Learn How to Create Stunning Macrame Decor

In this post, we teach you how to Create Beautiful Macrame Wall Art and answer All your Macrame related Questions!

Learn everything you need to know to create stunning macrame projects. Go from beginner to confident crafter in a matter of days with our macrame how-to guide, our macrame resource list and our personal macrame advice.

Learn how to make this beautiful wall hanging

Macrame is making a big comeback. As boho chic decor has become a leading decor trend, macrame has regained its popularity. Macrame is a strong style element in the trending style of bohemian and modern boho designs.

So, you want to learn how to macrame?

Or maybe you’re still asking yourself, “Is there any way I could learn to do this?”

How hard is it really?

I am here to take all of the mystery out of this fun retro crafting trend called macrame. I want to make one thing clear before we even start. You can do this. I know you may still have your doubts. But that’s why I’m here, and that’s why I’m writing this macrame tutorial. I am going to answer all your questions and hopefully take away any lingering hesitations.

By the time we’re done you’ll:

a) have a beautiful, affordable DIY macrame wall hanging or other macrame decor for your home and

b) be able to add macrame to your list of skills.


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Beginner Macrame

Just like anything in life there are an endless number of ways to go about learning a new skill or craft. I am not going to claim to be an expert on macrame. Actually, I am a total newbie. From one newbie to another I am simply going to take you through my personal journey to show you one way to do it.

I’m going to provide all the resources you need to find your own way to embrace the fun art of macrame. The cool part is that you do not need to be an expert to create absolutely beautiful decor pieces for you home. Honestly, it looks much tougher than it is. So, let’s get to it.

Watch this short YouTube video to glimpse a bit of what this project was like.

First: Practice How to do Macrame

Why should you practice first? Like most anything this project is going to cost you a little bit. How much? Well, my first ‘real’ project cost me about $30 for the macrame rope (or macrame cord, as it is sometimes referred to) and a couple dollars for the wooden dowel.

learn how to macrame

In addition, you can’t run down to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and buy the macramé rope or macrame cord. You’re going to have to order it (more on that later). So, if you’re like me and you like to start a project the day you finally say to yourself “I want to start this” my suggestion is to start like I did with a practice project.

I ran down to Hobby Lobby and picked up some cotton string and a small wooden dowel.

I searched on YouTube for “Easy Macramé Tutorial” and voila, I started my first mini project. There are lots of beginner macrame projects and tutorials on YouTube.

Macrame Practice Project

Reasons I recommend a small “practice” project:

  • It fills the time gap while you wait for your macrame rope.
  • This will give you the chance to get familiar with different macrame knots, their names and how to do them.
  • By the end of your practice project you’ll either be very happy and totally excited to go bigger, or you’ll realize this just isn’t for you.
  • Completing this practice project will give you the confidence to invest your time and money to take the next step to your first “real” macrame project.

Next: What Macrame Project Should I Make?

Decide what project you want to make. Look through photos of macrame online. You can search Etsy, Pinterest, and Google. Do some exploring to see what’s out there.

What types of macrame projects can I make? Start small.

Bigger projects include:

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  1. Decide on the project type. Wall hangings and plant holders are the two popular starter projects.
  2. Where is it going to go? This will help determine what size you’re looking to create.
  3. Find a style that appeals to you. More free-form and organic or symmetric with clean lines and easily defined patterns?

beginner macrame how-to

Where Do I Find Macrame Patterns?

Once you have decided what type of project and which style appeals to you, you’re ready to look for a pattern. I found my pattern on Etsy for under $5.

You do not have to buy a pattern. There are a gazillion YouTube videos that will walk you through making all sorts of projects that you might totally love. Three main reasons I opted to buy a pattern are:

  • I was looking through Etsy to get ideas for what kind of project I wanted to make and realized at that point that buying patterns was an option. I fell in love with a project that was exactly what I was imaging.
  • Patterns are a very affordable option ($5-$10).
  • I liked the idea of not having to work side by side with a video, stopping and starting it constantly. Being away from my computer sounded more relaxing to me.

