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Finishing Techniques

 Finishing Techniques


Finishing Techniques are specific decorative knots and procedures that are used to produce a neat appearance in the final steps of Macrame projects.

The term tie off is frequently used to describe this process.

I refer to these techniques in the free patterns in this site, and you’ll find them in most Macrame books as well.

I recommend you learn to tie all the finishing knots in the Learn Macrame section of this site.



Finishing Knots

Overhand Knot   The Overhand knot is the most commonly used decorative knot for tying off the cords, during the finishing steps.

You can tie it with one cord or with two (see image below).

When you use finishing knots in a project, try to place them where they won't show.

In this image of the Square Knot Frame, I used the Overhand knot to tie off two cords

It was resting at the back of the frame so could not be seen from the front.

Overhand knot

Barrel Knot

This is a Barrel knot, which is similar to the Overhand Knot, but has a tighter hold.



Glue is often used when finishing knots are tied, to stop them from loosening.

You can use regular household glue that dries clear. Dilute it with water and apply it to the final knots with a small brush.

Fabric glue provides an extra strong hold.


Matthew Walker knot

This is a Matthew Walker Knot. It produces a nicely finished look when placed at the end of a group of cords.

You can also unravel one cord and tie the knot with the fibers.



Finishing with Beads

Finishing techniques can be as simple as applying beads.  In many cases, you just tie a knot below the bead, and then cut off the excess material close to the knot.
Here's another option:

Bead Finish

In this Oval Bracelet, the ends were passed through a bead.  An Overhand knot was tied, and then the ends were passed through again, the opposite direction.

Glue was applied and the bead was moved over it.  Once it was dry, the ends were cut off close to the bead.

Macrame Cord Divider

Weaving Technique

Pass Ends Through Back  

Finishing techniques often include weaving. You work the ends under the knots in the back of the design.

You need to apply glue and allow it to dry before cutting off the excess material.



You can also weave the ends through spaces in the design, if the knots are lying close together. 

Step 1: Trim the ends to neaten them as much as possible.  Apply glue to the ends and let it dry.

Step 2: Use needle nose pliers to weave each end between the knots in the general area. 

You could also slide them under the back of the knots rather than the spaces.


Macrame Cord Divider

Finishing with Fringe


Finishing techniques sometimes include making a fringe. This method is very popular, and was used often in the early days of this craft.

The term Macrame comes from the Arabic word “Miqrama" which can be translated to mean “ornamental fringe”.

Vintage Macrame patterns use fringe frequently in purses, pillows, plant hangers, wall hangings, and more.


Fringe   Sometimes decorative knots are used as part of the fringe design.

An Overhand or Barrel knot is tied at the tip of each cord to prevent it from unraveling.

Always trim the cords so the ends are even.

You will need to apply glue or knots to the ends, unless the pattern requires a brushed or unraveled fringe.

Snow Owl  

Finishing techniques for animals usually include creating fur or feathers. 

In this Snow Owl, the cords for the wings were separated into individual fibers, to create a soft wavy fringe.


Brushed Fringe

Animal fur, feathers and other designs are made with brushed fringe.

This Holiday Angel has a double skirt made by brushing the fibers.


Macrame Cord Divider

Other Finishing Techniques

  Ribbon Handbag  

There are other options you can use to finish your projects. For example, you can tie small bows if the item is very feminine, like this Ribbon Handbag.

Adding buttons, charms, or other decorations are also good ways to finish a Macrame design. Usually you will need to secure these items with finishing knots.


  Basic Plant Hanger   Finishing Techniques are often creative. In this Basic Plant Hanger, the designer placed a ring at the bottom, instead of fringe.

You would be able to attach wind chimes, bells, or other decorations to the ring

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Have any comments about Finishing Techniques? Contact Me.


Embroidery Designs

Macrame Cord Divider