A macrame wall hanging that is quick to make and uses only the square knot!
By mixing different colors, you can make an impressive piece without a complicated pattern.
Macrame can be kind of overwhelming. While it's fun to learn different techniques, it's hard to know where to start. You can buy a pattern for a more complex design, but this a simple and quick project. It's perfect for if you don't want to invest a ton into macrame, but also don't want a project that looks too "beginner".
There's basically two ways you can create interest and texture: either using different knots, or using different colors. Learning different knots and following complex patterns can be difficult, but using a different color isn't hard at all! You can create an impressive wall hanging with only one knot.
The knot we're using is called the Square Knot. It covers a lot of area with each knot, so it doesn't need too much cord, or too much time.
Larks Head Knot
OK so I lied, technically you also need the Larks Head Knot. It's very easy, and you only use it to attach your cords to the dowel or stick you are hanging it from.
Fold your cord in half and drape it over your dowel with the folded loop going toward the back.
Pull the loose ends through the loop.
Tighten so the knot is tight against the dowel. The two ends should be the same length.
The square knot uses 4 cords. The two middle cords go straight through the center of the knot, while the left and right tie knots around them.
Take the left cord over the 2 center cords, making a figure-4 shape. Then go under the right cord.
Take the right cord under the 2 center cords, and up through the hole in the figure-4 shape.
This is the first half of the knot. Slide the knot up and tighten into place.
Now repeat this going the other direction: Take what is now the right cord (previously the left) over the 2 center cords and under the left cord. This makes a backwards figure-4 shape.
Take the left cord under the 2 center cords, and up through the hole in the figure 4 shape.
Tighten the knot.
Here's what one complete square knot looks like. The two loops at the top are the larks head knot.
Now that you learned the two knots we're going to use, you are all set to get started! Which means you need materials.
First you need some kind of rod or dowel. You can buy nice wooden dowels at the craft or hardware store, but I've definitely been known to forage bamboo stalks and tree branches from the yard.
Cut 34 strands of cord, each 12 feet long (144 inches). This doesn't need to be exact because you will trim the excess and make everything even when you're done. For this project I used 4mm macrame cord. If your cord is a different thickness, your knots will be bigger or smaller and your wall hanging may end up a different size.
If you're trying to figure out how much to buy, you will need approximately:
4 strands of color 1: 50 feet
6 strands of color 2: 75 feet
15 strands of color 3: 200 feet
9 strands of color 4: 110 feet
You can of course use a different amount of strands per color, or fewer colors. Want your piece to be a different size than mine? Scroll down to the bottom for cord length calculations!
Use the larks head knot to attach all your cords to the dowel. You want a small gap (an eighth or a quarter inch) between each strand, but it's easy to adjust later.
Starting from one side, take the first four cords and make a square knot.
Then take the next four cords and make another square knot.
Continue until you have made an entire row of square knots.
For the next row, you are going to "indent" past the first two cords. If you're counting from the side, you will skip cord 1 and 2, then use cords 3, 4, 5, and 6 to make your next square knot.
Continue across the whole row. Each knot should use two cords from each of the two knots above it.
Keep going, alternating between starting rows on cord 1 and indenting. This should create a repeating X shape for each knot.
You can vary the texture by doubling, tripling, or quadrupling your knot placement instead of alternating. For instance, I did row 9, 10, and 11 all starting from cord 1. Then row 12, 13, and 14 all starting from cord 3.
You can make it as long as you want, but keep an eye on how much cord is left for fringe. If you make it too long, it is easy to undo.
When you're done, there's no need to tie off the ends or anything like that. Trim off the fringe to an even length (or trim it at an angle if that's your thing). Some of my cords were shorter than others, but I think it looks alright!
Gently stretch and pull your piece to make sure everything is hanging evenly and not getting bunched up anywhere.
That's it! You're done! I added a little tassle to the wall hook because it felt like it needed something, but that's totally optional.
Find somewhere to suspend your project while you're working on it, so it is hanging instead of flat. I find it easiest if the dowel is hanging from more than one point so it doesn't sway too much.
To avoid the cord unraveling, wrap a piece of tape around the cord where you are going to cut it. Then cut through the piece of tape. Each raw end should be neatly secured by the tape.
Height calculator (cord length)
Vertically, for each 1 inch of finished knots you need 7 inches of cord. For 1 inch of fringe, you need 2 inches of cord. (Each cord gets folded over at the top, so this is the amount you need total for the whole strand). Then add another 5-10 inches for excess + your larks head knot to attach to the dowel. It doesn't hurt to make it longer because you can always trim it at the end.
So, if I wanted the height to be 20 inches of knots and 10 inches of fringe…
(7 x 20) + (2 x 10) + 10 = 170 inches per strand.
Width calculator (number of cords)
Horizontally, for each 1 inches of finished knots you need 1.6 strands. So if you want a 30 inch wall hanging, you will need…
30 x 1.6 = 48 strands.
Obviously you can't have partial strands, so round up to the nearest even number. Each square knot uses 4 cords, so you must have an even number of cords or else you will end up with extra cords in row 1.