How to Create Beautiful Handfasting Cords: Step-by-Step Guide


Making handfasting cords involves choosing and braiding three different colored cords together to represent the couple’s unity. It’s a simple and meaningful process that can be done easily at home with just a few materials.

Handfasting has been a symbolic ritual in many cultures for a long time, representing the commitment of two individuals in a relationship. Handfasting cords, typically made of natural materials like cotton, hemp, or wool, symbolize the bond between couples and can be used during their ceremony.

The three cords used in handfasting represent the couple’s past, present, and future, braided together to symbolize their unity. If you’re interested in making your own handfasting cords, this article will guide you through the easy steps to make a beautiful cord for your ceremony.

How to Create Beautiful Handfasting Cords: Step-by-Step Guide


Step 1: Choose Your Materials

Discuss The Different Types Of Materials That Can Be Used For Creating Handfasting Cords

When it comes to selecting materials for making handfasting cords, there are numerous options available. Some of the popular choices are:

  • Satin ribbons: Satin ribbons come in different colors and widths, giving you a wide variety of choices to match the couple’s preferences. They also have a soft texture that feels gentle on the skin.
  • Jute twine: Jute twine is a popular option for rustic-themed weddings. It has a rough texture that provides a natural look, and its neutral color makes it easy to incorporate with other decorations.
  • Silk cords: Silk cords offer a luxurious and premium feel. They come in different colors and widths, making it ideal for matching the couple’s preferences. Additionally, they have a glossy texture that shimmers in the light.
  • Paracord: Paracord is a sturdy and strong material that makes it ideal for outdoor weddings. It comes in different colors, and its texture gives it a rugged and natural feel.

Share What To Consider When Selecting The Materials, Such As Color, Texture, And Symbolism

When choosing materials for handfasting cords, there are some factors to consider. These include:

  • Color: Select a color that matches the couple’s tastes and preferences. The color may also symbolize emotions or thoughts associated with the ceremony. For example, green may represent growth and renewal.
  • Texture: Consider the texture of the materials, especially if the cords will be tied tightly around the wrists. Choose soft and smooth materials if the couple has sensitive skin.
  • Symbolism: Think about the symbolism of the materials, especially if the couple has specific beliefs or traditions. For instance, red may represent passion or love, while black may symbolize mystery or unity.

Offer Suggestions For Where To Purchase Materials And Any Cost Considerations

There are numerous places where you can purchase materials for handfasting cords. Some of the popular options are:

  • Craft stores: Craft stores like michaels, joanns, or hobby lobby offer a wide variety of materials, including ribbons, twines, and cords. They often have sales and coupons that can help you save money.
  • Online marketplaces: Websites like amazon, etsy, and ebay have a vast array of materials from different vendors. You can find unique and customized materials to match the couple’s tastes.
  • Specialty stores: Specialty stores that cater to wedding supplies may also have handfasting cord materials. Check out local bridal shops or wedding rental companies.

When it comes to cost considerations, the price of the materials can vary depending on the type and quantity you select. Satin ribbons and silk cords may be more expensive than jute twine or paracord. Consider buying in bulk to save money or look for discounts and sales.

Remember, creating a special and unique handfasting cord is priceless.

Step 2: Measure And Cut Your Cords

Measuring The Length Of The Cords

Handfasting cords are an essential element of a handfasting ceremony. The length of the cords will depend on the couple’s measurements. Here are the basic steps to measure and cut your cords:

  • Measure the couple’s hands: The first step is to measure the couple’s hands while they are standing side by side. Measure the distance from one hand to the other with a measuring tape or a piece of string. This will be the length of the cord you need to make for the handfasting ceremony.
  • Consider knots and braids: Keep in mind that you will be tying knots and braids with the cords, so you may need a little extra length to account for this.
  • Choose the number of cords: Determine the number of cords you want to use in the ceremony. It is traditional to use three cords, but you can use more or less if you prefer.

