Macramé has been associated with all sorts of unsavory ’70s grossness in the past, but lately it has come back into vogue with a vengeance. Not just the product of too much time (and weed) on your hands, macramé is a rad, relaxing activity, and this plant hanger is a perfect way to show off the craft. The modern way to macramé is by using neon cords instead of earth-toned yarn, and by accenting it with hex nuts and washers, instead of wooden beads. The result makes a great gift, or the perfect home accessory to jazz up your place
- Spray paint
- 5/16" hex nuts
- 1/2" hex nuts
- 5/8" hex nuts
- PVC pipe couplings
- 1/2" washers
- Plastic plant pots
- 4mm nylon cord
- Welded steel D or O ring
- Ceiling hook
1. Spray paint your hex nuts and other hardware (as well as your plant pot) the desired color.
2. Cut 8 pieces of equal-length cord in either one or two colors—ours were 12' long—and burn the ends with a lighter to keep them from fraying. Slide your steel D or O ring halfway up the cords, fold the cords in half, and thread all 16 ends through the PVC pipe. Hook your steel ring onto something to keep it steady for knotting.
3. To create the flat bands at the top of our pink and green hanger, make a series of square knots using four strands, as follows:
- Pull four cords through a 1/2" hex nut, to separate them from the rest.
- Make a half-knot by taking the leftmost cord and making the shape of the number four, bringing it over the middle two cords and under the right-most cord [A]. Take the right-most cord and bring it under the center two cords, then through the loop created by the left-most cord [B]. Holding the center two strands taut, pull the outer two cords to slide the knot up to the top, next to the hex nut [C].
- To complete the square knot, reverse the directions above: take the rightmost cord and make a backwards number four, bringing it over the middle two cords, but under the leftmost cord [D]. Take the leftmost cord and bring it under the center two cords, then through the loop created by the rightmost cord [E]. Knot tightly at the top.
4. Repeat step 3 until the flat band is as long as you want it to be.
5. As you work, the outer cords will become shorter while the center cords remain the same length. To even things out, after you’ve worked a number of square knots, slide the outer two cords through a 1/2" inch hex nut so that they become the middle cords [F], then continue creating the bands, adding hex nuts and other hardware where you like.
6. Working in groups of 4, repeat this process on the remaining 12 cords [G].
7. To create the spiral bands [H] you see in our yellow hanger (called half-knot twists), follow the same directions as above, but instead of repeating all of step 3, just repeat parts [A] through [C] over and over again.
8. To create a base to hold your pot, split each group of four cords into two pairs. Then group each pair with one from the neighboring group of four, to create new groups of four—clip these together with clothespins. Make three to four square knots below the clothespins [I].
9. Reposition your cords again so that they return to their original four-cord set, and clip these groups of four cords together [J]. Make three or four square knots below the clip. You can leave the plant holder as is, or form a third level of knots, as before.
10. Slide all your cords through another PVC pipe coupling. Divide the cords into two sections and make a couple of knots to secure the PVC pipe coupling. Decorate the ends however you’d like, then burn the cords’ cut ends. Hang your planter from a ceiling hook and admire.
By Molly Simms and Lan Truong
Resources: Nylon rope, homedepot.com; spraypaint, krylon.com
Photographed by Kate Lacey
This story appears in the Oct/Nov 2013 issue
of BUST Magazine with Neko Case.