What Macrame Pattern Did I Use?

I’ve had people ask me for my specific pattern. If you want to narrow down your search and have already fallen in love with this pattern it is called “Four of Diamonds” from Reform Fibers. You can find her patterns on Etsy.

supplies needed to create macrame

What Materials Do I Need for Macrame?

Once you have your project/pattern you will know how much rope to buy. I knew I wanted to use natural cotton cord, but you can let your own taste and style guide you as you choose your color & material. 

  • To give you an idea, my macrame project required 220 feet of 1/4″ (6 mm) 3 strand cotton rope.

Shop 109 yards of 6 mm cotton rope here for your project. This is the best price I found shopping all over Etsy and Amazon.

Here is a list of all the materials you will need:

  • Cotton macrame cord (rope)
  • Wood or metal dowel, or equivalent tree branch or drift wood (for a more organic natural look), if you’re doing wall art
  • Hanging ring if creating a plant hanger
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Tape (I used painters tape which was easy to remove, but masking tape would also be fine)
    • If you don’t want to use tape you could “seal” the ends by melting the ends with a candle flame as an option.
  • Rolling rack for clothes (or alternative method for hanging project, see below)

How Much Time Did my Large Macrame Project Take?

  • This depends largely on the project that you choose but for mine the actual work took about two and a half hours.
  • In total, it took me about three hours because I was reviewing the knots by watching YouTube videos.

Learn to love macrame

Can I Do This?

Yes, I’m here to tell you that you can.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes confessional of my experience:

How Many Times Does it Take to Learn a Macrame Knot?

On my practice project I lost track of how many times I had to rewind the video to the beginning and start over. And yes, I did have moments when I wondered if this was really for me. So, it’s totally normal to have momentary doubts along your learning curve.

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Don’t let this stop you. You may not “get” the knot until your tenth time. But you will get it. Just keep plugging away. Your ah-ha moment is just around the corner.

DIY project made easy

Confession No. 1:

On my first project I never really got the “diagonal clove hitch knot.” No matter what I tried it never looked like the video. I ripped out the entire row several times and started over about three times. I finally decided to “let it go.”

My hypothesis was that the small string I was working with didn’t lend itself well to this stitch. It just wasn’t going to look the same. And guess what? I was right. As soon as I started working with the larger rope the diagonal clove hitch knot looked exactly like the picture. What’s the lesson here? Don’t give up, my friends.

Confession No. 2:

The first time I took a look through the pattern it looked like I was reading a page of Chinese. No need to panic. Remember what I said? You can do this. Do what I did. Take it one step at a time. That is how you will make it through this.

It’s not hard if you take it step by step and keep track of which step you are on. My one mistake I made (I had to rip out an entire row) I made because I got a little too relaxed and didn’t pay enough attention to the step by step process.

Tip: To keep track of where you are in the steps, I recommend using a highlighter and marking off the steps as you complete them.

How to create DIY wall decor

Confession No. 3:

Don’t worry if you completely forget all the knots you thought you already learned in your practice project. You can do what I did. Every time I started on a new knot I just went back to YouTube and looked up the knot. There are easy to follow short videos on every macramé knot in the book. What did we do before YouTube, right?

For more macrame wall art inspiration, visit My French Twist.

Options for Hanging Your Macrame Project While You Work

  • Under supplies I listed “rolling clothing rack.” This is what I used and what was recommended but it is expensive and not necessary if you don’t already own one.
  • You can work with your dowel or ring hung from anywhere that is convenient.
  • You can hang it from a doorknob, a drawer knob, or anywhere you can find to secure your piece.
  • Other ideas are to use a suction cup hook or an over-the-door wreath hanger.
  • You can even take down a piece of art hanging on your wall (temporarily) and hang your piece from the nail.

create stunning wallhanging

All Your Macrame Questions Answered:

Can macrame be washed?

YES. Macrame is very sturdy and does not come apart easily. It can be machine washed at 86 degrees F in a small garment bag. Hang to dry.

Can you use yarn to macrame?

