How to Make Handfasting Cords: Step-by-Step Tutorial.

To make handfasting cords, choose 3 strands of different colored cords, braid them together, and tie knots at each end. Handfasting cords are an essential part of a wedding ceremony, symbolizing the couple’s commitments, love, and unity.

Handfasting cords are braided together using three different cords, each representing different elements of nature such as earth, wind, and water. It is a highly personalized aspect of the wedding ceremony, and the cords can be made months in advance or on the day of the wedding.

Making handfasting cords is relatively easy, and it provides an excellent opportunity to customize and personalize the cords to reflect the couple’s personalities. The cords are then tied around the couple’s hands, symbolizing their union and commitment.

How to Make Handfasting Cords: Step-by-Step Tutorial.


Choosing Materials

Importance Of Selecting The Right Materials

Choosing the right materials for creating handfasting cords is crucial in making sure that the cords are durable and meaningful. Avoid selecting materials that are scratchy or rough, as they may cause discomfort during the ceremony. Instead, choose materials that are soft and comfortable to the touch.

Options For Materials Including Rope, Ribbon, And Lace

There are several options for materials when it comes to making handfasting cords, including rope, ribbon, and lace. Each material has its own unique look and feel.

Factors To Consider When Selecting Materials

Several factors must be considered when selecting materials for handfasting cords. These factors include color, texture, and length.

  • Color – consider the colors that represent you and your partner’s personalities or heritage.
  • Texture – choose materials that will feel comfortable both for you and your partner during the ceremony.
  • Length – the length of the material used will depend on the number of cords required to make the handfasting.

Pros And Cons Of Each Material Option

Here are the pros and cons of the most popular materials used for handfasting cords:


  • Pros: Durable, strong, and can be easily found in hardware stores.
  • Cons: Can be rough and uncomfortable to the touch.


  • Pros: Soft, smooth, and available in a wide range of colors and textures.
  • Cons: Not as durable as other materials and may fray at the edges.


  • Pros: Soft, comfortable to the touch, and available in intricate patterns.
  • Cons: May not be as strong or durable as rope or ribbon.

Choosing the right materials for your handfasting cords is vital in ensuring that the cords will be meaningful and long-lasting. Take your time selecting the materials that best represent you and your partner and remember to prioritize comfort during the ceremony.

Preparing The Materials

Handfasting is a beautiful celtic wedding ceremony that has become popular in modern times. This old tradition involves tying a cord around the couple’s hands, symbolizing their union. If you’re planning to have a handfasting ceremony, you might want to make the cord yourself.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to make handfasting cords, covering materials preparation, measuring and cutting materials, and adding additional details.

Instructions For Washing And Ironing Materials

Before you begin making the cords, you need to wash and iron the materials to ensure that they’re clean and tidy. Here’s how:

  • Wash the materials in warm water with mild soap, then rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Lay the fabric flat on a clean surface, and use an iron set to a medium heat to smooth out any wrinkles.
  • Once the fabric is dry, fold it in half lengthwise, with the right sides facing each other.

Tips For Measuring And Cutting Materials To The Needed Length

To make the handfasting cords, you will need two pieces of fabric, each measuring about 3 yards long and 1-2 inches wide. Here are some tips for measuring and cutting the materials:

  • Use a measuring tape to measure the desired length and width of the cords. Cut the fabric accordingly, making sure that both pieces are the same length.
  • Cut the fabric using a rotary cutter or sharp fabric scissors.
  • Make sure to cut the fabric strips straight and even to avoid any frayed ends.

Suggestions For Adding Additional Details To The Cords, Such As Beads Or Charms

You can enhance the beauty of your handfasting cords by adding some additional details, such as beads or charms. Here are some suggestions:

  • Start by choosing your desired beads or charms, keeping in mind the color scheme of your wedding or handfasting ceremony.
  • Thread the beads or charms onto both fabric strips before you start braiding or twisting them together.
  • Be creative with your bead placement, spacing them out evenly or clustering them together.
  • Once you’ve added the beads or charms, continue braiding the fabric strips together until you reach the end.

Making your own handfasting cords can add a personal touch to your wedding or handfasting ceremony. With these tips for preparing your materials, measuring and cutting them to the needed length, and adding details like beads or charms, you can create a beautiful cord that symbolizes your union with your partner.

Braiding Techniques

Are you eager to make your own handfasting cords as a personal touch to your ceremony? With the right braiding technique, you can create a unique and meaningful keepsake that will last a lifetime. Here are some braiding techniques to get you started on your own handfasting cords:

Basic Three-Strand Braiding Technique

The three-strand braid is the most basic technique for creating handfasting cords. It’s simple, yet effective, and can be customized to suit your preferences. Here are the steps for creating a three-strand braid:

  • Divide your strands into three equal sections. You can use different colors or materials to add interest.
  • Cross the right-hand strand over the center one, then cross the left-hand strand over the new center one. Ensure that you keep the strands taut during this process.
  • Repeat this pattern, alternating the sides until you have reached your desired length. Keep in mind that you will need extra length for tying the knot.

