Macrame is back in style! If your style is even a little bit boho, a macrame wall hanging is a must-have decor item. Of course, you can buy one (Walmart sells a great selection of macrame wall hangings), but if you’re looking for a something a little more unique, customizable, and that you can brag about (you crafting star!), look no further: you’ve come to the right knot (that’s a macrame pun).
But first, what is macrame?
Macrame is a textile that uses decorative knots. It can be created using materials like cording, twine, or yarn. Any kind of rope-like cord can be knotted into a macrame textile. You’ll find this textile used in wall hangings, but it can also be used for macrame plant hangers or even clothing.
There are many macrame knots (if you’re interested in learning more knots there are a number of books on macrame) and by combining them you can make endless combinations of designs.
Remember friendship bracelets?
Choosing from many different knots to make a unique design can be overwhelming. That’s why we made this beginner tutorial that is both easy to do and easy to understand—and may even be familiar!
How easy is it? We’re taking you back to a childhood favorite by using a technique and a knot you may already know: the Friendship Bracelet knot (also known in the macrame world as the diagonal double half hitch knot). Yes, the friendship bracelets you made at camp are a form of macrame.
If you thought this project looked familiar it’s because it kind-of is. Using chevron-style friendship bracelet knots (again, formally called diagonal double half hitch knots) we made this wall hanging that you can complete in an afternoon.
Alrighty then: it’s time to get knotty & make something nice.
Hover & click to shop macrame wall hanging supplies.
The basic knot
How to knot a friendship bracelet-style (diagonal double half hitch) forward knot and backward knot.
Hold the bottom string (blue cord) firmly and take the top string (red cord) over and then under the bottom string. Pull the top string through with your right hand so that it forms a 90-degree angle as you guide it away from you, towards the knot holding the bracelet together. Do this 2 times to make each knot.
Hold the bottom string (red cord) firmly and take the top string (blue cord) over and then under the bottom string in the reverse direction as you did the forward knot. Pull the top string through with your left hand so that it forms a 90-degree angle as you guide it away from you, towards the knot holding the bracelet together. Do this 2 times to make each knot.
Step 1. Paint a wooden dowel with rose gold acrylic paint.
Step 2. While the paint dries, measure the cord.
- 9 lengths of cord, 6 yards each, for the center panel
- 6 lengths of cord, 4 yards each, for the side pieces
Put aside the 4-yard cords, you’ll use them later for the side pieces.
Step 3. Attach the 9 6-yard cords of the center panel to the painted dowel. Here you’ll use what’s called the Lark’s Head knot to attach them. Fold the cord in half, create a loop on the right side of dowel, and pull the tail ends of the cord through the loop. Tug firmly to tighten and repeat with the remaining 8 cords.
Step 4. Next, attach your dowel to a sturdy object such as a giant clipboard made with poster board and large binder clips.
Clipboard tip: Remember how, when making friendship bracelets, it was a lot easier to do when you used a clipboard to secure it while you made the knots? Here we create a giant version of a clipboard using poster board and large binder clips. Alternatively, you can also clamp the dowel to a sturdy object like a table using clamps or even duct tape.
Step 5. Time to start making knots! Starting from the far-left strand, use the friendship knot method to tie 8 forward knots toward the center.
Step 6. Then, using the far-right strand, use the friendship knot method to tie 8 backward knots towards the center.
You should now have even sides, with 8 knots each. Tie the center using the forward or backward knot technique (alternating which you choose every other row). Repeat this process, starting with the far left strand and making forward knots into the center, and then the far right strand and making backward knots to the center.
Step 7. The first row always looks a little wobbly and like a bunch of random knots. That’s okay! It’ll start to form the chevron shape more distinctly after a few rows.
Step 8. Keep knotting until you have 15 chevron rows. Once you have 15 rows, you’re done knotting the main piece.
Step 9. Next we add the side pieces. Add the 4 yard-long pieces to either side of the main piece, 4 on each side. Use the same Lark’s Head knot method as you did in Step 3.
Step 10. Using just 2 strands at a time, tie forward knot after forward knot, always starting with the strand of cord on your left. (In macrame this long row of knots is called a sinnet.)
Step 11. The number of knots for each length of the sinnet should gradually get shorter as you go out to the end of the dowel. We used 14 knots for the sinnet closest to the center piece, then 11 knots, then 8, then 6. Repeat with the cords on the right of the center piece with the longest sinnets closest to the main section.
In other words, from left to right the knots should be 6–8–11–14–15–knot center piece–14–11–8–6.
Step 12. Trim the excess cording. We chose layered lengths that were about as long as the body of the main macrame piece. How and how long you cut these lengths is ultimately up to you, whether you want it precisely cut or more choppy and organic, and whether you want it short or long.
Step 13. Attach the cord for hanging. Measure and cut a length of cord at least 1 yard long, wrap the cord around the ends, and tie a secure knot. Once you’re happy with the length of the hanger, you can trim off the excess.
Step 14. Last but certainly not least, rough up the cut ends of the macrame to give it a more organic boho look.
Your macrame wall hanging is now ready to hang!