YES. You can use yarn. You should just understand that the size of the macramé knots will only be as big as the yarn or material that you use. The smaller the string, yarn or cord you choose, the smaller the knots will be. If the yarn is too small the knots will not be very visible. Yarn might be a material best suited to a micro-macrame project for use in jewelry making for example, rather than for a larger project like a wall hanging.

Can you macrame with jute?

YES. Jute and hemp used to be very popular with macrame artists but their lack of availability in the market gave rise to using macramé cords out of nylon and satin rayon and other man-made fibers. For beginners, cotton or nylon cords are recommended because they are easier to unravel in the case of a mistake.

How do I choose what type of macrame cord to use for my project?

There are many things to consider when choosing your material.  Availability and cost is always something obvious to consider. But, you may also want to consider the strength of the material for your project. If you want to hang a plant, for example, you want to choose a stronger cord like those made out of jute, leather, ribbon, nylon or cotton.

In addition, you should consider the stiffness of the cord. For jewelry you will want to use thinner more flexible cord like embroidery cord which is made of cotton and is very soft and flexible. If making an outdoor project, either an outdoor plant holder or outdoor hammock you may want to choose a polypropylene cord that is durable and long-lasting.

What size cord should I use?

Depending on your project you will want to choose a thickness of 4.0 mm in diameter or more for larger decorations like wall hangings or plant holders. For smaller micro-macrame projects like bracelets and necklaces you should choose cord that is less than 2.0 mm in diameter.

How much cord do I need for macrame?

The cords that you will use for knotting will need to be about five to six times the finished length. The cords that are your “core” cords that are being used for the shape but not actually being knotted may only need to be about twice the finished length. Remember to leave extra cord length for making fringe or other decorative additions at the ends. And, it’s better to have too much rope than too little. You can always trim long pieces at the end.

How do I keep my knots looking uniform?

The best way to make sure that your knots are uniform is to make sure that you keep the tension on your cords even and that each knot lines up straight on all sides, horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Especially when you are just learning you will want to check each knot and make sure that it lines up with the proceeding knot, that the edges are firm and the loops are even. The best way to insure that your project turns out even is to secure your project. For larger projects you will want to hang them from a clothes rack or from a secure hook. Ideally you will hang your project from two points so that the project doesn’t swing back and forth. For smaller projects like jewelry you will want to make a macrame board.

What is a macrame board?

A macrame board is a place where you will secure your project for knotting. This can be made out of many different materials but basically you want to create a firm surface which you can insert pins into. You can use a cork board, a piece of polyurethane or two pieces of cardboard connected together. The board should be about 12 inches square and thick enough to insert a T pin or corsage pin into without sticking out the other side.

Why is macrame making a comeback?

Macrame was very popular back in the 1970’s with the hippie culture, but it has come back into fashion as part of the recent tribal and Boho (Bohemian) design trends in home decor.

Where did macrame originate?

Macrame is thought to come from the Arabic word “migramah” meaning fringe and refers to the 13th-century tradition used by Arabic weavers to create decorate fringes on camels and horses to keep the flies off the animals.

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It may also come from the Turkish word “makrama” meaning napkin or towel. Macrame was used as a way to secure the bottom edges of loomed fabrics. Earliest recorded uses of macrame appeared in decorative carvings of the Babylonians and Assyrians.

Macrame was most popular in the Victorian era where most homes were adorned with this craft in items such as tablecloths, bedspreads and curtains. In the 17th century Queen Mary even taught macrame to her ladies-in-waiting. Macrame was also a favorite pastime of British and American sailors in the 19th century who made small crafts that they would often sell or trade in port.

Additional Macrame Resources

Free Macrame Patterns – This is a great website for additional macrame information. They have articles for novices, a dictionary of commonly used terms as well as a section for kids. They also offer a variety of free macrame patterns. In their Etsy shop they offer a collection of macrame pattern books, dyed macrame cord and decorative macrame beads and rings.

