Macrame Knots: Basic Knots for Beginners

Learn how to make different types of macrame knots. Macrame is a type of craft rooting back to Arab weavers who created shawls, towels, and veils using these knots. Today beautiful macrame patterns made can add warmth and texture to your living space. Start with the basic macrame knots and combine them to create wall hangings, hanging chairs, plant holders, and more.

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Basic Macrame Knots

Macrame Knots Supplies

You won’t need a lot of materials to succeed in making different macrame knots. They’re also affordable and easy to find in several physical and online home and craft supply stores.

Here’s are the macrame supplies you will need:

Macrame Cord

You’ll find endless thick, thin, and colorful twisted or braided cords designed for macrame projects made from acrylic, jute, hemp, cotton, twine, and nylon. That’s why you must first determine what specific variety, especially in terms of thickness, your project needs. Large pieces would require thick cords, while smaller items like a friendship bracelet can make do with thinner cords.

That said, the right cord choice, especially for beginners, should have a size ranging from three to four millimeters and be made of three-ply or strands of cotton rope, cord, or yarn. Cotton cord can be undone easily if ever you make a mistake.

Macrame Supports

To create well-defined knots that are tight and even, you need support at the top. This can include branches, S-shaped metal rings, dowel rods, and wooden or metal hoops.

Macrame Beads

Using wooden or metal beads can elevate your macrame projects and are easy to incorporate. Beads are purely decorative and don’t serve a necessary function.

Macrame Knots SuppliesPin
Macrame Knots Supplies

Macrame Knots – Terms and Abbreviations

After preparing the essential materials to create a macramé knot successfully, you need to learn a few terms used for the knot tutorial below.

  • Working cord (WC) refers to the cord you’ll use to make actual knots.
  • Filler cord (FC) is the cord which you wrap your knots around.
  • Sinnets are knots worked in a repeat.

How to Do Macrame Knots Step by Step Tutorial

With that out of the way, here are some of the basic macrame knots:

  1. Lark’s Head Knot- Forward and Reverse
  2. Square Knots
  3. Spiral Knots
  4. Half Hitch Knots
  5. Double Half Hitch – Horizontal and Diagonal
  6. Overhand Macrame Knots
  7. Wrapping Knots
  8. Barrel or Capuchin Knots

Lark’s Head Knots

Larks head is the first type of macrame knot that you need to learn as it is used as a base for most macrame projects. It allows you to attach your cords to your choice of support. It comes in two different variations:

Front-Facing Lark’s Head Knot

This type of lark’s head knot will leave a line of your cord resting against your support. The steps you need to take are as follows:

  1. Cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project
  2. Fold your cord in half and place it on top of your support
  3. Take your folded loop over your support’s top and then down behind it, ensuring you leave your loop facing forward
  4. Pull up the two ends of your cord and then through the created loop
  5. Gently tighten and secure the knot
Lark's Head Macrame KnotsPin
Lark’s Head Macrame Knots

Reverse Lark’s Head Knot

Aptly named, this is the opposite of the forward-facing lark knot, which means you work toward yourself rather than away from yourself. Thus, there’s no visible line against your support or base.

  1. Cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project
  2. Fold your cord in half and place it behind your support
  3. Pull up your cord’s ends through the created loop
  4. Pull down and gently tighten and secure the created knot
Reverse Lark's Head Macrame KnotsPin
Reverse Lark’s Head Macrame Knots

Square Macrame Knots

This type of macrame knot is the most popular, most versatile, simplest, and strongest. It requires at least four cords: two working (WC) and two filler (FC) cords. Square knots are made by alternating a left half square knot and a right half square knot. The steps you need to take to make it are as follows:

Left Half Square Knot

  1. Cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project
  2. Hang your cords over your support using a forward or reverse lark’s head knot
  3. Take the end of the left WC and bend it over the two FCs and under the right WC
  4. Pass the right WC behind the two FCs then pull it through the loop the left WC made
  5. Carefully pull the cords tight
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Left Half Square Knot

Right Half Square Knot

  1. Next, bend the right WC and cross it over the FCs and under the left WC
  2. Pass the left WC behind the FCs then pull it through the loop the right WC made
  3. Carefully pull the cords and tighten
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Right Half Square Knot

Spiral Macrame Knots

These spiral-shaped macrame knots are made from a square knot repeatedly tied and are best for making plant hangers. To make the spiral knot, all you’ve to do is follow steps 1 to 5 of the left square knot procedure and repeat it multiple times until the knots begin to spiral. It is important to keep the filler cords straight while knotting.

