How to Weave Medieval Cords for Trimming, Bracelets or Necklaces.




About: Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX. Buy my projects at

One of the things that make home-made crafts so special is the detailing.

Even if you are following a purchased pattern, the way you finish things off can make them individual or personal.

One way of detailing a craft project is to use a cord woven from colours to match the project.

These cords can also be used "as is", as bracelets or necklaces, or simply tied to things to add interest.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: The Weaving Disc.

All you need to weave your cord is a roughly-circular piece of card a couple of inches across.

Poke a hole in the middle, about quarter of an inch across (pencil-width is fine), and cut eight slots evenly around the edge of the card.

You may also find it easier to manipulate the cord in you cut a tiny V-shaped notch at the end of each slot.

It doesn't have to be an exact size, or an exact shape, so you can knock one together from any scrap card you have lying around.

Step 2: Starting the Cord.

You have eight slots in the loom, but you only use seven lengths of yarn.

The cords are easier to use with a loop at one end, so start with one piece of yarn as long as you need* and three pieces of yarn twice as long as that. The colours you use are up to you.

Fold the long yarn in half, lay the short yarn with them, and tie a knot at the folded end. This will make a small loop.

Thread the loose ends through the loom, pull the knot up to the hole, and spread the yarns out so that there is one piece in all but one of the slots.

The starting arrangement of the yarns will influence the pattern you get, but it will be generally helical.

*Weaving shortens the yarn by around a third (depending on the thickness of the yarn and how tight you weave it). Generally, an arm's length will become a choker-length. A bracelet needs seven lengths of around a foot (3x2 feet and 1x1 foot).

Step 3: Working the Cord.

The weaving process is very simple, the sort of repetitive motion that quickly becomes "muscle memory", and you can sit and weave your cord while chatting with friends or watching TV.

Look at the loom, and mentally number the slots.

If the empty slot is "1", then lift "4" out of its slot, and place it in "1".

Renumber from the new empty slot, and carry on.

That's it.

Make sure you keep working in the same direction (turnwise or widdershins), otherwise the pattern in your cord will be uneven (although you could, if you want, change direction at regular intervals to add a zig-zag to your helix).

Step 4: Finishing

Finishing is as easy as starting - when your cord is as long as you want, you simply tie another knot.

If your cord is intended to be a bracelet or neck-thong, then double-tie the finishing knot. It can then be threaded through the starting loop as a simple catch.

You can, if you want, tie the knot, thread a large bead onto the remaining strands and tie a second knot to keep the bead on, then thread the bead through the loop.

It's up to you, really - be creative.

Finally, I have just discovered that this exact braid has been presented before, in a video by Mangetout. Sorry for stealing your thunder, Mangetout.

Craft Skills Contest

Participated in the
Craft Skills Contest



    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Metal Contest

      Metal Contest

    168 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I make these too.
    I use a slice of wood instead from a 50 year old yew tree.
    I plan making a whole bunch from African Blackwood too - Beautiful and long lasting.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It turned out very nice. i''m currently making a new one with the double amount of cord, to make it somewhat thicker.

    1 reply

    It is from Japan. It is also used for freindship bracelets. I just bought on at Joann fabrics in the kids craft section, it came with plastic laces to make lanyards. I use mine to to make beaded braids for jewelry.


    I was being sarcastic - the foam version may be Japanese, but the wooden version isn't, so will not share the name, no matter the physical similarities.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The wooden version is Japanese too. At least, it was used in Japan. The disk is fairly recent, no doubt inspired by tablet weaving. There's a wooden table used with kumihimo traditionally, a marudai.

    The thing with this stuff is that everyone figured it out. Tablet weaving, for example, spans from Gaul to Egypt and everywhere in between. I would not be surprised if this kind of braiding was fairly universal (like dumplings or noodles) as well.

    you can get a nice finish to this bracelet by starting it out on a solid or double junp ring and finishing it the same way and then adding a smal clasp or lobster claw clasp to the jumpring


    9 years ago on Step 4

    Any idea what the multiplier should be for longer strands?

    i.e.: Amount of string = x final length