Modern Macrame– This website has a wealth of information and resources for macrame including a variety of dyed macrame cord as well as helpful DIY Macrame Kits and patterns. For a very simple way to start, they offer a Macrame Wall Hanging Kit for $36 and a Macrame Plant Hanger Kit for $36 that includes everything you need to complete your first simple macrame project. They also have a book “Modern Macrame: 33 Stylish Projects for Your Handmade Home” by Emily Katz which has some beautiful projects you might love.

Pepperell Braiding Company is another great resource for macrame cords and supplies. They also sell decorative accessories like beads and supplies like wooden dowels, plus a variety of cords and DIY kits.

Ready, Set, Macramé.

I hope you’re as excited as I am. I absolutely loved this project, and I seriously can’t wait to start another macrame project. Whether you’re a veteran crafter with tons of other skills under your belt or a novice like me the art of macrame is definitely attainable. If I can do this, you can too. The challenge is exciting, and once you get going it’s relaxing and very enjoyable. I loved every bit of it, and I bet you will too.

Interested in our other crafting projects? We have plenty to explore on the blog, including two great posts all about arm knitting:

Arm Knitting Made Easy

Chunky Knit Throw:  Arm Knitting Is A Great Affordable Option

And other unique craft projects. We hope you enjoy.

How to Create Adorable Organic Hanging Nests

Easy Tutorial to Create Stunning Garden Chandelier

With love,

jodie & julie

easy macrame diy project pin

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Learn How to Create Stunning Macrame Pieces
Article Name
Learn How to Create Stunning Macrame Pieces
Want to learn how to macrame? The Design Twins share their journey from wanna-be-crafter to proud artisan in the matter of days. With frank honesty they share every step of the process, their resources and all you need to know to do the same.
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The Design Twins
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  1. Jane says:

    Hi Jodie & Julie,
    I enjoyed watching your stories on the macrame and love that you add a video to your post. It was fitting for me…I had three smaller macrame’s in my last show. I had purchased them…wanted to see if anyone would buy them before I tried making my own. I like that you unraveled the ends.
    My girlfriend’s little daughter wants to make one for her bedroom so the three of us are going to give it a try.
    thx for the tips, xo

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Jane, How wonderful! Love, love, love the idea of the three of you tackling this together. How fun it will be to have each other there to support and turn it into a little crafting party 🙂 We are thrilled to help inspire you. Let us know how it goes. XO ~ Jodie & Julie

  2. Lucy says:

    Yeah! This has been a project I’ve been wanting to do for years. Yup, I said years! Lol… Thanks for the inspo!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Yay Lucy! Well, we are on the same wave length, seems like! So happy to provide the needed info and the needed nudge to hop to it. We highly recommend trying because we’re so glad we did! XO ~ Jodie & Julie

  3. Dearlives says:

    How pretty ! I couldn’t help making a macrame wall hanging making a macrame wall hanging by myself. Thank you so much!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hey there! So glad you enjoyed our post and are using it for your own inspiration! We hope to see you on the blog and our instagram in the future!
      XO ~ Jodie & Julie

  4. Hi! I found a lot of Macrame Wall Hanging Tutorials here: http://www.youtube.com/user/macrameschool
    Thanks for this tutorial!

  5. Boho Realm says:

    Great Information! I really enjoy reading this blog information. Thank you for sharing this blog information.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      I’m super glad you enjoyed our macrame post. We had a lot of fun learning obviously what is elementary level macrame. But we proved it’s easy enough for anyone to begin and enjoy. Thanks for visiting our blog. Blessings, Julie

  6. Renuka says:

    Thank you for sharing such an informative blog. I love to macrame and started doing so in the 70’s and haven’t done it for many years. My daughter told me it is quite popular again and asked me to create something for her. Glad to know it’s back!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Renuka, Yes, macrame is definitely back. We hope you will start it up again and have fun with it as you did in the 70’s. We hope you’ll let us know how it goes! Blessings to you and your family, Julie & Jodie

      • Carolyn says:

        Made a lot of projects in the 70s. Back then you were limited to mostly jute.
        I am 73 and can’t wait to get started again. So many options available now.

