Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I love adjustable necklaces because you’re not limited to always wearing them at the same length.

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

In this tutorial we’ll make a necklace that’s adjustable with sliding knots.

These knots are easy to make, and I consider it a very useful jewelry making skill.

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This style of necklace is great for both guys and gals – and also for people who have difficulty with opening and closing clasps.


  • A pendant – it can have a bail, jump ring, or sideways drill hole through the top (and it will need to fit on your cord).
    Or you can use a donut bead or other pendant with a fairly large opening.
    I’m using this large (50mm) antiqued brass ring – for a bold, simple statement necklace:

    Brass pendant for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Cord – at least 34″ (86.3cm) long.
    Leather, waxed cotton, and nylon are the best cords I’ve used for adjustable knots. But you may want to experiment with other types.
    If you’re using a lightweight pendant, you may want to use a finer type of cord.
    I’m using this grungy natural-color leather cord, 2mm width, that’s recycled from an old project:

    Leather cord for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How Much Cord Do You Need?

This type of necklace is put on over the wearer’s head. So you’ll need a minimum of 24″ (61cm) of cord to fit over the head.

24″ (61cm) will result in a necklace that’s adjustable from about 12″ – 24″ (30.5cm – 61cm) length.

If you want your finished necklace to be adjustable to a longer length than that, add the appropriate number of inches for that extra length.

Then add 8″ (20.3cm) for the amount of cord needed for the sliding knots (each knot needs 4″, so 8″ will cover both knots).

If you’ll be attaching your pendant with a lark’s head knot in the cord (as we’ll do below), add 2″ (5cm) of cord.

So your total cord length will be:

24″ + 8″ + 2″ = 34″ (86.3cm)

. . . and if you want a longer necklace, you can add your additional length measurement to the above equation.

How to Attach Your Pendant
with a Lark’s Head Knot

Before we make the sliding knots, we’ll attach your pendant to the cord.

I’m using a pendant that will be attached with a lark’s head knot.

The instructions for each step of the lark’s head knot are below this photo:

Lark's head knot pendant for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Fold your cord in half at the midpoint.
  • Photo 2:
    Lay your pendant on top of the cord, just above the fold.
  • Photo 3:
    Bring the 2 cord ends over the top of your pendant, and under the fold in your cord.
  • Photo 4:
    Pull the cord ends until you have a nice, tight lark’s head knot at the top of your pendant.

Now your necklace should look something like this:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to Make an
Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace

Once your pendant is strung or attached to your cord, it’s time to make your adjustable sliding knots.

We’re going to tie each cord end to the cord on the opposite side of the necklace:

Where to tie your knots - Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Lay your necklace down, with one cord running straight up from the pendant, and the other cord curved around, crossing over the top of the straight cord:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now measure 4″ (10cm) from the end of your curved cord.

Fold the cord on the 4″ (10cm) spot, making a V-fold in the cord:

Folding cord for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now lay the V-fold on top of the straight cord end, with the straight cord in the middle of the V-fold:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here’s a closeup view of your V-fold cord lying on top of the straight cord:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now keeping both cords together (the V-fold and the straight cord), grasp the cords with the thumb and finger of one hand.

Your thumb should be right on top of the V-fold.

Don’t take your thumb off the V-fold until I say it’s OK. 🙂

In the photos below, the darker cord is the straight cord that’s centered between the 2 sides of the V-fold cord:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now grasp the short end of the V-fold cord with your other hand (it’s the top cord in the photo above).

We’ll be wrapping this short cord end around the cord bundle a few times.

So start your wraps by bringing that short cord end down behind the other 2 cords:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now wrap it up over the front of all 3 cords:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then wrap it down behind all 3 cords:

Looping the cord for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now wrap it up over the front of all 3 cords again:

Looping the cord for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And wrap it down behind all 3 cords again:

Wrapping the cord around for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

OK, now you can finally take your thumb off the V-fold in the cord. 🙂

Now thread the short tail of your wrapping cord through the loop formed by the V-fold, being careful to thread it above the straight (dark) center cord:

Finishing the knot for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now here’s how to tighten and snug up the loop:

With one hand, grasp the little tail of cord you just threaded through the loop.

With your other hand, pull gently on the other end of the cord that formed the original V-fold.

(If you pull on the wrong cord, it will just slide through the knot you just made, instead of tightening the loop):

Which cord to pull for Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

After tightening and straightening, you should be able to slide the knot up and down on the cord it’s tied around.

And your finished knot should look like this:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The other side of the knot should look like this:
Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now move to the other side of your necklace.

Make the same kind of knot in the other cord end, knotting it around the cord on the other side of your necklace.

