Materials & Supplies Needed To Make Macrame Purse
- 110 yds of 6mm BRAIDED macrame cord (or 5mm braided)
- 20 one inch wooden beads (10 beads front, 10 beads back)
- knotting board or ceiling tile
- tape measure, ruler or yardstick
- craft glue
Step-by-Step Directions (Knot Illustrations are at the end)
STEP 1. Cut the following cords.
- 36 cords 2 yds 6″ long for purse body
- 4 cords 3 yds long for purse straps
- 4 cords 5 yds long for purse straps
STEP 2/MAKING THE STRAPS.
You will make the two straps first. Pin the centers of two of the 3 yd cords side by side on knotting board. Pin the centers of two of the 5 yd cords on each side of the 3 yd cords. Cords should be lined up in this order. 5 yd cord, 3 yd cord, 3 yd cord and 5 yd cord. The 3 yard cords are filler cords and the 5 yard cords are the tying cords. Position on the knotting board with 4 ends going up over top of board and the other 4 hanging down the board. Refer to illustration.
Working with these 4 cords, tie a Sinnet of 10 Square Knots (SK). A sinnet is a strip of the same knots tied one after the other with the same tying cords. Refer to illustration. Leave on knotting board.
Continue adding to this SK sinnet by adding a Sinnet of 15 Half Knots (HK). Half Knots will start to twist after about the 3rd Half Knot. That is ok, it is supposed to do this.
Turn strap around and working in the other direction, continue where you “started”. (Note: Tie one HALF KNOT before tying a SK. This completes the knot first tied. ) Now you are ready to start tying knots in this direction.
Repeat making the same 10 knot SK sinnet and 15 knot HK sinnet as you did for the top half of these 4 cords. This completes the 1st Strap. Now repeat the process for the 2nd strap. This is how the two completed straps should look. Set straps aside.
STEP 3/CREATING THE FRONT PORTION OF PURSE.
Using the 2 yard 6″ cords, fold 2 cords in half and pin the centers side by side on knotting board. With these 4 cords, tie a Square Knot (SK) bringing knot all the way up to T-pin so no loops will be above knots. Set aside. Repeat this process 17 more times. You will have 18 Square Knot Sections. (Throughout this tutorial, these 18 will be referred to as “Square Knot Sections.”)
Pin 6 of the Square Knot Sections created in the above step to the knotting board side by side. Tie them together with Alternating Square Knots (ASK), starting with the 3rd cord on the left. You will tie 5 SK’s in this row. Leave knotting on the board.
STEP 4/ATTACHING STRAP TO FRONT OF PURSE.
Take one strap and curve it in an upward arc. Pin one end to the left side of the front portion of purse (which is on the knotting board) and the other end of the strap to the right side of the front portion of purse. Tie one Square Knot with cords 3-6 on left and 19-22 on the right. Leave knotting on board. (Numbering of the cords will change as sections are added so when numbering is mentioned in the instructions, just renumber mentally.)
STEP 5/CREATING THE SIDES.
Pin 3 Square Knot Sections on board and tie them together with a row of 2 Alternating Square Knots.
Do the same with 3 more Square Knot Sections. When knotting is completed pin one of these sections on the left of purse strap THAT IS ON THE KNOTTING BOARD and pin the other section on the right side. (Photo is only showing how to add this newly created section to the right side of the strap. Do the same on the left side.) Tie these sections together with one Square Knot, using 2 free cords from Square Knot Section and 2 from strap. Take off board and set aside.
OK, let’s do a review of what you have completed thus far. The two straps are completed and one strap has been attached to the front section and the two side sections. This is how your purse should look at this stage.
STEP 6/CREATING THE BACK & ATTACHING 2ND STRAP.
Just as you did for the front… Pin 6 Square Knot Sections to knotting board side by side. Tie them together with one row of Alternating Square Knots, starting with the 3rd cord on the left. You will tie 5 SK’s in this row. Leave knotting on the board. Refer to knotting illustrations in Step 3 if you need help.
