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Nautical Knobs

Created By: Ariana Phillips




Incorporate nautical charm into your quarters. Knobs made with monkey's fist knots -- a maritime standard -- can be affixed to drawers or lids of wooden boxes.


  • Thin maritime cord
  • 3/4-inch wooden beads
  • Craft glue
  • Drill kit
  • Screws


  1. Step 1

    Using 2 yards of thin marine cord, wrap 4 or 5 loops loosely around fingers. Begin another loop; stop halfway up. Give cord a quarter turn, so it's perpendicular to bundle.

  2. Step 2

    Wrap around bundle, back to front, 4 or 5 times (number of loops should always match number used in step 1).

  3. Step 3

    Slip cord off fingers. Begin another loop, then wrap cord through first bundle and around second 4 or 5 times.

  4. Step 4

    Insert a 3/4-inch wooden bead into knot. Pull end of cord from step 1 until knot is taut around bead. Trim ends; secure with craft glue.

  5. Step 5


    Drill a hole into bead. Drill a screw through drawer or lid from the inside. Attach bead to screw.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2008



Reviews (24)

  • granmaboat 18 Jan, 2011

    my daughter maid these with a marble inside...maybe that is easier?

  • scattershot 25 Jul, 2010

    Animated knot site...

  • vdiane 24 Jul, 2010

    OMG... I have balls of cord that look horrible. I am trying to make these for a friend's beach house, but I don't think she would appreciate my knarled and lumpy creations. Guess I need to find that video or a knot tying instruction book or SOMETHING... OMG

  • janivan 23 Jul, 2010

    Geofer: My thoughts exactly.

  • aussieminie 23 Jul, 2010

    I wish there was a more detailed page to do this Knot. I'm pretty crafty but VERY confused on how to make this.
    Can anyone give me directions step by step with a sketch please...
    Or Reference to a site I can go on.
    Aussie Girl

  • BillKes 23 Jul, 2010

    The knot is a Turks Head Knot, refer to a good knot book to learn how to tie. I have tied this knot for many years and the directions are confusing. The best book I have found for learning this knot is "Knots - Useful

  • geoferr 23 Jul, 2010

    Martha needs to find someone who can write instructions. Two-thirds of the projects I have looked at on this site have such poor instructions there is no way anyone could follow them. This is a shame as obviously people are interested enough in the project to #1 try to produce it and #2 write in and complain. Thanks to those who write to offer other sites that can write instructions.

  • jtuinstra 23 Jul, 2010

    You can find these knots online for free with better instructions. There is no way someone could make this with the above instructions.

  • rjordan 23 Jul, 2010

    martha, is this a joke? i can't believe anyone could produce this knot based on these instructions.

  • gotbooks 23 Jul, 2010

    I had to pay to see the other video. This is a non-paying site. It seems to give a good explanation.

  • dockar 23 Jul, 2010

    I don't follow at all. Instructions need to be more specific or include diagrams.

  • TallNDN 28 Apr, 2009

    In fact, if you go to It even shows a little gizmo you make of a coat hanger to help tie this knot.
    Pretty easy once you see a video. (Copy and paste the linik into yur address bar.)

  • sunshine 30 Jul, 2008

    I hope that I am not going to step on anybodys toes liike I feel that the person who made the comment about once again they had saw this project before and had already completed it. To me this was a uncaring remark to all the wonderful people who have not "seen it or done it" and who are enjoying sharing ideas, tips, and contributing positive words and acts of kindness. There are MANY craft projects on this website and I find it very hard to believe that somebody has completed each and everyone of them. B

  • emilyan 27 Jul, 2008

    Very confusing. Maybe some illustrations would be nice. Thanks for the link.

  • DebbieDurham 26 Jul, 2008

    I agree with so many others, the instuctions lacked a lot! Thanks so much to jtowler for the link to the knot tying web site.

    I saw another knot at their site called sennit. Instructions were for leather, but I think it could be done with paper to make a great scrapbook page trim. I can't wait to try it!

    So all is " knot" lost! Another member taught us something even if Living did "knot"!

  • marlene123 25 Jul, 2008

    Excellent! Looking forward to trying this soon as I can go buy some cord.

  • Learner10 25 Jul, 2008

    Thanks Jtowler for the link to the knot tying web site!

  • peaceandlight 25 Jul, 2008

    Thanks to jtowler for suggesting the International Guild of Knot Tyers site:

    That is a very informative site with clear explanations and illustrations of all sorts of knot tying from working knots to fancy decorative. (Is there anything you CAN'T find on the Internet?!)

  • dominic_shugart 25 Jul, 2008

    The knots look fantastic but illustrations are needed; the instructions are unclear. Thanks for the idea, though.

  • Volcanogal 25 Jul, 2008

    The idea is worthy, but the instructions need photos of explanation for clarification. Craft explanation if graded on a scale from 1 to 10 would score a 3.

  • Anna_Marie 25 Jul, 2008

    Excellent illustration and wonderful web site! Thanks, jtowler.

  • jtowler 25 Jul, 2008

    Here is an illustrated guide on how to tie a Monkey's fist knot-

  • Anna_Marie 25 Jul, 2008

    WOW! lost me...a video or illustrations sure would help on this one!

  • bittyro 25 Jul, 2008

    The instructions on this one almost made sense, but I still had to get out my knot tying book just to make sure I was doing it right.