A Comprehensive Guide to Incorporating Embellishments into Your Macrame Designs

We’ve all been captivated by the intricate beauty of macrame artistry - so you understand the importance of selecting the right materials to bring your creative visions to life. Now, it's time to take the next step in your crafting adventure - embellishments! 

In this article, we will dive even deeper into the world of macrame materials and supplies and help guide you to the vast array of additional embellishments available to enhance your creations, including beads, feathers, and sequins!

Whether your goal is to create something new or to add to an existing project, this blog will serve as your trusted companion on the path to macrame mastery.  

So, gather your creative spirit, and let's embark on a journey through the world of macrame materials and embellishments, unlocking the potential to turn your artistic dreams into tactile masterpieces.

Let's knot it all together and discover the essential elements that will shape your macrame creations for years to come.

Macrame Embellishments

Macrame embellishments, such as feathers, sequins, and beads, are the enchanting elements that can transform your macrame creations from ordinary to extraordinary - and should be chosen with the same care and consideration you put into choosing the right cord for your project.

We love the way these delicate craft supplies bring texture, color, and personality to your projects, and we want to share with you the best techniques to do this, ensuring you are able to find your own style through the process.

So let’s look at each, and then how to use them in macrame designs to add charm and character.

How to Use Macrame Beads

Beads hold a special place in the art of macrame, where they serve as versatile and indispensable elements. These tiny treasures not only add a touch of elegance but also elevate the creativity and style of macrame patterns in unique ways.

Beads introduce visual intricacy, offering opportunities to break the rhythmic pattern of knots and cords. They serve as focal points, allowing you to design captivating patterns and arrangements that draw the eye: which is especially good when you’ve chosen the right bead! 

When you’re choosing beads for your macrame project you need to consider the size of the bead and the bead hole versus the cord you’re using as well as the size of your overall design.

The bead hole, which is the hole you’ll be threading the cord through - is very important! When you look at the beads you plan to use, make sure you look at the bead hole and not only the bead as a whole. A 2mm bead hole, would for example not work on a 9mm strand of macrame cord.

For cords 3mm and up, you'll need at least a 3mm hole. Some projects ask you to thread 2 strands of cords through (like the mirror below), so here you can choose to either use a bead with a 6mm hole (double) or you can use a 5mm hole if you're using single strand cords.

Bead Sizing Guidelines

Bead Size

Project

Reason

1mm - 2mm

Jewelry

These tiny decorative macrame beads are perfect for delicate macrame jewelry like bracelets and anklets. They add a subtle touch of color and texture without overwhelming the design. When creating macrame earrings for example, it's essential to use small beads that won't weigh down the delicate design.

3mm - 5mm

Bookmarks

Small beads are perfect for adding decorative touches along the length of the cords - especially at the bottom where they will show. They create a charming and functional accessory.

6mm - 8mm

Keychains and Bag Accessories

Smaller beads are ideal for macrame keychains or bag accessories. They add a touch of style and individuality to these functional items without being too heavy or bulky.

8mm - 10mm

Dreamcatchers

Dreamcatchers often feature beads as part of their design. These beads can be incorporated into the webbing or used as decorative accents on the hanging feathers and tassels.

10mm - 14mm

Plant Hanger

Medium to larger beads work well in macrame plant hangers. They provide a pleasing balance between the thickness of the cords and the overall size of the project, adding visual interest.

12mm - 20mm

Wall Hangings

Larger beads are suitable for wall hangings, where they can serve as decorative elements within the knots. These beads create a striking contrast with the cords and can be spaced at regular intervals for a bold and dramatic effect.

Remember that the sizes mentioned here are approximate guidelines, and you can always adjust them based on your specific design preferences and the overall look you want to achieve as they are interchangeable. 

The choice of bead size in macrame projects allows for customization and personalization, ensuring that each project has its unique charm and character.

This is also true when you’re choosing the color, type and style of bead. Metallic beads, such as gold or silver, lend a touch of glamour and sophistication, making them perfect for elevating the elegance of your macrame pieces, whether it's jewelry or decor.

On the other hand, wooden beads impart a rustic and natural charm, ideal for achieving a bohemian or earthy look that adds warmth and texture to your designs.

