Macramé Forever!

Andy N. is at it again! This is Andy’s second macramé workshop post. (Here’s the first: Macramé Rocks: A Love Story.) Don’t miss the how-to video at the bottom of this page for step-by-step instructions on how to make three basic macramé knots. Then, get started on your very own macramé masterpiece!

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

OK, that title may seem a little zealous, maybe even a little theatrical. But that’s how I feel. If you read my previous post, then you, dear and patient reader, know the whole back story of how macramé came into my life and gave me something to be passionate about at a very young age. Yes, I know. Some kids dream of playing on professional sports teams, and some dream of being in a band. I dreamt of square knots and half hitches and the next wall hanging that I would create in my macramé studio in my parents’ basement.

Let’s just say that macramé gave me an identity and a purpose all through the ’70s, and when 1980 rolled around and the macramé scene was over, I moved on with the rest of the crafting world. (I can’t believe I’m calling macramé a craft. When I was knotting my little heart out in the ’70s, the word macramé was too pedestrian. I preferred “fiber art.” La-di-da! Pretty uppity for a junior high geek who rode the bus and thought Donny and Marie Osmond were the height of musical sophistication.)

You can imagine my surprise when I started to hear our Trends team (those crazy millennials) talking about the new trend of macramé. WOW, did my ears perk up! They wanted to do a workshop, and word got back to the Trends team that I possessed, if you will, some modest experience in the fiber arts. I taught a workshop and several macramé protégés were born. Really! The artists who were part of that workshop spread the word, and the rest is history.

I’m like a proud parent. If I meet you on the street get ready for me to whip out my phone and show you my Hallmark clan and their amazing feats of macramé!

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

OK, on to the workshop! First let me say that I can be kind of a mess. I mentioned in my last blog post that I am always dirty. Well, I also have a tendency to lose things that were right in front of me and I can render simple devices inoperable faster than Linda Blair’s head swiveled around in “The Exorcist.” Case in point: I received a new 10-pound spool of cord in the mail, and as I took it out of its box, I accidentally tore part of the cardboard protector off of the top and then dropped the whole spool. This photo shows the result.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Dad to the rescue. Have I mentioned that my dad is 87? When will he stop having to rescue me? Dad did a drawing of a contraption he had made for me when I was doing macramé many years ago. Then he built this macramé spool-thing-a-ma-jiggy, and I have to say, everyone that does macramé needs one.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Discovering macramé supplies

I get a lot of questions about where I find the cord I use. My standard answer is that I look everywhere and I might find it anywhere. I found the material in this photo through Amazon.com. It’s a 10-pound spool of cotton welt cord. I send students to any on-line sources they can find, but also to hardware stores, craft stores, fabric shops, farm supply stores—the list goes on. If you can tie a knot with something, then you can macramé with it. (In his tutorial, Andy uses cotton piping welt cord, 22/32.)

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

My friend, Theresa, found some authentic, hand-painted, 1970s mushroom beads at a local garage sale, so she donated them to our most recent macramé class. Theresa RULES!

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

This is me working on a wall hanging during our class. I tie the strings up in what we call “butterflies” (a professional macramé term, please use it sparingly), so that the very long strands stay untangled as I am working.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

We had some of our amazing and talented Hallmarkers working on projects during a recent workshop. I do have to brag on them for a minute. Each participant came to the photo studio to take the class in the morning. They learned the basic knots before lunch, went to lunch during which time they found any supplies that they would need for the afternoon, came back after lunch and started working on real projects. They are BRILLIANT!

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Everything old is new again

When I heard about the renewed interest in macramé, I found myself smiling for days. It was like an old and dear friend had come home. I smiled some more as I found myself in my basement with ropes and dowel rods hanging from the floor joists, once again spending hours tying knots. But this time it wasn’t about me or my “art.” It was about sharing this odd craft with a new generation, seeing their creations, and seeing them smile.

Macrame Forever | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Creating with tactile materials

In this day and age when we seem to be ruled by technology and social media, it does my heart good to see young people excited and calmed by something as simple as spending their valuable and precious time creating something with their own hands. The world will change but the act of creating will remain—whether it be my 87-year-old dad painting a landscape at his easel in his senior living apartment, a five-year-old gluing macaroni to a piece of construction paper, or a trendy millennial tying one square knot after another to create something out of their imagination. I relish the idea that I can pass on something that brought me so much happiness and that there are people who are interested.

If I am lucky, I will always be a teacher and a student. If I am lucky, I will always find a reason to have a smile on my face. If I am lucky, I will always find myself surrounded by younger people that make me feel relevant…even if that is through the art of macramé.

Macramé forever!

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our DIY macramé keychains and our macramé garden art.

And don’t forget to show us your own macramé wall hangings, planters, bracelets, necklaces, keychains, curtains—whatever you have created with knots, beads, ropes and cords! Tag us on Instagram, @think.make.share!

