How to macrame

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How to macrame

Macrame is the art and craft of decorative knotting. Some twine and a few basic knots are all a hobbyist needs to explore the possibilities of constructing jewelry, clothing, wall hangings, or plant holders. In the 1970s, the American craze for this craft was preceded by hundreds of years of Chinese macrame. Now, Western macrame attracts fiber artists, sewers, and creative crafters.

Chinese macrame differs from modern macrame in a few key respects. First, there is only one piece of string folded in half, such that two strings enter the knot and two exit at the bottom. Also, the pieces are always symmetrical and double-sided, so they leave a pouch in the center. People store semi-precious stones, carvings, or even fruit within the knotted folds. Some decorative knot names are Monkey’s Fist, Double Coin, and Good Luck.

Western macrame involves many threads of different colors or textures. From the endless kinds of twine, you can choose hemp, silk, yarn, embroidery floss, cord, precious metal thread, wool, or even ordinary kite string. The weave, color, stiffness, and width will all affect the look of the finished macrame. Also, you can add accessories within the knotted pattern to thematize your work. Many crafters collect beads, charms, seashells, and tassels made of ceramic, glass, metal, or plastic to accentuate their pieces.

The basic supplies to begin macrame are a knotting board, T-pins, a pattern, and twine. The knotting board, a flat piece of cardboard, cork, or foam, will hold and stretch the first “holding” string horizontally, so the other vertical threads hang down at a right angle. As the knots emerge, T-pins can hold the design at certain intervals to keep it even, flat, and symmetrical, since the knots have some flexibility. With just a few simple knots you probably already know how to tie, you can make a belt or wall hanging.

Most everyday knots can be traced back to sailors entertaining themselves with extra rope during long months at sea. A half-knot is the first thing you do in tying a shoelace. A square knot is what most people think of when they hear “knot,” two half-knots in opposite directions. A double half-hitch, a variation on a square knot, is where one string bears the knot and the other string wraps around it. An overhand knot is accomplished with just one string, where you make a looped knot onto itself. Once you have mastered these types of knots, you can investigate more complicated ones or just make up your own!

This article was co-authored by Lois Wade. Lois Wade has 45 years of experience in crafts including sewing, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch, drawing, and paper crafts. She has been contributing to craft articles on wikiHow since 2007.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 11 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 1,004,972 times.

Macramé (MAC-ruh-may) is the art/craft of tying cords into knots in such a way that they form a useful or decorative shape. Choosing the right materials and making sure you have a good work space will help you start your project right. First, learn the basic knots of macramé. The reverse lark’s head knot is how you’ll start most projects. Half knots and square knots are basic macramé knots useful in anything from scarves to wall hangings. Once you master the square knot, you’ll be able to jazz up your projects with beading. Adding diagonal half hitch knots can add different patterns to your work.

How to macrame

Lois Wade
wikiHow Crafts Expert Expert Interview. 31 July 2019.

  • Leather is great if you’re making jewelry. Cotton rope works well if you’re making a wall hanging, and you can use yarn to make a scarf or blanket.

by Lisa | February 24, 2020

Learn how to do macrame and create your own wall art with this macrame wall hanging for beginners. This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here. Macrame may look complicated. I promise you it really is so simple, even for beginners. I will […]

February 24, 2020 by Lisa 6 Comments

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Learn how to do macrame and create your own wall art with this macrame wall hanging for beginners.

How to macrame

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

Macrame may look complicated. I promise you it really is so simple, even for beginners. I will walk you through it with this macrame wall hanging DIY tutorial.

We are working on doing a makeover in the girls room.

I have done a few other DIY’s for the space, including making them new duvet covers and fabric bunting.

I really wanted to bring in something else for wall art.

That’s when it occurred to me that a macrame wall hanging would be perfect.

The project was pretty inexpensive coming in around $9 total.

I used a sycamore tree branch (drift wood would also work great) from our yard for the hanger. I like the way the bark is peeling off in places. Also, the branch we chose is super sturdy.

For the macrame cord, I just grabbed some white clothesline from my local Walmart.

We don’t have a craft store in our area and I was anxious to get this project going. So, I settled for what we do have. A Walmart with clothesline!

