Knotty 'n' Nice Macrame

Resurrect this lost art from the 1970s to make something functional and beautiful.

By Kristin Belz May 9, 2013

A good starter project if you're new to macrame: the super simple hanging plant holder.

It sounds odd, but tying a few knots can channel the 1970s and get you into a sundazed groove.

Soon you’ll be hanging out in Laurel Canyon with folk rock guitar chords wafting over you. Of course, today the tunes could be streaming from some sort of iDevice, and might as well be something new as old (Beachwood Sparks, Best Coast, or the Sadies will do it). 

Some of the circa 1976 "Macrame Elegance" creations, Michelle and Empress.

We’re speaking not just of music but of macramé, which has the power to warp time and space as well as rope. Just looking at a macrame creation will bring you back (regardless of whether you were alive in the '70s), but doing a project will immerse you.

Macrame DIY is a pretty easy and inexpensive way to time travel. Four knots is all you need to know to make Jonathan Adler's macramé owl wall hanging. It’s in his latest book, 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life.

The supplies for the hanging owl are simple too:

  • Several lengths of cotton cord (12 x 8’ long, 4 x 30” long) 
  • 2 large-holed light wooden beads
  • 2 twigs or wooden dowels (10”-12” each in length) 

    In 1976, in Provo, Utah, macrame was a knotty family affair; here, "Macrame Elegance" authors Glenn and wife Denni Simmons, and her siblings Doreene and Clint Clement.

  • Scissors
  • Heavy tape (blue masking tape, etc.)
  • Stiff board (pegboard, cardboard) on which to keep the project flat while you work 

To make an ultra easy hanging plant holder, check out this one on Refinery 29 by Lisa Eppich and Christy Kurtz. All you need is some thin cotton rope and scissors, plus a bowl and plant to hang. Photos by Shanita Sims guide you step by step through the process.

Go wild with bright colors, or natural for the hempy hippie style. Either way, crafts stores or hardware stores will have a cotton cord that will work.

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