When I asked the lovely members of our Macrame for Beginners Facebook Group what they would like to learn as new Macrame Makers, there was one very basic question that really stood out: How to get started with Macrame?
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There is so much information out there and so many different knots to learn and cords to buy, it seems to be making beginners feel a bit overwhelmed and nervous to actually start their first Macrame project.
Well, let me tell you that not so long ago I was exactly where you are now so I know precisely how you feel. Luckily, I’ve learned a lot about Macrame and I feel confident that this post will help you pick the right beginner supplies to successfully start your first Macrame project.
First, let me tell you a little something about my journey into the world of Macrame and how my best discovery instantly made my beginner projects look amazing and ready to sell on Etsy.
How I became a Macrame addict
It’s been almost 2 years ago that I got infected with the Macrame bug (thanks for that Pinterest!) and I immediately ran down to my local craft store to buy Macrame cords.
But not having any clue what I actually needed for my projects to look good, resulted in me buying some cheap 2mm cords that were extremely difficult to work with, especially as a beginner.
To my surprise, I found it really easy to master the basic knots and got super excited about my new skill. But, unfortunately, my work looked super messy because non of the stupid cords would stay in place.
It was quite a disappointing experience when I saw that my new found talent wasn’t reflected back into the work I produced. I honestly thought this was just another one of my failed attempts at becoming a crafting queen and was I almost ready to give up.
My #1 tip to make your Macrame projects look amazing
Luckily, after that disaster and a little bit more research on Pinterest, I discovered that there are way better Macrame cords available that will instantly make your projects look amazing. Even when you’re still learning the basic knots!
To this day I remember how #proud I was when I looked at my first homemade Macrame wall hanging. Everyone was so impressed with my skills and I got so many compliments. Little that they know that this “masterpiece” was actually super easy to make and only took me 1 hour to create.
The understanding that Macrame is very easy to learn and do as long as you use the right supplies, opened up a whole new world for me.
It even motivated me to the point that I created an entire blog to help others learn how to get started with Macrame (hi there!) and discovered how much I love sharing the joy of creating your own (low-budget) home decor.
Now, let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions that beginners have and let me show you which cords I recommend beginners for their Macrame projects.
Is macrame easy to learn?
Yes, Macrame is one of the easiest crafts to learn.
Let me emphasize that you’re hearing this from someone who has never successfully knitted or crocheted anything but was able to pick up Macrame in 5 minutes, so trust me when I say this!
Most Macrame projects are created with just 5 basic knots, used in different patterns. This means that even when you only know how to do the square knot, you can still create countless different things such as wall hangings, jewelry, home decor, and hanging planters.
How to get started with Macrame?
The best way to start with Macrame is by first picking out an easy beginner project you would like to recreate, like a hanging planter or small wall hanging. You can find many beginner-friendly tutorials on Youtube that show you exactly how to start with such a project, including what type of cord to buy and what length to cut them.
As a beginner, it can be a bit tricky to figure out and understand how to measure your Macrame cords for a project. By simply following a step-by-step tutorial you can easily prevent making any mistakes and stressing out about wasting your gorgeous supplies.
To help you out, I’ve collected all my favorite Macrame tutorial videos in this handy overview with easy Macrame projects for beginners.
Learning by seeing someone else do it, with the added ability to pause or slow down the video, is the perfect way to get into the art of Macrame and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get the hang of the basic knots.
Tip: You can slow down a Youtube video by adjusting the playback speed. In your browser, click on the settings icon in the left corner of the video and adjust it to a lower setting between 0.25 and 0.75. In the app, you can click on the 3 dots in the upper left corner of the video to change the playback speed.
What are the basic Macrame knots?
Although this is not an official number, I would say there are about 5 basic knots. As two of them are just an easy variation, it’s actually only 3 knots that you have to master to get started with Macrame.
The basic knots
- Lark’s head knot > A simple knot used to attach your work to a dowel or hoop
- Square knot > A knot that you alternate by starting on the left and right side so it creates a square
- Spiral knot > A half square knot you don’t alternate but repeat on either the left or right side so it spirals
- Half hitch > A knot where you loop one cord over the other
- Double half hitch > A half hitch knot you simply loop twice to get a double one
Before you actually start a project, I recommend using some of your cords for practicing the basic knots. It will take some time before you know where to place your cords and fingers and speed things up. It’s sort of like learning how to play an instrument so patience really is key here.
This video does a great job explaining the basic knots to Macrame beginners. Grab some cords and start your practice session!
Once you’ve started a project, make peace with the fact that you’ll be making many mistakes, especially in the beginning. Luckily, the best thing about Macrame is that you can simply untie your knot(s) and start over. No one will ever know 🙂
Once you know how to tie and recognize the basic knots, you’ll quickly realize that patterns that looked super complex to you at first, now are a piece of cake to recreate.
What tools do you need to Macrame?
Besides Macrame cords, you don’t need any specific tools for Macrame. There are, however, some things that are good to have like a pair of sharp scissors for cutting cords, measuring tape, and a (pet)brush or comb to create a fluffy fringe.
What should I buy to start Macrame?
What you need to buy to start with Macrame totally depends on what type of project you want to start working on.
For wall hangings, you’ll need to attach your work to a dowel which can be a plain wooden stick from a craft store or taken from your own garden. Other options are driftwood, which you can find for free on the beach or otherwise buy on Etsy.
