I’ve wanted to learn how to tie monkey fist knots for a long time, but have no experience tying anything except shoelaces.  I finally had the perfect opportunity to learn when I decided to make some monkey fist curtain tiebacks for the curtains we just hung in our master, and I knew I could buy them on Etsy if I failed — a true win win.  After examining the monkey fist tiebacks at Obstinate Daughter, I decided to give it a try the next day and found a helpful tutorial online.

Monkey Fist Curtain Tiebackstiebacks2

What you’ll need:

  • Rope (I got some clothesline rope from Lowes)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ping pong balls (yep, this is serious)

Since this was the first time I tried tying knots, I did a practice one to figure it out before trying to make 3 real ones for our curtains.

To start, wrap the rope 4-5 times around your fingers, then do the same thing on the other side so it’s like a fat cross (+).  Put the ping pong in the middle to give the knot some structure, and then give yourself about a yard / yard an a half of rope and cut it.  Cover the ends of the rope with the electrical tape so they don’t fray.

Here’s the tricky part… start weaving the rope under the inside loops, and over the outer most loops.  It took some practice and just looking at the knot to really understand how that part works (definitely look at tutorials at this point).  It’s like a big puzzle, and you figure out how it all works and where the rope will go to make the knot.

Once the knot is done, slowly tighten it until it looks and feels right — and you can’t see the ping pong ball.  Since I was making tie backs, I let a long piece of rope out to make a loop before weaving the end into the knot securely.

I surprised myself when the first knot didn’t look so bad, and quickly got the hang of it.  I made the three tie back knots as close to the same length as possible, so they would hang the same.


To keep the coastal vibe going, I decided to use some small boat cleats screwed into the wall to hold the tiebacks (they hang through the middle) instead of just a hook.  Once the cleats were screwed in, the tiebacks went in, and the curtains were pulled back.  I am slightly biased, but I think they look great!  The room looks so much better with the curtains and tiebacks — almost like a real master bedroom.





Seriously though, our master is finally coming along.  I can’t wait for the custom bed frame / headboard!  And when we redo our bathroom… And get shutters…. Oh well, one thing at a time! On to the next project.


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