(Also make sure to check out my macrame wall hanging tutorial!)
As I recently told you, I’m addicted to macrame. Funnily enough, I found out later that my mom used love to “knot”. Who would have thought? I guess the saying is true, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But I did not learn from my mom, instead I learned the first knots via Pinterest. I always use Pinterest to collect my inspiration pictures and usually find the best DIY tutorials there. But for Macrame that’s not the case. I’ve been looking for a while and have not found a good tutorial. Instead, I concentrated on learning the various knots, and then began to experiment with designing my own patterns. So that you guys don’t have to troal through the internet to find instructions, I have decided to explain them all today in detail.
Caveat: There are also mega simple versions, where you actually have to make only a handful of knots. But I love the slightly more complex patterns. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that today’s DIY is complicated. The hardest and most annoying step is actually measuring and cutting the cords. But let’s start from the beginning.
- 45-50 m cord. I used 3mm thick cotton string. Here is the exact one that I used
- a tape measure
- Washi tape or some other tape
- a hook, doorknob, nail in the wall, etc. Just something to hang the plant hanger on while you knot
- Knowledge of the various knots (try this as an exercise first, otherwise you will be frustrated later): Bay node loops, vertical bay node loop, reef knot and wave nodes
Step 1 – Measuring & Cutting
You need 8 x 5.4m cords. I always measure the first length of cord and then use it to measure the remaining seven, that way I don’t need to constantly use the tape measure. For this tutorial, you also need 1 x 1m and 1 x 2m.
Step 2 – The loop
When you are done you will want to hang the plant hanger somewhere. Some use a metal ring to make the hanger at the top of their. I didn’t have one, but you actually don’t need one if you make your own (this is a little more complicated, a simple variant is to use a metal ring):
- Sets the eight cords together and fold it in half, so you have 16 strings with a loop top (see picture below, I do not know if my explanations are the best, just ask in the comments if you need clarification)
- Tape about 7 cm below the top of the loop (see picture above)
- Now you will take the 2m cord and tie it with a bay knot to the top of the loop (see picture below)
- With the right string knotted you can now loop around the middle of the loop with a vertical bay knot: take the right thread over the loop, then under the loop and then through the thread – tighten (not too tight, just so that that it holds). Then you take the same thread, passing through under the loop, upward through the loop and pull at the thread through – tightening. Continue doing that until one half of the loop is done and then you take the left-hand thread and do the same the other way (exactly you can find a description here, the Covering ring technique: http://www.free-macrame-patterns.com/vertical-larks-head.html)
Step 3 – Secure the loop
- Now you have a nice, decorative loop, but it’s not held together nicely. Take off the tape. With the 1m-string tie the loop together with a “Gathering knot” with this method (cut all the extras that hang out and using a screwdriver push them into the “Gathering Knot”):
Step 4 – actually Macrame
Finally we can really start, the hardest part, I think, is already done. As I said, you can also just use a ring, but I find a loop of string much prettier.
Now separate the 16 strings into 4 groups of 4 and start knotting:
- In one group knot a 25 cm long section with wave knots (this is a variant of the square knot, see above). This it repeated for the other 3 groups, will ensure that the pattern is the same length everywhere.
- Then for the next 15 cm make no knots, let the strings hang free, and then make a big normal knot. This it repeated for all groups.
- Now you knot 25 cm length with the square knot. This it repeated for the other 3 groups, again to ensure that the pattern is the same length everywhere.
- Now you let the string free for 10 cm and then knot two square knot, BUT with two strings from one group and two strings from the adjacent group (see figure below). This it repeated for the other 3 groups, make sure that no strings cross over any strings and that only adjacent strings are knotted together.
- Next you again leave 10 cm free and again take the neighbor threads each and knot them together with 2 square knots.
- Now you have arrived at the end and you can just tie all strings together in a large knot
Pay attention to:
- do not overtighten the knots, otherwise the pattern will bend
- try to keep the knots uniform, but as long as you don’t pull too hard on the knots it should be easy
- The plant hanger will end up being about 1.4 meters long and fits well for pots 15-25 cm diameter. Mine has a diameter of 19 cm, but it also accommodates smaller
- Practice the knots before or else you will become really frustrated
- Using another thread size / thickness / type, will result in the plant hanger being smaller or larger.