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Mini Turtle

Mini Turtle

Description:  The Mini Turtle project is suitable for older children, teens and adults. This Macrame pattern is a bit complex compared to other designs in Macrame for Kids, and will be difficult for YOUNG children. 

Make sure you know how to tie each of the knots used in the design. 

The Shell Knot is the primary decorative knot used in the pattern.  It's sometimes called the Berry Knot in modern patterns.

The size of this turtle decoration depends on the material you use.  In the example, 4mm cord was used, and the finished width was approximately 2 inches in size. For a smaller turtle, use 2mm cord.

Using two colors is optional, but if you decide to do so, Color A is for the head and front legs (brown)

Color B is for the shell and back legs (turquoise).

Zarrina Akbarova sent in the suggestion for this project.
Supplies Needed:
  • 2mm to 4mm cord material
  • Project Board and pins
  • Fabric Glue
Knots Used:

Cutting Instructions:

  • Cut 6 cords of Color A, each 30 inches long 
  • Cut 5 cords of Color B, each 45 inches long 
  • Cut 4 cords, at least 20 inches long (any color)

Prepare the ends with tape or glue to prevent them from unraveling as you work on the Mini Turtle.

Macrame Cord Divider


Mounting Process

Secure two Color A cords (30-inch) to your board horizontally. 

These are holding cords, so should have tension.

Fold the Cord

Fold one of the Color B cords (45-inch) in half, and place it on top of the holding cords, with the fold at the bottom. 

It should be placed at the center of the holding cords.

Ends Through Loop

Bring both ends down and under the holding cord, and over the folded portion (color B). 

Pull on the ends firmly to tighten the reverse Larks Head knot.

Four Additional Cords

Mount the remaining four 45-inch cords (Color B) in the same manner.

Place 2 of them on each side of the first one in the center. 

Note that the knots were separated for the photo.  They should rest close to one another.


Mini Turtle Shell


The shell of the Mini Turtle is made with both Double Half Hitches (DHH) and Square Knots (SK). 

Make sure you know how to tie these knots before you get started.

You will be tying Square Knots in both directionsSee the Square Knot page for more details.

The outer portion of the shell is a rounded diamond, and the inside area is formed by tying four diagonal rows of DHH.  

Holding Cords

Step 1:  Mentally number the Color B cords 1- 10.

Cords 5 and 6 are the holding cords for the outer shell. 

Move cord 6 to the left and cord 5 to the right (crossed).   Secure them so they have tension.

Half Hitch

Step 2:  Pass cord 4 over - under holding cord 6 (left), rotating clockwise.

As you bring it to the left, pass over cord 4.

Repeat this process again, to make a Double Half Hitch.  It should rest to the left of the first, lower down on the holding cord.

Tighten both knots firmly, so the shell for your Mini Turtle is as small as possible.

Attach cords 3 and 2 the same way (in that order).

Change Direction

Step 3:  Change the direction of holding cord 6, so it's more vertical (up and down).

Attach cord 1 to it with a DHH, the same way you did the others in step 2.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the right, attaching cords 7 - 9 to holding cord 5.

The Half Hitches should be tied counter-clockwise.

Change the direction
of the holding cord, and attach cord 10.

Re-secure the upper shell of the Mini Turtle to your board, so it can't move.  Push the two holding cords (5 and 6) out of the way for now.

Square Knot

Step 4:  Cords 1 and 4 are the working cords for the first Square Knot.  Cords 2 and 3 are fillers. 

Tie a LEFT Square knot. As you tighten it, make sure it rests against the row of DHH, and is on the same diagonal angle

Tighten it as much as you can.

Right and Left SK

Repeat step 4, tying a RIGHT Square Knot with cords 7 and 10.  Cords 8 and 9 are fillers.

Make sure the SK rests next to the DHH and that it's on an angle.

Step 5:  The inside area of the shell for the Mini Turtle has 4 diagonal rows of DHH, tied as follows:

Cord 7

Bring cord 7 (from the right SK) over cords 1 - 4, on a diagonal slant to the left

Make sure it rests against the bottom of the SK on the left.

Attach cords 4 - 1 to it with DHH (in that order), rotating clockwise.  Tighten the knots firmly.

Cord 8

Step 6:  Move cord 8 to the left, on the same angle.  It will be the next holding cord. Place it close to the first row of DHH.

Attach cords 4 - 1 to it with DHH (in that order).  Pull the cords firmly so the two rows are against each other.

Two More Rows

Step 7:  Repeat step 6 two more times, using cord 9  for the next row, and then cord 10 (holding cords). 

