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Rekindling the art of macramé plant hangers

Post Picture mainHouse plants and macramé plant hangers were the rage in the 70’s. I had no idea at the time how healthy house plants were for you, I just knew I liked having them in my home. Plants were an inexpensive way to decorate and making my own macramé plant hangers made it even more affordable to have them hanging in every room. I enjoyed doing macramé back in those days, but my plants and macramé fell by the wayside through busy years of keeping up with life, kids and working.

Time marched on and macramé fell out of the spotlight. I hadn’t given it a thought in many years until recently.  I decided that our bedroom needed a plant to help clean the air and brighten the room. As I stood in the middle of the room looking around, I realized the only place a plant would get enough sunlight was right in front of the window. It was then I decided I would make a macramé plant hanger!

I wanted to find a pattern designated “beginner” because of the many years it had been since I had worked with macramé. I searched online for a pattern and found one at Free-Macramé-Patterns.com.

The instructions are lengthy so I have chosen not to include them here in detail, but I have provided the link: Handcrafted macrame plant hanger

The supplies needed are:

  • 6mm macramé cord (any type) 82 yards
  • 8 beads with 10mm to 12mm holes (I used 12 beads in my pattern)
  • Two 6-inch rings
  • One 2-inch ring
  • Ruler or measuring tape

I went to a local craft store and wandered around looking for macramé cord to no avail. I spotted a young lady that worked there and asked her where I would find the macramé cord. She stared at me with a blank expression and said “macramé? What is macramé cord?” I told her that we made plant hangers out of it in the 70s to which she had no reply. I knew I would be better off to search the store on my own at that point, so I thanked her and told her I would just look around.

I wandered over to the bead section thinking I would start my bead search first. There were lots and lots of beads to choose from. It was unfortunate they were all for making jewelry! But not all was lost, for just one row over from the beads I spotted a roll of jute! I had always preferred the plain jute in the 70s, so this was great, it would work. And in that same aisle I found some plain wooden beads that would work for my plant hanger. They weren’t the pretty ceramic ones I had hoped for, but they would have to do. I decided to paint my beads to add a little color to my plant hanger, so I picked up a small bottle of chalk paint while I was there as well.

My first step was to cut the jute into 8 cords, 10 yards each in length and 2 cords 36 inches in length. I then taped the ends to keep them from fraying.

Collage 1

Next step was to hang the cords evenly over the 2 inch metal ring that would be used to hang the completed plant hanger. A Wrapped Knot is then made directly under the ring with the 36 inch cord to hold the cords in place.

Collage 2

The cords are then attached to the 6 inch ring with Double Half Hitch knots.

Collage 3 650

When painting the wooden beads with the chalk paint, I realized the opening in the beads wasn’t large enough for all 4 cords of the jute to fit through. So my husband, Paul jumped in to help and enlarged the holes with his drill press. Disaster averted!

Collage 4 650

Then my next “oh no” moment was when I realized I had only purchased one 6 inch ring and the pattern called for two! So from that point on my pattern varied from the one I had chosen. I tied a square knot, bead, square knot, but where the second ring would have been placed I began my sennits. I could not decide if I liked the square knot or half knot best for the sennits, so I used both.

Collage 5

The pattern called for 6 inches of sennit, a bead, 6 more inches and then starting the cradle for the pot. As I worked on my hanger, I didn’t feel that it would be long enough at that length so I added an additional bead and 6 inches of sennit.

The pattern for the cradle called for measuring the height of the pot you intend to use in the hanger and tying the first square knot in your cradle ½ of that distance from the last sennit. So if your pot is 12 inches tall, your first square knot for the cradle would be 6 inches from the end of the sennits. However, I found that this did not work for the pot that I was using. The pot I chose was twice as wide as it was tall, so when I measured the height as instructed and tied my knot there, my pot would not fit. I instead used the measurement of the width of my pot and this worked well. So if your pot is wider that it is tall you will need to adjust accordingly.

Collage 6After trying out my pot in the hanger I decided to paint it to match the beads.

I like my finished plant hanger and I had fun working with macramé after all these years. If you remember making plant hangers in the 70s, or maybe you made other macramé items, I hope this sparks an interest again.  It did for me!

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