Okay, Let me start by saying I have zero experience with macrame. I have never taken a class nor have I made a wall hanging like this before! You can DEFINITELY do it. All you need to learn is ONE kind of knot and I have a video and photos to explain it – easy peasy.
I decided to make this because all of the macrame hangings that I fell in love with were upwards of $200, plus a lot of them weren’t quite as big as I needed. So, I set out to make exactly what I wanted. All in it was about $70.
This can be a 3 day project with the brunt of the work on day 1 – day one will be an all day craft day (which you can easily split up into two days if that’s whats easiest for you). Then day 2 and 3 will probably be an hour or less. Really, it’s the dying and letting dry part that splits it up into 3 days so if you wanted to just leave it white it would only take a day or two. This piece measures 40″ long and about 40″ high – so it’s BIG and can stand alone on a blank wall. I know it seems like it’s a lot of steps but each steps but I walk you through each one! It’s totally worth it – just LOOK at this beauty you end up with!
I recommend before you get started that you skim through all of the steps and photos so you can come at it from more of bird’s-eye view 🙂 Comment below if you ave any questions and if you make it tag #thehollardaysblog on instagram so I can see it!
40″ long 1/2″ wooden rod
20″ long 5/16″ wooden rod
**You can buy the long rods at home depot or Lowe’s and they will cut them to length for you**
300 yards of cotton macrame cord – like this
*typically comes in 50 yard spools, I bought 6 of them*
Rit dye- I used one of each: denim blue and navy blue
Two 5 gallon bucktes
dye mixing container
wool roving – like this
hot glue gun
Optional: old towel
For Trouble shooting: clean sponge
**NOTE: I stained my rods with a natural colored wood stain prior to starting this process. You can also do this but you definitely do not have to.
- One 90” cord (parent cord)
- 145 – 52” cords (I know, I know – it’s a lot but put on your favorite movie and get after it! Having a friend help is also allowed 🙂 )
- easiest way is cut one and mark it with tape, measure the rest against that one in sets of 10 and set aside.
- 41 – 60″ cords
- One 80” cord
2) Loop the 145 52” cords around the 90” parent cord
- Match up the ends and loop (to get a visual of a similar step, head down to step #14. The only difference is that in this step you are looping around the cord, and in step #14 you are looping around the wooden rod)
- The way I show to do it is with the backside facing you – I found it to be quicker. So once you are finished flip it over so the loop is showing in front.
3) On the left end – loop the 80” cord so that one side of it matches the length of the other cords and the other side is significantly longer. (see illustration)
- Once that is completed, make sure the side that shows the loop is in front. You want the cords snug against each other but not to the point of making the cord bow.
4)Take long half of first cord and begin make a half hitch knot on it with each of the cords going across. This video shows how to make the knot, however in this video they do it TWICE for each cord, you only need to do it ONCE. Also – see illustrations below.
5) DONE! Pat yourself on the back thats the most time consuming part! There is probably a little tail on the parent cord at this point but don’t worry about it yet.
6) Fold macrame over on itself and tie in place, this will help to dye evenly across (see photos).
7) Mix desired dye colors in a container, I used a whole bottle of navy blue and a whole bottle of denim blue.
8)Fill 5 gallon bucket with hot water.
9)Soak macrame in water just to get it wet.
10)Add a small amount (approx 1/8th of dye) to water and dip the bundled macrame in up to knots. Be sure to hold the 90″ parent cord out of the dye so it stays white. Move the piece up and down slightly to avoid a hard line. The cords only need to been there until you can see it getting dyed, a minute or so.
11)Repeat this 7 more times, each time submerging the hanging cords less deep than before and finishing the last time with just the tips.
12)Squeeze remaning dye out of cords, moving from the top down so you don’t accidentally get blotches of dye on the lighter sections.
13)Unfold and hang macrame to dry with an old towel or the plastic tarp underneath to catch drips. (Mine really didn’t drip much)
**NOTE: if your dye looks uneven at the top (like mine…) head all the way to the bottom for trouble shooting that 🙂
STARING THE MIDDLE PIECE
14)Grab the 20″ rod and the 41 60″ cords and loop them around it as you did in step #2
15)Then make the same single half hitch knots going across as you did in step #4. Lace the tail of it back through a couple of the knots on the backside (see larger photo below). You could also just glue it of you want 🙂
*at this point I ironed the cords to they would lay flat and be easier to work with, this is an optional step.
