These DIY fishtail bracelets were a product of my impatience. I ordered a bunch of Chinese knotting cord to make this necklace and the cord arrived a couple of days before the rest of the supplies I needed. I immediately became obsessed with it, making all sort of macramé and friendship bracelets. If you’ve been following DIY blogs then you’ve seen plenty of macramé lately but hopefully, this is the first time you are seeing the fishtail or herringbone weave.
You will need:
- 30 inches of Rattail or faux-suede cord
- 80 inches of .8mm Chinese knotting cord (for a six-inch wrist, if you have a larger wrist I would add 10-15 inches of knotting cord per inch.)
- A stand-out button or hex nut
- A thread burner
- A small box lid
- Some scrap rattail or yarn
Fold the rattail for the bracelet in half and tie a knot so that you have a loop, keeping in mind the size of the button you are using as the clasp. Thread your scrap piece of rattail through the loop and pull it half-way through and fold it so it extends the length of your bracelet.
Wrap it around your box lid length-wise and secure it with a double knot so it looks like this.
Fold your knotting cord in half to find the center and place it under the knot. Take the left strand of knotting cord and weave it over the left strand of rattail and under the right strand of rattail and then pull it snug. The first stitch is the trickiest so use your fingers to hold it in place. Make sure so that it ends BELOW the other strand of knotting cord on the right side.
Now, grab the TOP strand on the right side and weave it over the right piece of rattail and under the left piece of rattail. Pull it tight, but not too tight and make sure you slide the completed stitch up towards the top of the bracelet. Ta-da! You are back to wear you started with one piece of knotting cord on either side. Use your thumb to make slide it up and make sure it is secure.
Keep working in the same pattern until you reach the desired length, over-under-pull, over-under-pull. Make sure that when you are coming from the right hand side that you are grabbing the top strand or else you will notice that your pattern gets funky.
When you get to the end, tie the two strands of knotting cord in a knot at the bottom and remove the bracelet from your box lid. At this point you can try and secure it with a dot of super glue or use my new favorite tool, the thread burner, to fuse the knot and burn off the excess.
Make a knot at the bottom, using the rattail to cover-up the ends of the knotting cord.
If you are using a button slide it up one of the strands of rattail or if you are using a hex nut, slide it up both strands; then secure it with a knot. Pull the knot tight. Rattail is slippery stuff and it will come undone if it is not secure. Cut off the ends but make sure you don’t cut them too close to the knot. You want to be able to have something to tug on to tighten the knot if it feels like it’s starting to come loose.
That’s it! After one or two you’ll have it down and will be able to do it on a plane, while you are in a train, watching TV or attending webinar. You can make them anywhere.