And it honestly worked great and was very budget friendly.

Today I’m going to show you how to do macrame that is simple and works as the perfect woven wall hanging.

Tips For Doing Macramé

  • Practice the different types of knots before just starting a project. This will help your projects go more smoothly.
  • You can find a lot of free patterns on YouTube (like the one I’m going to show you) or find some inspiration on Pinterest.
  • Most craft stores will have special cotton Macramé rope, but you can use clothes line just fine.
  • Once you start getting comfortable with the craft, you can add in other types of colored yarn and fiber textiles to your projects.

Is macrame easy to learn?

Yes. Although it looks challenging, it is a simple and fun craft that anyone can learn to do. Once you learn a few basic knots (don’t worry I’ll show you how to do some in the video), you will be able to create beautiful macramé projects like this one.

Supplies And Materials You Will Need:

Branch or drift wood. Something substantial and sturdy. You could even use a thicker doll rod or large metal ring.

How to macrame

Macrame For Beginners

All you need to know to make this particular project is three simple macrame knots; the reverse larkshead knot, the square knot, and the half hitch knot.

Don’t let those fancy names scare you away. The larkshead is nothing more than a loop used to secure the ropes to the stick. Easy Peasy. The square knot and half hitch aren’t much more complicated than that.

I did a video tutorial for this macrame wall hanging tutorial DIY, just so you could see exactly how I made it.

Watch How To Macrame Video Tutorial

How To Do Macrame

Step 1: Cut The Rope And Tie On The Branch

  1. I started by cutting 20 pieces of rope seven feet long.
  2. Next, I secured the ropes to the sycamore branch with a reverse larkshead knot. Watch the video tutorial to see exactly what I’m talking about.
  3. Since the ropes are folded in half to attach them to the branch, I ended up with 40 strings hanging down at three and a half feet long.

How to macrame

Make A Triangle Using Square Knots.

  1. To do this, I made a whole row of square knots on the first row.
  2. On the second row, I left out two on each side, and then made square knots with the remaining 36 ropes.
  3. I continued to leave out two more on each side. So, on the third row, I left out four on each side, leaving me with 32 remaining ropes with which to make square knots.
  4. I continued that on until I had only four ropes left in the middle to make the last square knot with. At the bottom of the triangle I made four square knots.
  5. Next, I used the half hitch knot, pulled diagonally, to create the lines that run down along the triangle.

Since, all of this is very difficult to explain in text, I highly recommend watching the video. 😉

I promise this project is super simple. Even if you are a total beginner, you should give it a try!

How to macrame

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How to macrame

Macrame Wall Hanging DIY

Learn how to make your own wall art with this macrame wall hanging DIY video tutorial

Tools

  • stick (driftwood/tree branch are awesome hanger options!)
  • macrame cord
  • scissors

Instructions

THE PROCESS
I started by cutting 20 pieces of rope seven feet long.

Next, I secured the ropes to the sycamore branch with a reverse larkshead knot. Watch the video tutorial to see exactly what I’m talking about.

Since the ropes are folded in half to attach them to the branch, I ended up with 40 strings hanging down at three and a half feet long.

Next, I made a triangle using square knots.

To do this, I made a whole row of square knots on the first row. On the second row, I left out two on each side, and then made square knots with the remaining 36 ropes. I continued to leave out two more on each side. So, on the third row, I left out four on each side, leaving me with 32 remaining ropes with which to make square knots.

I continued that on until I had only four ropes left in the middle to make the last square knot with. At the bottom of the triangle I made four square knots.

Next, I used the half hitch knot, pulled diagonally, to create the lines that run down along the triangle.

Since, all of this is very difficult to explain in text, I highly recommend watching the video. 😉

I promise this project is super simple. Even if you are a total beginner, you should give it a try!

Learn how to tie four must-know knots essential to macramé.

