Decorative macrame knots

Decorative macrame knots DEFAULT

How to Tie Macramé Knots to Create Your Own Woven Decor

Macramé has been a popular craft for centuries, and this decorative knot-tying technique is still beloved today. The process involves weaving, twisting, and knotting cords to form unique designs, and it's often used to create home accessories such as wall hangings and plant holders. Requiring only a few materials, macramé is a great craft project for beginners (including kids!). To learn how to macramé, you'll first need several lengths of cord or rope and an object to tie your knots around. The support should be sturdy yet thin enough that you can easily loop strands of cord around it. Some examples of good macramé supports include wood dowels, tree branches, and metal hoops.

Once you've gathered your supplies, it's time to practice macramé knot techniques. By incorporating a variety of knots into your design, you can give your project interesting texture and added dimension. Below, we'll walk you through some of the most common macramé knot types and how to do them. Once you have these methods mastered, mix and match the different types of knots to create your own distinctive designs. The possibilities are limitless!

How to Tie Macramé Knots

You can use a variety of tying techniques to create unique macramé designs. Here are some of the most common types of macramé knots:

1. Lark's Head: This knot (pictured far left in the photo above) typically starts a project and secures your cord or rope to the dowel (or whatever you're weaving on). To tie a lark's head knot, loop one end of the cord over the dowel and bring that end across the front of the remaining cord. Bring the end under and around the dowel to create a loop and feed the end through. Pull to tighten and even out the ends as needed.

2. Square Knot: Tied over and over in a tight repeat, square knots (pictured second from left, above) create a chunky textured band. Learn how to create this knot using the step-by-step instructions, below.

3. Alternating Square Knot: This macramé knot (pictured center, above) creates a diamond pattern and can be used to form wide panels. Starting with eight cords, you tie rows of square knots, alternating the cords you use with each row. Tie one square knot with the inner four cords, then tie two knots using the four cords on either side.

4. Spiral Knot: In this tying technique, knots wind into a twisting pattern (pictured right, above). You'll start the knot as you would a square knot and simply repeat the first step over and over. The knot will start to turn as you move down.

How to Tie a Square Macramé Knot

1. Start with a pair of lark's head knots. Bring the far left cord over the two middle cords and under the far right one. Bring the far-right cord under the middle two and over the far left.

2. Pull tight. Don't let cords twist.

3. Bring the far left cord under the middle two and over the far right. Bring the far-right cord over the middle two and under the left one.

4. Pull tight. Repeat with the next two pairs of cords, working around the cage to form a row of square knots. Then tie alternating square knots around bulb cage.


Beginners guide to basic macrame knots

As you may already know, we love macrame. Its vibes are so on trend and we’ve got tons of macrame projects in the Mollie mags, here on Gathered and stashed away in our archives. But to get started on all these projects, you need to know the basic macrame knots. We got together with Robyn Gough, vlogger, and owner of United Knots, to bring you this guide full of basic macrame knots and decorative techniques for making macramé wall art, plant hangers, and more.

Before we run through 10 basic macrame knots, we’re going to teach you a little bit more about the world of macrame. Buckle up because you’re about to get a crash course in macrame!

What is macrame?

Macrame is a craft technique that uses different knots to create an overall pattern/object. It’s an ancient craft that can be traced back to Arab weavers who used knotting techniques to create towels, shawls, and veils. Macrame came over to England in the 17th century and has been around ever since!

The most common macrame knot is the square knot (we teach you how to do this later) and it makes up the base of most designs. There’s now hundreds of different macrame knots but by learning the basics, you’ll be able to create gorgeous pieces that will stand the test of time.

What materials do you use for macrame?

All you need to start macrame is some rope or yarn and your hands! You can buy macrame cord from most online and in store craft retailers and it comes in a range of colours and thicknesses. Amazon, Hobbycraft, Etsy and eBay all sell macrame cord at a range of price points. We recommend beginners using 3mm-4mm single strand cotton macrame cord as it’s pliable, easy to knot with but also easy to undo if you make a mistake. Here’s a few macrame cord styles we love and will be perfect to use for our macrame knot tutorials.


Wavraging macrame cord

Amazon, £14.99

Wavraging makes easy to use macrame cord that’s both eco-friendly and 100% cotton. This cord is 3mm thick which is perfect for basic macrame knots as it’s thin enough to undo if you make mistakes but thick enough to hold a good knot! It’s very similar to the macrame cord Robyn has used in her tutorials below. 