**Then baby girl woke up from her nap…
16) Cut 8 strips of roving to make a triangle shape and knot the ends. You may need to trim them to make a “perfect” triangle. Set aside a little tuft of roving for the point as well. (in the photo below there is actually 9 strips but I later realized that just a tuft was perfect for the point rather than an additional knot)
17) Comb through the macrame cords with your fingers so they all lay flat and in place.
18)Lay the longest piece of roving over the cords, bring to the front 7 pieces of cord evenly distributed across.
19) Lay the next piece of roving (on top of all cords) and pull a cord to the front from between each of the 7 cords from step #18, starting on the outside of step 18s first cord (see photos).
20) Grab the cords and flip the rest up so they are not in your working space.
21) Lay the longest piece of roving between the cords alternating one on top and one underneath.
22) Continue with each piece of roving alternating which cord in the section is on top to make a brick formation.
23) Once the 8 pieces have been woven in scrunch them up so they are somewhat tight. Flip the whole piece so the backside of the triangle is facing you & tie a knot for every two cords. There should be 7 knots.
*The last piece will only have one cord to weave it through so just pick a side of the knot. you won’t notice its off center.
24) Lay piece flat and comb through to organize cords again.
25) Now loosen the middle bottom knot and stick the last tuft of roving through & pull tight to hold it in place. You may need to fluff it or trim it so it appears to be a point.
**I actually did this part AFTER I cut the angles, but I suggest doing it before so that it doesn’t mess them up after you cut it. Bottom line, just look past my already cut angles in these photos 🙂
26) Now cut the angles in: mark with tape 14.5″ down on each side and 21.5″ in the middle. Outline the angles by connecting these points with tape. (see photo)
27) Cut along the tape
**NOTE: if like miiiiiine some of your cords ended up being too short – scroll down to the troubleshooting section and its an easy fix 🙂
YOU ARE DONE WITH THE LONGEST DAY!!! HURRAH! EAT ICE CREAM!
28) Now that the dyed piece is dry we need to rinse it (The reason I let it dry first was because I wanted the dye to gravitate towards the bottom and allow for more of an ombre affect)
29) Combine dye fixative with water in second 5 gal. bucket and rinse.
30) Pat with a paper towel to make sure all of the extra dye has been rinsed out, the paper towel should be basically spotless.
31) Hang and allow to dry again.
32) Mark the middle of the 40″ rod and then approx 8″ out from that on either side. This will be where the middle piece hangs. Separate the rods with something that is about 3″ long and then connect the two rods with tap (see photo), I used my daughters blocks to help separate the rods… this will help A LOT as you are tying your knots. A friend to hold it in place would also do 🙂
33) Attach 20″ stick. I am going to attempt to put this process into words but definitely look at the pictures for this.
* Just outside of the tape loop the cord around the larger rod.
*Wrap around the smaller stick two times and on the second one bring it between the cords of the first loop.
*Bring it back up and through the original loop.
* Cris cross the cords in the back and wrap them around the front and back to the back. Tie a double knot, trim the ends and and hot glue just to really secure it.
* Repeat on other side.
34) Attach dry dyed piece with THREE single half hitch knots & glue the tail behind the hanging. Additionally, if there is a tail from the knotting before, glue that behind as well.
35) Make sure everything is centered on the rod, remove tape and YOU ARE FINI!! (that’s French for finished..)
36) Hang that sucker on the wall, brush those shoulders off, and marvel at all of your hard work!!
- the best way to hang it is to nail two nails into the wall at even heights and lay the large rod on top.
WONKY DYE JOB FIX
When you untie the dyed hanging you may find that the dye did not come up to the knots evenly in all spots. Use this technique to fix that while it is still wet:
1)Put plain water in a bowl and add just a bit of the water/dye mixture used before. Test your color out on a piece of scrap cord – you want the color to match the lightest color at the top of the hanging.
2)Dip a clean sponge into the new dye mixture and press it into the white spots until the dye is uniform across the piece.
TOO SHORT CORDS ON MIDDLE PIECE FIX:
This shouldn’t happen but if it doesssss (like it did for me) you can fix it easily. Once it’s all done you won’t even notice a couple of these:
1)Barely cut off the end of the cord that is too short, just to get rid of any fraying.
2)Do the same on a piece of scrap cord and put a dot of glue on the end.
3)Attach to piece that is too short