Photos by Frankie Schneckloth
Macramé is a knotting art that dates to the 13th century, and while it has been popular for a while, it is definitely having a moment. Hanging planters made from knotted rope can be found in the home decor departments of big box stores and hipster retailers alike. But macramé hanging planters are cheap and easy to make on your own; they’re also a great way step up your balcony, patio garden or living room.
Step One | Prep the chord
This is a pretty straightforward project—the only skill you need is the ability to tie a good knot. The mason’s cord I used is a little slick, so I was sure to get my knots nice and tight. If you are trying to hang a bigger, heavier pot, think about scaling up your cord to rope for better results.
Cut four lengths of cord that measure between nine and 10 feet each. This is a very generous amount of cord that will give you plenty of flexibility to make it bigger to accommodate a larger pot if you choose.
Step Two | Secure the hanger
Line your four cords up together and thread them through the o-ring until you reach the half-way points of the cords. Taking each cord individually, measure an inch down from the o-ring and tie a knot connecting the two sides.
Step Three | Start the net
Decide where you want the net of the plant hanger to begin. Depending on the size of your pot, you’ll need about 18 to 24 inches of cord below this starting point that you’ll be making to complete your weaving in order to hold the pot. Once you’ve determined where the net should begin, tie another knot in the folded lengths of each individual cord, doing your best to keep all the knots a consistent distance from the top.
Step Four | Build the net
Lay your cord out on a flat surface, arrange it so that the loops through the o-ring lay flat, and untangle any unruly cords. Star by working with the two center cords, separating the strands beneath the lowest knot so you have four pieces. Tie the two center strands together in a strong knot about one or 1 1/2 inches from the knot above. Now you’ll have a strand on either side with the knotted strands in center.
Repeat this step with the two closest strands to the right of the center, tying a strong knot about one or 1.5 inches from the knot above. Repeat with the two closest strands to the left. Take the two remaining single strands (one is on the far left, the other the far right) and knot together just as you’ve done previously, one or 1.5 inches from the knot above.
Step Five | Finish the net
The next round of knots will come one or 1 1/2 inches below the previous knots. Tie each strand in a knot with the strand directly to the right until you’ve tied everything together. Repeat this step again about one to 1 1/2 inches lower to complete your final row of net. Then group all the strands together, tie them all in a knot about half an inch below the last row of net. You will have excess cord that hangs down like a tassel.
Step Six | Position the pot
Part the strands near the o-ring to nestle your pot into place. Your net should begin around the lip of the pot and reach the bottom of the pot. If you have a bigger pot, you might need to add another row of net. If that’s the case, undo the final knot and repeat Step Five. When you’ve got a final presentation you like, snip any excess cord, then find a sunny spot and hang your planter.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 176