How to braid a handcrafted Celtic knot necklace

Written by megan shoop
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How to braid a handcrafted Celtic knot necklace
Make Celtic knots for jewellery. (Celtic cross image by drizzd from

Celtic knots symbolise the eternal twisting ebb and flow of life, showing how both external and internal journeys can be like mazes that twist back on themselves. The Celts created knots to decorate everything from their coats of arms to clothing to leather book covers. These knots often consisted of designs of animals, vines, flowers and even people. Some were highly symbolic while others were simply decorative, though most of these knots were drawings or embroidery rather than actual knots. However, you can recreate these knots with rope or cord to make an original necklace. Learning the knots may take some time, but the results will be breathtaking.

Things you need

  • 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick satin cord
  • Scissors
  • Celtic knot beads
  • Plain beads

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  1. 1

    Snip a piece of satin cord about twice as long as you want your necklace to be. For instance, if you want a 25 cm (10 inch) choker, cut 50 cm (20 inches) of cord. This gives you plenty of room to make your knots and room to adjust the necklace afterward.

  2. 2

    Create a Celtic heart knot for your centrepiece. Fold your cord in half and lay the cord down on a flat surface. Bring the left side of the cord (cord A) over the right side of the cord (cord B) to form a loop. Push out on the sides of the loop to make it into a circle.

  3. 3

    Pick up the loop and pass the end of cord A up through the circle from below, forming a half-knot that looks a bit like a pretzel. Bring cord A up and slip it down into the circle, then under the "pretzel arm" formed by cord B. Tug on cord A until you have a thumb-sized loop on the upper right of the circle.

  4. 4

    Pass cord A up through the circle so it passes between the bottom edge of the circle and cord B's pretzel arm. Pass cord A down through the space between the circle's upper edge and cord B's pretzel arm so that cord A overlaps cord B's pretzel arm. Pass cord A back up through the loop on the circle's upper-right edge.

  5. 5

    Gently pinch the bottom edge of the circle to form the heart's point and push cords A and B up with your thumbs to form the top of the heart. Tug on the cords to tighten the heart.

  6. 6

    Slip Celtic knot beads and plain beads onto the rest of the cord, tying the ends together when finished. Choose between pewter and copper Celtic knot beads and match the plain beads to your cord colour to complement the heart.

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