How to Make Simple Knotted Bead Necklaces

One of my favorite techniques is knotting, especially with a nice waxy linen cording. This is a great way to use up orphaned beads in your collection, but another great aspect of knotted jewelry is a way to showcase one particular type of bead. I have done a few different versions of this necklace using lampwork glass, ceramic beads and semi-precious stones.

3 examples

Here’s how I do it….

Knotted necklace collage


Step 1.

Cut a 2-yard length of 7-ply Irish Waxed Linen cording. I offer this cording for sale in my Etsy shop, Jewelry Accord.

Step 2.

Find a variety of beads you’d like to include in your necklace. For this example, I chose a common theme of lampwork in a green and teal color palette. You will want a selection of at least 15-20 beads for an 18-inch necklace. But if you would like a longer necklace, use as many beads as you like. Choose a button for the clasp. For my example, I chose a pewter button. A lampwork glass button would have also been a great addition.

Step 3.

Fold the length in half, and create an overhand knot at the end, large enough to fit the button of your choice.

Steps 4 and 5.

String 1 bead on ONE cord, and pull the bead down to the knotted end.

Steps 6 and 7.

Bring the two ends together and form an overhand knot leaving enough room between the two knots, so the bead has some room.  It can slide back and forth between the knots. You can make these knots as far or as close together as you want. It really depends on how many beads you have pulled out for your necklace. The larger the spaced knots, the fewer beads you’ll need.

Steps 8 and 9.

Repeat Step 4 with the next bead. And again for the next bead. Continue to repeat this step until you get through all of your beads or come to the end of your cords.

Steps 10-13.

If you have a disc-shaped bead, like the lampwork flower disc, I have in my example necklace, simply thread the ends through the hole in the disc, one going from left to right and the other cording going in right to left. So that they criss-cross through the hole. Bring the ends together and form your overhand knot like normal.

Steps 14-19.

Thread the ends of your cords through each of the button holes. Tied a double overhand knot to secure the button and trim the excess cording with cutters.

You’re done!

Wear your new necklace proudly! Depending on the length of your necklace, you could even wear it double or triple wrapped on your wrist as a bracelet.

The possibilities are endless using this technique. Instead of artisan-made beads, try using a variety of different shaped or textured wood beads. It would also be great using a handful of different vintage beads such as vintage lucite.

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One Response to “How to Make Simple Knotted Bead Necklaces”
  1. Catherine Sherrill
    Catherine Sherrill

    This is awesome and so much easier to do with your step by step instructions.Thank you