Photograher: Kevin Cozad

Director: Mark Morton  |  Videographers: Mark Morton and Kevin Cozad  |  Producer: Jennifer Dreiling  |  Video Editor: Molly Nemer

Save

Save

Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. 7.7.16 | Reply
    Terri montgomery wrote:

    That’s sooo awesome, Andy! Not only are you a talented artist but you write beautifully as well.
    I, too, was knotting away in the 70s. I made a hanging table for plants!!

    • 7.14.16 | Reply
      Andy Newcom wrote:

      Terri, it is bringing me so much joy to find all of these 70’s friends that were also knotting up a storm making all kinds of things out of jute and wooden beads.

      Thank you for your kind words and keep watching and reading the Think.Make.Share. blog. More macrame’ to come!

  2. 7.26.16 | Reply
    gretchen wrote:

    Bonjour Andy! You are such an inspiration and a hilarious writer. (Or is it “an” hilarious writer?) Thank you for the smiles and the talent. If you ever had a workshop for non-Hallmarkers or Hallmarker wanna-bes, I would be there!

    • 7.27.16 | Reply
      Andy Newcom wrote:

      oops. Sorry Gretchen, I just had a workshop for non-Hallmarkers. It was hosted by Golden & Pine and Hallmark. I don’t have any other non-Hallmark plans for another workshop anytime soon but hey, you never know. Keep watching!

  3. 8.12.16 | Reply
    miriam wrote:

    Your creations are beautiful! Can you tell me if there’s a special way to tie those “butterflies” or do you just wrap it around your hand and secure it with a rubber band?

    • 11.1.16 | Reply
      Andy Newcom wrote:

      Miriam, the important thing to remember when making a butterfly is to start wrapping the cord you are using around your hand from the top end of the cord not the bottom end. If you start wrapping the cord around your hand from the bottom or end of the cord it will become a big knot.

      Once you have your string or cord mounted, leave about a foot of material to work with and start wrapping the cord around your hand, when you get to the end of the cord put a rubber band around the middle of the butterfly to secure it. When you have knotted for awhile and need more cord just tug on the butterfly and it will release the amount of cord that you need.

  4. 11.1.16 | Reply
    Marney wrote:

    Andy, do you sell any finished pieces? I adore your work!

  5. 1.5.17 | Reply
    Berthg wrote:

    I am so glad I found your You Tube Andy. I did macrame in the late 70s and 80s. Like you I donated all of my books to the library when it died. Now I want to make one for my long wall in my new house that I waited for 65 years to purchase.:) I am so glad you even mention where to buy the cord since I have been having a hard time finding books and cords. I hope you put some more stuff on macrame.
    Bertha

  6. 1.7.17 | Reply
    bonnet wrote:

    Merci pour cet article

  7. 2.24.17 | Reply
    Linda Miller wrote:

    I’m just discovering macrame. I can’t wait to do some large wall hangings. Your videos are very helpful. I hope I find workshops in the San Diego area. Thanks for sharing your talent……Linda, San Diego CA

  8. 5.27.17 | Reply
    julie spear wrote:

    This is a great video tutorial! And i have looked at a TON of macrame tutorials! For somereason i totally understood so clearly when you explained these knots that i have seen before, but still had to look at a photo everytime i wanted to arlttempt them! So THANK YOU, because i AM super interested in macrame, and have an unfinished project on my wall, that i am going to go try and finish right now, using some of your awesome photos, from your blog posts as inspiration! Seriously, thanks for sharing
    ..

  9. 6.23.17 | Reply
    Kelly Gibson wrote:

    I love that macrame is back! I have a couple of big projects I started way back when. I moved recently and came across them and kept them handy so I can finish them. I’ve noticed all the macrame pins on Pinterest. I just love it! Great article!

    • 6.23.17 | Reply
      Think.Make.Share wrote:

      Ooooh how fun, Kelly! We’d love to see your pieces! @think.make.share

  10. 8.12.17 | Reply
    Lynnette wrote:

    Hi Andy, thanks for taking the time to share this! I am a self proclaimed macrame’ nerd from back in the 70’s. I made everything back then, wall hangings, planters, owls, purses, you know. I loved it! My daughter is now in her 20’s, and recently brought it to my attention that macrame’ is becoming popular with her generation. I’m planning to teach her all I know, and she’s so excited to learn! I recently completed two macrame’ projects, (after decades without making a single thing). And I can honestly say that I still love and enjoy it like I did as a teenager!!! So I agree with you completely that….macrame’ rocks!!!
    So cool, Lynnette ✌️🤓

  11. 8.16.17 | Reply
    Cathy wrote:

    Hi Andy
    I’m on my second macrame piece and trying to make a piece that I seen on Pinterest. I still just feeling my way through this project without instructions. I’m finding a cord that I added at the top to start the half hitch knot and did it wrong. Well ,6 rows down I’m finding I have a short cord . Is there anyway to add on to this one cord? Thank you. You first video has been a great help. Cathy sorry I’m not on snapshot

  12. 10.12.17 | Reply
    natasha wrote:

    I really loved your video. I am just starting in macrame, and was wondering; how do you know, how much rope to use for a project?