  7. Milly Egan says:

    Julie & Jodie, your macrame project looks so amazing. We would love to give this a try, a great weekend challenge for the family to join in together too.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Milly, Jodie is always the one who is totally game to learn something brand new. She’s very brave and curious haha! But I have to say she hardly ever fails, so I guess it’s a growing confidence! This macrame she said was pretty easy and a whole lot of fun!. XO ~ Julie & Jodie

  8. […] and oodles of hard work are all you need for this project. Of course, a little help from this DIY wouldn’t […]

  9. […] and blogs on how to do it. Don’t be like me! I just did it right away! HAHAHA Here’s one I found on the […]

  10. MiraB says:

    Thank you for your helpful and creative post! I am excited about starting macrame and your suggestions are just what I need to get started on my first project:)

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Mira, We’re so happy you are inspired to create your own macrame project. It’s so much fun once you get the hang of it. Get ready for your next craft addiction. Enjoy 🙂 Jodie & Julie

  11. […] retro items are coming back into style. This includes things like macramé decor for the home. You can even learn how to make your own designs so that you can personalize […]

  12. […] starting a new macra​me project, there are many things to run through. The selection of the right fiber comes on the top. […]

  13. Ver says:

    Is the macrame in the picture below the youtube tutorial also made by You? I would be really grateful If You could share the name of the knot pattern that you used to finish off the edges! Maybe You have seen a tutorial somewhere?

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi there!
      The macramé is made my me, yes. The pattern is linked in the post. So, if you return to the post, click on the link provided. It’s called the Four of Diamonds. I hope that helps!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  14. Corinne Carrick says:

    Hi Julie and Jodie, I stumbled onto your site and I love it. I have been doing macrame for many years and am finally setting up a website so I can sell what I make. I am looking for a software (preferable free) that I can use to create the design on my computer before I actually make it. This would show me the finished product and the knots I would use and probably help in deciding how much cord I need for the project. I envision this to have drag and drop features. I have far too often started a project and re-started two or three times before I am satisfied with the results. Sometimes the design dictates to me as to what I will add or do next and that’s ok, but I would rather work out the kinks before I start.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks again for your site. Love it!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Corrine,
      We’re excited for you. Your progress so far sounds very encouraging. To be honest, this is not our wheelhouse. Technology is always a challenge for us. We have an expert that helps us with anything new we want to add to our blog. We also are not experts on Macrame. We are still learning. We hope you will let us know when your website is complete so we can take a look and see what you are creating. Good luck. Stay in touch, Julie & Jodie

  15. […] great option is to add a macrame wall hanging that will bring the bohemian flair to the […]

  16. Donna says:

    Your macrame project inspired me to pick back up macrame projects. I would like to follow your wall hanging project step by step starting with purchasing a clothes rack. Do you have a favorite and if so which one? Also how long is your dowel rod? I think I have the rest of the info within this article. It has been many years since I have worked with macrame. This project will be a new home warming gift and the beginning of my new art. (Best scenario)
    All assistance is appreciated!
    Thank you

  17. […] To continue on a similar note, have a look at this macrame hanging piece that you can try even as a beginner. You can tweak the design a little bit if you want to, use different colors or even change the pattern. This is something that you can hang up on a wall to add a casual and inviting look to a room. All the details and instructions you’re going to need can be found on thedesigntwins. […]

  18. Cynthia Graves says:

    I really enjoyed your blog and am feeling inspired to try macrame. Thank you for your generosity and humility, both beautiful and scarce traits.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Aw Cynthia, that’s so kind of you! We love to hear that no only did we inspire you to create, but that you received what we had to give with an open and kind heart. We are so glad you’re here. Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  19. Sheila says:

    Enjoyed reading the blog. It inspired me to try atleast once. You can also check this blog for similar reference https://www.mozaicq.com/blog/the-hippie-vibes-pick-macrame-car-hanging-decor-dreamcatchers/

  20. […] Create Stunning Macrame Decor from thedesigntwins.com […]

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