I remember when I was a kid my Mum always had Spider plants hanging around the house from Macrame hung pots. I think spider plants were the only plant she could keep alive. The other thing that seems to be alive and really popular just now is people’s love for these baskets. There are so many lifestyle shops selling these and they can get pretty expensive so I’m doing this tutorial for anyone with an old newspaper and a ball of string who’d like to make one.
You will need:
- A pot to use as a mould
- A ball of household string
You should start this project by making the pot that you want to hang. It will need some time to dry so you can get on with the macrame in the meantime. Select a bowl or dish you have already at home and cover it with clingfilm. It’s fine to use decoupage glue for this project but I just mixed flour with water to make a flour paste, it’s cheap and readily available and you can wash it away from your hands and surfaces much more easily.
Cut bunch of newspaper into strips about 2.5cm wide. Time to get messy! Use the paste to coat each piece of paper and place it on the cling wrapped dish. You need to cover the whole dish once and then carefully add five more layers. When that is done it will take a good twenty four hours to dry.
When the paper is fully dried you can gently easy it away from the bowl. Pull away the cling wrap and discard it. I painted the inside of each bowl bright pink and let that dry and then balancing the bowl on an upturned wine glass, painted the outside purple. and left that to dry. It may take a couple of coats of paint to fully cover the newsprint.
Now for the Macrame basket holder for your plant pot. If you’ve never attempted any macrame projects before please don’t be daunted. Once you get started you’ll be amazed at how easy it is and this may well inspire you to try some more advanced projects. I’ve taught kids how to make friendship bracelets using exactly the same design we are using here.
The hanger is made with three twisted macrame strands, each strand requires three lengths of string. Start by cutting nine matching lengths of string, they will need to be quite long, a least a metre.
Holding all the lengths together make a loop knot like in the second image above. You will now have a nice loop that you can use to hook your plant up. You will also have nine long lengths and nine short lengths from the knot. Divide the long lengths into three. You will only be working with three lengths at a time, see image three above.
Then we start with the first knot. using the string to the left of the three, cross it over the centre string making the shape of a ‘4’. The third string needs to be lifted up and placed on top, then folded under the centre string and lifted up through the loop of the ‘4’. The centre string is the guide that you will be making your knots around. Pull the ends of the first and third strings as far as you can to close the knot into shape. That’s the first knot done, the first of many! You’ve now mastered macrame, just keep doing that same knot over and over.
A word about those straggly lengths from the loop knot. You can tidy these in with the central string and knot around those too until they are all tucked away.
You will need to create this spiral length to be about 50cm long but adjust the length to your project/home. If you run out of string you can add to the length by just knotting another piece in.
When you have the three twisted ropes at the desired length, bring them together, you are going to use exactly the same knot but you’re going to make a big twist so taking three lengths at a time and knotting them together as above. This will form the part of the macrame that sits directly at the bottom of your dish and holds it in place. Make this as long as you want. I went for 10cm and then finish it off with a final loop knot and pull it tight, leave some string dangling and trim to make a tassle.
Top tip: when going through the knots it’s much easier if you can attach the top loop to something to keep the project taught. I use a safety pin to attach to my trouser leg or hook it around a chair spindle.
I hope that any macrame fear has gone and that you enjoyed making this project. All that’s left is for you to add any final decorations to your pot, choose a plant and wander around your home finding the perfect place to hang your new paper mache and macrame plant pot up.
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