Your finished necklace should look something like this:

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

To wear your finished necklace, slide the knots to make the necklace as long as possible.

Slip it on over your head, and then slide the knots down the sides of your necklace till it’s the perfect length for you.

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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  1. Paula J Countryman says:

    Thank you! I could never quite figure out how to do this, and with my arthritis and fibro and your simple and visual instructions, I now know how!

  2. Thanks so much for all you share ! ~ This one simple as it is, is one that I had been wanting to learn. I just couldn’t get it right until this great tutorial. Thanks again !

  3. This is great! Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Hi Rena,
    thank you for this detailed tutorial – I always wanted to know how to make this sliding knot 🙂

  5. Thank you for this VERY visual tutorial. I have had trouble trying to make this knot before but I feel confident that I can make this now. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  6. Awesome tutorial! Thank you 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for sharing, the individual steps are great.

  8. Magdalen says:

    Thanks , the best tutorial I’ve ever read. So easy to follow. Magdalen

  9. Thanks for that Rena, yours looks a lot better than the knot I normally use on these types of necklaces, and looks to be more secure too.

  10. Wow. This is a fabulous tutorial. Just what I wanted, too. Thanks so much. Linda Crafts a la Mode

  11. Another lovely creation, Rena. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Thank you for the very detailed tutorial. Can’t wait to try this!

  13. I pinned this a while ago knowing I’d need it at some point. I’ve just done it, it worked, it was easy, your steps were great. Thank you so much.

  14. Thank you all so much for your enthusiastic feedback on this project! 🙂

    And Julie, I really appreciate hearing how well this tutorial worked for you! Thanks for letting me know.

  15. Wilma Schmitz says:

    Thank you, I have been looking for an adjustable sliding knot necklace tutorial. Your instruction is clear and easy to follow.
    Thanks again.

  16. I can’t wait to do this!!

    Your tutorial pics and notes are the best.

    Thank you Rena
    Have a happy holiday!!!

  17. This I can do once I find some leather cord. I’m going to make one for my granddaughter. Great tutorial, as usual.

  18. kim michaels says:

    I totally Love all your tutorials.I am learning so much and I Thank you ever so much.Merry Christmas to you and your Family.hugsssssssss

  19. Teresa Dalton says:

    Thank you Rena! Like so many of your other readers have said, “I always wanted to know how to make this”! I appreciate you and your posts very much! Even though I am quite new to the site, I am learning so much. Your site covers such a vast amount of information in this immense art called, “Jewelry Making”! I will very soon be investing in your many Ebooks you offer. Thanks again for the inspiration and teachings. They are exceptional!
    Best regards,
    Teresa Dalton

  20. Connie Van Bussel says:

    The original cord on my necklace broke after nine months of wear. I am very left handed. These were the first instructions that have ever made sense to me. I have book marked this page for when this present cord wears out. Thank you again.
    Connie Van Bussel

  21. Thanks for letting me know these instructions made sense to you, Connie! I’m a lefty too, although I’ve trained myself to do many things ambidextrously.

  22. Luke Grasty says:

    That was awesome! I made my daughter a necklace, and thanks to your instructions, she is going to think I can do anything.

  23. Desiree says:

    I could not figure out how to make a slip knot for a necklace. Thank you for the tutorial. Your pictures and instructions are just what I needed.

  24. Thanks so much for letting me know, Desiree! I’m glad to hear that. Enjoy making your lovely pieces with sliding knots! 🙂

  25. Deborah says:

    Great tutorial! I recently purchased a silver bracelet that uses a flat bead with a rubber looking lining in the center as the sliding clasp rather than a knot…I’d love to make a bracelet with bead instead of the knot. Do you have a tutorial?? Many thanks for your great site!

  26. Deborah, thanks for asking! I don’t currently have a tutorial for that, but I will add it to my list of tutes to create! 🙂

    Update: I now have a tutorial for a sliding adjustable bracelet that uses a bead instead of knots: Adjustable Cord Bracelet (Tutorial).

  27. Shelly Krecota says:

    Your directions are awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing this….I have been struggling and you made this so easy!

  28. Ginger Jenkins says:

    As someone who worked in Special Ed for over 10 years I can tell you the best teachers are those who break down their lessons into very small, simple steps as you have done on this sliding knot tutorial. The students learn the FIRST time and they feel successful! I do already with your sliding knot tutorial–what a very good teacher you are! Many thanks.

  29. Thank you so much, Ginger! Your lovely compliment really means a lot to me, especially since you come from the field of Education.

