How to: Macrame Wall Hangings
When you think of macrame, you probably think of the plant hangers your grandmother had in her home in the seventies. However, this craft has a much older history, dating back to the 13th century when Arabic weavers tied knots in the ends of rug fringe to add decoration and finish the work. Today, macrame is used to create jewelry, purses, belts and even wall hangings. The look of a macrame piece appears to be quite complex, but with a simple pattern you can create a macrame wall hanger, such as an owl, in a weekend.
Measure 10 36-inch long lengths of crotchet cotton in any color. Attach all 10 lengths to a 1/2-inch diameter dowel rod measuring 12 inches long using a lark’s head knot. Secure the dowel rod to your work surface with tape.
Tie alternating square knots across the 20 strings, skipping the first and last two strings. As you proceed with the alternating square knots, drop a pair of strings on each row, to create a triangle of square knots starting with four, then three, then two, then one.
Tie eight half-hitch knots down the left hand side of the triangle you created in Step 2. Use the first two strings as the knot bearers and one string to tie each knot. Repeat the process a second time on the right side of the triangle. Use the last two strings as the knot bearers and one string to tie each knot to create a mirror image of the left side of the triangle to create the owl’s head.
Secure the two rows of eight hitch knots by tying four square knots using the center four strings to create the owl’s beak. This knot is known as a square knot sinnet. Slide the knot upwards to make a compressed bump.
Slide an oval 1/2-inch bead onto the fourth string from the left and one on the fourth string from the right. Slide the beads upwards, placing them even with the owl’s beak to create the owl’s eyes.
Repeat Step 3 to create eight more half hitch knots on either side of the owl in a mirror image of the triangle that created the owl’s head. Use the ninth and 10th string for the carrier of the hitch knots to the left and the 11th and 12th strings as the carrier of the hitch knots to the right. Adjust the tension of the knots as you go to keep the owl’s head symmetrical.
Repeat Step 2 in mirror opposite using the strings underneath the hitch knots you created in the previous step. Create a triangle made of one, then two, then three, then four alternating square knots.
Create a square knot sinnet using six square knots on the first four strings. Repeat the process to create a square knot sinnet on the last four strings to create the owl’s wings. Create six rows of alternating square knots using the center 12 strings in between the two square knot sinnets.
Place a row of four square knots starting with the third string and ending with the 18th string. Place a row of five alternating square knots starting with the first string and ending with the last, finishing the owl’s body using the center eight strings to tie two square knots.
Attach the third, fourth, fifth and sixth strings using a half-hitch knot to a second 1/2-inch diameter dowel rod measuring 12 inches long. Attach the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th strings to the dowel using half-hitch knots, creating the owl’s feet.
Create the owl’s tail by tying alternating knots underneath the dowel using all the strings. Create a triangle as you did in Step 2 using alternating square knots, starting with five knots, then four, then three, then two, then one. Trim the ends of the strings 2 inches below the last knot at an angle to create a feathered look to the tail.
Lark's Head Knot
Fold the string in half to create a loop at the top.
Place the cotton length in front of the dowel rod with the loop sticking up above the dowel and the loose ends hang down.
Bend the loop to the back of the dowel and pull the loose ends of the length through the center of the loop. Pull the lengths to tighten the loops to the dowel.
Attach two lengths of cotton to a dowel using lark’s head knots.
Bring the string on the far right over top of the two strings in the middle. Slip it under the string on the far left. Bring the string on the far left under the two middle strings and slip it over top of the string on the far right.
Bring the far left string over the two middle strings and under the far right string. Bring the far right string underneath the middle strings and over the far left. Pull to tighten.
Alternating Square Knot
Attach four lengths of cotton to a dowel using lark’s head knots.
Perform a square knot with the right four strings and a square knot with the left four strings.
Perform a square knot with the middle four strings and then another square knot on the right four strings and left four strings.
Half Hitch Knot
Attach a string to a dowel rod using a lark’s head knot.
Bring the left hand string over top of the right string, stretching it out to the side. The left hand string is the knot bearer since it holds the knot as you tie.
Bring the right string up towards the top, creating a loop holding the left hand string. Wrap the right string around the left string, feeding the loose end of the right string over and around the left string. Pull it tight to create the hitch knot.