How to: Make Corking Crafts

Corking, also called “French knitting” or “spool knitting”, is an easy craft that can keep idle hands busy for hours!

This style of knitting makes a knitted rope or cord that can be used for many different crafts or decorations. A quick online search for corking crafts will show you hundreds of different uses!

knitted heart made with corking

Corking is not done with knitting needles, but on a simple knitting loom. In the 19th century, textile factories began using large automatic knitting looms to create fabrics faster and with finer threads.

By 1867, most textiles were produced in factories. Corking, however, remained a fun pastime that introduced boys and girls to the useful skill of knitting.

Toilet Paper Roll Corking Tutorial

Our knitting loom in this tutorial is made with items you can find around your home. Let’s get corking!

Step 1: Gather your supplies

You will need:

  • Yarn
  • An empty toilet paper roll
  • Four pencils (You can also use chopsticks, popsicle sticks, or straws! They should be about 2 cm longer than the toilet paper roll.)
  • Tape

toilet paper roll with yarn and other supplies for corking tutorial

Step 2: Make your knitting loom

Tape the four pencils (or other sticks) to the toilet paper roll, spacing them out evenly. The pencils form the pegs of the knitting loom.

pencils taped to toilet paper roll to form loom

Step 3: Foundation stitches

Pull the yarn through the toilet paper roll, leaving a bit of a tail.

Holding the yarn in place with your left hand, use your right hand to wrap the yarn clockwise around the first peg. Wrap each peg, moving clockwise around the loom.

crafter loops yarn around pegs

When all pegs have been wrapped with one loop of yarn, wind the yarn around the outside of all four pegs.

crafter wraps yarn around outside of pegs

Take the bottom loop of yarn from the first peg, and lift it over the peg, passing the top loop. Do this with each peg.

You have now made four stitches. In knitting, this is called casting on.

crafter casts on by passing bottom loop of yarn over top loop

Step 4: Get corking!

Continue wrapping the yarn around the outside of the pegs and pulling the bottom loop of yarn over the top of the peg.

If you like, use another pencil to help move the stitches over the top of the peg. Your cord will begin to emerge from the bottom of the toilet paper roll!

Repeat the same process, around and around, until your cord is as long as you want it to be!

crafter wraps yarn around outside of pegs
crafter wraps yarn around outside of pegs
crafter wraps yarn around outside of pegs

Step 5: Casting off

To finish corking, you need to properly cast off your stitches to stop the cord from unraveling when you take it off the loom.

To cast off, you need to:

(1) Cut the yarn from the ball, leaving a tail of about 6 inches long.

crafter cuts yarn

(2) Pull the end of the yarn through the last stitch you made. This will pull the yarn off the peg. Pull tight.

crafter pulls end of yarn through last stitch

(3) Make another stitch on the next peg and pull the end through this stitch, taking the yarn off the peg and pulling tight.

crafter pulls yarn through stitch

(4) Repeat this step with the remaining two pegs and pull tight once more! You can now pull the finished cord out.

crafter removes finished cord

crafter wearing knitted headband
Time to get creative!

Step 6: Use your imagination!

What will you make with your knitted cord? A woolen bracelet? A garland for a Christmas tree? Or maybe sew it into a coil, making a hot pad for the kitchen. I’ve made mine into a headband!

Share your ideas and creations with us! Send photos to us on Facebook or Instagram, or email them to We can’t wait to see what you make!


decorative figure