If you want to infuse an element of enchantment into your macrame creations opal beads are an excellent choice because of the way the sun reflects on them.

They bring a sense of mystery and magic to your projects, creating stunning and ethereal effects that can truly make your macrame work stand out.

One of our favorite Bochiknot macrame patterns where we used beads has to be the Macrame Mandala Mirror - the wooden beads enhance the knot-work in the leaf patterns they’re in!

How to Incorporate Beads in a Macrame Mandala Mirror

To demonstrate how to incorporate beads into a macrame project, we will walk through the Macrame Mandala Mirror.

For this pattern, we chose wooden beads which paired perfectly with our natural cotton cord for this piece. We used 4mm cords and 6mm wooden beads (4mm hole size).

Together, they create the perfect combination, complementing each other well to make the mirror stand out beautifully.

Step 1:

Knot your macrame project to the point where you want to add the bead.

Step 2:

Tape the cord ends to help it slide through the bead easily, and pull the cord(s) through the bead.

Step 3:

Secure the bead in place with a macrame knot and continue with your pattern.

You’ll find the macrame tutorial and step-by-step instructions on how to make this Macrame Mandala Mirror here.

Watch Video: How to Incorporate Beads into a Macrame Mandala

How to Use Macrame Sequins

Incorporating sequins into macrame projects is a delightful way to infuse your creations with a touch of glitz and glamour.

Sequins are shiny, lightweight, and come in a wide array of sizes making them an ideal choice for adding sparkle and visual intrigue to your macrame pieces.

Sequins come in all the different colours you can imagine and change as they catch and reflect light which creates a mesmerizing play of glimmer and gleam - especially in the sun or bright lights!

Sequins are great for creating holiday ornaments or party decor - like beautiful wall hangings, because of the way sequins can be used to mimic the twinkling of stars or the shimmer of freshly fallen snow.

I personally, love the contemporary twist sequins offer to traditional macrame, allowing you to add a sense of modernity and chic to your designs.

Sequins in macrame give you the creative freedom to explore different patterns, arrangements, and combinations - making them particularly special when you start changing existing designs and making them your own.

One of our favorite macrame projects, where we included sequins is our Macrame Sequins and Weave Wall Hanging - it’s also another great example of how you can incorporate beads along with pieces of cord into your macrame work!

Watch Now: Macrame Sequins and Weave Wall Hanging

As I mentioned, sequins can be used to add a touch of flair to a traditional macrame piece, and in this pattern, I decided to do just that!

Drawing inspiration from Moroccan tapestries I designed this weave patterned wall hanging with textures in mind, hence the addition of sequins.

Step 1:

Knot your macrame project to the point where you want to add the sequins.

Step 2:

Add a cord (in this case a 50cm cord) where you intend to add your sequins.

Step 3:

Thread your sequin onto the macrame cord.

Step 4:

Weave the cord through the next knot.

Step 5:

Add the next sequin.

Step 6:

Repeat Step 4-5 until you have reached the end of your row.

You’ll find the full macrame tutorial and step-by-step instructions on how to make this Macrame Sequins and Weave Wall Hanging here.

How to Use Macrame Feathers

Incorporating feathers into your macrame projects introduces a captivating element of nature-inspired design that can truly elevate your creations. Faux feathers have a unique ability to infuse a sense of lightness, movement, and organic beauty into your macrame pieces, making them an excellent addition to your toolkit.

Feathers can be made with macrame cords as well, but for the purpose of this article, we will be discussing the addition of pre-made faux feathers.

One of the most popular applications of feathers in macrame is in the creation of dreamcatchers.

Feathers are a key component in the traditional design of these protective charms, where they are believed to filter and capture negative energy while allowing positive dreams to pass through.

The choice of feathers, whether natural or dyed, can enhance the symbolism and overall aesthetic of your dreamcatcher, creating a visually appealing and meaningful piece of art.

Beyond dreamcatchers, feathers can be used to adorn wall hangings, jewelry, and other macrame creations.

Their graceful form and soft texture provide a contrast to the rigidity of knots and cords, adding a touch of elegance and movement to your designs.

Whether you opt for natural feathers or opt for vibrant, dyed options, they allow for endless creativity, enabling you to craft macrame pieces that are not only visually captivating but also deeply symbolic and infused with a sense of connection to nature.

