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Butterfly Earrings

Butterfly Earrings

Description:  These Butterfly Earrings feature two Chinese knots; the Brocade knot and the Chinese Button.   You can make the upper loops larger than the bottom, for a butterfly shape.  Or you can make them all equal size, for a flower. 

The knots I chose to make these earrings are a bit complex, so you should practice tying both knots before attempting this Micro-Macrame project.

Satin cord was used in the example shown.  When using this material, do not pass pins through it.  Instead, lean the pins or use the cross-pin technique, to secure the loops and folds.

Supplies Needed:
  • 1.5 to 2mm cord material
  • Two beads (optional)
  • 2 Split or Jump rings
  • 2 Earring Hooks
  • Project board and pins
  • Glue that dries clear
Knots Used:

Instructions for Chinese Button Knot

There are two variations of the Chinese Button knot.  I recommend you make the more traditional 5-loop variation for the top of your Butterfly Earrings, following these instructions:

Loop 1

Step 1:  Cut one cord, at least 45 inches long.  Secure the center to your board.  Pass the right half over the left, to form the first loop.

Secure the left half to your board.

Loop 2

Step 2:   Make the second loop with the right half of the cord, rotating clockwise.

It should rest to the left of loop 1.

Loop 2 Under Loop 1

Step 3:  Slide loop 2 under the left edge of loop 1, forming three spaces.

Secure the right half of the cord to your board.

Use Left End

Step 4:  Use the left half to make the 3rd clockwise loop.  Start by passing it over the right half of the cord. 

Pass it through loops 2 and 1, heading left to right.

Weave it under - over - under - under the four segments.

Loop 4

Step 5:  To make the 4th loop, rotate the left half clockwise. 

Move the cord over the first three segments. This includes the right half of the cord.

Move it under the two segments at the bottom (loops 2 and 3).

Use Right End

Step 6:  Use the right end again, passing it over the left half of the cord.

Make sure this portion rests inside Loop 3 as shown.

Bring it up towards loop 1 at the top of the Butterfly Earrings design.

5th Loop

Step 7:  To make the 5th loop, bring the right end down, passing under the top of Loop 1.  Pass it over the next three segments. 

Pass it under the three segments at the bottom.  


Step 8:  Tighten the Button knot in the order the loops were made, starting with loop 1. 

When it's almost completely tightened, pull up a small portion of the material, to form a tiny loop at the top.

Design Tip:  When choosing which portion to pull for the loop, try to select an area that does not lead directly to one of the ends. 

The purpose for the loop is to attach a ring so the Butterfly Earrings dangle more freely.

Ring and Hook

Step 10:  Open the jump or split ring and pass it through the loop in the material.  Attach the hook and then close the ring. 

Step 11:  Position the split in the ring so it will be covered by the material.  Add a small amount of glue to the area around the ring, and then tighten the button knot firmly.


Macrame Cord Divider


 Instructions for Brocade Knot

The body and wings of the Butterfly Earrings are made with the Brocade knot.  It's complicated, so make sure you have practiced first.

  • Bight = Narrow Fold
  • Loop = Circular with crossed area

Loop 1, Bight A

Step 12: Secure the button knot to your board.  Lean the pins over the right and left ends, as shown in this image, if using Satin.  Secure the left end as well.

Cross the right end under the left, to make loop 1.  Bring the cord back to the upper right, passing over the left end (Bight A - diagonal).

Design Tip:  It's important to position the loops and bights as shown in the images, since some need to be resting on a specific angle.

Loop 2

Step 13:  Make loop 2 in a clockwise direction. The end goes under to make the crossing point.

Move the right end under both parts of loop 1, so the end rests at the top left area of the Butterfly Earrings design.

Bight B, Loop 3

Step 14:  Move the right end down to the right lower area of the design.  This creates bight B, which is diagonal.

Rotate clockwise to make loop 3.  Pass the end under to make the crossing point.  Move the end under both parts of loop 2.

Bring End Down

Step 15:  Pass the right end through loop 1 under the right portion of it.

Bring the end straight down over all the other segments, and secure it.

Important:  The second half of the Brocade knot is where all the weaving takes place.  So you need to be able to see all parts of the Butterfly Earrings design. 

Enlarge the loops if necessary and secure each loop and bight.

Use Left End

Step 16:  Pass the left end through Bights A and B, going under - over - under - over as shown.  This should all take place along the left side of the knot.

This creates Bight C, which is vertical. (See next photo).

Weave left to right

Step 17:  Rotate the left end around counter-clockwise to make loop 4.

Weave left to right, through bights A and C, passing over - over - under - under

Pass it over the right half of the cord, and over the edge of loop 3.

Right to Left

Step 18:  Bring the left end back to the left, weaving
under loop 3 and the right half of the cord.

Pass through the bights under - under - over - over (same path as previous step).

This will create Bight D

Design Tip:  Notice how in each step of weaving, when the cord passes through the bights, it's the same path in both directions.  Step 18 is simply done in reverse. 

The only time the pattern is different is at loop 3 and the right end.


Step 19:  Rotate the left end around counter-clockwise to form loop 5.

Weave it  over - over - under - under, through bights C and D.

Pass it over the right end, and the remaining segments, heading towards loop 2.

Right to Left

Step 20:  Weave the left end back to the left, passing under loop 2

Pass it under all the remaining segments except for the last two, where it goes over.  These two segments are below and to the right of loop 5

Design Tip:  In the previous step, you passed the end over these same two segments as you started the weaving.

Step 21:  The best way to tighten the Butterfly Earrings is to secure only the five LOOPS.  Remove the rest of the pins.

Start with loop 1 and reduce the size by removing the pin, tighten, and then secure again.  This way you won't lose the loops in the process.  

The first three loops are connected, so tightening one will change the size of the others.  The final step is to pull on the right end.  Loops 4 and 5 are connected, and lead to the left end.

As you tighten the knot, make loops 2 and 4 larger than 3 and 5 (for a butterfly shape).  Keep them the same size if you prefer to make a flower. 


Reduce the size of loop 1 all the way, so the top of the Brocade knot is against the button. 

Tighten the whole knot firmly, so the center portion of the Butterfly Earrings is round and compact.


Finishing Touches

Step 22:  You have several options for finishing the Butterfly Earrings.  I chose to apply light weight beads with a rounded end. 

You can use any type of finishing knot, beads, buttons, or charms.

   Here are instructions for the finishing technique I used in the example:

Overhand Knot

Apply a bead with a hole large enough for 2 cords to pass through easily, since you bring the end through a second time.

Tie an Overhand knot where you want the bead to rest.


Fold a piece of thin wire in half to make a threader.  Pass it through the hole in the bead, with the ends close to the butterfly.   Pass the end you are working with through the threader, near the fold.

Pull the ends of the wire, so the cord comes back through the bead.  If you can't get it through, you need a bead with a larger hole.


Slide the bead so you have access to the area near the Overhand knot.  Apply glue and then slide the bead next to the knot, so the glue is on the inside.

Let the glue dry for a while, then cut off the excess material flush with the bead (on the side closest to the Butterfly Earrings design).

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Have any comments about the Butterfly Earrings? Contact Me.


Wire Work

Macrame Cord Divider