At first glance, macrame may look difficult. You might even feel intimidated when you’re first starting out. Let me reassure you, macrame does not have to feel intimidating nor does it have to be difficult.
Macrame is quite simple and fun once you get the hang of it! If you would like to learn the basics, then continue reading on.
My name is Nicole and I’m going to give you a rundown of the basic macrame knots. If you’re new to macrame and happened to stumble onto this post looking for how to make macrame knots, you’re in the right place.
In this blog post, I’m going to walk through step by step how to make 15 of the most commonly used macrame knots. You will find that at least three of these knots are frequently used in any type of macrame.
From plant hangers to wall hanging to macrame jewelry – knowing these basic knots will allow you to be able to create almost any macrame design you desire.
I know for a fact, when I first began to macrame, I had a lot of trouble tying knots. I found it difficult for me to hold all the cords, and at the same time maneuver my fingers properly to tie certain knots. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten flustered having to unravel and re-tie knots.
After many trials and errors, eventually, my tying skills got better, and the whole process of macrame-ing came to me a lot easier.
Like anything in life, with enough practice and patience, you will find success. It’s about staying consistent with your craft – day in and day out.
Learning from my experiences, I want to provide you with some guidance if you’re just getting started.
I have laid out each knot with step by step pictures, as well as easy to follow written instructions. If for whatever reason you get lost or confused with a particular type of knot, you can watch my YouTube video for an over-the-shoulder look at how to tie each knot. You can find the video at the bottom of the blog post.
**If you’re interested in getting a PDF downloadable ebook version of the knots, along with an additional 35 macrame knots / sennits, you can download my “50 Macrame Knots & Sennits Ebook” by clicking here.**
What You Will Need to Begin
Before we get started with tying macrame knots, let’s make sure we have all the supplies.
You will need the following:
- Macrame cord
- A wooden dowel or ring
If you would like to use the same materials I use, you can visit our online store for all your macrame cord and supply needs.
Alternatively, you can also find macrame cord and supplies on Amazon. It’s a great place to shop online for craft items; although, the only pitfall is, it doesn’t cater to artists who are looking for quality grade macrame cord. What you will find on Amazon is the basic stuff.
If you’re looking to learn more on what type of macrame cord to use, check out my article on Beginner’s Guide To Choosing Macrame Cord.
Macrame Terminology You Will Want to Know
As you begin to learn more about macrame and start making various macrame patterns, you will come across terms you might not recognize such as anchor cord, working cord, sennit ect. Here is a list a basic macrame terms will want to know:
- Macrame Cord: Also referred to as macrame rope or yarn. You will find that macrame cord can come in 3 forms – braided, 3ply, and single stand. In this tutorial we will be using 3mm cotton cord.
- Working Cord/Knotting cords: The cord or set of cords you use to make the actual knots.
- Anchor/Filler Cord:The cord or set of cords that your knots wrap around.
- Sennit: A knot or set of knots to form a shape or pattern.
- A Row of the Pattern: Repeated knots to form a sequence.
- Alternating knots: Repeat the same row of knots alternating where it was done in the previous row.
- Wrapping Cord:The cord used to gather and wrap a group of cord.
The Step by Step Guide on How to Macrame Knots
Let’s begin to learn how to tie some macrame knots.
We will start off with the basic knots for macrame. Listed below on 1-8 are your most frequently used knots. They are easy to learn and simple to tie, with some practice. These knots are going to be your core foundation to macrame. You will want to make sure you know how to make these knots – inside out.
Knots numbered 9-13 are going to require a bit more practice. I would consider them to be more intermediate knots. These are knots you will include into your macrame as your skills progress. They are a mixtures of vintage knots, end-knots and unique macrame knots. Once you’ve gotten a hang of of making the basic knots, give these knots a try.
If for whatever reason you get stumped on tying a particular knot, jump over to the video below to get an over the should look at how each knot is tied. You will also find in the description where each knot is time stamped, so you can quickly jump over to any desired knot.
If you’re following the step by step pictures below, you will come across pictures with red dots on them. The red dots on the cord means to move the marked cord(s) to the next step or to tighten the cord.