Etsy macrame cord pack

Etsy, £40.51

This macrame cord pack is a great starter kit for those who aren’t sure what kind of project they want to make. There’s three different cotton cords included in a range of thicknesses. The small grey macrame cord is 2.5 mm making it ideal for small delicate projects like earrings, keychains etc. Then there’s the 3 mm blush/beige which is great for macrame plant hangers and finally there’s the 4 mm olive green which is for bigger home projects like mirrors or coasters.


Hobbycraft macrame cord

Hobbycraft, £10

Hobbycraft sells a range of macrame cord, patterns, books, and kits. They also stock the brand ReTwisst which sells great chunky macrame yarn. This 5mm macrame cord is ideal if you’re wanting to make more sturdy projects (for example a plant hanger for a heavy plant/pot) and 90 meters is more than enough to play with.

Is it easy to learn macrame?

Yes! With a little bit of practice, macrame is easy to master. Macrame is also a great craft because at its core you only need your hands and some rope as opposed to other crafts which use lots of different tools and materials. You can start by learning macrame with our photo guide below but there’s also some wonderful Youtube videos out there for you to craft along to. Robyn, who helped us to create our basic macrame knot tutorial, has loads of useful Youtube videos about macrame.

Watch Robyn’s beginner macrame tutorial below…

10 basic macrame knots

This tutorial was created using United Knots 3.5mm single ply macramé cord in Stop It I’m Blushing. You can buy yours here.

Lark’s head macrame knot

Lark’s head knots are the best way to start any macramé project. They can be front facing or reverse – here’s how to do both.

Front facing lark’s head knots leave a line of cord resting against your dowel once tied.

  1. Measure and cut a length of cord for your project.
  2. Join both ends together, folding the cord in half.
  3. Working from the front, take the folded loop over the top of the dowel, then down behind it, leaving the loop facing downwards.

4. Pull the two cut ends of the cord up and through the loop, then tighten to secure the knot.

Reverse lark’s head macrame knot

A reverse lark’s head knot is created using the same technique as a lark’s head knot, only working towards you instead of away. It leaves no visible “line” against your dowel.

  1. Measure and cut a length of cord for your project.
  2. Join both ends together, folding the cord in half.
  3. Working from the back, take the folded loop over the top of the dowel, then down in front of it, leaving the loop facing downwards.
  4. Pull the two cut ends of the cord up and through the loop, then tighten to secure the macramé knot.

Wrap macrame knot

A wrap knot is used for securing groups of cords at the beginning or end of a macramé piece.

  1. Measure and cut a long length of cord.
  2. Gather the cords you wish to fasten in a group in your left hand. Using the length of cord, create a downward-facing loop, leaving a short tail and the remaining length of the cord at the top right.
  3. Pinch the top of the loop and the tail with your left thumb and index finger. Take the length of cord behind the group and to the left, bring it back around the front to create one wrap, then continue wrapping it around.

4. When wrapping, ensure the loop is left visible at the bottom. Once you’ve wrapped the group securely, thread the remaining length of cord through the bottom of the loop.
5. To secure the wrap knot, carefully pull the short tail end at the top of the wraps. This will shorten the loop and catch the length, pulling it upwards and into the wrapped cords.

6. Cut the remaining tail and length at the top and bottom of the wrap to neaten. Wrap macrame knot complete.

Half hitch macrame knot

Half hitch knots are used to add decoration to a macramé piece.

  1. Choose the pair of cords you wish to tie a half hitch macramé knot to.
  2. Take the ends of the cord pair to the right of your static cords and pull them under and to the left, creating a loop or D shape.

3. Take the ends of the D cords, cross them over at the resting point where the cords meet, then thread them under the loop of the D.
4. Pull gently to secure in the desired position.

Practice this knot on our beginner macrame wall hanging project and display your work on your walls!

Double half hitch macrame knot

Also known as a hitch knot, this is a variation of the half hitch where the process is repeated twice. This is often used to create diagonal and horizontal lines in macramé pieces or to add new colours.

  1. Choose a static cord to tie the double half hitch around. Hold the static cord at the desired angle of the line you wish the knots to form when finished.
  2. Use the cord on the right to tie a half hitch knot around the static cord twice.

3. Pull the wrapped cord to tighten the knots, then move them to the desired position while holding the static cord at the desired angle.

4. Repeat Steps 1-3 using the next static cord.

5. To complete a diagonal line of double half hitches, repeat Steps 1-4.

Horizontal double half hitch macrame knots

Horizontal double half hitch knots are great for introducing new colours to a piece, or for creating the appearance of a row of horizontal knots in a straight line. These are often used in macramé wall hangings.

