Macrame for beginners – My Life Handmade

Macrame for beginners

With DIY tutorials on YouTube, Pinterest and personal blogger sites rife, it’s safe to say people have fallen hook, line and sinker for Macramé! Macramé is otherwise known as the art of decoratively tying knots to make a textile.

During the 70’s Macramé became mainstream with tassels, placemats, plant slings, picture frames, hammocks and wall hangings taking over the home.

Whilst macramé is still used for creating these familiar items, nowadays it’s being used to create much more too. This includes the likes of clothing, jewellery and candle decoration.

There are a few basic supplies you’ll need to get started with your own Macramé project, but it’s good to know that you don’t need to invest in any needles as it’s all done by hand.

Basic Macramé Essentials

  • Macramé Cord Or Rope
  • Dowel or Hoop
  • Scissors

The My Life Handmade Macrame Kit includes the majority of what you need to get started!

You can either use Cord or Rope to Macramé with. Macramé Cord is usually a 6 strand (or more) braided cord that is very, very tightly wound cotton. Cord is a little stiffer to use and very difficult to unravel, but it is extremely strong, so it's good for weight bearing pieces and if you're looking to add lots of structure to your work. 

Macramé Rope on the other hand is usually 3-strand rope (sometimes called 3-ply) where the strands are twisted around each other. Macramé rope is still strong, but you have the ability to untwist it, which offers a fun, wavy fringe, so it is great for adding texture to your work.

Here's How To Macramé

As a beginner, we would recommend using a dowel/stick or a curtain hoop to start your project on. This would then be attached to a surface to be able to start your project - we would recommend using some string to attach your project to a pin or hook.

The Three Basic Macramé Knots

Out of the hundreds of knots that can be used for Macramé, there are three key ones. Once you have learnt these then you can repeat these knots over and over to create a piece of Macramé art.

The Larks Head Knot – this forms the foundation of many macramé designs.

The Square Knot – this is one of the most commonly found knots which is perfect for Macramé jewellery and you can even add decorative beads in between knots.

Double Half Hitch – this knot is great for creating a multi stand weave. It’s an important decorative knot that is used in many designs.

Top Tips For Beginning Macramé

  • If you’re a beginner, rope is the best material to start testing out your Macramé knots with. It’s not as stretchy as wool or cotton yarns and is ideal for trying to master out tension and spacing.
  • Most people find it easier to Macramé standing up than sitting down.
  • If you’re new to Macramé, we suggest you start by learning just a couple of basic patterns and knots to get your technique on its way.
  • Don’t give up if your first try is unsuccessful, you need to keep practising to perfect your technique and get all your knots looking the same.
  • While you’re learning it’ll take a couple of goes to get the right length of cord – this can often be your biggest obstacle. You don’t want too little cord since it can be complicated to add extra to your piece.
  • To stop the ends of your cord fraying put some washi tape or masking tape around them.
  • To keep your cords whilst you’re practising Macramé, separate organise them using clothes pegs.

We’ll be featuring some Macramé knotting tutorials over on our Facebook page later this week so make sure you keep an eye on our page.

Photo credits: Mary In Vancity