Do you want to know how to get started with Macrame? Then this is the perfect guide for you! Learn everything about Macrame knots, patterns, cords, supplies, and receive all my best tips & tools for beginners!
Affiliate links may be sprinkled throughout the awesome, free content you see below. I’ll receive a small commission when you purchase from my (Amazon) links (at no extra cost to you), which I’ll happily spend on more colorful macrame cords!
Welcome to Macrame for Beginners
I’m so excited you’re here! You’ve chosen the best place to learn how to get started with Macrame.
On this blog, you can find tons of resources like in-depth guides, free patterns by talented Macrame teachers, and handy shopping lists for the best supplies and Macrame cords.
The following guide covers all the basics to help you get started with your first Macrame project. Let’s go!
How to get started with Macrame
The most frequently asked question from new members in our Facebook Group is how to get started with Macrame. And I totally understand why.
There is so much information out there that it makes many beginners feel very overwhelmed and unable to start with their first project.
Luckily, there is no need to feel this way because it’s actually really easy to get started with Macrame! Here’s why:
1 Most of the beautiful Macrame projects you see online are created with just the 3 basic knots, which are super easy to learn!
2 Once you know the 3 basic knots you can create anything your heart desires: wall hangings, plant hangers, bags, purses, coasters, curtains, dreamcatchers, earrings, etc!
3 You don’t need anything but Macrame cords to get started, yay!
When I discovered Macrame about 2 years ago, it took me forever to figure out how to get started with my very first wall hanging. So yeah, I know exactly how you feel and I’m so happy that you’re here because I love to help you!
I’ve learned a lot since then and created this website in the process to document all my best tips. Now all beginners have one awesome place where they can find everything they need to know about Macrame, yay!
I’m super confident that this extensive blog post will help you to successfully start with Macrame. Make sure to keep reading and discover my best tip to instantly make your beginner projects look professional and ready to sell on Etsy!
My Macrame Journey
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 did find 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 that my newfound 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.
How 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 and happy I felt when I looked at my first modern Macramé wall hanging.
When I realized how easy it was to learn the knots for this wall hanging and what a difference it made to work with high-quality Macrame cords, it opened up a whole new world for me.
So much so, that it even motivated me to create this entire blog so I can help other beginners to get started with Macrame too (hi there!).
Macrame is basically my life now and I’ve never been happier! I love to share my passion for this amazing craft with you and I hope we can make many beautiful Macrame projects together.
Now, let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions that all beginners have, and let me show you which Macrame cords I recommend for beginners!
Is Macrame easy to learn?
Yes, Macrame is seriously one of the easiest crafts to learn! Most Macrame projects you see on Instagram and Pinterest are created with just 3 basic knots.
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!
Once you know these basic knots, you can learn how to use them in different patterns. There are easy patterns but also a bit more complicated ones, which is great because you can keep challenging yourself for years to come!
And the best thing is, even when you only know how to do the square knot, you can still create countless different Macrame projects such as wall hangings, market bags, and plant hangers. I’ll show you some examples of easy beginner projects at the end of this blog post!
Fun Fact: Did you make friendship bracelets in your childhood? Then you probably already know how to do Macrame! Yay!
What can you make with Macrame?
Once you know the basic knots there are many amazing projects you can make with Macrame.
Here are some ideas: wall hanging, plant holders, owl, Macrame bracelets, curtains, earrings, table runner, mandala, rainbow, macraweave, Christmas ornaments, dreamcatcher, jewelry, angel wings, garlands, feathers, and more!
Join our Macrame for Beginners Facebook Group
When you start with a new hobby it can be super helpful to connect with other beginners and learn together in a community. That’s why I made one!
Join our fun Facebook Group with over 36K members to accelerate your learning process, ask all your questions, and get inspired by gorgeous projects! We’re happy to help you out!
How to get started with Macrame as a beginner?
The best way to start with Macrame is by first picking out an easy beginner project you would like to recreate, like a plant hanger or small wall hanging.
You can find many beginner-friendly tutorials on my blog 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 Macramé knots?
Although this is not an official number, I would say there are about 5 basic Macrame 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.
Lark’s Head Knot / Reverse Lark’s Head Knot
The Lark’s head knot is a super simple knot used to attach your work to a dowel or ring. You can also use this knot to attach new cords to your piece and create a fluffy fringe.
To learn more about the Lark’s Head Knot and its many fun variations, check out this helpful guide!
The square knot is the most versatile knot in Macrame and can be used in many different patterns. Once you know the square knot, you can also make the spiral knot and berry knot.
Are you struggling with the square knot or just need some handy tips before you start practicing? Then check out my complete Square Knot guide and use my best tips to prevent making any classic beginner mistakes.
