By making your own macrame hanging planter, you bring together a love of houseplants and handcrafts. You also get lovely new décor to display or give away as a gift. This project is ideal for beginners to the macrame craft. For those already experienced in macrame, hanging planters can feature more complex designs. No matter your experience level, customize your planter by adjusting the size, material, color, and, of course, the choice of plant in the finished piece.
Macrame is the craft of knot-tying. It’s used to create decorative and functional objects, including wall hangings, clothing, and jewelry. Hanging planters are a very popular macrame project. They complement a space with boho or retro décor – macrame was very big in the ‘70s – but fit with a wide variety of room styles. They can hang outdoors, too. A plant hanger usually comprises four sets of cording, which are knotted together at the top with a hook or ring and at the bottom to form a tassel underneath the pot. A set of decorative knots forms a net-like arrangement to hug the planter and hold it upright.
You can buy cording designed specifically for macrame, which tends to be softer and more pliable than utilitarian cord or rope. It’s not essential, though, and you can make a macrame hanging planter with any type of rope, cord, yarn, or string of a suitable strength and thickness. The larger and heavier your plant, the thicker the material should be. White or natural cream cording is traditional for macrame, but you can use any colors you desire. You also need scissors, a measuring tape, and hanging hardware. Some macrame planter designs include wooden rings, dowels, beads, and other design elements.
For any macrame hanging planter, you’ll need to take some basic measurements. Measure and note down the length you desire from the top loop to the base of the plant pot. You should also keep the pot you wish to hang close by so you can fit the planter to it as you work. Read through all the instructions from start to finish before you start, and double-check that you have the necessary supplies. If you’re a beginner, practice any new-to-you knots.
A simple macrame plant hanger project for beginners doesn’t need any special macrame knots – just a standard overhand knot. It can come together in just 5 to 10 minutes. Start by measuring and cutting eight lengths of cording equal to the hanging-length measurement you noted earlier plus 12 inches. In other words, if the length you want is 3 feet, cut each length to 4 feet. The additional inches allow for the knotting plus some extra that can be trimmed later, if necessary.
Hold the eight equal lengths of cording together so that their ends are neatly lined up. Tie all eight together with a basic overhand knot a few inches from one end. The shorter ends of cording will be the tassel at the base of the planter, which can be any length you want. Pull the knot tightly to make sure it’s secure.
Lay your knotted cording flat on a table with the first knot and tassel at the center, and the unknotted cords spreading out around it. Arrange four sets of two cords in a compass shape – two cords together to the north, two to the east, two to the south, and two to the west. Tie each set of two cords together with a basic overhand knot, 1 to 4 inches from the tassel knot. For a small pot, knot about 1 inch from the center knot. Lengths closer to 4 inches are best for bigger pots. Make sure all four knots in this row are at equal distances from the first knot.
Next, rearrange the pairs of cords. From the “north” set of cords, move the right-hand cord over to meet the closest cord of the “east” set. Take the other cord from the “east” set over to join the right-hand cord of the “south” set, and the remaining cord from the “south” set to meet the closest cord of the “west” set. Finally, take the remaining cord of the “west” set to meet the left-hand cord of the “north” set. The four sets of cords will now look more like an "X" than a "+".
Tie the new pairs of cording together, again using basic overhand knots, at 1 to 4 inches from the previous set of knots. Use a longer or shorter measurement suitable for the size of your pot.
Then, repeat Step 7, rearranging the pairs of cords in the same way. They should look like a "+" or compass again. Tie a third set of knots, 1 to 4 inches from the second set, in the same manner.
This step is easiest with a second pair of hands to help. With your hanger still flat on a table, place the plant pot that will hang on it over the cording. The tassel and first knot should be at the center of the base. Pick up the four sets of cording and lift them above the plant pot. The knotted arrangement should wrap closely around the pot, securely enough that you can lift the pot off the table without it spilling. If necessary, rearrange the knots with your fingers to get a tighter fit.
Bring all four pairs of cording together at the top, above the planter. Tie them in one tight knot close to the top so that you form a hanging loop. Alternatively, tie the four pairs of cording together around a wooden or metal hanging loop. You can trim the lengths at this stage if the planter is longer than you want it to be. Double-check that the pot is secure and all the knots are equally spaced and tight before hanging the planter.