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Macrame for Beginners: Everything You Need To Get Started

Macrame can be an incredible hobby — and sometimes even more — for those who enjoy crafts and creating unique items from scratch. You can sell your macrame creations, give them away as gifts to your family and friends, or simply keep them for yourself. 

The possibilities are virtually endless as well when it comes to what you can create. From necklaces, earrings, and other fashion accessories, to door curtains, dreamcatchers and so much more!

With that being said, macrame may be difficult for those who have never dabbled in it before. With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide to macrame for beginners below to help you get started:

Macrame For Beginners: Basic Macrame Knots

The following five knots are the essentials to get started with macrame. They will also allow you to make a wide variety of things including plant hangers, bracelets, and key chains. Learning these five basic macrame knots will help you get started on a successful macrame journey.

  • Lark’s Head
  • Square
  • Half-Hitch
  • Double Half-Hitch
  • Spiral 

To get started you will need a few supplies the most important is your macrame cord. You can get really creative here as there is a huge variety of colors and designs to choose from. In addition, you will need a ring, stick, or hoop.

1. Lark’s Head Knot

The Lark’s Head knot is the most essential to the art of macrame. It is the starting knot you will use when attaching your cord and can be seen in almost every macrame project. 

  1. Fold your cord in half.
  2. Place the loop under your ring, hoop, or stick.
  3. Slide the ends of your cord through the loop.
  4. Pull the macrame cord tight and you will have a Lark’s Head knot.

If you want to make a reverse Lark’s Head knot you can flip your project to the backside or just do it opposite.

Macrame For Beginners: Hand-Made Macrame Plant Hanger

2. Square Knot

The square knot has two essential parts. The first side you complete is a half square knot, and when you complete the second side (another half square knot) you will have a full square knot.

  • Begin by doing two Lark’s Head knots.
  • You will have a total of 4 macrame cords.
  • Taking the outer left cord cross it over the two middle cords.
  • Take the outer right cord and put it on top of the left and under the middle cords.
  • You will now take it and pull it through the loop on the left side.
  • Pull the cord tight (don’t twist it).
  • This is the first side of the square knot (a half square knot).

Now to finish the square knot (you should still have 4 cords):

  • Cross the outer right cord over the two in the middle
  • Place the outer left cord over the right cord and under the two in the middle
  • As you did before, take it and pull it through the loop on the right.
  • Pull the cord tight avoiding twisting it.

You now have a completed square knot!

Many beautiful macrame projects are created simply by repeating a square knot in rows. I like to alternate the square knot with spacing for a unique look. To do this you will need to start with four Larks Head knots giving you a total of eight cords.

  1. Use the four left most cords to create a square knot.
  2. Do the same with the four cords on the right.
  3. Make another square knot with the four cords in the middle (you can push the other ones out the way to make this easier).
  4. Be sure you are pulling the cords tight each time. 
  5. Repeat this pattern (left cords, right cords, middle cords) until you are done.

3. Half Hitch

A half hitch is a very basic knot.

  • Begin with making a Lark’s Head knot.
  • Choose a cord and make the shape of the number “4”.
  • Loop the cord through the hole at the top and pull it tight.

4. Double Half Hitch

A double half hitch is exactly what it sounds like in that it is created by making two half hitch knots.

  • Begin with the Lark’s Head knot.
  • Create the shape of the number “4” with one cord.
  • Loop the cord through the hole at the top, pull tight.
  • Repeat by making another “4” shape (using the same cord)
  • Pull it through the loop tightly.
Weaving Macrame

5. Spiral Knot

The spiral knot is one of the easiest and most beautiful. You have already learned the basic skills to make it! It is simply made by repeating half square knots or half hitch knots.

  • After you make the first half of your square knot don’t switch to the other side. Just keep working on the same side. As you work you will notice that the macrame will start to create a spiral, don’t fight it.
  • If you want to make a thick spiral begin with two Lark’s Head knots.
  • If you want a single version begin by making one Lark’s Head knot and then repeat half hitch knots. 

The twisting is supposed to happen so don’t mess with it just keep working. It can be tricky to keep track of your pattern so pay extra attention here.

Making a Diagonal Pattern

To make a diagonal pattern in your macrame project you will begin with at least three Lark’s Head knots (for a total of six cords).

  • Place the leftmost cord diagonally across the other five cords. This is the base of your pattern and where you place it will determine the look of your pattern. It is the filler cord so make sure it is placed where you want it.
  • For this pattern you will work left to right making a double half hitch knot with the second cord. Pull it tight.
  • Make sure the leftmost cord is still diagonally on top of the others.
  • Use the third cord to make a double half hitch.
  • Use the fourth cord to make a double half hitch.
  • Keep working until you get to the last cord on the right. You should be able to see the diagonal pattern emerge.
  • Now work right to left and repeat the above steps. You will place the rightmost cord diagonally over the others (again establishing the base of the pattern).

Instead of placing the cord diagonally you can also place it horizontally. This will give you a line of knots that is a horizontal pattern. The half hitch knot has other variations that can be used but this will give you a great start to making beautiful patterns.

base knots of macrame

Start Creating Something Unique With Macrame Today!

We hope you enjoyed this guide to macrame for beginners and hope it helps you create something incredible with macrame; no matter what it is. If you want more macrame for beginners tips and guides, stay tuned to our blog here at That Sweet Tea Life!