If you’re looking for a festive activity that won’t take too long, doesn’t require much equipment and can be done with the whole family, making your own Christmas ornaments with macramé is the perfect fit. Even if the kids are too young to get involved with the macramé itself, they’ll have a great time painting the ornaments. 

It’s also an excellent crafting technique if you’re looking to make your own gifts this Christmas. After all, who doesn’t love to receive a pretty present that’s been lovingly created by hand? 

What Is Macramé?

Macramé uses a few specific knots to turn a piece of yarn into a textile, letting you make ornaments from just string and glue. It’s different from knitting, crocheting and weaving because you macramé by hand and without using needles. 

A hand holding a macramé snowflake ornament, with Christmas lights in the background. The snowflake is built around a central ring and has six branches. The excess cord has been combed to create a fringe effect.
This snowflake follows the same mandala pattern but it looks more festive because it uses white cord instead of multicolored threads. By Liudmila Fadzeyeva on iStock.

You Can Make DIY Christmas Ornaments With Macramé

The most well-known examples of this crafting technique are macramé plant hangers and intricate wall hangings, but you can use macramé to make anything, including Christmas ornaments.

Transform your space into a winter wonderland by creating macramé:

  • Snowflakes
  • Tree baubles
  • Mini Christmas trees
  • Wreaths
  • Angels

Macramé: The Perfect Handmade Gift

Making your own Christmas gifts gives you the opportunity to personalize each present. With macramé, you can gift someone a textile that you’ve lovingly crafted with your own hands—and that your loved ones can enjoy for many holiday seasons to come.

You can customize your handmade macramé Christmas gifts in a few ways:

  • Use their favorite colored yarn
  • Add their name to the ornament
  • Incorporate a special message
  • Paint it in their favorite colors
A group of macramé Christmas ornaments made from white cord, presented in a see-through box. The ornaments include a snowflake, a christmas tree, and other shapes to hang from the Christmas tree.
You could make a range of macramé Christmas ornaments, package them in a gift box and give them to friends and family. Photo by Liudmila Fadzeyeva via iStock.

Source Your Macramé Patterns Online

Another reason macramé Christmas ornaments make affordable gifts is because there are so many macramé patterns freely available online. When you’re experienced at this craft, you’ll be able to download more macramé Christmas ornament patterns and make your own ornaments, wall hangings, plant holders and more. 

Until then, you may find it easier to follow video tutorials and stick to the step-by-step macramé instructions.

Macramé Tutorial: Commence Crafting

Before you jump into how to make macramé Christmas ornaments, you need to gather the materials and get your head around some basic knots first.

What Materials Do You Need?

Many ornaments can be made with just cord and something to keep it in place while you’re making your knots. If you’re new to this craft, it’s easier to start with a medium-sized cord of between 3–7 mm or 0.11–0.27 inches. 

What Macramé Knots Should You Know?

There are only four different knots that you’ll need to be familiar with to macramé these Christmas ornaments:

  1. Lark’s Head Knot

You’ll use this at the very start of your project to join your macramé cords to the center. Fold the cord in half, pull the loop behind the center and pull the ends of the cord through the loop before pulling it tight. 

  1. Cow’s Hitch Knot

The cow’s hitch knot is a reverse of lark’s head. You put the loop in front of the center, which forces the knot to face the other way.

  1. Clove Hitch Knot

Create the triangle shapes seen in so many macramé Christmas ornaments with this stylish loop. It’s also called a double half hitch knot, because you have to make two knots with your cord.

  1. Square Knot

A signature boxy shape is created using the square knot. It’s the most advanced macramé knot that you’ll use for the ornaments in this list.

Try your hand at the basic macramé knots with a step-by-step video tutorial: 

String Together A Snowflake

Choose a cool color palette of whites, silvers and blues to transform an everyday macramé mandala pattern into a snowflake. It’s ideal for beginners because it requires just three knots: overhand, right hand and left hand. Plus, you can learn how to make a macramé mandala in a couple of hours.

A close up of a macramé mandala with seven branches and seven colors of thread. The teacher has nearly finished making it and is tying together the final few knots. The unused thread is overhanging and the mandala is held in place by a clipboard clip.
A classic mandala pattern will help you create a snowflake shape that you can adapt to make it look more festive. Still from Skillshare Class Macramé Mandala by Julia B.

To make a macramé Christmas snowflake ornament, you’ll need a small metal ring to go in the middle of your snowflake and something to hold your thread steady. It’s up to you how many different color cords you use, but keep in mind that a smaller central ring has space for fewer snowflake branches, or will require thinner threads. 

It’ll be easier if you use fewer cords for your first macramé snowflake. When you’ve mastered this method, you could improve by adding in more threads. 

Once you’ve assembled your supplies:

  1. Attach your cords to the ring with a cow hitch knot.
  2. Follow the pattern, tying together the threads with a series of clove hitch knots to create the brand of the snowflake.
  3. Repeat these steps to add another branch to the center ring.
  4. Connect the two branches.
  5. Repeat until the ring is full and all branches have been joined.
  6. Tidy up the excess cords.

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Make A Macramé Christmas Wreath

With a similar method, you can make your own macramé wall hanging that doubles as a Christmas wreath. The slight twist is that you’ll need a bigger hoop (15 cm or 5.9 in is ideal) and you’ll need almost four meters of 3 mm (0.11 in) cord cut into 55 pieces of 70 cm (27.5 in). 

