square-knots.
Trim and seal the working cords according to step 4.
Trim and seal the working cords according to step 4.

Step 6

Make the bracelet large enough to fit over your hand keeping an equal amount of core cord between the bracelet and the square knots on either side.

Make a granny knot on each side of the core cord next to the square knots. Tighten the granny knots, then pull both sides of the core cord to make the bracelet small. Trim and seal the granny knots.

Adjust the size to fit over your hand.
Adjust the size to fit over your hand.
Adjust the distance between the half-knots and the square knots on both sides so that they are equal (without changing the size)
Adjust the distance between the half-knots and the square knots on both sides so that they are equal (without changing the size)
Make a granny knot on the core cord to prevent it from going into the square-knot any further.
Make a granny knot on the core cord to prevent it from going into the square-knot any further.
Pull the bracelet tight before you trim and seal the granny knots according to step 4.
Pull the bracelet tight before you trim and seal the granny knots according to step 4.

Step 7

Congratulations!

You have completed the project.

Wear the bracelet by pulling it wide to go over your hand, then tightening it to fit your wrist.

This is what the bracelet looks like on the wrist.
This is what the bracelet looks like on the wrist.
This is what the bracelet looks like under the wrist.
This is what the bracelet looks like under the wrist.

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      TeriD 8 months ago

      This is the only DIY board that I've seen yet that makes sense to me considering the fierce tugging, string manipulation, and need for accessing back side of guide strings, especially for making stone cradles.

      Ill probably continue to use my teeth to hold the guides for simple bracelets. It's way to easy and equipment free to give up.;)

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