If you want a beginner-friendly project that you can finish in under an hour, it’s time to try your hand at a DIY macrame plant hanger! As my readers know, I love a fun but easy DIY project, like my no sew highchair tutu for example. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make a DIY macrame plant hanger using a few simple techniques.
What Is Macrame?
Macrame is a type of fiber art in which you tie knots into strings to form a textile. If you ever made “friendship bracelets” at summer camp, congratulations! You’ve already completed your first macrame project.
History Of Macrame
Knots have a special history in nearly every part of the world. Incas and other early civilizations would tie knots into ropes and other fibers as a way to communicate and record-keep before the invention of writing, while decorative knotwork was traced back to the Babylonians and Assyrians.
The origin of macrame as we know it is often credited to 13th-century Arabia, where weavers would tie knots in the loose ends of woven fabric to create intricate fringes on shawls, tapestries, rugs and veils, though some argue that it can be linked all the way back to the third-century China.
The art of macrame was brought to Spain by the Moors, where it eventually spread to Italy and France. It made its way to England in the 17th century, though it wasn’t considered fashionable in the country until the Victorian era.
Some of the biggest pioneers to the art of macrame were sailors, who spent their long voyages at sea weaving everything from ladders to hammocks to belts using intricate knotwork they learned from their travels. They would often barter their macrame goods and knowledge, spreading its popularity from port to port.
Macrame had a dip in popularity during the early part of the 20th century and didn’t come back into the mainstream until the 1960s and '70s. Macrame wall hangings, owls, and macrame plant hanger were common decor items in many homes until the art once again died off in the early 80s.
Is Macrame Gaining in Popularity?
While it hasn’t regained the heights it reached in the '70s, macrame has made its way back into the mainstream DIY and home decor world over the past five years or so. Do a quick search and you’ll find dozens of home goods stores selling chic macrame wall hangings, hammock chairs, and, of course, plant hangers.
Thankfully, macrame looks far more difficult to do than it actually is. Crafters and DIYers have been quick to dive into the art and make all of those gorgeous decor items at home for a fraction of the cost, making macrame one of the more popular crafts in recent years.
Getting Started With Macrame: Choosing The Right Cord
While you can technically use most types of string in macrame, the most common fiber used in macrame is a special rope called macrame cord. Let’s take a closer look at what macrame cord is, what other fibers can work as a substitute for it, and which fiber is best for each project.
Macrame Cord: What Is It?
Typically made from cotton, macrame cord is strong and nice to work with. Knots can be tightened and untightened easily, which gives it a clear advantage over other strings when it comes to more intricate macrame projects.
Types Of Macrame Cord
Macrame cord is grouped into three different types, depending on how it is spun.
Braided macrame cord is one of the most common types of macrame fiber in the market. Its fibers are woven together, making it more rope-like in texture. It looks similar to paracord rope or clothing line string. Those outer fibers are often stiff and coarse, while the center of the cord is filled with a soft cotton strand. It doesn’t unravel very easily, so it is not well-suited to projects that need a fringe.
3-Ply / Multi-Ply
Plied macrame cord is made by twisting thin strands together to form a thicker strand (like yarn). The number of ply indicates how many strands are twisted together. 3-Ply is the most common type, but 4-ply and above are also available. Plied cord is a bit softer than braided cord and takes a fringe well, so it is good for projects that need those characteristics.
Single strand macrame cord is made by twisting one strand of fiber and is the most expensive option out of the three. It is the ideal cord for bags and clothing since it is soft and easy to fringe, but it works extremely well with most projects.
Macrame Cord Sizes
Macrame cord is sized by the diameter of the cord in millimeters. 3-5mm cords are the most common sizes on the market, but you can find thinner or thicker sizes to suit your needs.
- Small (1-2mm): Best for jewelry and other fine projects.
- Medium (3-5mm): Good for most projects.
- Large (6mm and up): Best suited for large projects like rugs, wall hangings, and furniture.
Alternatives To Macrame Cord
Macrame cord is easy to work with, which makes it the preferred choice, but it is by no means the only option. You can use most types of string for macrame, so don’t be afraid to experiment with whatever you have on hand.
Try using some more common strings like jute, twine, yarn, or rope. Jute and twine are great options for making more rustic-looking projects, rope is good for big projects that need a lot of strength, and yarn is more of an all-purpose option since it is widely available and comes in a lot of colors. They won’t behave in exactly the same way as macrame cord (yarn is notoriously difficult to unknot, for example) but they can give you some interesting results.
Supplies Needed to make a Macrame Plant Hanger
The best thing about crafting with macrame is that it takes very few tools and/or supplies. For this planter project, you’ll need:
- 4mm macrame cord
- Pint mason jar (whatever kind you have on hand...we always keep them around the house for a variety of mason jar crafts)
- Scissors (we like this kind best!)