Macramé has been a popular craft for centuries, and this decorative knot-tying technique is still beloved today. The process involves weaving, twisting, and knotting cords to form unique designs, and it’s often used to create home accessories such as wall hangings and plant holders. Requiring only a few materials, macramé is a great craft project for beginners (including kids!). To learn how to macramé, you’ll first need several lengths of cord or rope and an object to tie your knots around. The support should be sturdy yet thin enough that you can easily loop strands of cord around it. Some examples of good macramé supports include wood dowels, tree branches, and metal hoops.

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to practice macramé knot techniques. By incorporating a variety of knots into your design, you can give your project interesting texture and added dimension. Below, we’ll walk you through some of the most common macramé knot types and how to do them. Once you have these methods mastered, mix and match the different types of knots to create your own distinctive designs. The possibilities are limitless!

How to Tie Macramé Knots

You can use a variety of tying techniques to create unique macramé designs. Here are some of the most common types of macramé knots:

1. Lark’s Head: This knot (pictured far left in the photo above) typically starts a project and secures your cord or rope to the dowel (or whatever you’re weaving on). To tie a lark’s head knot, loop one end of the cord over the dowel and bring that end across the front of the remaining cord. Bring the end under and around the dowel to create a loop and feed the end through. Pull to tighten and even out the ends as needed.

2. Square Knot: Tied over and over in a tight repeat, square knots (pictured second from left, above) create a chunky textured band. Learn how to create this knot using the step-by-step instructions, below.

3. Alternating Square Knot: This macramé knot (pictured center, above) creates a diamond pattern and can be used to form wide panels. Starting with eight cords, you tie rows of square knots, alternating the cords you use with each row. Tie one square knot with the inner four cords, then tie two knots using the four cords on either side.

4. Spiral Knot: In this tying technique, knots wind into a twisting pattern (pictured right, above). You’ll start the knot as you would a square knot and simply repeat the first step over and over. The knot will start to turn as you move down.

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.

New to macrame? You’re in luck. These beginner macrame projects are perfect if you’re just starting out.

A lot of these are small or mini versions so they are not as intimidating.

Complete them in a weekend!

To make it even easier, be sure to check out my post on Basic Macrame knots and download your free handy macrame knot pdf.

It’s easy to see why macrame is such a popular DIY project. Bringing macrame into your decor invites that chic, bohemian vibe into our homes.

Macrame pieces are not only crafts, but they are also artwork. Those intricate knots can be mesmerizing!

There are so many uses for macrame too (plant hangers, fruit and veggie holders, decorative wall hangings, and even jewelry!) And you don’t have to make it complicated either.

The simple projects look as good as the complicated projects if you ask me.

Amazon sells the materials needed for most of these macrame projects. Just go to Amazon and search “macrame cord” and “macrame rings” and a bunch of good options comes up.

Actually – you can buy finished pieces of macrame too, but where’s the fun in that!?

Beginner Macrame Projects

I’ve rounded up some easy projects that are super cute and fun to try.

1 // Mini Macrame Plant Hanger

How to macrame

How cute is this macrame plant hanger! Get the full tutorial at Think.Make.Share.

2 // Macrame Necklaces

How to macrame

Oh yes, you can wear macrame! Get the full tutorial for these super cute necklaces at Lia Griffith.

3 // Beaded Macrame Plant Hanger

How to macrame

I love the beads here! Get the full tutorial at Madeinaday.com.

4 // Mini Macrame Wall Hangings

How to macrame

These are so fun to make and a bonus: you don’t need a huge amount of cords. Find the tutorial for mini macrame hangings here!

5 // DIY Macrame feathers

How to macrame

These are sure to impress your friends. Lots of oohs and ahhs for these feathers. Get the tutorial for these Macrame Feathers here.

6 // Macrame Jar Hangers with Fairy Lights

How to macrame

These look absolutely magical at night. I stuffed each jar (old yogurt jars) with fairy lights. Just dreamy! Make these macrame jar hangers here.

7 // Easy Macrame Wall Hanging (only one knot)

How to macrame

This wall hanging with beads takes just one knot. Get the full tutorial for the DIY wall hanging with beads here.

8 // Macrame Spiral Knot Christmas Ornaments

How to macrame

These spiral knot Christmas Ornaments will shine on your tree. Get the full tutorial for these macrame Christmas ornaments (plus video) right here.

