{DIY} Fishtail Bracelet

DIY Fishtail BraceletsThese DIY fishtail bracelets were a product of my impatience. I ordered a bunch of Chinese knotting cord to make this necklace and the cord arrived a couple of days before the rest of the supplies I needed. I immediately became obsessed with it, making all sort of macramé and friendship bracelets. If you’ve been following DIY blogs then you’ve seen plenty of macramé lately but hopefully, this is the first time you are seeing the fishtail or herringbone weave.

Easy DIY Fishtail Braclets

You will need:

  • 30 inches of Rattail or faux-suede cord
  • 80 inches of .8mm Chinese knotting cord (for a six-inch wrist, if you have a larger wrist I would add 10-15 inches of knotting cord per inch.)
  • A stand-out button or hex nut
  • A thread burner
  • A small box lid
  • Some scrap rattail or yarn

DIY Fishtail Bracelet - Supplies Needed

Fold the rattail for the bracelet in half and tie a knot so that you have a loop, keeping in mind the size of the button you are using as the clasp. Thread your scrap piece of rattail through the loop and pull it half-way through and fold it so it extends the length of your bracelet.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet Step 1

Wrap it around your box lid length-wise and secure it with a double knot so it looks like this.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet Step 2

Fold your knotting cord in half to find the center and place it under the knot. Take the left strand of knotting cord and weave it over the left strand of rattail and under the right strand of rattail and then pull it snug. The first stitch is the trickiest so use your fingers to hold it in place. Make sure so that it ends BELOW the other strand of knotting cord on the right side.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet Step 3

Now, grab the TOP strand on the right side and weave it over the right piece of rattail and under the left piece of rattail. Pull it tight, but not too tight and make sure you slide the completed stitch up towards the top of the bracelet. Ta-da! You are back to wear you started with one piece of knotting cord on either side. Use your thumb to make slide it up and make sure it is secure.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet Step 4

Keep working in the same pattern until you reach the desired length, over-under-pull, over-under-pull. Make sure that when you are coming from the right hand side that you are grabbing the top strand or else you will notice that your pattern gets funky.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet Step 5

When you get to the end, tie the two strands of knotting cord in a knot at the bottom and remove the bracelet from your box lid. At this point you can try and secure it with a dot of super glue or use my new favorite tool, the thread burner, to fuse the knot and burn off the excess.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet 6

Make a knot at the bottom, using the rattail to cover-up the ends of the knotting cord.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet Step 7

If you are using a button slide it up one of the strands of rattail or if you are using a hex nut, slide it up both strands; then secure it with a knot. Pull the knot tight. Rattail is slippery stuff and it will come undone if it is not secure. Cut off the ends but make sure you don’t cut them too close to the knot. You want to be able to have something to tug on to tighten the knot if it feels like it’s starting to come loose.

DIY Fishtail Bracelet Step 8

That’s it! After one or two you’ll have it down and will be able to do it on a plane, while you are in a train, watching TV or attending webinar. You can make them anywhere.

DIY Fishtail Bracelets
Now tell me, do you like?


Filed Under: DIY

102 Responses to {DIY} Fishtail Bracelet

  1. I love your darling fishtail bracelets! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I can’t wait to make one!
    have a great week and thanks again!

  2. Love the fishtail bracelets! These look like they need to be sold for $40 at Stella and Dot 😉 Also, way to pick up on the summer trend of fishtail braids–cute! You were above me on SITS, glad to come by…

  3. Love the blog. These look like so much fun to make. I’m starting all my crafting projects in October. This is definitely going to be one of them! Thanks for sharing:) And thanks for stopping by my blog!

  4. Oh my gosh!! I love this idea! About how much are the materials all together?? And also where can you get them at?

    • Thank you so much Jessie! It really depends on how many different colors you want to make but they are pretty inexpensive. You buy them buy the yard so you can choose how much you spend. I got the rattail from MJtrim and the knotting cord from tangles & knots, there are links in the supply list. I’ve also found rattail at my local fabric store but they didn’t have as good of colors.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Saw these on my granddaughter’s Pinterest board and would love to make several for her. Have been making beaded macrame bracelets all summer using .5-.6mm Chinese knotting cord and would like to know what size cord you used on these herringbone bracelets. Thanks for a great tutorial.

    • Hey Ina,
      Thanks so much for the comment and question! I should have put that in there. I used .8mm-1mm Chinese knotting cord but you could definitely use something smaller, you would just need a longer strand because you would do more stitches to cover the same amount of area. Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  6. instead of the box, i use a clip board…..the first loop gets slipped under the clip, i place a pencil under this to raise the cord up. the other end of the cording is clipped at the bottom with a bull dog clip. i use this method for making my various bracelets.

  7. I am having so much trouble finding this type of cord at any craft stores! Can you please help me I really want to make these bracelets.

  8. MsKristina,
    Thanks for your reply about the size of the Chinese knotting cord…..I am a little confused, though; the website where I have been buying my cord has 7 sizes of Chinese cord…..the .8mm and the 1mm are two different thicknesses so I’m a little confused as to the site you linked where they sell a cord stating .8mm-1mm……How can that be when they are two different thicknesses? Granted, they are very similar, but I’m looking right now at the samples that I have and you can tell the difference? Any thoughts on this? Thanks for your input.