- Beads or other embellishments (optional)
How To Make A Macrame Plant Hanger: A Step By Step Guide
Planter slings are one of the best beginner projects to get you started with macrame because they are quick to make and only use a few different macrame techniques. This particular project only uses three types of knots and they are all fairly easy to do. So let’s get started!
Step One: Make The Hook
To get started, we need to measure and cut our cords and use a wrapping knot to make a loop that we can use to hang our finished plant holder.
Cut four pieces of macrame cord, making each piece about 4 yards (12 feet long)
Fold them in half so you have a total of 8 6” cords.
Cut another piece of cord (about 2’ long) or use a scrap piece from a previous project. Grip your long cords about two inches below the center loop.
Make a small loop with your smaller cord and line it up with your longer cords.
Loop the tail of your short cord around the long cords eight times. Be careful not to fully cover the top tail or the bottom loop.
Insert the working tail through the bottom loop and tighten.
Pull on the top tail of the cord until the other end disappears from view. Cut the excess cord.
Step Two: Make The Macrame Plant Hanger Straps
Now you can start making the straps. This planter design has a decorative pattern at the top that looks quite nice and adds some strength to the top of the planter.
Start by dividing your cords into two groups of four.
Take the outer left cord in your first group and lay it over the two cords in the middle. Lay your outer right cord over the tail of your left cord.
Bring the tail of your right cord under the other strings and pass it up through the loop made by the left cord.
Pull on the tails to tighten the knot, making sure the two cords in the middle don’t get twisted around each other. This is one spiral knot.
Repeat this process 19 more times until you have a total of 20 spiral knots.
Do the same for your other group of cords.
Now you should have two equal lengths of spiral cord.
Step Three: Make The Sling
Next we are going to make the netting that will hold our mason jar in place. We will give you the measurements we used for this section, but you may have to adjust the distances between your knots depending on your jar.
Start by dividing the tails of your straps into sets of two.
On your first set of cords, measure about 5” down from the bottom of your last spiral knot.
Make a spider knot by bringing the tail of your right cord up to form a loop.
Send your left cord through the loop from front to back.
Bring the tail of the left cord over the tail of the right cord and bring it through the loop again from back to front.
Gently pull cords until the knot is tight.
Make a spider knot on the remaining three cord sets. Try to keep them all the same distance from the spiral straps so that they line up nicely. You may need to loosen your knots and readjust them until you get the placement just right.
For the next row of knots, combine the right cord of one group with the left cord of the next group. This means that the two outermost cords will be ignored for the time being.
Measure about 3” down from the first row of knots and make a spider knot using the inner cords of the first two cord groups.
Make spider knots on the remaining inner cords, then fold the net in half and make a spider knot with the two outer cords. This will create a tube for our jar to sit in.
Gather the cord about 2-3” down from the second row of spider knots and do another wrapping knot (like we did for the top loop) and wrap the short cord around the longer cords 5 times. Cut away the top tail.
To make the fringe at the bottom of the planter, cut the tails about 4” below your wrapping knot or to whatever length you’d prefer.
And that’s it! Your DIY macrame planter is finished!
Tips And Tricks For Making The Perfect Macrame Plant Hanger
- If you want to make this macrame plant hanger, but your jar or pot is shaped differently than ours, use your planter to see where you need to put the knots for the netting. Line up the top of your planter with the top row of spider knots and check if the measurements we gave you in the tutorial still look right on your jar. If not, move them up or down until your container fits.
- You can easily add beads to this project for extra embellishment. String a bead onto the center two cords of your spiral knot and tighten around it to add beads to your straps. You can also string beads onto your cords before making your first spider knots in step three to add decoration to the bottom part of your straps.
- Experiment by making longer spiral straps (you’ll need to cut longer cords in step one.) You can also skip the spiral knot portion entirely for a more minimalist design.
How much cord do I need to make a macrame plant hanger?
If you are following our pattern above and using a pint jar, you will need approximately 13 yards of macrame cord. If you plan to use a larger jar or plant pot, you may need to add about a yard to each of your cords for a total of approximately 17 yards of macrame cord.
What is the difference between triple twisted and twisted macrame cord?
Triple twisted cord is another term for 3-ply, while twisted cord usually refers to single-strand. The main difference is that 3-ply is three strands of fiber twisted into one rope, while twisted is one solid fiber strand. 3-ply cord is strong, while single-strand has a softer texture.
What can I use in my macrame plant hanger?
Almost anything! You can use other jar sizes and shapes, plant pots, and glass containers like terrarium vases and fish bowls. You can even use baby food jars and jute cord to make a miniature plant hanger.
Now that you have gone through this DIY macrame plant hanger tutorial, what project are you planning to tackle next? Let us know in the comments below! And if you need any inspiration, check out some of the other DIY projects we’ve put together like this super cute DIY tissue box cover.