9 // Macrame Placemats

How to macrame

Macrame placemats are a perfect addition to your table. These placemats only take three knots. Get the details for these DIY macrame placemats right here.

10 // Macrame Mason Jars

How to macrame

Take a boring mason jar and macrame it up. Get the full tutorial for these macrame mason jars right here.

11 // Simple Macrame Wall Hanging

How to macrame

This modern wall hanging is super easy to complete and will look great on your walls. You can use this as a jumping-off point for your own creations. Get the full tutorial for this macrame wall hanging here.

12 // Boho Macrame Pillow

How to macrame

This project takes a bit more time but it’s still just as easy! You’ll love the pattern of this DIY Boho Macrame Pillow, and you can make it any size you want.

13 // Macrame Produce Bag

How to macrame

This adorable and trendy produce bag is a cinch to make. You only need one type of knot and a few materials. Get the full tutorial at Say Yes.

14 // Macrame Bracelet

How to macrame

More jewelry for you! You can make this beautiful macrame bracelet and you won’t believe the materials she used to make it. Hint: You may have to look in your garage. Get the full tutorial right here.

15 // Macrame Ball Ornament

How to macrame

This is a fun little video showing you how to make these really cool macrame ball ornaments. See the video by Oh My Knot here.

16 // Macrame Banner

These macrame banners can jazz up a kid’s room or playroom, heck they can even be used in your room (hung above the bed!) Get the tutorial for this macrame banner right here.

I hope you guys enjoyed these macrame projects and feel inspired to try something new.

Want more? Follow my Pinterest Board for Macrame for more cool projects!

Macramé is a beautiful and complex art form.

And our newest crafting obsession.

How to macrame

Maybe you’re looking for a new hobby, have heard about some of the beautiful things you can create, or just want to understand more about the craft. What is macramé, how does it work, and what do you need to get started?

Fear not – we’re here to break down the complicated and the simple, so you can dive into this fun new craft.

Let’s take it away…

What is Macramé?

It’s a textile art, just like crocheting and knitting.

Unlike crocheting and knitting, however, macramé products are made by knotting string or a cord with basic knots.

How to macrame

Photo by miracle design (CC BY-ND 2.0 licence)

The name for a knotted piece of cord is a sennit.

There are several varieties of macramé, distinguished by which knots are primarily used in the project. Cavandoli macramé, for example, is usually done entirely with the double half hitch knot.

We’ll cover the different types of knots in just a moment.

Macramé Tools and Supplies

One of the things we love about macramé is that it doesn’t require any special supplies. You just need any stick and some kind of cord or string.

This can be a pencil and some yarn for a small project, or a broom and some paracord for a larger project. You can also use fancier materials, if you’d like, but it’s best to keep it simple when you’re first starting out.

The cord or string is hung off of the stick or rod, and you make the knots in your cord while it is supported by the stick.

The finer the cord, the more detailed patterns you can create in your macramé article.

Thicker cord results in faster macramé and less finely detailed patterns.

Cord is sold and differentiated by how many individual strands it is composed of: four-ply cord, for example, is composed of four strands twisted together.

The thickness of the cord is dependent on what material it is composed of: cord made of cotton and cord made of leather are different thicknesses.

The cord you choose for your project depends on what you hope to accomplish. If you’re attempting a detailed project, like a light window covering, you’ll want a thinner, low-ply cord like cotton and a rod long enough to hold all the required cord.

If you’re using macramé to create something that’s meant for heavy use, like a plant holder, you’ll want stronger cord like jute that can handle the heavy use for both indoors and outdoors.

Getting Started: Macramé Basic Knots

There are several basic knots used to create macramé patterns and items, so getting started doesn’t require a great deal of know-how.

We definitely recommend watching videos to learn how to create these knots with various types of cord and with differing numbers of individual cords.

There are a huge number of resources on websites like YouTube that have specific examples and methods for creating these knots.

Here are a few to get you started:

Lark’s Head Knot

The lark’s head knot is a common and basic knot which is used to attach your cord to the rod.

Half Knot

Square Knot

Vertical Half Hitch

Diagonal Double Half Hitch

Horizontal Double Half Hitch

Half hitch knots can be created with various numbers of cords and different methods.

