Free instructions: DIY Tassel and Macramé keychains

UPDATED with NEW INSTRUCTIONS! We heard you say you wanted clearer directions on how to make these macramé keychains. So here you go! We’ve pulled together step-by-step macramé instructions and links to helpful videos. Now you can macramé easy, adorable DIY keyrings that use stuff you have on hand—make them as simple or as fancy as you’d like. Created by Hallmark Designer Leslie S., these DIY macramé keychains use simple knots, basic tassels and wooden beads.

Because macramé rocks, y’all.* 

DIY Macramé Keychains: Keychain #1: Square knot with bead. Keychain #2: Striped clove hitch. Keychain #: Beads with short tassel. Keychain #4: Folded braid. Keychain #5: Beads with long tassel. Keychain #6: Half knots.
#1: Square knot with bead. #2: Striped clove hitch. #3: Beads with short tassel. #4: Folded braid. #5: Beads with long tassel. #6: Half knots.

Why make DIY macramé keychains?

If you need an excuse to make a custom keychain, we’ve got you:

  • Update the keychain you’ve had since before you can remember
  • Create a cute keyring for the pet-sitter
  • Give a set of keys to a trusted neighbor so when you lock yourself out you don’t have to break into your own place
  • Decorate your backpack
  • Decorate your purse
  • Create the snazziest luggage tag on the baggage carousel
  • Get organized by creating a separate key ring for all those tiny rewards cards
  • Stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, gift wrap add-ons

Leslie made six different custom macramé keychains. You can download free instructions—or if you’re comfortable with basic macramé knots, we’ll give you the basics below and you can improvise.

Tassel keychain with handpainted Sculpey beads

SUPPLIES FOR DIY TASSEL AND MACRAMÉ KEYCHAINS

  • 1″ KEYRINGS
  • 3/16” NATURAL COTTON PIPING CORD
  • BEADS (Leslie made beads out of Sculpey and hand-painted them because of course she did. You can do the same, or try painting some wooden beads, or use any other beads you’d like.)
  • EMBROIDERY FLOSS OR YARN
  • SMALL RUBBER BAND (KEYCHAIN #4 ONLY)
  • SCISSORS
  • FREE DOWNLOADABLE INSTRUCTIONS

Macramé keychain with hand painted Sculpey bead and wrapped tassel

HOW TO MAKE KEYCHAINS WITH SQUARE KNOTS

Let’s start with keychains #1 (above foreground) and #6 (below right). They’re made with a simple square knot—and its unfinished but fancy sister, the half square knot.

  • For both, you’ll start with two 50″ or so pieces of cord. Loop each through the keyring with a larkspur knot, making the outside strands about 2/3 the length of the cord. (See the free download for step-by-step photos.)
  • For keychain #1, make about five square knots, add the bead, make a half square knot below it, and tie the rest off in a tassel.
  • For keychain #6, make about 16 half square knots and finish it with a tassel.
  • To give your tassel the perfect fancy neck, use your favorite colors of embroidery thread and follow the steps in our printed instructions or this video.
  • Separate the cord at the ends, trim it up, and you’re finished!

Pro tip

To cut the bottom of the tassel perfectly straight, press it flat and wrap it with a piece of tape. Cut the tape in half, remove it, and marvel at the perfect fringe.

Beaded tassel and macramé keychain

HOW TO MAKE KEYCHAINS WITH BEADS AND TASSELS

Keychains #3 (below left) and #5 (above) use the same technique, but vary up the number of beads and length of the tassel.

  • For both, you’ll start by tying a 10-16″ piece of yarn to your keyring with a larkspur knot.
  • Add the beads.
  • Cut yarn for a tassel—we used about 20 pieces of yarn. (You pick the length and fluffiness. Make it twice as long as you want your tassel.) Center it under the bead and tie it on with a simple knot. Tighten up your beads and tassel and double the knot.
  • Fold the tassel in half and wrap the neck with yarn or embroidery floss using the steps in our printed instructions or this video.
  • Trim the ends. That’s it!

Macramé and tassel keychains

HOW TO MAKE A STRIPED CLOVE HITCH KEYCHAIN

Keychain #2 (above right) may look fancy and complicated—but it just takes two basic knots to get its stylish custom color palette.

  • Start with two 20″ or so pieces of cord (you can always cut them shorter, so it’s better to start long). Loop each through the keyring with a larkspur knot, making the outside strands about a little longer than ones on the inside. (See the free download for step-by-step photos.)
  • Add vertical clove hitch stitches with a few different colors of yarn. This video has easy instructions to get you started, including how to measure your yarn. We did two rows each in the first two colors, and one row in the third color.
  • Make a full square knot in the middle.
  • Add another set of vertical clove hitches, reversing what you did on the top.
  • A quick trim of the ends finishes it off.

Braided and macramé keychains

HOW TO MAKE A FOLDED BRAID KEYCHAIN

Keychain #4 (above top) is seriously easy.

  • Cut three pieces of cord a little more than twice as long as you want the finished custom keychain.
  • Stack them, even the strands, and wrap one end with a small rubber band a few inches from the ends.
  • Do a simple braid. Stop when you’re the same distance from the ends as the rubber band is.
  • Loop one end through the keychain. If you’d like, put the rubber band around both ends to hold them in place.
  • Follow the instructions in our video or on page X of the free printed macramé keychain instructions to turn the ends into a tassel. Start the neck right under the braid. (You can cut the rubber band loose as you start to wrap the neck with embroidery floss.
  • Tie knots in the ends of the cord to finish it up.

Pro tip

Google “braid variations” for instructions fun options like fishtail and chainlink braids.