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Spiral Macrame Knots

Hitch Macrame Knots

What makes these macrame knots different from the first two is that they’re used for decorating your project because they create waves and lines. These knots come in different types, namely:

  1. Half Hitch Macrame Knots
  2. Double Half Hitch Macrame Knots – Horizontal and Diagonal

Half Hitch Knot

As a basic macrame knot, this is also one of the simplest, All you’ve to do is follow these steps:

  1. Cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project
  2. Hang your cords over your support using a reverse or forward lark’s head knot.
  3. Take the ends of the working macramé cord and loop them around your filler cord’s right side
  4. Slowly pull them under towards the left. Doing so should create a loop.
  5. Take the cord’s ends and cross them over the part where your cords meet
  6. Thread them under the loop
  7. Slowly pull them to secure
  8. Continue doing so until you achieve the pattern and size that you want
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Half Hitch Macrame Knots

Double Half Hitch Knot

Elevate your macrame wall decor, jewelry, and more by using the double hitch half knots to create shapes and structures. Aptly named, you create these knots by repeating the basic half hitch. There are 2 different types, namely: horizontal and diagonal macrame knots.

Horizontal Double Half or Clove Hitch Knots

Unlike the first few knots, the first cord will be the FC instead of the WC. To accomplish this knot, do the following:

  1. Cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project
  2. Hang your cords over your support using a lark’s head knot.
  3. Take the FC’s left side and hold it horizontally across your other cords
  4. Take your first WC and create a counter-clockwise loop by bringing your WC forward and then around the FC toward the left
  5. Next is to create two different knots sitting right next to each other by taking up the same WC over and through the loop created earlier
  6. Take your second WC and repeat the steps on the same FC
  7. Continue doing so until you achieve the pattern and size that you want
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Horizontal Half Hitch Macrame Knots

Diagonal Double Half Hitch Knot

For these type of half hitch macrame knots, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project
  2. Hang your cords over your support
  3. Take your left cord, which will serve as your FC, and hold it diagonally across your other cords at an angle you prefer
  4. Take your WC and let it pass at your FC’s back and create a loop
  5. Create another loop around your FC
  6. Take your second WC and repeat the steps on the same FC at a diagonal angle
  7. Continue doing so until you achieve the pattern and size that you want
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Overhand Macrame Knots

Overhand macrame knots are another basic knot that’s easy to learn.

  1. Cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project
  2. Hang your cords over your support
  3. Fold your cord into a loop
  4. Take the ends and let them pass through the created loop
  5. Slowly pull them to secure
  6. Continue doing so until you achieve the pattern and size that you want
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Reef Knots

Most of you will knot this basic knot already.

  1. Put the left cord over the right cord and pass it under
  2. Repeat and pull tight
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Reef Knots

Wrapping Knot or Gathering Macrame Knots

This common macrame knot helps secure a number of cords at the start and end of a project. To create this knot, follow these steps:

  1. If this is your starting knot, cut your cords to a length that will be enough for your macrame project and create a lark’s knot. If not, skip this step.
  2. Get a cord that will serve as a working cord, preferably a different color
  3. Using your left hand, gather the number of cords (the ones hanging on your support) you want to fasten together
  4. Place your WC on top of the series of cords and make a downward-facing loop, ensuring you leave a short tail and the rest of the top rightmost cord’s length
  5. Pinch the WC tail and top loop using your index finger and thumb
  6. Create your first wrap by bringing the cord’s length found behind the series of cords to the left and then around the front of the FCs
  7. Make sure you don’t tighten the wrap by leaving a visible loop
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you achieve the number of wraps you want
  9. Gently pull the short end found on top of the created wraps, catching the length and shortening the loop, and then pull it up and into your wrapped cords.
  10. Cut the remaining cord length to keep it neat
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Barrel or Capuchin Macrame Knots

This is yet another macrame knot that can be used to tie your cords’ ends. Barrel macrame knots are easy and quick to do:

  1. Gather the end/s of the cord/s
  2. Gently and tightly wrap the end about three to ten times around the cord/s beginning from the top
  3. Pull their ends to tighten
  4. Cut the remaining cords under the knot you created
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More Macrame Knots to Learn!

The list of knots we discussed above is just a few that you need to learn to make the most creative and stylish macrame pieces. However, it’s best to master them first before proceeding with other types of macrame knots. Apart from following the correct steps, ensure you have quality cords, yarns, or ropes. Durability also matters, especially if you’re aiming to create items requiring a high weight capacity, such as hanging chairs and plant hangers.

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