Take and Make: Macrame Mermaid Tail Keychain

Take and Make: Macrame Mermaid Tail Keychain

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 9-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries starting Friday, July 16, 2021. Watch the YouTube tutorial here: https://youtu.be/5o6RJm9AMGY

Note: If you are not familiar with macrame knotting, watching the YouTube tutorial is highly recommended. The pdf file below will show all the steps in pictures.

Directions:

  1. Attach the cords to the keychain clasp. Secure each of the 48” pieces of cord to the keychain clasp using larks head knots. To create a larks head knot, fold one of the pieces of cord in half. Hold the cord close to the middle so it makes a little loop. Slip this behind the keychain clasp. Pull the two ends of the cord around the keychain clasp and through the loop and pull tight. Your cord should now be wrapped tightly around the keychain clasp. Repeat for the other two 48” pieces of cord.
  2. Use the safety pin or some tape to secure the clasp to something stable. You are now ready to start knotting!
  3. Tie diagonal double half hitch knots. Take the two pieces of cord on the left. Wrap the right cord (the working cord) around the left cord (the filler cord) and pull the end of the cord through the loop. Pull the knot tight and position it toward the top of the filler cord. Repeat to have two (or a double) knots. The working cord becomes the new filler cord and the cord directly to its right becomes the new working cord. Wrap the working cord around the filler cord and pull the end through the loop. Pull the knot tight and position it slightly lower at a diagonal to the first set of knots. Repeat to create your second double half hitch knot.
  4. On the right, make three diagonal double half hitch knots going down and to the left. Repeat the steps above, only going the opposite direction. This will form a nice V shape.
  5. Continue this process for six more rows (there will be seven all together). You should have two double half hitch knots going from left to right and three going from right to left for each row.
  6. For the eighth row, starting on the left you’ll do the one diagonal double half hitch down and to the right, then you’ll hold both the filler cord AND the working cord from the first knot together and tie the second diagonal double half hitch over them both (down and to the right).
  7. Then switch over to the right side and do the same process. The first diagonal double half hitch down and to the left will be normal. For the second knot, you’ll hold the filler cord and the working cord from the first knot together and tie the knot over them.
  8. Finish with a wrapping knot at the bottom. Grab the 20″ long piece of rope and hold it against the ends in a U shape. Then begin wrapping firmly right under the last row of double half hitch knots. Wrap around four times. Thread the end of the cord you’ve been wrapping with through the loop underneath the wraps (the bottom of the U you made earlier). Then pull the short cord sticking out of the top of the wraps until the loop slides up under the wraps about halfway. Don’t accidentally pull it out of the top! Trim the two ends of the wrapping knot and push them up under the wraps. Knot your thread near the end, leaving a couple inches of tail at the end so that you can tie off your thread when you’re done.
  9. Now for the fun part! Cut the fringe at the bottom in an inverted V shape (like a fish tail, or a mermaid tail in this case). If you have a macrame or pet brush, use that to brush the strands out really well. You can also pick the strands apart to create the fringe. Once it’s brushed out, trim it again back into the upside-down V shape. Optional: If desired, you can spray the fringe tail with a stiffener such as some Aleene’s Stiffen Quik spray to help it hold its shape.

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