The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Basic Macramé

In case last night’s basket weaving tutorial wasn’t throwback enough for you, how about some macramé?

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While bubblegum pink capes are not exactly my style, this crazy alien wall hanging and man (man?) are amazing.

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I decided to start small (so I could mess up with little commitment) and use what I already had laying around (yarn, instead of the recommended heavier-weight rope). I think it turned out alright!

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Of course, I declassed my piece with black pompoms at the end, because every woven yarn-thing on a stick deserves a little gothic kitsch.

Here’s how to make your own (very basic) macramé wall hanging:

Get your materials together. You’ll need something to hang your creation on, like a stick, magic wand, glitter baton, bathroom plunger, or prosthetic arm. Ideally you will have rope, but I used a thick yarn and that worked just fine. Cut the string into however many pieces you want to start with (I used 10) of equal lengths (4-5 feet works). You may also want stuff to dangle off the ends of the strings when you’re done, like pompoms, feathers, crystals, beads, fake fingernails, googley eyes, or ham cubes. If so, you will also need a hot glue gun.

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Start by folding each length of string in half, and then looping it around your stick, and pulling the ends through, like this:

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With all ten strings attached, it’ll look something like this:

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Don’t pull anything too tight, your macramé is not a field hockey ponytail.

Next you’ll start a series of top knots. (Spoiler alert: macramé is a bunch of knots on a stick- neither fancy nor difficult). To make the knots, collect four pieces of string that hang adjacent to each other. With the first string, go over the second and third strings and over the fourth. With the fourth string, go under the third and second strings and then loop through/over the first.

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Tie a series of these using the string in groups of four until you’ve gone all the way across the top row. Then you can leave a little space, and start in on the next row, beginning with the third string:

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Do a few in a row, and then repeat:

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I hate to tell you, but this is basically it. Of course, you can get fancy with some back issues of Boys Life magazine and learn all kinds of crazy knots and make whatever wacky pattern your little heart desires. Or you can just stick to one or two knots (like I did) and call the whole thing done in an hour.

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I did close off the whole thing with a row of figure 8 knots, which are also very easy to make. (I’ll let you google that one, which is what I did).

I wasn’t quite satisfied with the overall weirdness of my macramé, so I hot-glued some black pompoms onto the (uneven) end of each string. To achieve this special look, part the pompom fibers as much as possible, wedge in a spot of hot glue, jam the yarn end in, and then fluff.

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This is such an easy project for a little bit of homemade art, and very customizable. I’d love to see some gold dinosaurs glued onto the string ends, or neon dip-dye, or larger scale pieces with heavy rope hung over a doorway.

Also, everything about this:

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