Introduction: DIY Macrame Hanging Chandelier

About: Customer service by day, fiber artist and obsessed creative by night. I have too much yarn and zero time. Oh, I'm also a graphic design major.

This project was greatly inspired by a display of fiber artwork I recently did at a local coffeeshop. After hanging everything up, I realized I couldn't wait to create more pieces of fiber art from thrifted bases and alternative fibers. With that in mind, I visited Goodwill and found a hanging metal fruit basket that immediately needed to be made into this chandelier. You can make one too! Let's get started.

You'll need:

  • A hanging fruit basket (I found mine at Goodwill for $2)
  • 120 yards of jute twine - you can find twine at any home improvement store or craft store
  • Scissors
  • Gold paint
  • Paintbrush

Step 1: Paint the Basket (Optional)

The painting is optional, but I thought my piece would look really cool if the basket was painted gold, so I dug around for some acrylic gold paint and went at it. I think silver or even black would look equally dramatic!

Step 2: Cut Your Twine

Next, I cut 24 lengths of twine, each about 5 feet long. This sounds like a lot – I did mine in increments. I needed two doubled-up lengths of twine per bar on the basket, and there were 12 bars. Your basket might be a different size or have a different amount of bars – if this is the case, don’t panic! You just need an even amount of twine lengths, and they should be at least 5 feet long. Requires a bit of math, but it's easy math. ;)

Step 3: Set Up Your Macrame Base

Start setting up the base of your macrame chandelier. I started my knotting at the bottom row of the basket, so loop each length of twine around the bars on the bottom as shown – ideally two lengths of twine per bar.

Step 4: Start Knotting: the Base

This next part is easier if your basket is hanging from something. I would suggest hanging it from a curtain rod in a doorway or somesuch. Unfortunately, I did not have a curtain rod, but I did have a long dowel, so I rested the dowel on my dresser's knobs and hung the basket from the dowel. Now start knotting! I just used a few repeats of the basic square knot. Using the photos above as a guide, follow these easy steps to square knots.

  1. Start with two base strands (4 strands in your hand total)
  2. Take the two outer strands. Cross the right strand over the two middle strands and under the left strand.
  3. Now cross the left strand under the two middle strands and bring it up through the loop you created with the right strand. Pull on both strands to secure.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 once more to create a strong double square knot.
  5. Now move to the next four strands and repeat the last 3 steps. Keep moving around the basket in this way, until all the strands are knotted.
  6. Next, you'll create another round of knotting following steps 2-4, but you will alternate the strands to create a diamond pattern as shown in the last two photos. Repeat around the base.

I did this once more so that I had 3 rounds of square knots on the base. This is completely optional and up to you! You can continue the macrame pattern to make a more solid or structured hanging base, or leave it stringy.

If these instructions are not quite helpful enough, visit these links for more information: Square Knots and Alternating Square Knots.

Step 5: Knotting: the 2nd and 3rd Tiers

Cut another 24 lengths of twine and repeat the knotting instructions for the second tier of your hanging basket, and cut another 24 lengths for the third tier and knot them. This creates a staggered, layered look of amazing texture and intricacy - I'm so in love. Trim the ends evenly or let them hang as they will (like me) and you are finished! Hang your chandelier proudly and fill it with a plant, fairy lights, or leave as is. Have fun!