Introduction: Sailing Rope Bracelet

From time to time I'm sailing on a traditional sailing ship which is mostly located in the Baltic Sea in the north of Europe. Our lines and ropes are mostly from Dyneema and out of hemp (or looking like hemp material).

But I love walking around in the sailing supplies shops and caressing the colorfull lines and ropes hanging at the walls. And I always needed a reason to buy those tiny shackles (which we never would use on the ship).

So I decided to recreate a bracelet a friend of mine is wearing all year long (even if not at the sea) out of sailing rope with a stainless steal mini shackle.

If you like the crude but lightly elegant style of this bracelet as much as I do, feel free to create your own (and if you did, upload a picture in the "I made it" area :-) )

Step 1: Material and Tools


  • 50cm 8mm sailing line ( (depending on your wrist circumference)
  • 50cm whipping twine in your favorite color (or embrodery thread, because, who has whipping twine at home?)
  • a tiny shackle (mine is announced 4mm)
  • some beewax (I have a very old lump from my bookbinding times)
  • Tape (for marking)
  • optional: 2 component adhesive, magnetic lock with diameter of your rope


  • rope splicing fid (fitting your rope size)
  • Scissors
  • measurement tape
  • needle

Step 2: Preparing the Line

Measure your wrist to know an approx. lenght of the line which is appox. wrist circumference + 25cm (10")

My piece of line was only 60cm, so I didn't need to trim it before working with it, but if you have a longer line you probably want to cut it to a length which is better to handle. I would suggest your calculated line lenght + 10cm. (4")

Cut the ends of your line, and take out the core of your rope mantle.

Choose a splicing fid according to your rope diameter.


My splicing fid a actually a pipe which is cut open an the ends and has a small hook on one open end. This hook will later pull the rope through itself. I bought this set a few years ago, but I'm sure you maker can make your own :-)

Splicing is some kind of sewing a rope into itself (or another rope) to create a loop ore a long lasting connection.

Step 3: Prepare for Splicing

You want to get the end of your line into the center of the line, but without any toggles which you can feel in your bracelet.

Therefore you need to trim the end of the line to get it thinner but still able to be inserted into the rope sheath.

  1. Mark 10cm (4") at on end of your line. This is the place where the first eyesplice will be made.
  2. Mark 2,5cm (1") towards the end of the line. From this point you will thin the line.
  3. Use your scissors or some needle to take out 2 of the strands from the mantle.
  4. In 1cm distance take out another 2 strands
  5. Repeat 2 times.
  6. Trim the strands you've poked out of the mantle
  7. Wrap some tape around the end of your line to prevent the rope from unraveling.

Step 4: Splicing the First Eye

When splicing a kernmantle rope it is important to not puncture the individual strands, but to make sure to drive the needle between the strands. This type of splice is called eye splice since you create a loop which has a little bit the form of an eye.

  1. Meassure 2,5cm (1'') from your mark and drive the splicing fid between the strands into the rope.
  2. Set the end of your line into the hook of the splicing fid (and massage a little be if necessary).
  3. Pull the splicing fid through your line for approx. 7,5cm (3") and poke it out (but think about the strands).
  4. Pull the line into its mantle until your reach your mark (the eye you created should have an approx. length of 2cm (3/4")
  5. Massage the rope towards the long end and cut off the excess strands.

Step 5: Prepare for 2. Splicing

Dry fit the bracelet on your wrist to make sure you like the width. The eye splice which will be done know will be smaller than the first one because it is supposed to hold the U-Part of the shackle so we don't need to be afraid to loose it later while using the bracelet.

  1. Mark the middle of the second eye splice.
  2. Mark 1cm (1/2") towards the open end.
  3. You need to thin the line again, so take out some of the strands in different distances and trim of the excess.

Step 6: Splicing the 2. Eye Splice

Mark the point of your bracelet where the line from the first splicing ends. You want to end your second splicing close to this point so the bracelet is smooth and round and not flat in the middle.

  1. Meassure 1cm (1/2'') from your mark and drive the splicing fid between the strands into the rope.
  2. Set the end of your line into the hook of the splicing fid.
  3. Pull the splicing fid through your line until your mark and poke it out (but still think about the strands).
  4. Set the U-part of the shackle into the eye and pull the line into its mantle, until the shackle sits taut.
  5. Dryfit the bracelet. If it is to tight you could loosen the splice a little bit.
  6. Massage the rope towards the long end and cut off the excess strands.

Yeah, the main part is done :-)

Your bracelet is almost finished.

Step 7: Creating the "whipping Twine"

Usually you would need proper whipping twine to whip a kernmantle rope. Waxed whipping twine is made out of polyester, is highly abraision resistant and (of course) waterproof and I don't have it. But since I don't want to expose my bracelet permanently to salt water and I still like the appearence of the whipping on the bracelet I faked the whipping twine with waxed embroidery thread.

  1. Cut 2 threads of your preferred colors.
  2. Pull the thread with some pressure through the beewaxlump.
  3. Repeat a few times until you think the thread is stiff enough.

Step 8: Fake Whipping Knot

Wrap your thread around the rope and make sure the threads are crossing on the inside of the bracelet.

Wrap the thread tight for approx. 2cm (3/4") or as long as you like around the rope, while you are carefull not to change the order of your thread colors.

When you reach your preferred lenght, take your needle and sew the thread from the inside to the outside, very close to the last wrapping, but don't poke into the wrapped thread.

Lead the thread over the wrapping and pierce the rope very close to the first wrapping.

Lead the thread on the inside of the braclet until the last wrapping and stitch the needle into the rope to tie-off and then cut the ends.

Voilà, finished :-)

Step 9: Very Quick Leftover Rope Bracelet

A very very quick and almost not instructions worthy, but good looking, bracelet.

Take a piece of rope according to the preferred lenght of the bracelet.

  1. Mix some of the 2 components adhesive.
  2. Fill the adhesive into the holes of the magnetic lock, not to much, otherwise it might spill. (unfortunately, I forgot to take a pictue, but I think you could imagine how to do it :-) )
  3. Lead the ends of your rope into the holes.
  4. Wait according to the mentioned time of the adhesive.


Step 10: Enjoy Your Nautical Spliced Bracelet

Rope & String Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Rope & String Speed Challenge