Adding Additional Strands For Added Thickness Or Color Variation

If you want to add thickness or color variation to your cords, this technique is perfect for you. Here are the steps:

  • Collect the strands that you want to use for your added color or thickness. Use a slip knot to fasten them to the main cord.
  • Begin braiding with four strands instead of three. Cross the right-hand strand over two center strands, then the left-hand strand over the new center strands. Keep the strands taut while braiding.
  • Alternate sides until you reach your desired length. Again, remember to keep some extra length for tying the knot.

Using Decorative Knots Or Twists In The Braiding For Added Texture And Interest

Decorative knots and twists add texture and interest to your cords. They are an excellent way to personalize your handfasting cords and make them truly unique. Here are some knots you can try:

  • Celtic knot: This knot is a knotting masterpiece. It symbolizes eternity as the knot has no beginning or end. To make this knot, you will need to follow a series of loops and twists.
  • Square knot: This is a simple and classic knot that is easy to make. It is made by crossing the left-hand cord over the center cords, followed by the right-hand cord over the left-hand one, and then passing it under the center and through the loop created on the left-hand side.
  • Spiral knot: This knot adds a twist to the braid, providing extra depth and texture. To make it, you need to twist each section of the braid as you go along. With every twist, the braid takes on a new dimension.

Now that you have learned the different braiding techniques, try them out for yourself! Remember to measure your cords to ensure you have enough length and to keep the strands taut while braiding. With a bit of practice, you will soon have a beautiful and meaningful set of handfasting cords to treasure for a lifetime.

Personalizing The Cords

The handfasting cords used in a wedding ceremony can be a great way to incorporate personal touches and symbolism. Here are some ideas to personalize the cords based on the couple’s interests and beliefs.

Suggestions For Personalizing The Cords Based On The Couple’S Interests Or Beliefs

  • Choose colors that represent the couple’s personalities, such as favorite colors or birthstone colors.
  • Use fabrics that have significance to the couple, such as a piece of fabric from a family heirloom or a meaningful place.
  • Incorporate symbols that represent the couple’s interests or beliefs, such as animals, flowers, or constellations.
  • Personalize the cords with the couple’s initials or wedding date.

Adding Elements Such As Crystals, Feathers, Or Herbs

  • Choose a crystal that aligns with the couple’s intentions for their marriage, such as rose quartz for love or amethyst for clarity.
  • Incorporate feathers that represent strength or spirituality, such as eagle or owl feathers.
  • Add herbs that have symbolic meaning or special significance, such as lavender for devotion or rosemary for remembrance.

Ideas For Incorporating Handfasting Cords Into The Wedding Ceremony

  • Have the couple’s loved ones pass the cords around the room, imbuing them with well wishes and positive energy.
  • Use a special knot or braid to secure the cords during the ceremony, representing the couple’s unity and commitment.
  • Include a reading or blessing that highlights the significance of the cords in the ceremony.

Ways To Display Or Keep The Cords As A Memento After The Wedding

  • Display the cords in a shadow box or frame, along with photos or other wedding memorabilia.
  • Wrap the cords around a special object, such as a vase or candle, and display it in the couple’s home.
  • Use the cords in a future handfasting ceremony or other symbolic event, continuing the meaning and tradition.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Make Handfasting Cords

What Is Handfasting And Why Is It Done?

Handfasting is an ancient celtic tradition where two people commit to each other for a year and a day. It’s often used in modern pagan weddings as a symbol of their unity and love.

What Are Handfasting Cords Made Of?

Handfasting cords can be made of any material that the couple chooses. Some popular options include ribbons, lace, and hemp.

How Long Should A Handfasting Cord Be?

A typical handfasting cord is around nine feet long, but the length can vary based on personal preference and the ceremonial tradition.

How Many Cords Are Needed For Handfasting Ceremony?

Traditionally, three cords are used in a handfasting ceremony. However, couples can choose to use more or fewer cords based on their personal beliefs and preferences.

What Colors Should Handfasting Cords Be?

There is no specific color that handfasting cords should be. Couples can choose colors that are meaningful to them and align with their intentions for their commitment to each other.

Can We Make Our Own Handfasting Cords?

Absolutely! Making your own handfasting cords can be a meaningful and personal way to incorporate your intentions and energies into your ceremony. There are many tutorials available online to guide you through the process.


After reading through this guide, you should feel confident to make your handfasting cords. Just remember that these cords are special and should be handled with care and intention. Take the time to choose meaningful colors and materials that represent you and your partner.

Allow yourself to get creative with the braiding and knotting, creating a unique cord that will symbolize your journey as a couple. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it will still hold the powerful energy of your love. Whether you’re having a handfasting ceremony or simply using the cords as a decorative piece in your home, they will serve as a reminder of the deep and meaningful connection between you and your partner.

So go ahead and give it a try! Happy crafting!

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