  1. Measure and cut a length of coloured cord.
  2. Take a pair of static cords, then use the coloured cord to tie two half hitch macrame knots around them.
  1. Curtain panel backdrop
  2. Steiner ventrac
  3. Sap bar code

Macrame Knots

Macrame is a versatile, ancient form of fiber art that relies on tying knots by hand to create an intricate, decorative pattern. The macramé cord can be simple material like jute, hemp, leather, yarn or cotton twine. The art has been revived in modern times to create fancy items of interior décor. Macrame work can be embellished with wooden or glass beads, dyed threads and opens up a world of possibilities for crafting.


  1. To make plant hangers, wall hangings, window coverings, key chains, purses and jewelry.
  2. For making friendship bracelets, belts, hammocks, curtains, bell fringes, bikinis, placemats.
  3. To decorate knife handles, bottles, bags, picture frames, flower pots, lamps, etc.

List of Macramé Knots

The basic macramé knots are the square (reef) knot, half hitch, double half hitch, half knot and spiral knot. Beginners can start with these. Advanced macramé knots are monkey’s fist, diamond (lanyard) knot and josephine knot.

Bracelet Knots

Wall Hanging and Plant Hanger Knots

Rug Knots

Other Knots Used In Decorative Macramé Patterns

Tutorial Macrame Knots / Sea Decor /

Learn how to make basic macrame knots with this step-by-step guide.  Includes a handy macrame knots pdf that you can print out for your next macrame project!

Are you feeling totally overwhelmed by Macrame?

Do you see all these beautiful patterns and think, ‘I could never do that?’

I have good news for you.


Your Macrame worries are over.

Today I’m helping you take that first step.

I’ve included a handy macrame knots pdf that you can get and print out for your next Macrame project.  Go to the bottom of the post to get your free pdf.  

A few of you have asked me about tying Spiral Knots. So I included a video at the bottom of this post with me tying spiral knot macrame ornaments. You can use the Quick Links section to jump right there.

{This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here}.

Is Macrame Easy?

Macrame is basically tying knots, in my opinion. As with most things in life, you can improve on your craft with practice. I do think Macrame is an easy craft to pick up.

Although very intricate knots can take a bit of practice, these basic knots I’m about to show you are sometimes all you need. Because here’s the great thing about macrame:  Even the most basic macrame knots can make drop-dead gorgeous patterns.  Just check out these macrame projects for the beginner.  Amazing, right?

If you can tie a knot, you can macrame.

Check out my other Macrame Projects right here:

Basic Macrame Knots: Step by Step

Below are four basic knots to get you started.  You can make so many things with just these basic knots under your belt.  Keychains, bookmarks, placemats, macrame bracelets, macrame knot wall hangings, plant and jar hangers, etc.

Basic Macrame Knots - Macrame Cording and Hoop

So first we need to go grab some Macrame cord.  I like this cording.   But Amazon has TONS of options for good macrame cording.  And don’t forget that you can get all sorts of colors too.  Read the reviews and find what works for you.

Then, we need to get a hoop, a stick or a ring.  Something like this to attach your cord to.

Here’s a whole set for you if you want to get it all at once.

We are making progress already.  

Let’s get started with our knots …

Lark’s Head Knot

The Lark’s Head Knot is one of the most basic knots in Macrame. 

In fact, almost every beautiful piece of finished macrame you see starts with this knot. 

The Lark’s head knot is used to attach your cording to your ring, dowel or handle when starting a macrame project.

  1. Start by folding your piece of macrame cord in half.
  2. See that little loop?  Place that loop under your ring or dowel.
  3. Now fish the ends of the cording through that loop.
  4. Pull tight and you have your lark’s head knot!

By the way – check out this really easy and cute DIY macrame knot wall hanging with beads using JUST the lark’s head knot.  

To make a reverse lark’s head knot – you simply do a lark’s head knot the opposite way.  OR – just flip your project around to the back.  

Square Knot

There are essentially two parts to the square knot. 

You have to complete one side (also called a half square knot) and then the other side (also called a right half square knot) to make the full square knot.

  • how to make a square knot
  • how to make a square knot
  • how to make a square knot
  1. Start with two Lark’s head Knots.
  2. There should be a total of 4 macrame cords there.
  3. We are going to take the outer left cord and cross it over the two middle cords.
  4. Now take the outer right cord and place it on top of the left cord and UNDER the two middle cords.
  5. Loop it through the hole on the left side.
  6. Now pull tight without letting your cords twist.
  7. Yay!  You now have ONE side of your square knot done.  You have now completed a half square knot.  