Tips For Cutting The Cords

Once you have measured the length of the cords, it’s time to start cutting. Here are some tips to help ensure that your cords are cut to the correct size:

  • Use sharp scissors: Make sure you use sharp scissors to cut the cords. Dull scissors can cause the cords to fray, which can ruin the look of your cords.
  • Be precise: Take your time to ensure that you are cutting each cord to the correct length. It’s better to be precise than to end up with cords that are too short or too long.
  • Use a ruler: If you’re having trouble cutting straight lines, consider using a ruler to guide your scissors.
  • Double-check the measurements: Before you start cutting, double-check your measurements to ensure that you are cutting each cord to the correct size.
  • Cut the cords at an angle: Cut each cord at an angle to prevent them from fraying. This will give your cords a more polished look.

These tips and guidelines should help you cut your handfasting cords to the perfect length and ensure that they look beautiful during the ceremony. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can create a meaningful and memorable ceremony for the happy couple.

Step 3: Braid Or Weave Your Cords

Now that you have chosen your materials and cut them to an appropriate length, the next step is to braid or weave your cords. There are a variety of braiding or weaving techniques that you can choose from depending on the look you want to achieve.

Here are some popular techniques:

  • Three-strand braid: This is one of the simplest and most popular braiding techniques. Divide your cords into three equal strands and then cross the right over the middle, then the left over the middle, alternating sides until you reach the end. Knot the end to secure the braid. This technique is great for beginners and produces a classic, elegant look.
  • Four-strand braid: This technique is similar to the three-strand braid but gives a more complex look. Divide your cords into four equal strands and then cross the right outer strand over the second strand, under the third strand, and over the left strand. Then cross the left outer strand over the second strand, under the third strand, and over the right strand. Alternate sides and repeat until you reach the end. Knot the end to secure the braid.
  • Five-strand braid: This technique is a bit more complicated than the previous ones but gives you a beautiful, intricate look. Divide your cords into five equal strands and arrange them in a star pattern, with one cord sticking up, one sticking down, one to the left, one to the right, and one in the center. Take the upper-left cord and weave it over, under, over, under, over the other cords until it reaches the bottom right. Then take the bottom-right cord and weave it over, under, over, under, over the other cords until it reaches the top left. Alternate sides until you reach the end. Knot the end to secure the braid.
  • Square knot: This is a weaving technique that produces an elegant, complex look. Take your cords and fold them in half. Take the right-hand cord and cross it over the left-hand cord, then loop it under and through the left-hand cord. Then take the left-hand cord and cross it over the right-hand cord, then loop it under and through the right-hand cord. Repeat these steps until you reach the end. Knot the end to secure the knot.

It’s important to note that each technique requires patience and attention to detail. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not keeping the tension even. Consistent tension is key to keeping the braid or weave looking neat and tidy.
  • Not keeping the cords from tangling. Take care to separate the cords and keep them organized throughout the braiding or weaving process.
  • Cutting the cords too short. Make sure to measure and cut the cords to a proper length before beginning the braiding or weaving process, as it can be difficult to add length once you’ve started.

Step 4: Add Optional Embellishments

Handfasting cords are essential for completing a beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremony. Adding creative touches to these cords can make the ceremony more personal and unique. In this section, we will explore the different decorative embellishments that you can add to the cords, how to attach them, and how they can enhance the symbolism of the cords.

Share Ideas For Embellishments That Can Be Added To The Cords, Such As Charms, Beads, Or Flowers

There are numerous ways to embellish the handfasting cords to make them more appealing. Here are some popular ideas for adding embellishments:

  • Charms: A charm can be anything from a personalized heart, a celtic knot, or any other symbol that represents your love story.
  • Beads: Adding beads to the cords can add texture and a pop of color that enhances the cords’ beauty. Choose beads that complement the wedding theme or your wedding colors.
  • Flowers: Fresh or artificial flowers can be incorporated into the cords to give them a more natural feel. You can use a single type of flower or use a mix of different ones to create an attractive look.

Offer Tips On How To Attach The Embellishments To The Cords

Attaching embellishments to the cords can vary depending on the type of decoration you choose, but here are some basic tips:

  • Use thread or string to attach smaller embellishments to the cords.
  • For larger items such as flowers or charms, use a flexible wire to attach them to the cords.
  • Secure the wire with glue or clear tape to the back of the decoration to avoid it slipping.

