DIY Macrame Watch Strap

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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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton cord or yarn
  • Watch face 
  • Scissors
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Tape
  • Ribbon clamp ends (2)
  • 12mm jump rings (2)
  • Jewelry clasp

Tip

  • 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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Tip

  • Cotton cord works best for this project. Nylon, polyester, and hemp are too stiff, so they won't hold the knots very well.

Step 1

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 2

Repeat five more times until you have a total of six strands. Fold each one in half so that the ends meet.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 3

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 4

Slip your fingers through the loop and pull the strands through.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 5

To tighten the knot, pull the strands downward. This creates one larkshead knot.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 6

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Tip

  • Use a strip of tape to keep the watch face in place. This will make it easier to work.

Step 7

Separate the strands into groups of four. You'll be starting with the first set.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 8

Separate the middle two strands from the left and right strands. This will set you up for a square knot, a basic macrame knot.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 9

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 10

Move the right strand under the two middle strands. Bring it up and through the "loop" created by the left strand.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 11

At the same time, pull both ends outward. This finishes half of one square knot.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Tip

  • 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.

Step 12

Now, take the right strand. Bend it over the center, and place the left strand on top of it.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 13

Move the left strand under the middle. Bring it up and through the right loop.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 14

Pull the ends until the knot tightens. This completes one square knot.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 15

Make another square knot by repeating Steps 9 through 15.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 16

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 17

Within each set, make two square knots.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 18

To get ready for the next row, separate all the strands into groups of four, just like you did in the beginning.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 19

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Tip

  • 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!

Step 20

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 21

Once both sides are complete, trim the excess cord.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 22

Using the flat portion of the pliers, add a ribbon clamp to each end.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Tip

  • 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.

Step 23

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

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.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

For some extra flair, add beads to the cord at equal intervals. You can even attach charms with smaller jump rings.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

If you're already a macrame pro, don't feel limited to square knots. Get creative with your favorite techniques and patterns.

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