One of our favorite macrame projects in which we used feathers has to be this 3D Flower Macrame Dreamcatcher!

Flower Macrame Dreamcatcher

Often I think, embellishments are seen as something you add to projects when you think it needs ‘a little something’ but you don’t know how to add more knots or what else to do in order to make the piece stand out - and this is simply not the case.

Macrame is a beautiful art and embellishments simply add to that - which is why I want to share this pattern with you - I’ve used it to teach macrame artists a new floral knotting technique and added the feather to enhance the pattern - not because the pattern needed something extra to stand out.

Step 1:

Knot your macrame project to the point where you want to add the feathers.

Step 2:

Attach a feather onto a strand of cord using a strand of string to make a Gathering knot.

Step 3:

Repeat Step 2 until all your feathers have been attached.

You’ll find the macrame tutorial and step-by-step instructions on how to make this floral dream catcher here.

Watch Video: How to Incorporate Feathers into a Macrame Dreamcatcher 

Now that you know what to use, and how to use these - here are some of the benefits of adding these embellishments to your macrame projects:

  • Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal: Beads, sequins, and feathers can instantly enhance the visual appeal of your macrame pieces. They provide a pop of color, sparkle, or an organic element that can make your project stand out and become eye-catching.
  • Textural Variety: These embellishments introduce different textures to your macrame work, creating an engaging tactile experience. This texture can make your pieces more interesting to touch and interact with - especially for children as you’ll see in this video pattern tutorial.
  • Customization: Beads, sequins, and feathers come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, allowing you to customize your macrame projects past what you’re taught in a tutorial or what you see in a pattern.
  • Personalization: Adding embellishments allows you to infuse your personality into beautiful macrame decorations. You can choose beads, sequins, or feathers that hold special meaning or significance to you, making your projects more personal and meaningful.
  • Versatility: Beads, in particular, are incredibly versatile. You can use them to create patterns, accents, or even functional elements like clasps for jewelry pieces. Sequins can add a touch of glamour, while feathers are perfect for dreamcatchers and other nature-inspired designs.
  • Balance and Contrast: Beads, sequins, and feathers can help you achieve balance and contrast in your macrame pieces. They can be strategically placed to break up large sections of knots, creating visual interest and preventing your design from looking too monotonous.
  • Marketability: If you're considering selling your macrame creations, embellishments can make your items more marketable. They can set your pieces apart from others and attract potential buyers who appreciate the added detail and uniqueness.
  • Thematic and Seasonal Designs: Beads, sequins, and feathers can be used to create thematic or seasonal designs. For example, you can use metallic beads for a festive macrame ornament or incorporate feathers in earthy tones for a fall-inspired piece.

Incorporating beads, sequins, and feathers into your beginner macrame projects is a fantastic way to unleash your creativity and take your designs to the next level - as beginners, following macrame patterns is the best way to learn but as you advance your skills you’ll find yourself drawn to making your projects more unique and personal - adding your own style approach! 

It’s Time to Start Getting Knotty…

Macrame is a versatile and captivating art form that offers endless possibilities for creative expression. Whether you're drawn to the natural allure of wooden beads, the charm of metallic sequins, or the organic beauty of feathers your macrame journey is limited only by your imagination. 

As you explore the diverse materials and embellishments available to you, remember that the true essence of macrame lies in the fusion of traditional techniques with your unique vision.

So, whether you're creating intricate micro macrame jewelry, dreamy wall hangings adorned with feathers, or festive decor bedecked in sequins, each piece you craft becomes a canvas for your creativity and an embodiment of your artistic spirit.

In the world of macrame, every knot tied and every bead strung is a step toward not just the completion of a project, but the fulfillment of your creative journey.

Embrace the opportunity to experiment, learn, and grow as an artist, and let your macrame creations tell your story, one knot at a time.

Are you looking for more fun DIY macrame patterns?

Looking to expand the macrame skills you've learned?

Check out our collection of patterns and projects you can try.

Browse my collection of DIY macrame patterns on Etsy.

Bochiknot macrame

The patterns come complete with step-by-step photos, written instructions, and helpful tips and tricks to assist you throughout your macrame journey.

How to Turn Knots into Exquisite Macrame Designs

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