Etsy Journal

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How to Make a Nautical Knot Bag Charm

In this easy at-home DIY, create a hand-knotted keychain perfect for personalizing a purse, backpack, or suitcase—and begin dreaming of your next destination.

A hand holding a small black pouch accessorized with a golden knotted rope keychain

Looking for a creative way to nip those winter blues in the bud? While you’re awaiting sunnier days, now is the perfect time to slow down and settle in with a DIY project. These eye-catching nautical keychains are not only a cinch to make during a cozy afternoon at home, they promise to come in handy whenever you do plan your next escape—be it a romantic night out or a weekend getaway.

Because these bold bag charms are fully customizable, you can make them in any color rope or hardware your heart desires. Simply twist into a figure-eight knot, also known as a sailor knot, finish the edges with a few sleek, affordable supplies, and you’ve got a stylish hack to help your favorite clutch, satchel, or suitcase stand out in a crowd.

Pro tip: If you usually travel with more than one bag, make a matching set. If you don’t have a trip on the horizon but want to make a set anyway, give one to your BFF and boom: Matching keychains. Let’s get started.

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour or less

A flat lay of supplies needed to create a DIY nautical knot keychain.


Step 1: Prepare cord

Scissors cutting rope.

Use a measuring tape to measure 20 inches of rope. Cut.

Step 2: Seal rope ends

Hands sealing ends with a lighter.

Quickly burn each end of your rope using a lighter (and caution!). This will help prevent fraying.

Step 3: Add a clasp

Hands holding rope with a clasp.

Thread the clasp onto your rope. Join the rope ends, so your rope is folded in half.

Step 4: Form a figure-eight knot

Holding both ends of your rope together, create a figure-eight knot by taking your rope ends…

Hand holding rope ends so the bottom of the '8' is formed.


Hands holding the rope so the top of the '8' is formed and the rope is going under itself.


Hands adjusting finished figure '8' in palm.

Over, and through the bottom loop.

Hands pulling rope from the bottom.

Adjust rope and pull to tighten.

Step 5 (Optional): Add end caps

Hands adding adhesive to the end cap.

Fill the end caps with a small amount of glue. Twist the rope into the end cap. Wipe excess glue if needed and let dry.

Assorted knotted keychains in different rope colors.
A golden knotted keychain used as a charm on a small clutch.

Plus: For more personality-packed accessory ideas, shop these mega-stylish macrame designs from Etsy makers.

A collage of macrame keychains available on Etsy.
SHOP: (clockwise from top left): Rainbow keychain from Shop Kleet, $9; daisy keychains from Tied Knots by Kay, $11 each; personalized knotted keychains from Sparks of Dreams, $8 each; macrame gift set from Painiava, $50

Etsy Staff image
Etsy Staff

Etsy staff writers and contributing editors.

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