How to Make a Square Knot

Using Square Knots to Secure Cords

Square Knot Tutorial
Lisa Yang

Square knots are used in jewelry making and beadwork to tie two ends of a cord together. It could be to attach a new cord in beadwork or to tie two ends of the same cord together such as making an elastic bracelet. 

A square knot is an easy knot to learn how to make. It can be made with virtually any type of jewelry making cord or type of elastic thread. Square knots can slip out of some slippery cords or eventually come lose on elastic—in which case tying a surgeon's knot would be a better choice.

Starting the Knot

How to tie a square knot
Lisa Yang

To start a square knot, cross one side of the cord over the other side. We are demonstrating by passing the left side of the cord over the right side of the cord. It can be done whichever way you are most comfortable. Just remember which cord you passed over, though.

Make the First Half of the Knot

Make the first part of a square knot
Lisa Yang

To tie the first half of the square knot, take the cord you crossed over on top with your right hand and pull it down under the other cord.and through the middle. The cord will remain on the right side.

Tighten the First Half of the Knot

Pull the first half of the knot tight by pulling on both ends
Lisa Yang

Tighten the first half of the square knot by pulling on the cord on each side. If you are joining two cords, you will need to hold the other ends of the cord with your ring finger and pinky finger by pressing it into your palm.

Begin the Second Half

Cross the cords over in the opposite direction
Lisa Yang

If you started your square knot by crossing the left cord on top of the right cord, you will do the second half of the knot by crossing the cord on the right side on top of the cord on the left side as shown in the picture. You will be crossing the opposite cord on top than you did in the first step.

Complete the Second Half of the Knot

Loop the cord through the middle to complete the knot
Lisa Yang

To tie the second half of the square knot, take the cord you crossed over on top with your left hand and pull it down under the other cord and through the middle. The cord will remain on the left side.

Pull the Ends to Secure the Knot

Pull the two ends of the knot tight
Lisa Yang

Secure the square knot by pulling the ends of the cord. You may need to pull the cord on the bottom and the cords on the top at the same time to get the knot tight. This can be a little tricky, but basically hold both cords on the right in one hand, both cords on the left in the left hand and pull.

Your square knot is complete! It can be confusing to remember which cord you passed on top for the first half of the knot. You will know if you tied your knot correctly if the two sides of the knot are above the bottom cords and the knot is even. If you pass the same cord on top both times, your knot will not be square and even like the picture. Instead, the threads will likely be at ninety-degree angles from the bottom cords.