Provide Examples Of How These Embellishments Can Enhance The Symbolism Of The Cords

Embellishments can further enrich the symbolism of the cords, deepening their significance and making them more meaningful. Here are some examples:

  • Charms can represent significant milestones in your life or serve as a reminder of a special memory you share with your partner.
  • Beads can be selected based on their spiritual symbolism, for example, rose quartz symbolizes love, while amethyst is associated with spiritual energy.
  • Flowers can hold significance for the couple, and by adding them to the cords, they are integrated into the wedding ritual.

Adding personal touches to handfasting cords can make your wedding ceremony even more memorable and celebratory. It is an excellent opportunity to customize the ceremony to reflect your unique love story and personality.

Step 5: Presenting The Cords

Handfasting is an ancient celtic marriage ceremony that is still popular today, with many couples opting for this romantic and meaningful way to tie the knot. One important element of the handfasting ceremony is the cords that are used to symbolize the bond between the couple.

In this post, we have covered the step-by-step process of making handfasting cords. In this section, we will discuss how to present the cords during the ceremony and how to store and preserve them afterward.

Significance Of Presenting The Cords

How the cords are presented during the ceremony is an essential part of the handfasting ritual. It represents the commitment that the couple is making to each other and is a public declaration of their love. The cords also symbolize the binding of the couple’s spirits and their journey together.

Ideas For Presenting The Cords

There are many creative ways to present the cords during a handfasting ceremony, depending on your preference and style. Here are some ideas that you may find helpful:

  • Drape the cords over the couple’s hands: This traditional method involves draping the cords over the couple’s hands, symbolizing their union. The couple can then exchange vows and promises, while their hands are bound together by the cords.
  • Wrap the cords around their wrists: Wrapping the cords around the couple’s wrists is another popular option and can be done in a variety of styles, such as braiding or wrapping the cords around each wrist separately, then crossing them over and knotting them together.
  • Use a knotting ceremony: One beautiful way to present the cords is by performing a knotting or binding ceremony. The couple can take turns tying knots in the cords, representing the promises they are making to each other.

Storing And Preserving The Cords

After the ceremony, it is essential to store and preserve the cords properly so that they can serve as a lasting reminder of the couple’s union. Here are some tips for preserving the cords:

  • Store them in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight or moisture.
  • Use a storage box or bag specifically designed for the cords, making sure that they are not folded or creased.
  • If possible, include a special note or message along with the cords, describing their significance and meaning.
  • Consider displaying the cords in a shadow box or framing them as a keepsake.

Presenting the cords during a handfasting ceremony is a beautiful and symbolic way to celebrate the union of two people in love. By following these tips, you can make sure that your handfasting cords are not only used during the ceremony but also serve as a cherished memento for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Make Handfasting Cords

What Is Handfasting?

Handfasting is an ancient celtic tradition of tying two people’s hands together. It’s a symbolic act that represents the couple’s union and commitment to each other.

What Are Handfasting Cords Made Of?

Handfasting cords can be made of various materials such as ribbon, hemp, cotton, or silk. It’s up to the couple to choose the material that represents their personal values and preferences.

How Do You Make Handfasting Cords?

To make handfasting cords, you need to choose a material, cut it into pieces, braid the pieces together, and tie the ends with a knot. The number of cords and the color of cords used are symbolic and can also be chosen based on the couple’s preferences.

What Colors Are Used For Handfasting Cords?

Each color used for handfasting cords has a symbolic meaning, and these can vary depending on the couple’s preferences and beliefs. Some popular colors and their meanings include: red for passion, blue for loyalty, gold for prosperity, and green for abundance.

Can Handfasting Cords Be Reused?

Yes, handfasting cords can be reused for anniversary celebrations or other significant events. Store them in a safe place and use them as a reminder of the commitment made on the wedding day.


Creating your own handfasting cords is not only a way to save money, but it is also a symbolic and meaningful way to add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony. With the right materials and a little creativity, you can make something that represents the unique bond between you and your partner.

Handfasting is a beautiful celtic tradition that symbolizes unity and commitment, and having personalized cords only adds to the significance of the ritual. Whether you choose to make your cords alone or with your partner, it is a fun and easy process that can result in a cherished keepsake.

Remember to incorporate your favorite colors and materials, and consider adding charms or beads that hold special meaning to you and your partner. Your handfasting cords will serve as a reminder of your love and commitment to each other for years to come.

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