Easy Tutorial for Basic Macrame Knots

1 Material
30 Minutes

By conquering just the few basic knots in this tutorial, you can make lovely macrame projects!
We’re in the middle of an epidemic. Macramania! Ropes, cord, knots and lots more crazy bondage designs are invading our nests. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving it. The ancient art of macrame (rope-weaving) originated in the 13th century. Since then, those first primitive knot designs used by Assyrian sailors have made their way from fishing vessels to our mothers’ living rooms (plant hangers) to our daughters’ wrists (friendship bracelets.) And now today’s generation is hanging intricate wall-hangings in their digs. 

Ready to hop aboard? Macrame is really not that difficult once you learn a few basic knots.
Lark’s Head Knot -

In most macrame projects, a simple knot is used to attach the rope to the pole. It is called the Lark’s Head Knot.
Square Knot -

The most common macrame knot is the Square Knot, and many beautiful wall-hangings can be made just using this one knot.
  1. Always work with 4 strands of rope.
  2. Place the right outside rope across the 2 center ropes. (Always start with the right side.)
  3. Run the left outside rope over the right outside rope then under the center cords and up through the opening.
  4. With the outside strands, gently tighten the knot. 
  5. Make sure the knot is taunt, but be careful not to pull too strongly.
  6. (Now repeat the first four steps, starting with the left side this time.) Place the left outside rope across the 2 center ropes.
  7. Run the right outside rope over the left outside rope then under the center cords and up through the opening.
With the outside strands, gently tighten the knot.

Next, the Double Square Knot -
  1. Work with 8 strands of rope instead of 4.
  2. Place the 2 right outside ropes across the 4 center ropes. (Always start with the right side.)
  3. Run the 2 left outside ropes over the right outside ropes then under the 4 center cords and up through the opening.
  4. With the outside strands, gently tighten the knot. 
  5. (Now repeat the first four steps, starting with the left side this time.) 
With the outside strands, gently tighten the knot.

Now on to the Wrapped Knot -

This technique is frequently used to tie off the bottom of macrame planters. 

  1. Cut an extra piece of rope that is approximately 4 feet long. With the extra piece, make a small loop (about 3-4″ long) next to the area on the planter where you want to tie it off.
  2. Leaving the top of the loop visible, begin the wrap the extra cord tightly around the entire cluster of cords.
  3. Keep wrapping it downward until there is just a small bit of the loop showing.
  4. Run the end of the “wrapping cord” through the part of the loop still showing.
Using the top of the “wrapping cord” that was left showing, pull upwards firmly in order to bring the bottom loop and rope end under the wrapped section (so they are hidden).
Once finished with the Wrapped Knot, cut the ends of the planter to the desired length.

Suggested materials:

  • Cotton clothesline rope  (Amazon)

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Wendy at myfrenchtwist.com

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Linda Lavine
    on Apr 4, 2019

    How do I figure how long my cords need to be on each project? I always seem to have a lot of waste

    • Wendy at myfrenchtwist.com
      on Apr 10, 2019

      That is always so tricky. I've read that each cord (which will be tied in a Lark's HEad knot, so it is actually a "double" cord.. should be 8 times the finished length of project. However, I have found this formula to be too much! It seems like 6x is a safe formula. Hope this helps.

Join the conversation

2 of 5 comments
  • Sh
    on Apr 18, 2019

    This reminded me of one of the largest macrame I did. I am a beginner.

    I learned how to do all the knots I liked. Then I used them to make shade hangers for my front door. Since I did not know how to figure the size, I hung the wooden rod like you would use for a curtain. My end project had, the front door with had the wall hanger covering the window, & the two window side panels were narrow & made to fit.

    I used twine from the hardware store. I have pics but, not sure how to post. Thanks again.

  • Wendy at myfrenchtwist.com
    on Apr 20, 2019

    It sounds so interesting! If you figure out how to post pics, I'd love to see them!

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