You can also use traditional braiding in making macramé pieces.

By combining knots, traditional braiding techniques, and some creativity, macramé results in beautiful but practical works of art.

How to do Macramé

The first step to learning how to macramé is learning how to read macramé patterns.

Macramé patterns, unlike other textile patterns, don’t require counting stitches or knots.

Instead, macramé patterns describe how to arrange knots and braids to result in a long thread of macramé (a sennit), and multiple threads can be combined to create a larger project.

The patterns detail individual steps for individual knots, often accompanied by pictures.

Some patterns also detail instructions for how to combine various sennits into beautiful objects; other patterns only detail how to create individual sennits. Sennits can be combined in many different ways.

Where to Find Macramé Knots and Patterns

There are many places throughout the internet to find patterns for macrame articles or clothing.

Special online communities are dedicated to exchanging patterns, finding free or cheap macramé patterns, and talking about fun projects in progress, making it a great group experience as well as an individual hobby.

Pinterest

Where would we crafters be without Pinterest?

There’s an absolute wealth of free macrame patterns and knots on here that are just waiting to be discovered by you.

Check out our macrame board for starters:

Macramé Subreddit

This subreddit is a community within Reddit that is focused on macramé, sharing patterns, helping beginners, constructive criticism, and sharing finished projects. You can find it here.

YouTube

Along with adorable cat videos, YouTube hosts a remarkable amount of macramé patterns and instructional videos.

‘Macramé instructions,’ ‘how to make basic macramé knots,’ and ‘how to macrame a window covering’ are good searches to get to beginner tutorials and videos.

You can also search for other projects that you would like instructions on by keying in ‘beginner macramé projects’ or ‘macramé projects for beginners.’

Macramé is becoming very popular; forums and discussion groups are popping up all over the interweb. With all these resources, and its inherent simplicity, it’s a great craft to pick up.

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.

New to macrame? You’re in luck. These beginner macrame projects are perfect if you’re just starting out.

A lot of these are small or mini versions so they are not as intimidating.

Complete them in a weekend!

To make it even easier, be sure to check out my post on Basic Macrame knots and download your free handy macrame knot pdf.

It’s easy to see why macrame is such a popular DIY project. Bringing macrame into your decor invites that chic, bohemian vibe into our homes.

Macrame pieces are not only crafts, but they are also artwork. Those intricate knots can be mesmerizing!

There are so many uses for macrame too (plant hangers, fruit and veggie holders, decorative wall hangings, and even jewelry!) And you don’t have to make it complicated either.

The simple projects look as good as the complicated projects if you ask me.

Amazon sells the materials needed for most of these macrame projects. Just go to Amazon and search “macrame cord” and “macrame rings” and a bunch of good options comes up.

Actually – you can buy finished pieces of macrame too, but where’s the fun in that!?

Beginner Macrame Projects

I’ve rounded up some easy projects that are super cute and fun to try.

1 // Mini Macrame Plant Hanger

How to macrame

How cute is this macrame plant hanger! Get the full tutorial at Think.Make.Share.

2 // Macrame Necklaces

How to macrame

Oh yes, you can wear macrame! Get the full tutorial for these super cute necklaces at Lia Griffith.

3 // Beaded Macrame Plant Hanger

How to macrame

I love the beads here! Get the full tutorial at Madeinaday.com.

4 // Mini Macrame Wall Hangings

How to macrame

These are so fun to make and a bonus: you don’t need a huge amount of cords. Find the tutorial for mini macrame hangings here!

5 // DIY Macrame feathers

How to macrame

These are sure to impress your friends. Lots of oohs and ahhs for these feathers. Get the tutorial for these Macrame Feathers here.

6 // Macrame Jar Hangers with Fairy Lights

How to macrame

These look absolutely magical at night. I stuffed each jar (old yogurt jars) with fairy lights. Just dreamy! Make these macrame jar hangers here.

7 // Easy Macrame Wall Hanging (only one knot)

How to macrame

This wall hanging with beads takes just one knot. Get the full tutorial for the DIY wall hanging with beads here.

