Introduction: Tips on How to Create Depth in a Macrame

Macrame is a wonderful way to turn a pile of jute or cotton cord into a work of art. Once you learn the basic knots, it is time to try them out on a 3D armature. For my piece I found a rusty antique horse bridle to use as a base to attach the strings.

Here is a cute little plant hanger made from the demo cord shots. Tea dyed string in the back connected with plain 4mm cotton cord in front. Connecting string on a 3d armature is a natural cradle for a succulent.


Any 3D armature will add depth to your piece. You can use bent wire, sticks, dried seaweed or any object from a Flea Market with a place to attach the string.

You will need string or jute in two or more shades in the same color tone. My final pieces use jute.

My knotting examples are made with 4mm cotton. Some has been dyed in tea for contrast to make directions easier to follow.

I also recommend that you look at "Spruce Crafts How to Macrame: 7 Basic Knots". Here is the website:

Step 1: Hunting and Creating Armatures for Your Macrame

1. Flea markets are the perfect places to find things like old door knockers and rusty keys to use for your macrame. Let your imagination have a field day!

2. I often use green wisteria vines and duct tape to hold them in shape while vines dry. Sometimes, I let the string itself bind the vines if I can't wait for vines to dry in shape!

3. Driftwood or dried branches are also wonderful source of 3D armatures for your macrame.

4. Don't be afraid to attach some air plants or succulents for an outdoor hanging when you are finished.

Step 2: Fold Strings in Half and Loop Over Armature. Proceed to Knot in Your Designs.

Attach strings to front of armature to begin. Some strings fray at the bottom you might like to dab in them in a bit of white glue. (you can cut off when finished for frayed endings

Here are directions for some basic knots. You can make a lovely piece using only these four knots.

For more details check out this website

1. Begin by attaching the cord with a "Lark's Head" knot. Fold string in half, flip the loop over the armature and bring the two loose ends through. Continue to attach all the cords.

2. Now take 4 cords and try several "Square Knots". The left cord over middle two and under cord 4. Tighten. Reverse directions. Start from right. Cross over two middle cords and under single cord on the left. Cord from left goes under middle two and up through loop left on the right. Tighten. You have completed a square knot! you can move on to the next four or continue to make a column of square knots.

3. "Half Knot Spiral" is very decorative and fun to do as it turns around a core of 2 or more cords. It is fun because it is just a repetition of the first direction of the square knot. You always lead from one side. The knots turn around the core. Left cord over middle two and under cord right cord. Right cord goes behind center two and up through the loop left on the right. Continue leading from the same left to right direction. (You also have the option of only leading the knot from the right to the left for a reverse spiral.)

Step 3: Some Additional Knots

4. "Double Clove Hitch" stitch can create a horizontal or diagonal line across your macrame. You decide depending on your design. Take your left cord, the filler cord, and hold it horizontally across the other cords. Take the next cord (your first working cord) and bring it forward, up, and around the filler cord towards the left to form a loop. Take the same working cord and to the right of the first knot, take it up, over, and through the loop.Tighten and scootch knot to the left. Move to the next hanging string and repeat. The diagonal takes the leader string and wrap each string twice around it. Knot goes in a counter clockwise direction. It is difficult to fit the second knot in if you tighten the first one too much.

5. Feeling brave? Start with a row of square knots. next move over two strings then come back two string to make a cluster of square knots. You can outline this cluster with a Double Clove Hitch diagonal.

Step 4: Some Additional Tips to Create Depth in Your Macrame

1. I used 4 to 8 strings (depending on thickness) to make some long straight designs of the same knot. This makes columns. It is easy to twist one of the finished columns over another for a great 3D effect.This overlapping method opens up a myriad of design possibilities. (See the black macrame on driftwood pics.)

2. You can stop making knots in a row now. Take 4 of the strings from the back to combine with 4 from the front. (See lighter colored jute macrame on metal bridle pics).I chose lighter color jute to tie off on the front of the horse bit and a darker color jute to use behind it. The lighter color pops to the foreground and adds to the depth of the piece.

3. Add shells, beads, keys or other 3D objects to the end of the string and work it up the string until it gets where you want it. Tie a knot underneath the bead and continue. You have just increased depth and the interest. (Both black and bridle use the bead technique.)

4. If you use 100% cotton you can dye the cords with tea to darken them. Dry the cords before adding to the back of your armature.The color will be a nice contrast.

Don't be afraid to untie and try something else!

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