Now, let’s do the other side…

  • how to make a square knot
  • how to make a square knot
  • how to make a square knot
  1. You should still see your 4 cords there – got it? Good.
  2. Take the outer RIGHT cord and cross it over the two middle cords.
  3. Take the outer left cord and place it on top of the left cord and UNDER the two middle cords.
  4. Loop it through the hole on the right side.
  5. Now pull your cords tight.  Your Right Half Square Knot is complete.
  6. You have completed the full square knot.

When you repeat this knot over and over again (in rows or sinnets) – you end up with a beautiful pattern of tightly weaved or netted cording.

This photo below is an alternating square knot.

Square Knot - alternating

This is more of a wider pattern. I love alternating square knots with even spacing in between the knots. 

To make the alternating square knot as I did above, start with 4 Lark’s head knots (there will be 8 total cords).

  1. Make a square knot with four left side cords.
  2. Make a square knot with the four right side cords.
  3. Make a square knot with the four middle cords.  (Push away the outer two cords on the left and right side to make it easier.)
  4. Continue working this pattern, left, right, middle, left, right, middle.
  5. Make sure to pull your cords tight without any twisting.

Half Hitch

To me, a half hitch is simply your basic knot.   Follow these steps …

  1. Start with a Lark’s head knot.
  2. Take one cord and make a number 4.
  3. Loop that cord through the “4” hole and pull tight.
  4. You made a half hitch knot!

Double Half Hitch

A double half hitch knot is just a half hitch knot repeated a second time.

  1. Start with a Lark’s head knot.
  2. Take one cord and make a number 4.
  3. Loop that cord through the “4” hole and pull tight.
  4. Make another number 4 using the same cord you used before.
  5. Loop it through the hole of the “4” and pull tight.

See that diagonal pattern I made?  You can make this by doing a repeat of double half hitch knots.  (See photo above)

Here’s how to make it:  

  1. Start with 3 or more Lark’s head knots.  For this example – we are using 3 Lark’s Head knots.  There is a total of 6 cords.
  2. Take the outer left cord and place it diagonally across all the other 5 cords.  This cord is your filler cord. The direction and placement of this outer left cord will determine the pattern.  So just make sure it’s placed the way you want over your cords.
  3. Working left to right, make a double half hitch knot with the second cord.
  4. Pull your cord tight.  Ensure your outer left cord is still placed diagonally over the cords.
  5. Now make a double half hitch knot with the third cord.
  6. Now make a double half hitch knot with the fourth cord.
  7. And keep going until you reach the last cord on the right side.  You will see your diagonal pattern of knots.
  8. Now, you are going to repeat steps 2-7 but this time working right to left.  So place the outer right cord diagonally over the other cords.
  • How to Make a Half Hitch Knot
  • How to Make a Half Hitch Knot
  • How to Make a Half Hitch Knot

You can also make a horizontal line of double half hitch knots (just go horizontal instead of diagonal with that first cord).

There are variations to the half hitch knots, (like triple half hitch knots), but even with these basic half hitch knots, you can make great patterns.

How to Tie a Spiral Knot

I think the Spiral knot is one of the prettiest knots.  And fortunately – it’s one of the easiest too!

Spiral Knot - Macrame

You already know how to do the spiral knot. 

It’s just a repeat pattern of half-square knots (first half of a square knot) or half hitch knots. 

Instead of switching to the right side to complete the square knot, you just keep working that left side.  The macrame will naturally spiral.  Just go with it.

Watch a Video of Spiral Knot

I made spiral Christmas Ornaments. You can see how I did this below.

To make a thicker version of the spiral knot, start with 2 Lark’s Head knots.

To make a single version – start with 1 Lark’s Head knot and make a repeat pattern of half hitch knots. 

Again – your macrame will naturally start to twist.  This is the pattern on the far right below.

Learn how to make basic macrame knots with this step by step guide.  #macrame #diy #crafts #tutorial

The trickiest part of this knot is keeping the pattern going the right way when it starts to twist.  

That’s it!

You Did It!

You’re awesome! 

Pat yourself on the back!

Look at your beautiful macrame knots and patterns.  Aren’t you super impressed?

PS:  I sat in front of the TV and finished these knots up last night after the kids were in bed.  My husband asked me if I was making him a giant friendship bracelet.  LOL. He wishes.

Subscribe below and I’ll email you the basic macrame knots guide. You may print this out and refer to it but please do not share it with anyone else.

Go on, make a friendship bracelet for your spouse. 🙂

I just love this activity so much.  Be sure to check out my other favorite macrame projects!

xo Karen

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