Double Half hitch / Clove hitch
The double half hitch knot is a knot that most beginners struggle with so don’t worry about it when you’re not getting it right away.
All I can advise is to just keep practicing this knot in various patterns. I promise you that once it clicks you’ll be like “OOoooh” and your life will be so much easier!
Tip: I recommend starting out with 3-Ply cords when practicing the double half hitch knot as this cord is a bit more sturdy and allows the knot to stay in place better.
This video does a great job explaining the basic knots to Macrame beginners:
Practice and be patient
Before you start your project, I recommend using some of your Macrame cords to practice the basic knots first.
It will take some time before you figure out the best way to hold & loop your cords and where to place your fingers. If you keep practicing things will speed up really fast. It’s sort of like learning how to play an instrument so having patience really is key here.
Also, make peace with the fact that you will get frustrated and make 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 🙂
BONUS Now that you know how to make the basic knots, you’ll quickly realize that patterns that looked super complex to you at first, are now a piece of cake to recreate!
Essential Macrame Tools
You don’t need many tools to get started with Macrame but I do recommend to invest in a good pair of sharp scissors so you won’t have any issues with cutting your cords.
Scissors are an important tool and well worth it to invest in. You’ll be using scissors a lot when working on projects and you’ll really want a sharp pair to make life easier. I recommend using Fiskar Amplify Scissors.
To help you measure out your cords, I recommend getting a self-lock tape measure. I recommend using the Komelon 25-foot self-lock Power tape.
BEGINNER TIP: I usually only cut one cord with the help of a measuring tape and use that one as my guide for the next cords I need to cut.
Often recommended by our lovely group members, rotary cutters are ideal for shaping feathers or cutting your fringe more easily. I recommend getting the Fiskars Crafts Rotary Cutter for the best results.
I started out with a simple comb, but our group was definitely right about using pet brushes with wire bristles to comb out better-looking fringes, I recommend the Hertzko Pet Brush.
When you’re working on feathers or a Mandala wall hanging and your fringe becomes floppy, try using some stiffening spray to keep them in place. I recommend this Stiffen-Quick Fabric Stiffening Spray by Aleene.
Looking to dye your cords? You can use RIT dye to dip-dye your cords or go for natural ingredients such as beets, avocado, or coffee. Here’s a great Youtube video that shows you which veggies and fruit you can use for this.
What should I buy to start with Macrame?
What you need to buy to start with your first Macrame project, depends on what you want to make.
DIY Macrame wall hanging supplies
For Macrame wall hangings, you can use a dowel rod, or metal shape to attach your work. For decoration, you can add wooden beads. Find my favorite suppliers for these items in my How to make a Macrame wall hanging guide.
DIY Macrame plant hanger supplies
For Macrame plant hangers, you can use wooden or metal rings. There are also plant hanger patterns available for which you don’t need to use a ring. You can find my favorite plant hanger supplies in my How to make a Macrame plant hanger guide.
DIY Macrame bag supplies
To make a Macrame bag, you don’t always need supplies but for some patterns, you need to use wooden or metal bag handles. You can find my favorite bag handles in my How to make a Macrame bag guide.
DIY Macrame earring supplies
For Macrame earrings, you can use simple hoops or pretty wooden findings. Find my favorite supplies in my guide How to make Macrame earrings.
I’ve made more handy shopping guides for different types of projects, which you can all find on the Macrame Guides page!
How to set up your Macrame Workstation?
When it comes to setting up your Macrame workspace, 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! 🙂
Macrame Work Stand
There will, however, come a time that you’re done with taping things to the wall and you would like a bit more 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 your work.
I bought mine from Ikea for about 10 euros and because it’s super lightweight, I can easily place it in every room of my house.
You can hang your dowels and rings from the clothing rack using Large S-hooks.
For smaller projects, such as Macrame jewelry or bags, you can work with a super handy Beadsmith 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 complete Macrame Workstation Setup Guide full of great tools and tips for beginners.
What is the best cord for Macrame?
Most Macrame makers love working with soft-cotton Macrame cords by eco-friendly brands such as Bobbiny and GANXXET. These high-quality cords are a true joy to work with and will make your work look amazing instantly, even as a beginner!
Types of Macrame cord
Online Macrame stores usually offer 3 types of Macrame cords: 3-Ply, Single Twist and Braided. These cords are available from 1.5mm up to 9 mm in thickness.
Single Twist Cords: For the Single Twist Cords the soft cotton fibers are all twisted together. Single twist cords are delicate and can unravel quickly so they’re not the most suitable for practicing your knots. They are easy to brush out into a gorgeous fringe.
