Introduction: Simple DIY Macrame Project Frame or Loom Made From a Box or Plastic Basket

About: Crafting as a means to distract myself from the horror show that was 2016. If I'm making things or plotting to make things, it makes me happy.

I needed a quick and easy frame to make macrame on, especially as I needed to make some longer lengths, which can get really unwieldy to work on. Hanging it from a hook on a wall and tying a weight to the end of the base yarn usually works, but I can't use it when I'm on the sofa in the sitting room.

It basically needed to be something that I can anchor each end on, and also have a bit of depth to make it easier to wrap the yarn around the back of the base yarn, as well as being portable and easy to hold wherever I'm sitting. I thought I'd share what I came up with here, in case anyone else found it useful for their macrame projects.

Step 1: Make a Frame With a Plastic Basket

This is the simplest version. If you've got one of these handy plastic baskets used for throwing pencils, scraps and odds and ends in lying around, it makes sense to use it. If you've got some clips for some extra security, go for it.

Basically, tie your starting end to the top handle of the basket. Don't knot it on unless you want to trim your loop off. If you want to keep it, then thread a spare length of yarn through the loop and tie that to the top handle. You could clip it on as well, but at the moment, it's fine as it is.

Take the tail end of your project, and wrap that through and around the handle a few times, making sure that there's decent tension along the yarn crossing the basket. Secure it in place with a sturdy clip - I'm using household clips with rubber clips, but a bulldog clip would work well, too. A peg with decent springs may do the job, too. If you don't have any clips, you can bodge a variation of a slip knot to secure it in place. Don't use a knot that you can't easily untie as you're going to need to loosen it later on.

At this point, you can start your project. Once you've worked your way down to the bottom of your frame, untie your project. Shift it up along the from so you have more base yarn to work on, and wrap what you've already done carefully around the handle. This is where clipping the coils at the top is a good idea, as they'll be held securely in place. Otherwise, make extra sure that it's secure when you tie it back in place with your yarn scrap. Attach the tail end back on its handle, and continue working on your project. Repeat this process until you're done.

If you don't have any handy baskets lying around, fear not. You can make a frame in under 10 minutes with a cardboard box, some scissors and some tape.

Step 2: Make Your Own Box Frame

It may not be pretty, but it's cheap, easy to make, and does the job.

You will need:

  • Small cardboard box
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Gaffer (duct) tape, though sellotape would work as well

Your box needs to be big enough you have a nice length you can work on, but not too big that it's clumsy to hold and won't fit on your lap. I have a cat (featured in image 4, he ate the food so figures he should be included in this project), so we have plenty of boxes from buying pouches of cat food, and they're a nice size for this.

With your cutting implement of choice, trim your box down so you end up with a tray, with maybe 2 inches depth. Cut a handle hole at either end, towards the top (but not so high that the 'handy' is too thin and flimsy). With your tape (I like gaffer tape, it's tougher and handy to have on hand) you need to wrap some a few times around the top strip at either end so they're more secure and can take things being tied to them.

You also need to cover up any edges of the cardboard with gaffer tape. This is to prevent your yarn snagging on any edges and making things annoying (or potentially ruining a delicate project). Attach your project in the same way described in the section for the basket version, and you're good to go.