Store Bought vs. DIY Macrame Knot Tying Station

Homemade macrame tying board
Macrame tying board made from empty wood picture frame. Lisa Yang
  • 01 of 04

    Beadalon Tying Station for Macrame, Shamballa and Wrap Bracelets

    Beadalon Tying Station
    Beadalon Tying Station. Lisa Yang

    Macrame uses a variety of knots to make everything from jewelry to plant hangers to wall hangings.  Beads of all sizes are often incorporated into the designs.  To make the knot tying easier, macrame boards and knot tying stations are often used.  These tools help keep the macrame cords organized and taut to make knot tying easier.

    One such tool is the Beadalon Tying Station.  It is intended to help make Shambala style bracelets that are very popular.  Shambala style bracelets are typically made...MORE with round or faceted 6-10mm sized beads separated by square knots.  The tying stations is designed to hold the cords in place, while giving you room under the threads and around the sides to tie the knots.  Because the Shamabala style bracelet don't incorporate as many cords as traditional macrame bracelets, there isn't the need for a large board and T-Pins that are typically used for macrame.

    To try out the tying station, my plan was to make a simple spiral macrame bracelet to hold some Pandora Euro style beads

    I'm going to jump to the bottom line of the Beadalon tying station. I found it a little more difficult to use than I expected. The one I purchased had a slight manufacturing defect, with the ruler measurements going down the wrong side of the tool.  It measures from the bottom to top instead of vice versa.    

    Setting that minor issue aside, the main benefit expected from the tool wasn't as big as I hoped.  That is to make it easier and quicker to knot by giving space to slide the tying cords under the center cords. There just wasn't as much room as needed. To be fair, it was used on only one style of bracelet - a half square knot spiral stitch.  It does deserve another try.

    Having identified an issue with the Beadalon Tying Station, I decided to see if I could make my own tool that would work better.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    DIY Macrame Knotting Frame

    DIY macrame tying board
    Macrame tying board made from empty wood picture frame. Lisa Yang

     I found this frame in a pile of to-be donations in the garage and it seemed to be the perfect solution to my macrame tying board problems.  The frame is roughly 8X11 and made from MDF, a pressed wood-like material. My DIY macrame board is a pretty fancy design (kidding!),  consisting of the frame, one thumbtack and one screw in hook.

    The thumbtack is used to attach the top of the project by pinning though the jump ring.  I use the hook to tie on the center cords and keep them stretched tight. 

    I...MORE tend to work on the projects with the frame in my lap or leaning against a table, as opposed to keeping the work flat on the table.  The frame balances nicely on my lap or against the edge of the table - while still leaving the room I need to tie the knots and maneuver the cords.

    If you are making more complex macrame designs, a nice addition to the sides of the frame would be some thick foam with slits cut into it (think of the toe separators used for a pedicure).  Attached to the frame sides, these could be used to hold the cords out of the way and in a particular order.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Close up: Top of the DIY Macrame Frame

    Make your own macrame board tying station - top of board
    Top hook of DIY macrame knot tying station. Lisa Yang

     This close up shows the pin I use to secure the top of the work.  In this case, I used an additional jump ring to hold the work on the tack, but I could have just put the tack through the smaller jump ring to hold it in place.  The tack head is most useful when you are using a loop made with the cords since it cuts down on the abrasion that can occur when the cords are pulled tight against the metal tack.

    A more flexible alternative to the thumbtack is to try a large metal binder clip.  There...MORE really are a lot of options and it would depend on the design you are working on.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Close up: Bottom of the DIY Macrame Frame

    Make your own macrame board tying station
    Bottom hook of DIY tying station. Lisa Yang

    The bottom of the board uses a cup hook to fasten the center cords taut.  Just oop the cords around and, if desired, tie a loose knot.  If you are using beads on the bracelet, you would string them in advance of tying the cords.  Another alternative is to use a binder clip or the pedicure toe separators mentioned earlier.

    I hope you like this DIY Macrame Board.  I know it works very well with simple bracelet designs using spiral half square knots or square knots.  Another popular knot in macrame...MORE is the half-hitch knot that is often used in beadwork to secure threads.

    For more complex micro-macrame patterns,there are a few adjustments that could be made, but overall, it works great for an item that wasn't being useful anyway.