  30. this is a really good tutorial i was worried before i started this that i would get confused and that it would be really fiddly but your instructions were clear and explicit and i did this knot with ease. I’ve been meaning to fix a necklace i bought with the same knot from a market that’s knot got stuck but wouldn’t get around to it because i thought it would be too hard but this made it so easy thank you so much.

  31. Thank you for posting this! Very helpful. I was looking for another way instead of a clasp and its adjustable.

  32. Ginny Roussin says:

    Thank you so much for the great instructions. Very well written.

  33. You’re very welcome, Ginny! I’m so glad you found it useful! 🙂

  34. You’ve done it again Rena! Thank you so much for this awesome little tutorial! This is going to be a lifesaver for some of my projects and I was racking my brains trying to figure out how to do a simple cord necklace that had a bit of class to it! I did a search on google and was tickled to pieces to see your name come up with the information. You’re the best!

  35. Thanks so much for your lovely compliment, Pam! And I’m happy to hear I popped up as one of the search results for this technique!

  36. Thank you for this very helpful tutorial. Best one ever! Made a necklace for my man a washer pendant. He loves it!

  37. That’s wonderful to hear, Jackie! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  38. CFWhitman says:

    I haven’t had occasion to make jewelry, but I stumbled across this while looking for a practical way to tie neckcords for my ocarinas. This seems to be just what I was looking for. I appreciate the information. Thanks.

  39. Awesome! Great directions, super easy to get my favorite pendant back into service. Thank you!

  40. Thank you heaps for this tutorial. I thought it was great. I didn’t know how to make this knot before and I struggled keeping up with other websites’ vauge directions but your tutorial was brilliant. Very descriptive and easy to follow. Thank you so much.

  41. I bought me and my best friend matching pendants for necklaces but I didn’t know how to tie an adjustable knot. I didn’t understand any of the tutorials I found but I understood your tutorial really easily. Your details were really great and me and my best friend both now are able to ajust our necklaces to the right size thanks to you. We both really like them.

  42. thanks

  43. Thanks for the tutorial. It was really easy to learn.

  44. Hi Rena and Thank You once again for another fabulous tutorial. I was trying to do it and hubby decided he wanted to talk so I had to listen to him and continue trying this knot. Well, just so you know, I got it the first try! In other words, you managed to explain it in such a simple, straightforward way, I was amazed. You have a wonderful way with words and explantions, and then to have the pictures to back it all up, you are so talented in so many ways, I just wanted to know how much your help is appreciated. You have a good heart and I just love you! *hugs* Pam

  45. Pam, your lovely comment made my day! 🙂 I’m so happy to hear you were able to tie an adjustable sliding knot on your first try while simultaneously listening to Hubby. Awesome! Thank you for letting me know. And a great big hug back to you! 🙂

  46. Thank you for this extremely clear and easy-to-understand tutorial! While I have my talents, tying knots is not one of them. Yet I got this right (finally!) on the first try. A very useful skill to have. Dale

  47. Jacquelin says:

    Rena, I think that was the best tutorial I have read on the Adjustable sliding knot. The steps were simple and they worked! Thank you.

  48. Jacquelin, it’s so great to hear that you made the knots so easily from my tutorial! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.

  49. Suzanne says:

    So glad I found your tutorial. So easy to follow that even I was able to do it, and that’s sayin’ something!

  50. Julie says:

    Thanks so much for the great sliding knot tutorial! It’s my favorite one for sure!

  51. Samantha says:

    I have an allergy to metal and I started buying the cute necklace and figured I’d replace the metal necklace with cord. I was terrified that I wasn’t going to be able to do it or that I’d be stuck with a one length long necklace or a short one I couldn’t get over my head. Your tutorial was so easy to follow, I did it on my first try! Thanks for sharing!!!

  52. Rinat Zohar-Menachem says:

    Thank you!!! I tried making the knots with other sites and simply couldn’t do it and now with you success!!!
    Thanks so much from Israel!

  53. Just made my first one and it looks just like Rena’s! Thank you so much for the tute, another technique learned.

  54. Your tutorial solved a great mystery for me, thank you! Would it be ok to trim the loose ends of the slide knot? That hangy bit will put my OCD over the edge!! ?

  55. Karen, you’re very welcome! You can trim the loose ends a bit, but be sure you don’t trim so much that the tail of the cord can slip back through, making the knot come undone. You might want to make a “tester” sliding knot necklace, where you can experimenting with trimming the hangy bit – and see if that makes the knots come undone as you slide them to make the cord longer and shorter. 🙂

  56. Thanks SO much! I used your technique to repair a wonderful African necklace where one of the sliding knots had come apart. Now I’m psyched to try making my own piece from scratch!

