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One-knot macramé necklace

Combine waxed linen, perle cotton, beads and knots for this colorful necklace
Macrame necklace

This piece is worked with half a square knot to give the core a twist. When selecting beads, keep in mind that all bead holes need to be large enough for to weave the waxed linen through. Using a variety of bead sizes creates a rich texture.

Below, we'll get you started with instructions on how to knot the waxed linen and perle cotton, and how to add beads to the cords. For full instructions, download the free project PDF by clicking here.


  • 100 E beads or 6/0 seed beads
  • 50-75 assorted beads, 6-8 shapes and size
  • 1 Hank of seed beads, size 8/0 or larger
  • 80m perle cotton, size 3, 5, or 8
  • 2-3 Colors of waxed linen, 18 ft. (5.5m) each
  • 1 3/4-in. (2cm) or larger button
  • 1 Tapestry needle, size 20-26
  • Safety pin or T-pin and corkboard
Photo A
Photo B

Start this necklace at the loop in back, wrapping around a waxed linen core and then knotting over it. For the front, add beads on the core cords in a variety of ways as you continue knotting. Finish with another knotted section and a button closure.

1 Cut three 6-ft. (1.8m) pieces of each color of waxed linen. Hold the midpoint of the bunch securely in your left hand. With your right hand, tightly wrap one of the strands around and around the others at the midpoint, pushing the wraps together (Photo A). When the wrapped section is about 2 1/2-in. (6.4cm) long, fold it in half. Continue wrapping the same piece of linen around all the strands 5-6 times (Photo B). Secure the wrapping strand by making a figure-4 knot: Cross the wrapping strand over the linen core. Wrap the strand around the core and bring it through the loop (Figure 1). Pull tight. Bring the wrapping strand down to become part of the linen core.


Figure 1 and Figure 2
2 Cut two 6-ft. lengths of perle cotton (three if you are using #5 or #8 perle cotton). Center them behind the waxed linen, so you have 2-3 strands of cotton on each side of the core. Make a double-4 knot (half a square knot): Bring the cotton strands on the left over the core to the right. Bring the cotton on the right down and over the left-hand strands. Then take the right-hand strands behind the core and pull them through the cotton loop on the left side (Figure 2). Pull the knot tight by pulling on both groups of cotton thread. Be sure that the wrapping strand of linen is inside the knot. Adjust the knot to sit just below the wrapped linen. Continue to knot tightly in the same fashion. As the knots twist around the core, they’ll seem to be on the wrong side. Don’t force them straight.


Photo C
Photo D

3 As you start to add beads, they should only be on the front side of the piece. Although the knots twist, always pick up a strand of waxed linen from the front of the core.

There are two methods to add beads:

a) Loop: Pull a strand of waxed linen from the center. String a bead and pull it down to the base of the strand. Form a loop with the bead. Tie a double-4 knot, making sure the strand of waxed linen is inside the knot (Photo C).

b) Tie and cut: Pull a strand of waxed linen from the center. String a bead and slide it down to the base of the strand. Tie an overhand knot above the bead and cut off the rest of the strand (long bead, photo d). Tie a double-4 knot. When using this technique, you must also use its counterpart, Tie and add: Tie a knot at one end of the cut-off piece of linen, string a bead and slide it to the knot. Lay the strand into the core and tie a double-4 knot with the added strand inside (Photo D, round bead).

For full project instructions, download the free PDF


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