Easy Macramé Instructions For Keychains

These macramé instructions for making a one- or two-knot keychain are for the beginner. As the crafter becomes more proficient in making macramé projects, she can easily create her own particular style through use of different colors, thicknesses of macramé cords and macramé beads.

Understanding Macramé
Macramé is a skill in which the crafter weaves hemp or other types of macramé cords into a series of intricate knots to create a work of art. Historically speaking, macramé can be traced back to 14th-century France and Italy, when church vestments and altar adornments were created using this technique. It was revived again in the early 1900s in Britain, and then subsequently died out in popularity. Macramé hit the scene in America in the '60s and '70s in a big way and remains a popular crafting method.

Creating A Macramé Keychain
When making a macramé keychain, the most important aspect is to make sure you have enough cord before you begin. Because macramé knots take up a lot of cord, you'll need to make sure you have at least 4 times more cord than the length of the finished product. In other words, if you want a 4-inch keychain, you'll need about 2 yards of cord, which will then be folded twice-to create 4 strands that are about 18 inches each-and then tied to the key ring with a hitch knot. Getting 2 yards of cord will provide you with a little extra for the tail.

A good keychain size would be about 4 inches plus a tail. You don't want the keychain to be too bulky, but you do want it to be substantial enough to hold your keys and be easy to find it in your purse.

Basic Macramé Knots
Because the art of macramé is simply the art of tying knots, once you have mastered a variety of macramé knots, such as the hitch knot, the half knot and the square knot, you can begin making up your own knots to create even more detailed projects.

Hitch Knot: A hitch knot is created when you want to attach the hemp or macramé cord to an item as the starting point. In this case, you would make a hitch knot on the key ring. To do this, fold the hemp in half, and then fold it again in the middle. (You will now have 4 strands of about 18 inches each. Push the 2 folded ends or loops through the key ring, and then pull the 4 tail ends of the cord through the loop. When you pull the cord tight, the loop will be tight against the key ring, and you will have 4 cords hanging down. For working ease, tape the key ring to a table top.

Half Knot: This knot is the same knot you use when you tie your shoes. To make this knot in macramé, you would cross strand 1 over strand 2 and 3, and then tuck it under strand 4. Take strand 4 behind strands 2 and 3 and through the loop of strand 1, and you have a knot. When you pull this knot tight, you will have created a half knot. Thread a colored glass bead onto strands 2 and 3-between each half knot-and your keychain will be anything but plain.

Square Knot: A square knot is two half knots. Using 4 strands of cord start by crossing strand 1 over strand 2 and 3, and then tuck it under strand 4. Take strand 4 behind strands 2 and 3 and through the loop of strand 1, and you have a half knot. Then do the opposite. Start on the other side by putting strand 4 under strands 2 and 3 and then over strand 1. Once you put the strand through the loop and pull it tight, you will have created a full square knot.

A keychain that consists of 4 square knots, 1 bead, 1 square knot, 1 bead, 1 square knot, 1 bead and then 4 additional square knots will be the perfect length. Tie the end in a knot, and then add tiny beads at ½ inch intervals onto each of the four strands on the tail end. A tail that is about the same length of the keychain is a good length. Cut the tail ends so that they are at slightly different lengths, and then add keys to the key ring.

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