Place them close to the other rows and tighten the knots firmly.

Left SK

Step 8:  Tie a LEFT Square Knot with cords 7 - 10, which are now on the left. 

Tie a RIGHT SK with cords 1- 4, which are now on the right.

Step 8, continued:  Both knots should be on an angle, and tightened as much as possible. 

This will cause the inside portion of the shell to bend upward.

Next you will make the lower outer edges (bottom half of shell) for your Mini Turtle:

Step 9:  Locate holding cord 6, which you pushed out of the way earlier.

Move it around the left edge of the design you just made, close to the SK.

Left Outer Shell

Attach cord 7 to it with a Triple Half Hitch (one Double Half Hitch + one single). 

Attach cords 8 - 10 to it with Double Half Hitches.

Left Outer Edge

When you are finished, the row of DHH should be curved.   Repeat step 9 on the right

Use holding cord 5, and attach cord 4 to it with a Triple Half Hitch.  

Attach cords 3 - 1 with Double Half Hitches.

Last Step

Step 10:  The final step for the shell of your Mini Turtle is to attach one holding cord to the other with a Double Half Hitch. 

Color B Cords

Step 11:  Use the first set of holding cords (color A) that the mounting knots are attached to. 

Mentally number the ends 1 - 4. Tie a Square Knot with cords 1 and 4 (cords 2 - 3 are fillers). 

Opening for Head

As you tighten the Square Knot, create a circle with a small opening for the head. 

This is considered the neck of the Mini Turtle.


Creating the Head


The head of the Mini Turtle is the easiest part of the design.  You can tie some type of button knot using 4 cords, if you don't like the technique used for this area.

See the Learn Macrame section of this site for ideas.

Color A Cords

Step 1:  Arrange the remaining four Color A cords on your board vertically (up and down). 

Secure them at the center.

Tie a small chain of 3 LEFT Square Knots using the lower half of the cords.

Turn Around

Step 2:  Turn the knots around and go back to the center. 

Tie three RIGHT Square knots.  

Fold Sennit

Step 3:  Fold the sennit in half and secure it to your board.

Use two cords at the right and left edges of the group to tie a Square knot around the other six (fillers).

Pass Ends Through Neck

Step 4: Pass the cords through the hole in the neck, at the top of the shell. Use pliers or tweezers, and pass them through one at a time.

When you pull on them, make sure the Square Knot you tied in step 3 is on the inside of the Mini Turtle, where it can't be seen.


 Creating the Legs

Wrapped Knot

The legs for the Mini Turtle are simply four Wrapped Knots.  Below are instructions for tying them.  Each knot is tied with the 20-inch pieces of material. 

These knots can be a challenge for those new to Macrame, so here are some tips:

  • Place the cords for the legs horizontally (side to side). 
  • When you wrap, move vertically (up and down)
  • Wrap firmly, and make sure the coils don't overlap.
  • As you tighten, hold the wraps so they don't loosen.

Organize the Cords

Step 1: Organize the cords into four groups.  In the front of the Mini Turtle, each leg will have 6 cords.

In the back, each leg will have 5 cords.

Step 2:  Secure a 20-inch cord next to the 5 cords for one back leg. 

The pin should be placed at least 1-inch from the end of the cord.

Position Cord

Fold the cord further down, beyond the area where you will wrap. (indicated by black lines)

The short portion will be on the inside, and the long portion is used to wrap.


Step 3:  Wrap the long end around all the cords for the leg. Make sure you pass around the short end as well, and that you wrap firmly.

Wrap 5 - 7 times, depending on how long you want the legs.  Pass the end through folded area (loop).

Pull Short End

Step 4:  Hold the wraps so they don't loosen, and pull on the short end, which was secured near the shell.

The loop and the long end will be pulled inside the Wrapped Knot.

Slide the knot up so it rests next to the shell of the Mini Turtle.


Step 5: Apply glue to the outside of the Wrapped Knot.  When it's dry, cut off the excess material from the short end, close to the top edge of the knot.

Cut off the long end close to the bottom edge.

Trim the 5 leg cords (inside the knot) to at least 1-inch.

Step 6:  Repeat steps 2 - 5 to create the remaining three legs for your Mini Turtle.

Cord for Hanging

There is a small space in the top of the shell.  You can make a loop with a piece of scrap cord, and place it through the hole.

Tie an Overhand knot with the two end on the inside.  Then you can use this cute design as a pendant or ornament.

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Have any comments about the Mini Turtle? Contact Me.