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.*
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.
SUPPLIES FOR DIY TASSEL AND MACRAMÉ KEYCHAINS
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)
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Google “braid variations” for instructions fun options like fishtail and chainlink braids.
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.