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How to Tie Basic Macramé Knots with Robyn Gough

We’ve partnered with craft vlogger and textiles designer Robyn Gough, from the blog, United Knots to teach you how to tie basic Macramé knots, perfect for Macramé wall hangings which make an ideal gift.

Robyn says “The best thing about Macramé craft is that it’s fast and easy to learn. By knowing how to tie just two basic knots, anyone is able to start making decorative pieces and hangings.”


Macramé has seen a big resurgence since its 1970’s heyday, with the art of knotting string into patterns reemerging with a modern twist. To show you just how easy it can be, Robyn has created a step-by-step Macramé tutorial below for makers of any ability to learn basic knots, which is all you need to make your own basic hangings.



Robyn uses traditionally styled Macramé cotton cord which is available in many sizes and types on her website. It’s soft, easy to use and unravels gently, making it perfect for the coveted ‘luxury fringe’ effect that Macramé makes possible.


This is what you tie your knots onto. It is popular to use a wooden dowel, stick or branch to make wall hangings. For this tutorial, in the pictures, a 7cm diameter wood ring is used, but plastic will also suffice.


Unlike crochet or knitting, Macramé does not require any “needles”. You only need your hands to tie knots.

 Step 1. How to cast on’ using a larks head knot

  1. Measure and cut a length of cord


2. Take both ends and join them together, folding the cord in half


3. Push the folded ‘loop’  behind your dowel


4. Pull the ends up and through the loop securing a larks head knot


PRO TIP: these instructions can be used when making any Macramé hanging, so feel free to come back later to refresh yourself on the basics.

Step 2.  How to tie a square knot

  1. Hang two cords onto your ring or dowel using the larks head knot. This will leave you with four hanging cords in total
  2. Create a ‘backwards D’ shape with the left hand cord


3. Take the furthest right hand cord and lift it over the tail of the ‘backwards D’


4. Take the end of the right hand cord and pass it under the middle of the resting cords in the middle, before pulling it through the ‘backwards D’ shape


5. Pull both cords tight

Mirror the process working with the opposite side cords as below:

  1. Create a ‘normal D’ shape with the furthest right-hand cord
  2. Take the furthest left hand cord and lift it over the tail of the ‘normal D’
  3. Take the end of the left hand cord and pull it under the middle of the resting middle cords, then out through the ‘backwards D’
  4. Pull cords tight

Step 3. How to alternate a square knot

Alternating a square knot requires the same two step approach to making a standard square knot, but requires you to work with cords from two other square knots. For example:

  1. Cut four lengths of cord and hang them onto your ring/dowel using a larks head knot. This will leave you with eight hanging cords in total


2. Tie a square knot using the middle four cords


3. From this square knot, take the two left hand cords below and the left hand cords that are untied and create another square knot


4. Repeat the previous two steps but instead using the right hand cords of your first square knot and the remaining right hand cords that are untied


5. To tie the last knot, take the central four cords and tie another the final square knot in the middle


Keen to tie some more knots? Put the square knots you’ve learned in this tutorial into action by making a Macramé star, which has its own video tutorial on Robyn’s blog here.

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