Tied up in knots! Macrame is back

Macrame Star Ornament

Over the Christmas/Holiday season last month, I had a sudden urge to make DIY ornaments. Of course, when I get an idea I tend to go all out. Meaning, that I researched materials, supplies, and of course, some DIY tutorials. Part of my search was going to Pinterest to get some ideas and as it were, there were tons of macrame ornaments just waiting to be made. I saw some simple wreath ornaments I thought were beginner-friendly and a star ornament that might be a challenge.

Let’s back the truck up for a moment… While I was looking at how-to tutorials, materials, and supplies I thought to myself where did macrame come from? I always thought it was a 1970s fad because I always saw groovy wall hangings and planters when I was a kid. Those things stuck around until the ’80s so I was never sure. Over the past decade, it seems that macrame was making a comeback. But this time the craft has ditched its groovy appeal for a revamped hipster look. Modern fiber arts and textile artists have taken macrame to the next level. This isn’t your Mama’s plant hanger anymore!

Green macrame ornament with plaid ribbon.

As it turns out, macrame has its origins in the 13th century. The word macrame comes from Arabic meaning fringe. So here are seven hundred years of history in a few sentences… The Spanish adopted the art form from Arabia and brought it back to Spain. Italy liked the art form and used it to make fishing nets. Macrame then spread to England, now everyone is making the square knots including royalty. The macrame go viral in Europe? (more like by boat or horse…) Sure enough, it makes its way to China, and to the United States by the nineteenth century. And back to the present in 2022 where we are globally still enjoying the art of Macrame. (How’s that for a superquick, non-boring history lesson?)

Star ornament

Macrame is made of knots. The most common knots are Lark’s Head Knot, Reverse Lark’s Head Knot, Square Knots, Half-Knots, Half-Knot spiral, Clove Hitch, Overhand Knot, and a Gathering Knot. What does this mean?! It means we should have been paying attention in our scouts’ meetings when we were kids. I used the Lark’s Head knots and Square knots mostly to make the wreath and star ornaments. If I can figure this out, anyone can. However, I do suggest that you practice tying knots before doing your project. Trying to untie these knots can be very frustrating.

Wreath Ornament Version 1

I bought some cords, wooden rings, and wooden beads. With a little luck and way too many hours of YouTube tutorials, I should be an expert in no time. Well, maybe not an expert, but at least able to make some beginner ornaments. Maybe… I must say, I had a great time making these ornaments. I added some buffalo check ribbon in red to give them a rustic look. I included some pictures of the Ornaments I made to put on my tree. My goal was to have a totally DIY Christmas tree and I believe I achieved that goal.

Macrame is back and trending. If you are interested in this art form there are plenty of patterns and tutorials on Pinterest, YouTube, Etsy, and numerous websites. Knot to mention, the chords come in so many colors and thicknesses, the bead selection is mind-blowing, the only limitation is your imagination. If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment below. Thanks so much for the likes and don’t forget to subscribe.

Artfully yours,


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