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.

Supplies:

  • 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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Comments

  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!

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