Learn how to tie a square knot with this simple step-by-step tutorial. This knot is frequently used in macramé and to create bracelets.
Tying a square knot is quite easy to learn. It’s one of the more popular knots for jewelry and it’s typically used to:
- Tie two ends of the same cord together
- Join two separate pieces of cord
This knot is practical but can be decorative, especially if you join two different coloured cords together to highlight the knot. You can use pretty much any type of stringing material to make a square knot. Just beware that the knot may not be secure if created using slippery materials e.g. elastic cord.
Now, let’s get into how to make square knots. I’m going to show you how to tie it using one cord and then how it looks when you use two different pieces of cord. Tying the knot would be the exact same whether using one cord or two.
How to Tie A Square Knot
To begin the first half of your square knot, cut a length of stringing material of your choice. Then, cross one end of the cord over the other. In the photo above, you can see that I started by crossing the left over the right side.
Note: It doesn’t matter which side you start with. Just keep it in mind because you’ll need to cross the cord the opposite way to complete the second half of the knot. The mantra for making this knot is “left over right and right over left” or vice versa, if you prefer.
Pull the end of the cord you placed on top (in my case the left side) under the other end of the cord and through the loop in the middle. This is the same action you would take if you were tying a simple overhand knot.
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To tighten this first half of your square knot, pull both ends of the cord. If you were joining two cords instead of one, like I’m showing you here, you’d need to secure the two loose ends of both cords and pull tight on the two ends you were tying.
Next, you’re going to tie the second half of the square knot. Remember which side you crossed when tying the first half of the knot. Now, cross the opposite side of the cord over the other side. I started my knot by crossing my left side over my right, so here I’m going to cross the right over the left side.
To complete the knot, pull the side of the cord that’s on top under the cord that’s on the bottom and through the loop. (Again, this is the same way you’d tie an overhand knot.)
Pull the ends of the cord to tighten the knot. If you have any difficulty securing the knot, get someone to put their finger on top of the first half of the knot. They can hold it in place while you tighten the second half.
Alternatively, hold the loose ends that you just used when tying the knot, plus the cord on either side of the loop. Pull all four ends to tighten the knot.
There you have it! You just learned how to do a square knot that you can now use to create stunning jewelry.
I’ll admit that it can be challenging to remember which side you crossed over first and which side you need to cross over for the second half of the knot. I find it helps me to say it out loud as I’m doing it. This helps my brain to focus and remember it better later.
In the photo above, you can see how the square knot looks when created using two pieces of stringing material in different colours.
You can also create jewelry by tying a square knot around a central piece of cord. Here’s a simple tutorial.