Triple Twist Ropes (3-ply): The Triple Twist Ropes are made by combining three separate single-twisted parts into a spiral. The firm but soft structure makes 3-Ply cords perfect for beginners and to use in your practice sessions. When brushed out they make a curly fringe.
Braided Cords: Bobbiny’s Braided Cotton Cords are soft, stretchy, and the perfect alternative for t-shirt yarn. Braided cords look gorgeous in all projects but they’re not suitable to create a fringe. The flexible nature of this cord might make them a bit harder to work with for absolute beginners.
What cords you choose for your project depends on the pattern you’re following, personal preference, the size of your piece, and if you want to create a fringe.
My Favorite Cords
I love working with Bobbiny Macrame cords. They’re perfect for beginners, eco-friendly, silky soft, and available in tons of gorgeous colors like Mustard Yellow, Metallic Gold, and Wild Rose.
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 and check this handy shopping guide to find local Bobbiny suppliers in the USA and Canada.
What mm cord size do I need for my Macrame project?
When determining the mm cord thickness for your project, the basic rule is to use thin cords in small projects and thick cords in big projects.
For example, when you use thin cords for a large project, keep in mind that you will have to do a lot of knotting AND that the knots and patterns will be less visible.
My recommendation per project type
- Big wall hanging: 4-6 mm
- Small wall hanging 3-5 mm
- Planter: 2-5 mm
- Market bag: 3-5 mm
- Small purse: 2-5 mm
- Jewelry: 1.5-3 mm
- Key chain / Bookmark: 1.5-3 mm
How to measure cords?
In most cases, your Macrame cord needs to roughly be about four times the length of your project. When your cord is folded in half with a Lark’s Head Knot to create two cords, then go for eight times the length.
When estimating the length of your cord, it’s important to look at the pattern first:
- If your pattern consists of many knots, you will probably need more rope
- Working cords are knotted around filler cords and take up more length
- When your pattern consists of many straight cords, you can cut the rope a bit shorter
- The thicker the cord, the longer it needs to be
- Braided and 3-ply ropes take up more length per knot than a single strand cord
- When in doubt, always cut more rope than you think you need
- Always estimate extra cord to create a fringe at the end
When you’re just starting out with Macrame, we recommend watching some Youtube tutorials first so you get a better feel of how much length is needed for each type of project.
Best Macrame Cords for Beginners
When you’re still practicing knots and tend to make mistakes in your patterns, I recommend using Bobbiny 3-Ply Macrame cords.
3-Ply cords don’t unravel that quickly and the firm structure will make it easier to practice your technique, especially the double half hitch knot.
Because they don’t unravel that quickly, 3-Ply cords are also more suitable for larger Macrame projects. When you use 3-Ply cords, make sure to always tape your cord ends.
Where to buy Macrame cords
Good quality Macrame cords are usually not available in craft stores and I recommend ordering your cords online.
Etsy and Amazon sell a wide variety of Macrame cords and I’ve listed all my favorite finds per region so you can find a great local cord supplier near you!
Can I use regular yarn for Macrame?
Although you can Macrame with regular yarn, jute, twine, or hemp, when you’re a Macrame beginner it’s easier to practice and start your projects with thicker soft-cotton cords.
Yarn is, however, perfect for low-budget Macrame plant hangers 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?
Macrame for Beginners has teamed up with the best online Macrame teachers to bring you high-quality video tutorials and fun projects to get started with.
It’s been such an honor to talk to Chasta from Soulful Notions, Rebecca from Vanir Creations, and Dan Soliman from Habit Made and ask them all about their love for Macrame. You can all our interviews here!
Youtube Macrame Tutorials
I love to help you with finding easy Macrame patterns on Youtube, so I’ve collected all my favorites in one handy beginner-friendly project guide!
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!
If you prefer written patterns, there are plenty of great books available. Check out my handy guide with the best Macrame Books for Beginners!
DIY Macrame Rainbow Wall Hanging
Easy Beginner DIY Macrame Wall Hanging
Easy Macrame Plant Hanger for Beginners
Join the Macrame for Beginners Facebook Group!
When you’re just starting out with a new hobby, it can be very beneficial (and lots 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
About Macrame for Beginners
Welcome to my blog macrameforbeginners.com, where we 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 all our Macrame for Beginners Guides to quickly discover the basics and get started right away!
We work with the best Macrame teachers
Macrame for Beginners has teamed up with the best online Macrame teachers so we can provide you with FREE high-quality tutorials. Learn how to make everything you’ve always dreamed of and discover all 100+ free patterns!
Watch my Latest YouTube Tutorial
This cute Macrame Rainbow / Semicircle wall hanging is super easy to make and only uses the square knot. Make sure to subscribe to the Macrame for Beginners YouTube channel for more fun beginner tutorials!