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Macrame for Beginners

If you've recently visited a coffee shop or hip clothing store, you've likely spotted macrame. This method of entwining string together can make awesome bracelets, plant hangers and even clothes! The style was popular during the 1960s and has made a comeback in the windows of Urban Outfitters and trendy boutiques. You can make your own at home with just some string, scissors and a little knowledge!

Macrame plant hanger
Artists tend to see beauty in the world, but it's hard to find what's pretty about typical plant hangers. They're often made of plastic and not so easy on the eyes. Replace the ugly store-bought hanger with one you've made out of macrame! The term actually refers to the type of string used, but this hanger variety requires old strips of jersey knit instead! This allows for a more colorful, relaxed feel. To make one, you'll need scissors, fabric, a tape measure, a plant and a planter.

Cut the fabric into 1.5-inch strips and about a foot and a half long. You'll need eight strips. Grab each end and stretch them so the fabric turns into cords (the edges will roll inward). Line up all the cords and tie them into a knot about four inches from their ends. With the knot in the center, group the cords into twos. Tie a knot with each duo that is about two inches from the knot. Then, separate the duos and make new sets of two with each strip's neighbor. Tie another knot about 1.5 inches away. Repeat this process until the net you've created will securely hold your planter. Make sure the knots are tight and then tie all the strands into a knot at the top which you can use to hang the plant off a nail or an eye hook. Voila! You've made your very own macrame plant hanger. Grandma will be proud!

Wall hanging
Macrame is not just for functional use and jewelry, you can make some really beautiful woven patterns with this sturdy string. We recommend you have twine, scissors, a paint brush, a stick from outside that is free of ants and other critters, a paint brush and textile paint in your favorite color. The stick will be the base from which you tie the twine. Your first step? Cut 35 pieces of twine that are 70 inches long. Fold each section in half and loop it around the stick. Pull the ends through the folded edge so that each side hangs at the same length. Do this with all 35 sections. Now, with your 70 total pieces, separate the strings into groups of 10. These will help you weave the awesome beginning of your hanging!

Work with your first group of 10, knotting the strong on the far right to the one directly left of it. Then, use that same strand (from the far right) to knot it to the one second from the right. Continue knotting this same string until you reach the fifth. Knot this one and then stop. You'll repeat this process from the left using the far left strand, knotting to the other strings until you reach the middle. 

Repeat this with the two new outside strands until you have four rows. Then, move on to the next section of 10. Once you've completed this knotting process to each grouping, you'll need to make new groups. Leave the five strings on the far right and far left of your stick, they will stay as is. Then, make five from each knotted area join with the ones next to them. Redo the four rows of knotting here to join the groups together. Do this for all strands except the five furthest on each side. Next, it's time for painting! You can try dip dying to get an ombre look, or even opt for different colors. For an even painted look, tape your strands down to a piece of paper, then use a brush to coat the bottom portion of the strings. Let it dry, remove the tape and use wall hangers or nails to put your new piece on display. Or, if you sell art online, consider adding it to your shop so someone else can enjoy your handiwork!