Introduction: How to Make a Macrame Portrait Wall Hanging

About: Hi! I am Elisse - a pharmacy student, coffee addict,food lover, amateur photographer and an avid crafter. I love art, jewelry,macrame, embroidery but also science, chemistry and drug structures! My Instructabl…

It had been a while since I shared one of my macrame projects here.In this Instructable I will be showing you how you can turn pictures into beautiful fiber art by learning only one knot.Don't be fooled - this is a very labor intensive project but the end result is so worth it.

Let's get started!


  • Macrame cord - white,gray,dark gray and black
  • Scissors
  • A wooden dowel
  • Your pattern
  • Hooks to hang the dowel on

Step 1: Creating the Pattern

First and foremost you will need a pattern to follow.You can use a pattern from the Internet or you can make one yourself.To make your own pattern use a cross stitch pattern generator.They all work the same way but I will summarize what you need to do:

  1. Upload your photo
  2. Choose the width of your pattern
  3. Reduce the number of colors

I highly recommend using a black and white photo and reducing the number of colors to 4.This is a great point to start.The width of your pattern equals the number of cords that will be hanging from the dowel.

Step 2: Cutting and Attaching the Cord

Once you have a pattern printed out you can start working on cutting and attaching the macrame cord to the dowel.Start out by counting the width of your pattern.Divide the number of squares you counted by two.The number you get is how many cords you need to cut.My pattern had 78 squares/2 = 39 pieces of cord needed.

Generally when cutting the cord always cut it longer.This way you can cut off any excess if needed.This is a bigger project so working neatly is a must - after cutting each strand wrap it around your hand multiple times and set it aside.

I cut each of my cords about 2 m long so that when I attached them to the wooden dowel via a Lark's head knot the length would be 1 m since the cord is folded in half.

To make a Lark's head knot take a strand of cord and fold it in half.Place the loop you have created under the wooden dowel.Reach under the loop and over the dowel and grab the two loose strands.Bring them down through the loop and pull and tighten the knot. Repeat this step with all strands of cord you have.

I will be refering to these cords as your filler cords.

Step 3: Vertical Double Half Hitch Knot

This project is best made on a flat surface instead of the dowel hanging.Place the dowel on a table and keep your pattern near you.

Take a very long strand of cord (refer to your pattern for the color) and place in underneath the first strand of rope.With the small tail end on your left and the long tail on your right you are going to form a loop on your right,wrap it around your cord and pull it through.Then you are going to repeat the same process once again:

  1. Make a loop on your right
  2. Wrap around and through the loop
  3. Pull everything nicely together and secure the vertical double half hitch knot

This is the only knot you need to master in order to create a portrait macrame wall hanging.

Step 4: Vertical Double Half Hitch Knot

Here I have demonstrated the vertical double half hitch knot on the second strand.Repeat the same knot until there is a change in the color.

Step 5: Changing Colors

When the next color is different than the previous one simply tuck the long strand of cord you have behind (in my case a black strand) and start making the next vertical double half hitch knot using a different color.To switch back to a previous color you are going to take the long tail end of the colored cord you need and run it along behind all your filler cords.Then you can continue making vertical double half hitch knots using that colored cord.

Repeat this step for every color change.

Step 6: Hiding the Short Tail End

With each color change there will be a short tail end you''ll need to hide to keep your work area clean - just tuck it behind all the filler cord.

Step 7: Finishing Each Row

Once you finish each row you are going to cut each strand of colored cord off.Don't cut them too short or too long.Keep them on the back side of your work.

Step 8: Progress

This is pretty much how you make a portrait macrame wall hanging - the process is repetitive.Follow each row on your pattern and work your way down.

Step 9: Cleaning Up

Once you have completed your wall hanging you are going to have to clean up the sides of your work.Turn the wall hanging on its back side and start tying each overhanging piece of cord to the back. You can use the short tail end cords you tucked behind to tie the overhanging cords to.Don't tie them too tightly,keep the ties relatively loose.

Repeat on both the left and the right side of the wall hanging.

Step 10: Cutting the Fringe

Hang your dowel on the wall again and grab some scissors.

Remember how I said to cut your filler cord longer? Well,in this step you will be cutting any excess and thus creating the fringe of your wall hanging.

Step 11: A Cord to Hang

Lastly,you will need to add a last strand of cord to your wooden dowel - this time to hang it on the wall.

Take a relatively long strand of black cord and tie a tight double knot on the right side of the dowel.Repeat on the left side and cut off any excess you have.

Step 12: Marilyn Monroe

Your work is complete now.All you have got to do is hang your creation on the wall and admire your hard work.I am seriously so impressed with how this project turned out.All the time,patience and effort were so worth it!

Thank you so much for reading or scrolling through this Instructable!

Happy knotting!

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