I’ve used embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets in prior summers, but this Chinese knotting cord is a game-changer! It’s so much easier and much more fun to work with, and the colors are bright and saturated. The bracelets I made with this cord are sturdier and show off their colors better than anything I’ve tried before.
My inspiration was, as is so often the case, the Purl Bee: you can find the instructions here and the Chinese knotting cord here. I experimented with several of the patterns, but my favorite was the simple braid with six strands (two each of three colors). To me, this produced the best color and the ideal weight and thickness for the bracelet.
I tried Purl Bee’s closure instructions, but I wasn’t satisfied with the result. I surfed around on the Internet and made several other attempts before finding these instructions. This technique worked perfectly – I made the macrame closure, per the instructions, then I threaded a bead onto each of the two “pull strings”, knotted the end of the cord, sealed the cut end with a lighter, and used a drop of glue to secure the bead to the knot.
I initially had a lot of trouble stringing the beads, but I found that if I rolled the end of the cord in a little bit of glue, then when it was tacky, used my fingers to roll it into a stiff point, it threaded much more easily.
My daughters loved making these, too, and were very successful with the braiding, although it took a little practice to keep the cords from rolling and to maintain the perfect amount of tension along the chain as the braiding progressed.
The Chinese knotting cord is not very expensive, and you get a lot of cording on each reel. We plan to make a whole basketful of these bracelets to sell at our school’s winter crafts fair this Christmas.