The macrame trend is in full force, and it shows no sign of slowing down. This traditional craft can be used to make everything from macrame plant hangers to mini macrame jewelry. For a useful project, why not make a watch strap? It's fashionable, functional, and totally unique. You can even use it to replace an old strap on a well-loved watch. Here's how to make it happen.
Things You'll Need
- Cotton cord or yarn
- Watch face
- Jewelry pliers
- Ribbon clamp ends (2)
- 12mm jump rings (2)
- Jewelry clasp
If you have a watch with an old strap, simply cut it off. You can also find watch faces in the jewelry section of most craft stores. Another option is to buy an inexpensive watch and remove the straps.
Cotton cord works best for this project. Nylon, polyester, and hemp are too stiff, so they won't hold the knots very well.
Cut a strand of cord measuring just under one yard.
This should be more than enough, but it's always best to overestimate. Remember, you can always cut away the excess, but you can't add back.
Repeat five more times until you have a total of six strands. Fold each one in half so that the ends meet.
Insert one folded strand up and through one edge of the watch strap. This is the first step for a larkshead knot, an easy knot for starting a macrame project.
Slip your fingers through the loop and pull the strands through.
To tighten the knot, pull the strands downward. This creates one larkshead knot.
Repeat Steps 3 through 5 with the remaining strands. Continue until the entire width of the watch face is full.
The knots shouldn't be cramped and tight. Instead, they should fit comfortably side by side.
Use a strip of tape to keep the watch face in place. This will make it easier to work.
Separate the strands into groups of four. You'll be starting with the first set.
Separate the middle two strands from the left and right strands. This will set you up for a square knot, a basic macrame knot.
Take the left strand and bend it over the middle two. It should "spill" into the right side. Place the right strand and place it directly on top.
Move the right strand under the two middle strands. Bring it up and through the "loop" created by the left strand.
At the same time, pull both ends outward. This finishes half of one square knot.
The knots should be snug and compact, but don't overdo it. Extra tight knots will just warp the pattern. You should be able to clearly see the strands weaved into each other.
Now, take the right strand. Bend it over the center, and place the left strand on top of it.
Move the left strand under the middle. Bring it up and through the right loop.
Pull the ends until the knot tightens. This completes one square knot.
Make another square knot by repeating Steps 9 through 15.
With the next four strands, make a second pair of square knots. Repeat with the last four strands.
To prepare for the next row, set aside the first and last two outer strands. Make two sets of four with the middle strands.
Within each set, make two square knots.
To get ready for the next row, separate all the strands into groups of four, just like you did in the beginning.
Continue tying square knots, alternating between rows of three and two. Repeat until you have just enough to cover half of your wrist.
To check your progress, simply place the watch face on your wrist.
Make an extra row or two just to be safe. You can always trim it later. Nothing is worse than cutting the strands, only to realize that the strap is too short!
Rotate the watch face and tape it down. Using larkshead knots, add another set of six folded strands.
To finish the second half of your watch strap, tie rows of square knots, just like you did in Steps 7 through 19.
Once both sides are complete, trim the excess cord.
Using the flat portion of the pliers, add a ribbon clamp to each end.
Before inserting the watch strap, bend the ribbon clamp ever so slightly. This will make it easier to "latch" on to the strap. From there, slowly bend it close, making sure that every bit of the strap is included.
Add a jump ring and a jewelry clasp. If needed, another jump ring to the opposite end. Some ribbon clamps have a loop that's big enough for a jewelry clasp.
Your new accessory is ready to rock n' roll. To customize your watch strap, use cords in different colors. As long as its cotton, you're good to go.
For some extra flair, add beads to the cord at equal intervals. You can even attach charms with smaller jump rings.
If you're already a macrame pro, don't feel limited to square knots. Get creative with your favorite techniques and patterns.