Arts & Crafts: How to do macrame

One thing that I have been missing a lot recently is crafting. I used to spend a lot of my spare time making things, all of which were self taught. Pom poms, tissue honeycomb balls, wall hangings, signs and dream catchers. Lately, I just don’t seem to have (or make) time to do things like this anymore, which is a shame as I find it all very therapeutic.

So, I decided to dust out the craft box and have a go at macrame. Macrame is the art of knotting – you can produce bracelets, beautiful wall hangings, plant holders and even pretty little leaves all using cotton cord or wool.

scissors & string
Photo credit: Sarah Stockley

As a novice, I decided to watch a YouTube beginners guide to learn the basic square knots. You will need a wooden dowling rod or a stick, I just went outdoors and found myself a stick, it was around 30cm long.

It was tempting to go for a magnificent design but I went for a basic one with only a few knot variations. The cord I used is a 3mm cotton cord, you can pick these rolls of cord up online.

How to do macrame

First, you will need to measure out your lengths of cord, I was given the great tip to do an arms length and then double it. The design I made used 16 lengths of cord. To begin with you will need to cast on as it were, this was very easy using a Lark’s head knot. You basically fold a length of cord in half, drape it over the stick and pull the two loose ends through the loop.

One of the basic knots that features in all patterns is the square knot. This is hard to explain in writing, again I would suggest watching a square knot tutorial. 

The only other knot I used was a half hitch, which is basically just a normal knot. I used this diagonally to join the lengths together.

Learning the art of macrame

It was all a bit trial and error for me, the beauty of macrame is that if you go wrong it is very easy to undo the knots and start again (which I had to do a couple of times).

To finish off my wall hanging I used another length of cord to form an arch shape, I then tied on some more shorter lengths of cord to create a fringe. The beauty of the 3mm cotton cord is that it frays really nicely. I actually used a little dolls (think Barbie dolls) hair brush to create the frayed edging. 

To end the design I decided to tie the fringing together and – viola! This is my first attempt at macrame. What do you think?

wall hanging macramePhoto credit: Sarah Stockley

It was all produced via watching and reading tutorials. It gave me an evening off of my computer and actually, it really didn’t take too long at all. I think I am ready to give some of the more intricate designs a bash now, maybe even a hanging plant pot holder?

Do any of you craft as a hobby? I would love to hear more.

how to do macrame
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About Sarah Stockley

Sarah is mum to three children and a plethora of animals (mostly cats) and lives in Surrey. You’ll often find her family exploring the great outdoors, foraging in the woods, camping and visiting festivals. Sarah also loves to upcycle things and will happily turn an old pallet into a rustic shabby chic sign. She studied Art and Design at college and when she’s not blogging at Kippers and Curtains she also likes to make bohemian style dreamcatchers. This mum is also never far from her camera – much to the annoyance of her children.