Handpainted beads on a tassel keyring

Well, did you try it? Show us! And show us where you put them—we’re always looking for new ideas! Share your pics of this and other macramé projects, including plant hangers, wall hangings, bracelets, necklaces, curtains—whatever you have created with knots, beads, tassels, ropes, and cord—on Instagram at @think.make.share and on Facebook.

*Yes. We dig macramé kind of a lot. If you find yourself a little addicted to it after you make a keychain or two, check out this tutorial. Photo Stylist Andy N. shows us how to make a square knot, the foundation of macramé, as well as spiral and half-hitch knots. You can see many cool macramé designs and patterns in this recent post.

Photography by Ty Hester.

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Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. 10.11.17 | Reply
    Richard Stotlar wrote:

    Is there a way to watch the the instructions on U Tube if i was to download i

    • 10.12.17 | Reply
      Think.Make.Share wrote:

      Hi Richard,

      We don’t have video instructions at this time.

  2. 11.15.17 | Reply
    Cheryl wrote:

    I have a collection of key rings different shapes style, sizes.
    I have cartoon characters, I have over 1300 of them. I want to make these for my collection.i like to do macrme.

  3. 12.31.17 | Reply
    Cathy wrote:

    Thank you…im excited to try this out!

  4. 12.31.17 | Reply
    John wrote:

    Any ideas or “how to’s” for macrame bracelets?

    Thanks, John

  5. 12.31.17 | Reply
    Dana. Dalton wrote:

    Am looking to make a plant hanger. We have 2 kitty cats and sitting plants on the table is not an option. My mom had a beautiful hanger which she gave to a dear friend before she went into the retirement home.

    • 1.1.18 | Reply
      Theresa wrote:

      You can find macrame’ patterns on Pinterest. Years ago, I made many macrame’ items and kept my books, yarns and other supplies. I’m glad to see it’s back. A relaxing hobby. So many plant hangers and small Christmas ornaments . . . all a lot of fun. 🙂

    • 5.1.18 | Reply
      Cheryl wrote:

      I make macreme plant hanger for friends, and family.

  6. 12.31.17 | Reply
    Sharon wrote:

    I appreciate the downloadable instructions but they are too little to be of any help. Had you spread them out on 6 pages, maybe I could read them.

    • 1.2.18 | Reply
      Think.Make.Share wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback, Sharon!

  7. 4.6.18 | Reply
    Becky wrote:

    What size beads are those?

  8. 5.17.18 | Reply
    Mary wrote:

    My favorite is the keychain with the four beads. But how do you thread a single thread through the beads and end up with a multi-thread tassel? I did not see instructions for it. Could you please send instructions?

    • 9.17.19 | Reply
      Shae wrote:

      I’m have this same question!

      • 9.19.19 | Reply
        Trish B. wrote:

        The beads are attached to the ring with a doubled thread. Tie an overhand knot at the bottom of the beads, leaving a little bit of room. Then gather the threads to make your tassel, and feed one end through the loop. Fold the tassel threads over to cover the knot, and then wind the neck.

        Here are instructions for making a tassel: https://youtu.be/5Rchi1LXn0o

        We’re working on a new instruction sheet! Watch this space!
        —Trish

  9. 8.10.18 | Reply
    Taylor wrote:

    The directions were not clear enough. I need some more visual instructions

    • 8.13.18 | Reply
      Trish B. wrote:

      So sorry they weren’t helpful to you, Taylor! We’re working on new ways to put our instructions together.

  10. 8.14.18 | Reply
    Debra Knight wrote:

    They all look great. Regards Debra.

  11. 8.26.18 | Reply
    addy kmr wrote:

    thanks for sharing a Brilliant keychain making the post I really appreciate your work!! are doing a good job.

  12. 9.15.18 | Reply

    Hi,your macrame keychain so beautiful i want it 😉

  13. 9.15.18 | Reply
    Amna atiq wrote:

    I love art £ I have make lots of thing by watching diy videos £ I have made lots of keychain for my bag £ I also love this pic so much bcs I am the craziest person of art in the world?????✂️

  14. 11.1.18 | Reply
    camron wrote:

    These crafts i think are beautiful and a time consumer and great for any type of gifts

  15. 2.13.19 | Reply

    Wow, those are some awesome keychains you got there. Loved them so much, thank you for sharing this one.

  16. 3.31.19 | Reply
    Sarah wrote:

    I like the 5th keychain but there’s no instructions on how to make that specific one.. please help.

    • 4.1.19 | Reply
      Trish B. wrote:

      Hi, Sarah—We’re updating this page soon to add more instructions! Watch this space…

      Trish

  17. 8.2.19 | Reply
    Sarah wrote:

    Can you send me one those

    • 8.2.19 | Reply
      Trish B. wrote:

      We’d love to…but the ones we made for the post were all spoken for a while back, and we don’t sell them. We hope the instructions are easy enough for you to make your own…let us know if you have questions!
      —Trish

  18. 8.10.19 | Reply
    Cp wrote:

    Do you have a link for the specific macrame cord that she used to make them?

    • 8.13.19 | Reply
      Trish B. wrote:

      We don’t have a specific link, but you can search 3/16” natural cotton piping cord. That’s what she used—it’s available in a buuuuuuuunch of different lengths.
      —Trish

  19. 10.24.19 | Reply
    Basia wrote:

    These are adorable!
    They’re great gifts for special occasions or just because’s. I look forward to making one on a rainy day. ?
    THANKS a lot!

    -Basia

  20. 10.29.19 | Reply
    Arthur wrote:

    These keychains are so cute! Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks