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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 used frequently in the final steps of many Macrame patterns.

You will be tying this finishing knot with two cords most of the time.

One cord

On occasion, you may need to tie an Overhand knot with just one cord.

You make a clockwise loop, then pass the end through it from below (under - over).


Glue is often used with finishing knots, so they remain tight.

Fabric glue is the best type to use, but household glue also works well.  Just make sure it dries CLEAR.

The best place to apply glue is INSIDE the knot just before tightening it all the way.


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 in the back of the frame. 

Barrel Knot

The Barrel Knot is another popular finishing knot.  It's less likely to loosen over time, so you may not need to add glue.

This shows the knot tied with 2 cords.  It looks different with one cord, but the instructions are the same (below).

Step 1
<< Start the Barrel Knot by making an Overhand knot.

Move the end around and through the loop a second time.  >>
Step 2

The best way to create a neatly finished look at the end of a cord is to add a bead before the finishing knot is tied.

This technique works the best when using Micro-Macrame beads and cord materials.


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 next to the knot and the bead was moved on top of it.  Once it was dry, the ends were cut off close to the bead.

Macrame Cord Divider

Folding Techniques

Simple folding methods, like the ones shown below, are excellent finishing techniques for many Macrame projects.

The method you choose depends on the type of cord material you are working with, and how flexible it is.


Flexible materials like cotton may allow you to simply fold the ends flat against the back surface of the item you are making. 

Then you add glue under the ends to hold them in place, pressing them flat while it dries. 


Using less flexible materials may require an extra step:

Fold the cords to the back, then pass them under a loop from one or more knots.

Apply glue and allow it to dry before cutting off the excess material.



When passing the ends under loops, you may need to use fine tip pliers, surgical clamps, or tweezers.

You pass the tool under the loop from one knot, grab hold of the end, then pull it through.


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

Trim the ends to neaten them as much as possible, before weaving.Then use pliers or tweezers to weave each end over and under several spaces in the general area. 

You should not be able to see the ends if the knots are close to one another.  Use one of the other finishing techniques if they don't blend in.


Macrame Cord Divider

Finishing with Fringe


Making a fringe is one of the most popular finishing techniques in Macrame.

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

You have two options:  You can make a Brushed Fringe or a Beaded Fringe.


Brushed fringe is often used in Macrame animals, like this Snow Owl.

You can brush each fiber completely smooth, like you see in this image (top of the head).

Another option is to unravel the cords and let the fibers stay wavy, as in the wing feathers shown here.


In some cases, you may be asked to make a contoured brushed fringe, so it follows the angle of the knots the cords come from.

This image shows the tail feathers for the Owl Holder, which are cut on an angle.

One of my favorite finishing techniques is Beaded Fringe.  The key to making it look good is to divide the cords into two or more groups. 

Then you can make the fringe at different levels, which is less bulky and more attractive.


This Royal Hanger looks great with a layered beaded fringe.

The long fringe is made with a few cords coming from the inside of the bundle.

Then you make the shorter fringe with the remaining cords, which surround the others (outside cords).



For 3mm - 4mm size material, you can use 9mm glass crow rollers, as shown in this Two Tone Planter.

For 5mm - 6mm material, 12mm wood barrel beads (5mm holes) are suitable.

See Micro-Macrame Beads  and  Macrame Beads for more information.



This Fringed Table has a contoured beaded fringe below the V shaped designs at the top and bottom. 

By measuring each cord and placing the beads at the same distance below each knot, the fringe follows the angle of V shape.

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Have any comments about Finishing Techniques? Contact Me.