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Chinese coin belt

Practice your snake knots with this chic belt, designed with Chinese-replica coins in honor of the Chinese New Year!

This chic belt will display a cache of Chinese-replica coins, beach stones, and gemstone donuts securely on your hip. The coins are tied with snake knots — fitting because the snake is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac and is thought to be the guardian of treasure.


  • 3–5 38mm coins, center drilled (all coins from Fire Mountain Gems,
  • 2–4 beach stone donuts, approximately 35mm
  • 6–8 20–30mm gemstone donuts, in two sizes 
  • 14–18 15–20mm single- loop coins, in two sizes
  • 14–18 5mm inside diameter antique-gold jump rings
  • 9–11 ft. (2.7–3.4m) 2mm woven cord
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers or 2 pairs of chainnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters


Coined at the hip_step 1

1. a). Determine the finished length of your belt. (Mine is 60 in./1.5m.) Multiply that number by 3, and cut two pieces of cord to that length. Center a 38mm coin on one cord.


b). To tie a snake knot: String cord B under and over cord A, making a loop.

Coined at the hip_step 2

2. String A over B and through the first loop, making a loop with A.


Pull both ends to loosely close the knot.

Coined at the hip_step 3
3. String B under A and down through A’s loop. Pull B to loosely close the knot.
Coined at the hip_step 4
4. Turn the cords over. String A under B and down through the lower of the two loops. Pull cord A to loosely close the knot.
Coined at the hip_step 5

5. Turn the cords over. Approximately 1 in. (2.5cm) from the knot, tie a snake knot. String a donut, crossing each end through the center.


Tie a snake knot.

Coined at the hip_step 6

6. Continue stringing donuts and 38mm coins and tying snake knots until the knotted section is within 2 in. (5cm) of half the desired length.


Approximately 1 in. (2.5cm) from the last knot, tie a snake knot. Turn the cords over, and repeat steps 3 and 4 four times. String a 38mm coin.

Coined at the hip_step 7
7. Tie a snake knot. Turn the cords over, and repeat steps 3 and 4 four times.
Coined at the hip_step 8
8. Open a jump ring and attach a single-loop coin. Close the jump ring. On the end of one cord, string the coin, leaving a 2-in. (5cm) tail. Tie an overhand knot. Trim the excess cord. Repeat with the remaining cord.
Coined at the hip_step 9
9. To finish the other half of the belt: Center the 38mm coin (from step 1) on the second cord. Repeat steps 1b–8. Use jump rings to attach single-loop coins to the cord between knots.
Full size

NOTE: To distinguish cord A from cord B, the photos in steps 1–4 show cords in different colors. Only one color was used in the finished piece shown here. 

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