  57. Thanks a million! Your simple and well written steps were the perfect guide to learn! Now I can fix my Hawaiian jewelry on my own! Many thanks! Cheers!

  58. Awesome, Willow! Thanks so much for letting me know. Yay for wearing your Hawaiian jewelry again!

  59. Catherine St.Pierre says:

    Thank you for creating such an awesome tutorial! You made something that looks difficult very manageable?

  60. Catherine, you’re very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found it helpful! 🙂

  61. I am well past 50 and this is the first time ever have been able to follow direction without having to be shown personally. Thank you so much

  62. Janet, that’s so wonderful to hear! I will enjoy thinking of you making your sliding knot necklaces!

  63. Gail Martin says:

    Rena, I am a newbie to this new found “Art Form” of jewelry making. I must say that your tutorial was so clear and concise that I managed to do it on the first try. Although it was a little more challenging for me as I like to use deerskin for the softness factor.
    I made a polymer clay sculpture snowy owl for my very organic and metal allergic daughter in law and granddaughter your tutorial was just the ticket for the finishing touch. Thanks again for sharing!
    A new subscriber Gail

  64. Gail, that’s wonderful to hear! So glad you’ve gotten into making jewelry, and that my adjustable sliding knots tutorial worked for you. Your loved ones will be so pleased with the jewelry you made for them!

  65. Frank Huonker says:

    Thank you!! Clear and easy to follow instructions. You made my daughter happy.
    Frank (Germany)

  66. Maïlys says:

    Thank you soooo much for this tutorial! I’ve used it a few times now. I used to not understand how to do these knots, and they’re sooo useful!
    I have a problem though, my knots are always fine for a while, but after maybe 20 adjustments to a necklace, for example, they get so tight that I can’t use them anymore. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

  67. Thank you for your lovely feedback, Maïlys! Here are two thoughts I have on the sliding knots getting too tight:

    (1) I used to live in a very humid climate, and my sliding knots did the same thing – they worked well at first, but then became nearly impossible to slide. Now I live in a much drier climate, and my knots no longer do that – they continue to slide smoothly for years. Also, the “stuck” knots on necklaces that I moved from my humid home to my drier home became easy to slide again after a few months in the dry climate. So humidity may be a factor – perhaps it makes the cord swell.

    (2) It’s possible that over time when we slide the knots, we put just enough pressure on the knots that we’re tightening them little by little. So possibly you might try making your sliding knots slightly looser. Then as you slide them over time, and they tighten up a tiny bit here and there, they’ll still work well for you.

    I hope this helps, and I’d love to hear if any of this sound like possibilities for you! 🙂

  68. Thank you so very much for this tutorial. You solved a problem project that has been sitting on my desk for over two years now. Couldn’t be happier! 🙂

  69. Woo hoo, Alyson! Thanks so much for letting me know my tutorial helped! 🙂

  70. My husband and I set up until 2:00am trying to figure this knot out. This morning when reason returned I decided I would google how to do this knot. So-this evening I found your tutorial. Thank you. No more late nights, just great knots!

  71. Bess, thanks so much for letting me know how well it worked out for you! 🙂

  72. Thank you very much. You have saved my bacon!

  73. FC, you’re very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to let me know how well this worked for you! 🙂

  74. Thank you for the nice, clear tutorial! I am making small clay pendants with paracord cords, and was looking for directions on tying this knot. Yours are very easy to follow. I just finished the first necklace! 🙂

  75. Maïlys says:

    I’m a little late, but thank you so much for the advice on my tightening problem!!!
    I finally got around to remaking the sliding knot on that necklace, and I made it much looser. I also added a piece of spring-shaped coiled wire in between the two knots, so that they never get flush (hoping that I’ll make it easier to use without tightening the knots).
    You spoke of humidity, and the possibility of the cord swelling. I believe you’re right, the ‘old’ cord was much thicker than the ‘new’ one, even though it’s the same spool!

    Thank so much again!

  76. Kathy Reiki Master/Teacher says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. The pictures and text made this project very easy to follow. It was a little more difficult using 1mm leather cord, but I think my grandson will be pleased to have his lucky penny on the leather cord.

  77. Chandra Crawford says:

    Thank you for making this so simple. I’ve been trying to learn how to do it forever.

  78. Linda Phipps says:

    Finally. I can understand and follow you. Please continue to help us. Thanks.

  79. hillarie says:

    Thank you for posting this guide. I tied the knot without issue on my first attempt.

  80. Awesome, Hillarie! Thanks so much for letting me know! 🙂

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