Planters are often created with a wooden ring at the top, but there are plenty of patterns that don’t require these. Metal and Golden hoops or squares are also very popular in Modern Macrame.
When you’re looking for the best Macrame cords, dowels, metal hoops, or wooden rings for your projects, I recommend checking out my favorite Etsy finds in my Macrame Supplies Shopping Guide.
How to build a Macrame Workstation?
When it comes to your workspace setup, I wouldn’t worry about it too much when you’re just starting out. I duct-taped dowels, hoops, and rings to tables, doors, and walls and my projects came out looking just fine!
There will, however, come a time that you’re done with taping things to the wall and you would like a bit of comfort while working on bigger Macrame pieces.
In that case, I recommend getting yourself a cheap (or more expensive adjustable) clothing rack so you can hang up your work.
I bought mine from Ikea for about 10 euros and because it’s super lightweight and small I can easily place it in every room of my house.
For smaller projects, such as Macrame jewelry or bags, you can also get a Macrame board on which you can easily pin your work.
To find out more about all the handy macrame tools I use, you can check out my Macrame Workstation Setup Guide full of great tools and tips for beginners.
What is the best cord for Macrame?
When you’re a Macrame beginner it’s best to start with 4-5 mm high-quality soft cotton cords or ropes that are specifically designed for Macrame.
Not only are thicker cords easier to knot and unravel when you make a mistake but this size is also perfect to create a gorgeous fluffy fringe.
My favorite go-to brand and #1 recommendation for such soft cotton Macrame cords is Bobbiny. Their eco-friendly 5mm XXL soft-cotton cords are silky soft, durable, and very comfortable to work with when you’re a Macrame beginner.
Bobbiny cords are very affordable and come in many amazing trendy colors such as mustard yellow and terracotta to make your home decor creations instantly look more amazing.
If you want to know more about why I recommend Bobbiny as my #1 brand for Macrame cords, make sure to read my full Bobbiny product review.
What mm cord size do I need for my Macrame project?
When determining the mm cord thickness for your project, the basic rule would be to use thin cords in small projects and thick cords in big projects.
When you use small cords in a big project, keep in mind that you will have to do a lot of knotting and that the knots will be less visible. Thicker cords will show off your knots a lot better, which is what you want in the end.
My recommendation per project type
- Big wall hanging: 4-10 mm
- Small wall hanging 3-5 mm
- Planter: 2-5 mm
- Grocery bag: 3-5 mm
- Small purse: 2-3 mm
- Jewelry: 1.5-3 mm
- Key chain / Bookmark: 1.5-3 mm
Can I use regular yarn for Macrame?
Although you can Macrame with regular yarn, when you’re a Macrame beginner it’s easier to start your projects with thicker soft-cotton cords.
Especially when you plan on creating a Macrame wall hanging, you want to use 4 to 5mm cords that are designed for Macrame. Not only do they make it easier to practice your knots, but your projects will also look way more professional and Etsy-ready.
Yarn is, however, perfect for low budget Macrame hanging planters that don’t require any fancy patterns. You can also use yarn to create tassels or you can incorporate it into your modern Macrame pieces (like the ones with metal hoops) and your Macraweaves.
Where to find free Macrame patterns?
Some people prefer learning by watching someone do it on video and others like to work with patterns from a book. Whatever way you prefer to learn, here are my best tips for finding free macrame patterns.
Youtube Macrame Tutorials
To help you out with finding the best beginner-friendly and easy Macrame patterns on Youtube, I’ve watched almost every Macrame video on the platform and listed all my favorite tutorials in this overview.
Whether you want to make a wall hanging, plant hanger, purse, or a keychain, I’m sure there is a fun project out there for you to get started with! They all come with the instructions in the description, so you can cut your cords and start knotting right away!
Here are some of my favorite easy Macrame tutorials videos, including step-by-step instructions for beginners to show you how easy it can really be to make beautiful things with just the basic knots. Welcome to the club of Macrame Addicts!
Macrame Pattern Books
There are some really good Macrame books full of inspiring ideas and patterns available on Amazon. When you sign up for Amazon Kindle Unlimited today you can try it free for 30 days and read all the Macrame books your heart desires! You’ll be a guru in no time 😀
And don’t worry, you can cancel your subscription anytime you like. Check out my 8 favorite Macrame books for beginners to get started!
Join the Macrame for Beginners Facebook Group!
When you’re just starting out with a new hobby, it can be very beneficial (and loads of fun) to connect with fellow beginners for tips and positive encouragement.
Therefore I’ve created the Macrame for Beginners Facebook Group: a safe place where you can learn new knots & patterns, ask all your questions, and share your latest creations with our lovely & positive Macrame community. Come and join us, we’re happy to help you out!
More Easy DIY Macrame Projects for Beginners
- 15 DIY Easy Macrame Wall Hangings for Beginners
- 12 Easy DIY Macrame Jewelry Projects for Beginners
- 16 Easy DIY Macrame Plant Hangers for Beginners
- 15 Easy DIY Macrame Bags, Purses and Clutches for Beginners
- 15 Adorable Beginner-Friendly DIY Macrame Keychains
Macrame for Beginners
Welcome to my blog macrameforbeginners.com, where I love to teach and inspire you to create your very own Macrame decorations.
New to Macrame? No worries, it’s super easy to learn! Check out my Macrame for Beginners Guide and learn the basic knots within 5 minutes.