8 // Macrame Spiral Knot Christmas Ornaments

How to macrame

These spiral knot Christmas Ornaments will shine on your tree. Get the full tutorial for these macrame Christmas ornaments (plus video) right here.

9 // Macrame Placemats

How to macrame

Macrame placemats are a perfect addition to your table. These placemats only take three knots. Get the details for these DIY macrame placemats right here.

10 // Macrame Mason Jars

How to macrame

Take a boring mason jar and macrame it up. Get the full tutorial for these macrame mason jars right here.

11 // Simple Macrame Wall Hanging

How to macrame

This modern wall hanging is super easy to complete and will look great on your walls. You can use this as a jumping-off point for your own creations. Get the full tutorial for this macrame wall hanging here.

12 // Boho Macrame Pillow

How to macrame

This project takes a bit more time but it’s still just as easy! You’ll love the pattern of this DIY Boho Macrame Pillow, and you can make it any size you want.

13 // Macrame Produce Bag

How to macrame

This adorable and trendy produce bag is a cinch to make. You only need one type of knot and a few materials. Get the full tutorial at Say Yes.

14 // Macrame Bracelet

How to macrame

More jewelry for you! You can make this beautiful macrame bracelet and you won’t believe the materials she used to make it. Hint: You may have to look in your garage. Get the full tutorial right here.

15 // Macrame Ball Ornament

How to macrame

This is a fun little video showing you how to make these really cool macrame ball ornaments. See the video by Oh My Knot here.

16 // Macrame Banner

These macrame banners can jazz up a kid’s room or playroom, heck they can even be used in your room (hung above the bed!) Get the tutorial for this macrame banner right here.

I hope you guys enjoyed these macrame projects and feel inspired to try something new.

Want more? Follow my Pinterest Board for Macrame for more cool projects!

In Free Macrame Patterns you will learn the ancient craft of using beautiful decorative knots to make artistic designs.

Macrame has been around for over 1000 years, and it is once again becoming quite popular. We’ve developed this site to help encourage this unique craft to thrive.

Here you will find over 300 pages of instructions and photos to help you create a variety of modern and vintage projects, including handcrafted jewelry.

In each area of this site you can click on the images or links to go to the page described .

To get the free patterns, all you need to do is PRINT the pages you need. Be sure to read our Terms of Use page first.

Beginners should follow the steps below to learn Macrame:

Start by reading all the pages in Macrame Essentials.

From choosing cord material, to selecting the right beads, the subjects covered are very important to learn if you want to be successful in Macrame.

The next step is to visit Learn Macrame. There you will find a library of decorative knots, both basic and unique.

Practice ALL the basic and vintage knots on the page until you can make them without instructions.

The Free Macrame Patterns listed in other areas will be much easier to make if you practice first.

Are you experienced in the art of Macrame and interested in learning some new techniques?

These symbolic knots were created long ago and are interesting projects on their own.

Pages With Free Macrame Patterns

Once you are finished practicing the basic knots and are comfortable with them, it’s time to create something!

The Free Macrame Patterns can be found in the 4 sections described below.

Each pattern listed on the following pages is free to print . There is a list of supplies as well as links to the knots used in the design.

Micro-Macrame contains projects using fine materials, such as Satin, Leather, and Hemp.

Listed in this section are a variety of free patterns for bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and earrings.

Macrame Patterns contains projects for home decorating, gifts, organizing and more.

There are patterns for plant hangers, fashion items, and holiday decorations you can print and create.

Click on “Patterns” on the left menu or on this image.

In Macrame for Kids you’ll find small projects that can be made by children ages 6 and older.

These are great projects for beginners!

Contact the Designer

This site is again being updated and improved, so some patterns may be taken off the lists and archived.

Contact me if cannot find the pattern you need.

You can also contact me to:

  • Ask for help and advice
  • Send me suggestions for new projects
  • Ask questions about the patterns found here
  • Get help to navigate this site

The green banner on the left upper area of each page will bring you to the Etsy Shop, AcajouCrafts.

Both Macrame and Micro-Macrame jewelry supplies are available, as are some of the actual handcrafted items seen in this site.