By Rachel Dowda
Last summer, I saw a picture of a macramé plant hanger and fell in love with it. I felt it embodied freedom, fresh air, and simplicity. In typical, “Rachel style” I grabbed some string, looked at the picture and figured out how to make one, probably inventing my own knots in the process. I’ve never been one to follow directions, but would rather try and fail a few times. As the summer progressed I continued to fall in love with textile art, and eventually watched a few tutorials and learned some “real knots”. It’s easy and therapeutic, and I’d love to share a quick tutorial with you!
You can see more of my work at here.
55 ft of cotton rope, hemp string, jute, or yarn
Metal ring (I used a simple keyring)
Potted plant or mason jar
Measuring tape and a wall hook aren’t necessary but may be helpful!
Start off by cutting the rope into six sections, each nine feet long, and set aside the extra piece.
Line up the string and find the center.
Keep holding the center as you pull the rope through the metal ring, folding the rope in half, as shown in the picture.
Now that you have folded the string in half, you should have twelve separate pieces of equal length string.
Next, hold the cords about an inch down from the bottom of the ring.
Take the extra piece of rope you cut earlier, and hold it parallel to the main cord.
Make a loop with the extra cord (as seen in the picture).
It helps to keep your thumb on the short tail at the top.
Wrap the long, bottom tail around the main cord and over the loop, working your way down. It should be firm, but not too tight. Continue until you either like how it looks, or until you are almost out of rope.
Once you are happy with how the wrapping looks, put the tail through the loop at the bottom, and pull the other tail at the top. This will tighten the wrapped cord.
(This knot is called a gathering knot, and you can watch a video here for extra help.)
Cut the excess at the top and bottom of the wrap. Your plant hanger should now look like the above picture!
Divide the rope into four sections of three. You can put three of the sections aside.
(Some people like to tape them to the table, I just tuck them into a drawer or under something.)
(For this part it might help to hang your planter from a wall hook, or like me, pull the ring over some paintbrushes or a drawer handle.)
Hold the string to the far right in your right hand, and set it across the other two stings. Take the string to your far left, and going behind the middle string, put it through the loop the right string made. Pull the two end strings at the same time.
This is called the half square knot. It makes a pretty spiral pattern, and is one of my favorites! If the pictures are confusing and you would rather watch a video on how to make these, you can see a good one here.
You simply repeat the knot fifteen times, always starting with the same side.
Repeat the half square knot fifteen time on all four groups of rope. It should end up looking like the picture above.
Choose a group of string to do first, move about eight inches down from the last square knot you made, and make a simple overhand knot. Do the same thing to the other three groups, so they are all the same length.
Take one of the groups in your hands, move five inches down from the first knot, and split it into two: two cords on one side, one on the other. Do the same to the adjacent group, Putting the group of two, with the adjacent one’s group of one, make an overhand knot. Continue until it looks like the picture above. This is basically making a net to hold the plant!
Gather all the cords together and move five inches down. Make an giant overhand knot with all twelve pieces of rope.
I recommend putting in a pot in at this point, and make sure it’s hanging right. If not, unknot the cords and try again.
Depending on the cord you used, you can unravel it to make a pretty fringe, like I did above.
All done! I hope you had fun! Don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time. You can simply untie the knots and try again.
If you tried to make this yourself, take a picture and post it on Instagram. Make sure you tag me – I’d love to see!
So proud of you!