Cold Picnic’s 7-Step Macramé Guide

Thanks to these guys, you can whip up a friendship bracelet (or two!) in a flash.

A look at some of the duo’s macramé magic.

Though Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer, the hardcore makers behind the Brooklyn accessories line Cold Picnic, learned the basics of macramé in college, they really fell for the technique last summer when they started using it to create asymmetrical wall art, bib necklaces, and plant hangers. “The process is a big draw. We both like to knit, but we get impatient because it is difficult to keep your place—you can’t start, stop, start, stop easily,” Phoebe explains. “With macramé, you have a bit more freedom. You can go fancy, or you can go kind of brute force.” To prove just how easy this method is, the pair teaches us how to make the sort of bracelet you wish you had crafted at summer camp. —maggie dolan

+ Waxed cord—you can also use hemp, yarn, suede cording, or any type of string, really.
+ Scissors
+ A flat surface—a board, piece of cardboard, or a wall all work.
+ 4 push pins or nails


Step 1: Cut one piece of cord at 1 ½ yards long and another 2 ½ yards long. Fold the two strands in half and pin them into the wood, cardboard, or wall at their middle. The two longer strands will be doing the knotting, so make sure they are on the outside and the short strands are on the inside. Pin the inside strands in place

Step 2: To make a square knot, first create a loop with the left outside strand, tucking it under the two middle strands and over the right outside strand. Create a loop with the right outside strand, this time crossing over the two middle strands and tucking under the left outside strand.

Step 3: Reverse the process, crossing the left strand over the middle and under the right one and the right strand under the middle and over the left. Pull both outside strands up and out until you create a knot on the two strands in the middle.

Step 4: Repeat step 2 and 3 until you have created a series on knots—under and over, over and under, then pull. You can continue with this knot to make a full bracelet  (jump to step 9 to finish), or you can move on to step 5 to learn a half knot, which looks like a twist.

Step 5: For the half knot, the string in your left hand will always go under then over, and the strand in your right hand will always go over then under.

Step 6: Pull and repeat 5 until you have about 2 inches of loose string at the bottom of the bracelet, and tie the ends into a knot.

Step 7: Take the bracelet off the board and pull the end knot through the loop at the top. Ta-da! You have a macramé friendship bracelet.

These guys make all kinds of goodness. Click here to score their latest creation: an amazing brass rhino necklace.