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Buttonhole Bracelet

Buttonhole Bracelet

Description:  This Buttonhole Bracelet is unique in the fact that it uses only one decorative knot.  My goal was to find a way to make a bracelet design that featured the Buttonhole Stitch, which is a vintage technique.  As I created it, I found I did not need any other decorative knots.

This is a great Macrame project for older kids and teens who have some experience.  But younger children may be able to make this design with help from an adult. 

The material I used in the example shown is rainbow Hemp, where the colors change.  This is sometimes called "variegated" cord.  The beads were wood, painted with unique patterns (optional).

<<< To purchase the Rainbow Hemp shown, go to our online store by clicking on the green banner (Click on Cord Material and 1mm)

Supplies Needed:
  • 1mm to 2mm cord materials
  • One shank button for the clasp
  • Beads (holes large enough for 2 cords) -- optional
  • Project board, pins and tape
  • Glue that dries clear
  • Measuring tape or ruler
Knot Used:   Vertical Larks Head knot (Buttonhole Stitch)


Preparation:  Cut two cords, 72 inches long (2 yards).  This will give you enough material to make up to an 8-inch size Buttonhole Bracelet.

Prepare the ends with glue, which makes applying beads easier.  Apply beeswax to condition the material.


Buttonhole Clasp

The directions for the Buttonhole Clasp are shown below, but if you want more information, click on the link. 

Step 1:  Match the center of both cords.  Arrange them on your board vertically, as shown.   Secure them with a piece of tape at the center, as well as with pins.

The working cord for this part of the Buttonhole Bracelet is on the right.

The Cross Pin Technique is a great way to secure fine cords, but you can also wrap the cords around the pins.

First Half
  <<  Rotate the working cord clockwise, over - under the holding cord. As you pull it right, pass it over the working cord.

For the second half, bring the working cord under - over the holding cord, and then under the working cord.  >> 
Second Half

Both steps = one Larks Head Knot


Tie several more knots, until the sennit (chain) measures 1.5 times the size of the button. 

So for a 1-inch button, tie 1.5 inches of knots.

Turn Around

Step 2:  Remove the tape and pins.  Turn the first half of the clasp around, so the working cord is on the left.

Tie the same number of Larks Head knots, rotating counter-clockwise.

Right LH

Step 3:  Fold the Buttonhole Clasp, forming a loop.  Organize the four cords as shown.  The two ends of the holding cord are between those from the working cord.

Use the right working cord to tie a vertical Larks Head knot onto both holding cords.  Rotate clockwise.

Pull the end firmly when tightening.

Note:  This portion of the Buttonhole Clasp is usually tied with a Square Knot.   In this case, I changed things so you use Larks Heads instead.

Left LH

Tie another Larks Head knot, using the left working cord.  Rotate counter-clockwise.  Tighten the knot firmly.

The clasp for your Buttonhole Bracelet is finished, so now you will work on the main area. 


Macrame Cord Divider


 Double Buttonhole Design

The technique used next is called the Double Buttonhole.  You are simply tying two chains of Larks Head knots resting side-by-side. 


Step 4:   Divide the cords into two sets.  Use the same working cords to tie 7 Larks Head knots onto the other two strands.

On the left, rotate counter-clockwise as you tie the knots. 

At the right, rotate clockwise.

Design Tip:  You can change the shape of the buttonholes by tying fewer knots.  The designs will have a more rounded shape than what you see in the example. 

Same as Step 3

Step 5:  After the buttonhole design is the shape and size you want, close it the same as you did in step 3.

Each working cord should pass around both holding cords. 

Add Bead

Step 6:  The Buttonhole Bracelet looks really good with beads, but this step is optional.

To add them, slide both holding cords through the holes. Bring the working cords around the beads.

Tie two Larks Head knots below, as in steps 3 and 5.

Step 7: Repeat steps 4 - 6 one more time, with the same working cords you've been using. 

Then switch the cords as shown below.

Important:  If you don't think the working cords are long enough to tie another set of knots, switch the cords now, before repeating the steps again. (see below)


Switching Cords:  Move the holding cords to the sides, since they will now become the new working cords.

Bring the old working cords over the new ones, before using them to hold the knots.

After you have switched the cords, continue to repeat steps 4 - 6, until the Buttonhole Bracelet is the size you want.    Make sure you stop on step 5.

Important:  As you tighten the two Larks Head knots to complete the last buttonhole design, apply glue to the holding cords. 


Completing the Clasp (Button)

Step 8:  Turn the Buttonhole Bracelet over, so you work at the back, as you add the button for the second half of the clasp.

Right to Left
<<  Pass the holding cord on the right through the button's shank from right to left.

Pass the left holding cord through from left to right.  >>
Left to Right

Holding Cords

Adjust the placement of the button so there is space between it and the last knots tied in the bracelet.

The space needs to be large enough for 2 knots.

Move the holding cords back towards the buttonhole designs.

4 Segments

Use each working cord to tie one Larks head, fitting it into the space. 

Make sure you bring it around all four segments of the holding cords (marked with X in this image).

Apply glue before tightening each half of the knots. Cut off the excess material when the glue is dry.

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Have any comments about the Buttonhole Bracelet? Contact Me.