Take the 2nd strap and curve it in an upward arc. Pin one end to the left side of the back portion of purse (which is on the knotting board) and the other end of the strap to the right side of the back portion of purse. Note: Make sure this strap measures the same as the 1st strap. If necessary, “push” up on the sinnet to even it out.
Tie one Square Knot with cords 3-6 on left and 19-22 on the right. Leave knotting on board.
STEP 7/JOINING SIDES TO BACK.
Join the back to the side sections with one Square Knot using the 2 free cords from the side and 2 cords from the back portion.
Do the same on the other side.
You now have a one complete row of Square Knots going all around the entire purse.
You will be tying rows of knots in a circular format, a tube. Tie 6 rows of Alternating Square Knots (ASK) in the following order:
- Row 3: Tie row of Square Knots (SK)
- Row 4: Tie row of Alternating Square Knots (ASK)
- Row 5: Tie row of SK’s
- Row 6: Tie row of ASK’s
- Row 7: Tie row of SK’s
- Row 8: Tie row of ASK’s
STEP 9/ADD 1ST ROW OF BEADS.
Now you will begin adding beads to the front side of the purse. Number the cords from 1-44 beginning with one half of the side knot. Tie a Square Knot (SK) with cords 5-8, 13-16, 21-24, 29-32, 37-40. Under each of these SK’s put a bead on the 2 filler cords, the center cords of the 4 cords. Tie another SK under each bead, using the same 4 cords as for the knot above the bead.
Tie a sinnet of 8 Half Knots with cords 9-12, 17-20, 25-28, 33-36. Repeat these steps of adding beads and tying half knot sinnets to the back side of the purse.
STEP 10/FILL IN SIDES WITH KNOTS.
To fill in the sides of the purse opposite where beads were added, tie 4 rows of Alternating Square Knots. First row will have one knot, 2nd row will have 2 knots, 3rd row will have 1 knot and 4th row will have 2 knots. Line these knots up with the bead row. (Note: Don’t get ahead. Stop with those last 2 knots.)
STEP 11. There is one row of knots in between the 2 rows of beads. Tie one row of ASK all around the entire purse.
STEP 12/ADD 2ND ROW OF BEADS. Repeat Steps 9 and 10 to add the 2nd row of beads and fill in the knots on the side. Front and back.
STEP 13. Now tie 5 rows of Alternating Square Knots all around entire purse.
STEP 14/CLOSING THE BOTTOM.
To close up the bottom of the purse, first, turn purse wrong side out. Go around the last row of knots and make sure the knots are really tight.
With the purse flat on the surface, locate the sides. You will see ONE SQUARE KNOT on each side that separates the front and the back of the purse. This is where you start tying up the bottom. Ok, ready? Put purse between your knees with the bottom up.
Starting with the farthest (on the side) 6 cords, tie 2 Square Knots, using 4 filler cords and one cord from the left side of the purse and one cord from the right side of the purse.
Continuing closing up the bottom using the next 2 cords from EACH SIDE of the purse and tying ONE Square Knot very tightly.
Continue this process across the bottom of the purse until you reach the other side. There should be 6 cords left. With these 6 cords, tie 2 Square Knots using 4 filler cords and one cord from the left side of the purse and one cord from the right side of the purse. The same as you did for the 6 cords on the opposite side of the purse.
STEP 15/CUT BOTTOM CORDS.
This completes the knot tying. Apply craft glue to each knot. Allow to dry. Cut bottom cords leaving about 1/2″. Melt cut cords with a cigarette lighter or match to keep cords from fraying. Hold fire to the cord ends for just a split second so you won’t burn the cords. Now you are ready to turn purse right side out. Prepare the lining and insert it, if you desire.
Congratulations!! Your purse is complete and ready to carry. Enjoy!!
Here are pictures of my completed purse.
Purse measurements: 10 3/4″ length, 1 1/2″ width and 9″ height without straps (14 1/2″ height with straps)
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