    • 3.12.18 | Reply

      Here’s Andy’s answer!
      The length of rope you need to start with depends on a lot of things: how thick is the rope or twine that you are working with, how dense is the piece that you are making, what type of knots are you incorporating? My general rule of thumb is make your rope about 6 or 7 times as long as you want the length of your finished piece to be. That is about the easiest recipe that I can give without knowing the answer to the previous questions. Hope that helps give a general rule of thumb!

  13. 2.7.18 | Reply
    Elly wrote:

    love that u use big ropes, easier to see.

  14. 2.18.18 | Reply
    Becky wrote:

    Hi Andy…I learned how to macrame in the 80’s in 7th grade during as a lunchtime special activity and loved it! Now I’m back… I used to use kits the teacher put together for us, so I’ve no idea how much cording I should be using. Can you guide me on that? I’m looking to make a piece to act as a headboard, hanging it from the wall, close to the ceiling. Thanks!

  15. 3.11.18 | Reply
    Paula wrote:

    I loved your your vidio on making knots. I’m new at it and found it really hard to understand. Everyone goes so fast. You are amazing.

  16. 3.12.18 | Reply
    Trisha wrote:

    This tutorial was the easiest out of the 20 or 30 i watched….thanks

  17. 4.22.18 | Reply
    dru wrote:

    I also started macrame when I was a teen, I stopped and never did it again, but I never forgot the basic knots,now I’m doing a protect and I love it! thanks for sharing!

  18. 6.7.18 | Reply
    Jessica Lack wrote:

    Hi Andy! I love your videos and instructions. I wanted to let you know that not everyone from my generation prefers technology over crafting. I am 46 and have been crocheting for about 27 years. It’s very rare to find me without a crochet hook in my hand. Now I will be macrameing too!

  19. 6.9.18 | Reply
    SONU wrote:

    your video for beginners for very useful i see almost 6-7 times

  20. 7.20.18 | Reply
    Nicole Williams wrote:

    This is such a great tutorial! I would love to know the exact cord that is used in the tutorial and the size of it. That thick cord is the look I’m going for, but I’m not sure what thickness I’m looking for on amazon. Thanks!

    • 7.23.18 | Reply
      Tobe R. wrote:

      We’ll see what we can find out, Nicole!

      • 7.23.18 | Reply
        Tobe R. wrote:

        Andy recommends cotton piping welt cord, 22/32

  21. 7.25.18 | Reply
    Jqu O wrote:

    I love the spirit in your heart!

  22. 8.15.18 | Reply
    Aslina wrote:

    Hi Andy

    I am new to macrame and still in a learning process. Can you help me…what type is the material that you used in the video (basic knots).

    Thanks

    • 8.16.18 | Reply
      Trish B. wrote:

      Andy recommends cotton piping welt cord, 22/32

  23. 9.9.18 | Reply
    Catherine wrote:

    I always come back to your tutorial when I can’t remember what I’m doing. Thank you so much ANDY for the way that you explain this art!!!

  24. 9.28.18 | Reply
    Judith wrote:

    You are awesome, thank you for being an awesome teacher!

  25. 10.18.18 | Reply
    PATRICIA FARIAS MIRANDA wrote:

    ME GUSTAN MUCHO SUS TRABAJOS Y LO MEJOR ES QUE SABE ENSEÑAR, LENTO Y MUY EXPLÍCITO, SE LE AGRADECE, ME HA SERVIDO MUCHO DE TERAPIA.

  26. 11.19.18 | Reply
    Faith wrote:

    Beautiful ❣️

  27. 2.10.19 | Reply
    Alexandra Armstrong wrote:

    Hi Andy! I’m new at macrame and so eager to get started but I can’t seem to find the right kind of cord I like anywhere in my city. What is the cord you use in the tutorial? I really like the thickness and soft look of it. Thank you!

    • 2.11.19 | Reply
      Trish B. wrote:

      Andy recommends cotton piping welt cord, 22/32.
      —Trish

  28. 3.5.19 | Reply
    Elizabeth Collins wrote:

    I love reading, learning and watching all that you post.
    It struck me just the other day how much I loved macrema and never having really learned much I wanted back in that club.
    So here I am. PLEASE send everything and anything you think would help this old doll. Love you!!

  29. 3.14.19 | Reply
    Tânia Flávia Pereira Silva Ferraz wrote:

    Lindo parabéns, gostaria de receber mais vídeos desse, maravilhoso. Sou do Brasil.

  30. 5.11.19 | Reply
    Debbie wrote:

    So I wasn’t the only one who spent the 70’s immersed in macrame patterns! Am looking forward to getting back into it. Just doing research ….thanks for the tips!