1. How to tie a Lark’s Head Knot
The first macrame knot you will learn is the Lark’s Head Knot and is also referred to as a Cow Hitch knot. This is the most widely used knot when it comes to macrame. It is often the knot you start off with when beginning on a base.
You will start off by folding the cord in half and place the loop over the dowel rod. Bring the loop around the back and pull your two cord ends through the loop to tighten.
Lark’s head knots are secure and will not untie or slip once made.
2. How to tie a Reverse Lark’s Head Knot
Almost identical to the way you would make a regular Lark’s Head Knot, but reverse.
3. How to tie a Half Knot
A half knot is the first half of a Square knot. Like with most macrame knots, the knot will consist of working cords and filler cords around which the knots are tied.
For the Half knot you will need four cords. Two outer working cords and two inner filler cords.
Place the right working cord over the filler cords. Then take the left working cord and place it over the right working cord through the back side of the filler cords and through the right loop. Pull to tighten.
4. How to tie a Square Knot
The square knot uses four cords, similar to the half knot above.
Start by making a half knot. Then follow it by another half knot, switching the direction of the cords. Pull the cords to tighten.
5. How to Tie a Overhand Knot
The overhand knot is a simple knot. Make a loop with a strand of cord and pull one end through. Pull on the ends to tighten.
6. How to Tie a Slip Knot
Place the left cord over the right and take that left cord and pull it through the loop. Pull on the ends to tighten.
7. How to tie a Gathering / Wrapping Knot
You will want to gather all of your filler cords together. Then take a separate strand of cord and form a loop with one end holding it with one hand. Take the other end and start wrapping it around the filler cords three times. Pull that same end through the loop and pull on the top end of the wrapping cord to tighten.
To complete the gathering knot, you will need to cut off the excess wrapping cord.
8. How to tie a Clove Hitch / Double Half Hitch knot
A Clove hitch knot, also referred to as a Double Half Hitch knot starts with making a Single Half hitch knot. To tie a half hitch knot you will start by following picture 1 using the left cord as the anchor cord. Take the first anchor cord and make a loop on the anchor cord. This is a half hitch knot. Using the same working cord, make another loop on the anchor cord and pull the end through the loop. This is a double half hitch knot.
9. How to tie a Berry Knot
Start by tying three consecutive square knots.
Make sure you leave a bit of room at the top because we will be pulling the cords through that section to make the Berry Knot.
Once you’ve completed making the square knots, you will take the two middle cords and pull them through the center of the open area at the top. Pull all the way through.
Picture 4 – Finish with a square knot at the bottom.
10. How to Tie a Prusik Knot
To Tie a Prusik, place your loop behind the dowel then take your working ends and make three loops inside and around the dowel. Pull on the cords to tighten.
11. How to Tie a Cat’s Paw Hitch Knot
Start by working on the right side first. Take the right end and wrap it around the middle loop three times. Repeat on the left.
12. How to Tie a Josephine Knot
The next two macrame knots are considered more unique knots. They are occasionally found in macrame projects.
The first thing you will want to do is make a loop with your right cord. Then take your left cord and weave it through the loop as shown in the picture. You will probably have to practice this a few more times to get it right.
13. How to Tie a Celtic Knot
Spread open the three loops so you can clearly identify the loops. Weave the ends through as depicted by the pictures. Pull to tighten.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time,
**Download our FREE Macrame Knots PDF ebook – the 50 Macrame Knots & Sennit. Explore another 35 Macrame Knot & Sennits that you can use for your next macrame project.**
Related Macrame Knot Questions
What Macrame Knots do I Use to Make a Bracelets?
There are many different types of macrame knots you can use to make a bracelet. If you’re interested in learning how to start and finish a macrame bracelet, check out this video I shared on YouTube.
What Cord do I Use For Macrame?
There are many different types of cord you can use to make macrame. There is no right or wrong options, but there are more appropriate types of rope that should be used. The 3 primary types of rope frequently used for macrame are – Braided, 3 ply or 3 strands, and single strand cotton cord. To learn more about macrame cord jump over to our article Beginner’s Guide To Choosing Macrame Cord