How to Do Cobra Stitch Knots

Cobra Stitch Knot Tutorial for Making a Leather Bracelet
Mollie Johanson
Overview
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 bracelet
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly
  • Estimated Cost: $5
Young Man Wearing a Cobra Stitch Leather Bracelet
Mollie Johanson

With alternating lines like the belly of a cobra snake, this easy-to-learn cobra stitch knot is a great way to make friendship bracelets, keychains, and lanyards. You may have learned this at camp when you were young, perhaps working with plastic lace. But when you work with leather or other types of cording, it gives new life to the cobra knot!

Learning how to tie the knots is easy, as long as you keep track of the two cords you're working with. The process is similar to tying a square knot, but with a small difference because you're working around a center strand.

The width of your cobra stitch project will change based on the thickness of the cording you use for both the center and the knotting cords. For example, if you work with hemp or cotton jewelry cord, you'll have a much finer weight project than if you use leather lace or paracord. You will also need to adjust the length of the cording. Projects using thinner cords won't need as much yardage as the suede lace in this sample project, while paracord will require a bit more.

Ready to give this a try? Grab your supplies and get started!

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Strong craft glue (E6000 or Super Glue)
  • Toothpick

Materials

Makes One Cobra Stitch Bracelet

  • 7 feet Suede or leather lace - Color A
  • 2 1/2 feet Suede or leather lace - Color B

Instructions

  1. Knot the Top

    Fold the Center Strand and Tie the Long Strand
    Mollie Johanson

    Fold the smaller piece of cording in half. Find the center of the longer piece and tie a tight knot around the smaller piece near the fold. Use tape to mark the end of the left side of the long piece of cording. This will help you keep track of which way to tie the knots.

    Making Different Lengths

    If you want to alter the length of your project, decide how long you want your cobra stitch piece to be, and then add about six inches. Next, double that and use that number as your measurement for the center of your project. Use that same number and multiply it by three to determine the length for your longer piece of cording. When in doubt, start with a longer piece because it's easier to trim any excess off at the end.

  2. Bring the Left Strand Behind the Right

    Bring the Left Strand Over the Center and Under the Right Strand
    Mollie Johanson

    To start your first cobra stitch knot, bring the left strand (the one you marked) over the center and then behind the right strand.

    Bring the Right Strand Under the Center and Through the Left Loop
    Mollie Johanson

    Next, bring the right strand (the one that's not marked) behind the center and through the loop on the left side.

    You should have a pretzel-like knot that goes around the center strands. Pull the knot up tight to the top.

  3. Bring the Right Strand Over the Center

    Bring the Right Strand Over the Center and Under the Left Strand
    Mollie Johanson

    To form the next knot, bring the right strand (the one you marked) over the center and under the left strand.

    Bring the Left Strand Under the Center and Through the Right Loop
    Mollie Johanson

    Bring the right strand (the one that's not marked) under the center and through the loop on the right.

    Tighten the Cobra Stitch Knots as You Go
    Mollie Johanson

    Tighten the knot.

    This makes one full repeat of the cobra stitch and you can just barely start to see the pattern forming.

  4. Repeat the Previous Step for a Full Stitch

    Repeat the Knots, Working with the Left Strand
    Mollie Johanson

    Repeat the previous step to make a full cobra stitch, always starting with the marked strand.

    Bring the left piece over the center and under the right piece.

    Finish the First Half of the Cobra Knot Stitch
    Mollie Johanson

    Bring the right piece under the center and through the left loop. Tighten the knot.

    Start the Second Half the of Cobra Knot Stitch
    Mollie Johanson

    Now bring the right side over the center and under the left strand.

    Bring the Left Strand Through the Right Loop to Finish the Knot
    Mollie Johanson

    Finish the knot by bringing the left side under the center and through the right loop. Tighten the knot.

  5. Continue Knotting Until You Reach Desired Length

    Make Cobra Knot Stitches Until Your Project Reaches the Desired Length
    Mollie Johanson

    Continue knotting around the center strand until it reaches the desired length. Always work back and forth with the knots otherwise the pattern will change. But as long as you remember to start each knot with the marked side of the cord, you'll stay on track!

  6. Finish Off Your Bracelet

    Use Glue to Hold the Last Knot
    Mollie Johanson

    To secure the end of your knotting, use a toothpick to apply a bit of glue between the strands on the last knot. Although the design is essentially double-sided, choose one side to apply the glue from and make this the back. Pull the knot tight and let the glue dry.

    Some materials naturally grip and hold the knot tight, so they won't need as much glue. Slippery materials may need more glue. If you're working with nylon cording, you can also use a lighter to melt the ends and secure them. Always do this with extreme caution!

  7. Trim Ends and Wear!

    Trim the Ends of the Strands, Leaving the Center Strands
    Mollie Johanson

    Trim the ends of the knotting cords off near where you glued them.

    Tie the Bracelet with a Square Knot
    Mollie Johanson

    Use the ends from the center cord to tie a square knot through the starting loop. Trim the ends as needed. If you want to be able to untie and retie the bracelet, be sure to keep the ends long enough and don't tie the knot too tight.

Young Woman Wearing a Cobra Knot Bracelet with Scrunchies and Other Jewelry
Mollie Johanson

This bracelet is great to wear on its own or stacked with other jewelry or a scrunchie. When you use suede or leather, it's also perfect for men and women, so anyone can enjoy making and wearing this easy project!