MACRAMÉ GONE WILD! Andy’s macramé yard art

It was bound to happen: Hallmark Photo Stylist and Macramé Guru Andy N. has filled up his house, our studio, and a dozen Hallmakers’ walls. So, naturally, he’s now taking over the outdoors with macramé yard art.

HA! I knew I would get your attention! I am now forced to make the titles of my blog posts even more provocative to capture the attention of you, my patient and loyal reader. This now my fourth macramé blog post (here’s the first about how my love for macramé began) and to be completely transparent I can’t believe I was asked to write the second blog post about a macramé class I gave for Hallmark artists and a third post about a workshop at Kansas City’s Golden & Pine home decor store, let alone this one! (Or this one. Or this one.)

“Macramé gone wild” isn’t completely misleading because I am taking you out into the wilds of my backyard for my most recent project.

Macramé helped define the culture of the ’70s. Think shag carpeting, interior walls covered in wood shingles, incense burners, and sliding glass doors dripping with condensation because of the hundreds of decaying house plants and terrariums placed in front of them.

I know these things because I lived them. My dad was a graphic designer and my mom was a writer and artist, and they moved my brother and I thick into the woods of De Soto, Kansas, population 2,000. My dad designed a contemporary home that we built and moved into, and that was where I had my first real macramé studio—in the basement between the furnace and the laundry chute.

I can make fun of the 1970s—which really is the only appropriate thing to do—but when all is said and done I am so thankful that my parents made that move from the city to the country. Yes, it took me awhile to realize that once you moved 20 miles out of the city, any word endin’ in “ing” didn’t need the “g” on the end. Actually didn’ need a lot of “t’s” either. Why waste all those letters?

Once I was educated in the Ways of the Country, I fell in love. The country is where I truly learned to love nature. It is where I learned to have a relationship with plants and animals and to see how intrinsically we are tied together.

So what does this have to do with my recent macramé project?

Well, like I said earlier, I am taking macramé outside. Back to the wild…back to everything granola-y…back to the land of macramé owls, dream catchers, and hippies livin’ off the land. I am making macramé yard art.

Hallmark Photo Stylist Andy N. shows how he creates macramé yard art on a trellis in his garden.

Hallmark Photo Stylist Andy N. shows how he creates macramé yard art on a trellis in his garden.

For this latest project, Big Daddy-o and I built a giant trellis behind my garden shed. Here’s how we did it:

  1. We sunk two 10-foot cedar 4-by-4s in the ground in concrete, 10 feet apart.
  2. Then we drilled holes in the posts six inches apart, and ran rebar horizontally from one vertical post to the other.
  3. Finally, we we drilled holes every six inches in another 10-foot cedar 4-by-4, put it across the top of the first two, and ran vertical rebar down to the ground.

Whew! That was a mouthful!

Simple macramé yard art in jute on a rebar trellis.

Simple macramé yard art in jute on a rebar trellis.

I have planted three very invasive vines on the trellis: wisteria, honeysuckle, and akebia. (Let the strongest vine win!) Once I saw it, I decided everything is a little better with macramé on it.

I picked a few six-inch squares at random and started adding jute in a simple half-hitch, flower-like design. I used jute so the macramé yard art can withstand the harsh climate of Kansas City. When the jute gets wet, it swells up and the rope gets bigger and the knots get tighter. And as the jute is out in the sun, the color will bleach out a little bit and look very weathered. These are all attributes that I really like. The vines will treat the macramé as mini-trellises on which to climb.

I haven’t figured out how many squares I will fill with macramé…and there is no pressure. Maybe I will macramé a few more squares every year. Hey, macramé shouldn’t be stressful! Do a little, sit a spell, and then do a little more.

In the meantime, I wouldn’t feel right if I just showed my macramé yard art…so I will move back indoors and show you some extremely cool, clean, and contemporary macramé wall hangings Hallmark artists created this past year. They continue to amaze me with their expert knotting prowess!

Large macramé wall hanging in white displayed on gray wall.


Fringed macramé wall hanging displayed on white wall.

Jodi A., Macramé Provocateur…BRILLIANT!

Macramé yard art post with picture of wall hanging featuring a horseshoe and copper pipe insets.

Jen W. rules the macramé world!

Macramé yard art with examples of wall hangings with white rope and jute

Lindsay T. HAS TO BE STOPPED! Where will this macramé madness take her?!?

Multiple angles of macramé wall hangings displayed in contemporary home.

macramé yard art post with examples of Hallmark artists' wall hangings


So to all of my macramé friends (I mean really, I do feel like we are family at this point): Thank you for once again humoring me with the opportunity to write another blog post dedicated to the art of macramé. Now go on, git outside, kick of the ol’ Birkenstocks, put a daisy in your hair, and start knottin’.

Photography: Jane Kortright

Andy would love to see your macramé garden art. For real. So would we—so please share it with us on @think.make.share or post on Facebook.




Leave a Comment

  1. 5.26.17 | Reply
    Julie Hosley wrote:

    Oh My Knots! That is amazing, Andy!

  2. 5.26.17 | Reply
    julie spear wrote:

    VERY cool project, Andy! I, too, am a child of the 70’s and i wish on SO many occasios that we could rewind back to those much simpler times? Lets all start a movement back to love-ins and peace and harmony, right? I think you are making a great start with your supercool approach in your fabulous macrame art and gardening…. way to be awesome!

  3. 5.31.17 | Reply
    Jeannie wrote:

    Your knot tying in the garden has inspired me. My macrame masterpiece has been rolled up and kept in the attic for 35 years. Maybe it is time to roll it out and appreciate the art!