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Shell Knot

Shell Knot

Description: The Shell Knot is actually a diamond, but is formed in such a way that it ends up round.

In vintage patterns,  it is often referred to as a Berry Knot. It's rare to find this Macrame design used anymore.

You could add this decoration to decorate handbags, plant hangers, wall hangings, or in curtain patterns.

Macrame for Kids has a cute project called the Mini Turtle, which features this knot.

To help you learn this unique combination knot, a second color was used in the images below (main holding cord).  In most Macrame patterns all the cords are usually one color.

The following knots are used in this design, so make sure you practice them:


You need 10 cords to make this knot (8 working cords and 2 holding cords).  Each should each be at least 25 inches long.

In a Macrame project, you may be instructed to create the Shell Knot with cords already in use.

When practicing, use a different color for the holding cords. 

In this example, the holding cords are tan, and the working cords are brown.

Cross Holding Cords  

Step 1: Mentally number the cords 1 thru 10. The holding cords are in the center (cords 5 and 6).

Cross cord 5 over cord 6, and secure them at the crossing point.


Half Hitch  

Use cord 5 to tie a Double Half Hitch onto cord 6, rotating clockwise

See instructions below.


Single Half Hitch:  Make a loop, passing the working cord over - under the cord holding the knot.  As you pull it to the side, pass over the working cord.

Tie a second knot to make it a Double Half Hitch.

Holding Cords  

Step 2: Position holding cord 5 to the right, and secure it with tension.

Do the same with cord 6, positioning it to the left.



Attach working cords 4 - 1 to holding cord 5 (in that order), with clockwise Double Half Hitches.

Attach cords 7 - 10 to holding cord 6 with counter-clockwise DHH, progressing left to right.


Top Edge  

The top edge of the Shell Knot is now finished.

Keep the holding cords secured to the board.

Don't use them until steps 8 and 9.


Left Facing SK  

Step 3: Tie a left Square Knot using cords 1 - 4  (two working cords, two fillers).

Reminder:  The head of the SK will face the direction of the first cord moved, in this case cord 1.


Right Facing SK  

Tie a right SK with cords 7 - 10.

Make sure both knots are as tight as possible, and they rest next to the bars formed by the DHH.


Now you will work on the center portion of the Shell Knot. 

Organize the cords into two groups. The working cords are 1 - 4.

The cords holding the knots are 7 - 10.

Holding Cord 7  

Step 4: Move cord 7 to the left, resting on top of the working cords. It should rest just below the Square Knot on the left. Secure it with tension.

Attach cords 4 - 1 to it with DHH, rotating clockwise.  Tighten both Half Hitches firmly.


Holding Cord 8  

Step 5: Move cord 8 to the left, resting on top of the working cords.

Attach cords 4 - 1 to it with clockwise DHH. Make sure you tighten them as much as possible, so the bars are close together.


Holding Cord 9

Step 6: Repeat step 5 two more times, using the last two holding cords (9 and 10).

Holding Cord 10


Left Facing SK   Step 7: Tie a left SK with the four cords on the left (holding cords 7 - 10).

When it's tightened, it should rest against the DHH.

Make sure it's as tight as possible.

Right Facing SK  

Tie a right SK with the four cords on the right (working cords 1 - 4).

Tighten it as much as possible.

The center portion of the Shell Knot should pop upward on it's own. Pushing it up from underneath will give it some help.


Now you will make the lower edge of the Shell Knot.

Remove the pins from the two original holding cords (5 and 6).

Holding Cord 6  

Step 8: Move holding cord 6 towards the center of the shell (right).

Attach the four cords on the left to it with DHH, progressing left to right. Rotate counter-clockwise.


Push the knots close together, which will cause the shape to become round. 

The first knot should be close to the ones in the upper shell, so there is a complete circle of DHH.  (see image below)

Bottom of Shell  

Step 9: Move holding cord 5 towards the center (left).

Attach the four cords on the right to it with DHH.

Progress right to left as you attach them.


Step 10: Attach one holding cord to the other with a DHH. This will close the round shape, and complete the bottom of the Shell Knot.

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Have any comments about the Shell Knot? Contact Me.

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