    • You know what, that is a great question! I am going to email my supplier and find out. Where do you get yours from? Maybe yours in more consistent in it’s sizing.

    • Okay here is the response I got.

      “Well, to make a long story short, when I first started selling the cord years ago, the quality of the cord was not as good as it is now and the size of this cord use to vary from .8mm to 1mm depending on
      the color. As I am mainly an online business, I wanted to give my customers as much information as possible so that they would know what they were receiving and the feedback I received confirmed the
      fact that they appreciated the range, especially when it came to finding the right size cord for their beads. (Originally, the .5mm was also originally listed as .5mm-.7mm)

      Over the past couple of years, we have been working very closely with our suppliers in an effort to improve the consistency of the cord in terms of color, size and color fastness (keeping the color
      consistent throughout the rolls) and we are happy to say that it is finally getting there, although there are still some colors like gray and green which cause problems in terms of consistent dye lots.
      Anyway, when I tried to relist my sizes as .5mm and .8mm, I received so many emails and questions from my older customers who had gotten use to the .8mm-1mm listing that I just decided to leave it
      as is instead of switching it.

      The .8mm-1mm cord measures at .8mm. I do not currently sell a 1mm cord.”

      In short the cord I used was .8mm 🙂 S

      • Kristina,
        Thanks again for your reply about the size of the cord. I have been getting mine from marionjewelsinfiber.com
        She is a real sweetheart to work with and has a fabulous website with all kinds of cording. Her prices, though, are higher than your link, but I love the range of sizes she has for the Chinese knotting cord; also all the colors. She does run out of stock a lot and sometimes can’t get the exact same color back in, but I would assume that’s standard for anyone selling the cord. Again, thanks for your tutorial and all your information. Have a great weekend.

  9. This is so funny because I did totally the SAME thing – I bought all that cord to make those exact necklaces, but I havent gotten the clasp and such yet, so I was looking for something else to do with all that Chinese cord I bought! I am SO going to try this out!! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hey!
    My name is Vilde, I am 15 years old. I live in Norway, and i just discovered your blog and i LOVE it!!!
    Love the fishtail bracelets! Love all of the DIY “posts” !! 😀

  11. Pinned this so I can look at it again! I love it. I used to love making friendship bracelets as a kid- this reminds me of those. 🙂 Happy SITS day!

  12. What a cute idea!

    Where did you get the thread burner from? I have no idea where to find it here, wonder if I can get one off ebay?

    • I actually got mine from Jo-Ann’s. If you don’t have one in your area you could also try checking a beading store. Thanks for coming by! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  13. Thank you for this tutorial – my girls will love these! (easy enough to add a few beads, too!) Thanks, again!

  14. Love these bracelets! The colors are so great for summer. I just made one with braided waxed linen as the core (I had this on hand from a bracelet I made and didn’t like) and light tan for the weaving tails. I added a cool vintage bronzed button and LOVE it!

    Really Great Tutorial. Thanks so much!

  15. I love the Bracelets but was wondering if you or one of your readers would have any suggestions for a different type of fastener? Thank You

  16. […] These fishtail bracelets are perfect for the casual type. To make them you need faux-suede cord, Chinese knotting cord, a button or hex nut, a thread burner and some scrap yarn. Fold the cord in half and tie a knot. Find the center and start wrapping the knotting cord. Weave it over and keep working in the same pattern. Tie a knot and add the button.{found on typicalhousecat}. […]

  17. I have a friend in Israel that would love to make the bracelets with her granddaughters. Is the cord available there? if not where can she get it?

  18. awesome project!……just cruzed thru the ‘how to’ projects for a fun bracelet to make. Your instructions are understandable & pix clear along the way…perfect.
    😀 ~Monarose~

  19. Saw this tutorial on All Free Jewelry Making, Bling Buzz newsletter. Nice. I think I’ll play about with adding beads and charms and using natural cords or threads with two or more colours. I like it.

  20. Hi house cat. .kristina! Just love the fishtail bracelets. I’m whatcha call one of the starving artists. My sister may help me out with the chording. Where is a good place to order? I am fairly new to all this. The chord i do have is assorted color chord for macrame,plain macrame chord, all kinds of embroidery thread,all kinds of beads & seed beads galore. Since i am so new to this,could you email me back & let me know i f any of chord i?¿ have,like the macrame colored chord could be used

  21. Love the fishtail bracelets!! I’m what u call. .a starving artist….work in all different media. I am new to the jewelry making. All i have for now is assorted colored macrame chord,all kinds of embroidery thread,tons beads & seed beads. Can the macrame chord be used for this project? It would be great if you could email me back. I am so excited to begin a whole new stay at home world of jewelery making!! I just love your work as i see here do many others! !

  22. I will be trying this with plastic lacing as it is all my craft store had. However my questions is concerning the rat tail. Isn’t 30″ a lot for 6″ wrists? I mean when doubled, it is still 15″ so I fell there will be a lot wasted. Am I right?

    Can’t wait to try. Thanks

  23. I tried this with knitting wool and it came out beautifully, if not fluffy. It was all I had on hand and I was desperate to try this out! With wool, it makes it slightly more wintery I think. Thanks for an awesome and easy tutorial on how to make such adorable bracelets! X