For your macramé wreath ornaments:

  1. Attach the seven pieces of cord to the hoop with a cow hitch knot.
  2. Use double clove hitch knots to make your first triangle.
  3. Start on the next triangle and attach it to the previous one. Fill in the gaps between the two by tying a triangle between them. 
  4. When the hoop is full, trim the edges and give them a brush to create a fringe border. If you find that the larger size makes the wreath floppy, you can stiffen macramé by using a fabric stiffening spray or painting the fringed edges with a mixture of water and glue.
  5. Make sure you re-trim the fringe to create a sharper edge.

Make your macramé Christmas wreath more festive by using a metallic hoop, some sparkly cord, or focusing on festive colors. Get fully festive with holly or branches of pine for some additional decoration. 

A macramé Christmas wreath made from a mandala wall hanging pattern. It uses white cord and has branches of pine and holly berries attached to feel more festive.
Go big with a classic mandala pattern and a large center ring for a macramé Christmas wreath. By Tatiana Buzmakova via iStock.

Craft Your Own Christmas Tree Baubles

With some cord and a few baubles, you can make your own macramé Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree. 

  1. Cut 14 pieces of cord measuring 100 cm (39.3 in) each.
  2. Make a loop with one piece, then attach the other 13 pieces with a lark’s head knot.
  3. Place the loop over the top of your bauble and tighten until it sits nicely on top.
  4. Take four strings and make a series of five knots that will go down the side of the bauble.
  5. Repeat this seven times, until all of the cord has been used.
  6. Take the left two strings from one side, and the right two strings from the next side. Leave a gap of 1–2 cm (0.39–0.78 in) and connect them with two more square knots. Work your way around the bauble repeating this.
  7. Leave the same sized gap and repeat the steps above to return the strings to their original side of the bauble. Use four square knots to create a longer chain. Keep repeating this for all of the strings.
  8. Gather all the strings at the bottom of the bauble. Use a 40 cm (15.7 in) piece of cord to make a gathering knot and then trim the overhanging string.

You can either use colored or sparkly cord to make these baubles go with your Christmas palette, or decorate them later with your family. Children that are too young to learn how to macramé a net can still enjoy painting the baubles, or covering the string in their favorite stickers.

Loop in your own ornament with this process:

  1. Get a thinner thread and cut it to the length you want the ornament to hang, plus an extra 3 cm (1.18 in). 
  2. Tie together the two loose ends.
  3. Fold the opposite end and thread it through the gap.
  4. Put the knotted end through the loop and pull it tight.
A woman holds a transparent Christmas bauble covered in a macramé pattern. The table is covered with festive touches, including pine needles, holly berries and a macramé candle cover.
You can get children involved with some Christmas crafting by getting them to paint over the white cord covering the baubles. By Tatiana Buzmakova on iStock.

Macramé A Mini Christmas Tree

A quick and easy pattern to start with is a mini Christmas tree. You only need one 100 cm (39.3 in) string and another that measures 30 cm (11.8 in), plus a small star to connect at the top. 

  1. Use a cow’s hitch knot to connect the shorter piece of cord to the star.
  2. Connect the longer cord with square knots.
  3. Space out the two outside threads and then tie another square knot.
  4. Space the two outside threads a little further apart and tie another square knot. Repeat this five more times, increasing the spacing every time. 
  5. Finish with two square knots to create the trunk of the Christmas tree.
  6. Cut off the excess cord and clue in place.
An elaborate macramé Christmas tree with intricate knots and wooden beads in the spine. It’s sat on top of hessian fabric and surrounded by fair lights to give a festive feeling.
Follow more elaborate patterns and introduce other textures like wooden beads into your holiday macramé creations. By Liudmila Fadzeyeva on iStock.

Create A Christmas Angel

If you’re feeling more confident with your macramé skills, a Christmas angel is an excellent challenge. 

You’ll need a variety of cord:

  • 1 piece of 3 mm (0.11 in) cord cut to 60 cm (23.6 in). 
  • 6 pieces of 5 mm (0.19 in) cord cut to 30 cm (11.8 in). 
  • 12 pieces of 3 mm (0.11 in) cord cut to 35 cm (13.7 in).
  • Thin gold thread cut to 30 cm (11.8 in).

You’ll also need a 4.5 cm (1.7 in) ring and a 20 mm (0.78 in) bead. 

Then it’s time to craft your Christmas angel ornament.

  1. Connect a piece of cord to the ring using a lark’s head knot.
  2. Flip the ring up so that the cord is at the top of the ring and the cord falls in front of it. Thread the bead onto the cord and pull it up to the center of the ring.
  3. Tuck the cord behind the ring. Take the right cord and make a double hitch knot around the ring, and repeat for the left side. 
  4. Group 3 pieces of 5 mm (0.19 in) cord together, brush it out entirely and fold it in half. Pull it halfway through the ring on one side of the bead. Repeat this with the other 3 pieces of 5 mm (0.19 in) cord and add it to the other side of the bead.
  5. Comb the fringe again, making sure to turn the ornament over and brush both sides.
  6. Take a piece of thin gold thread and use a wrap knot to create the angel’s belt. Cut off the excess thread.
  7. Use a lark’s head knot to attach half of the 3 mm (0.11 in) cord to one side of the ring, and repeat with the other side.
  8. Take your ball of cord and pin one piece above the cords on the left side of the ring. Separate the new piece of cord and the one below it from the rest of the strings and use a double half-hitch knot to tie the cord to the new piece. Repeat this as you move down, tying the cords on the rope to the new string.
  9. Once all of the left side is attached, pull the extra piece of cord to the side and cut so it’s the same length as the others.
  10. Repeat this on the right side of the ring.
  11. Brush out the cord to create the fringed wings, then brush it downwards.
  12. Use sharp scissors to cut a winged shape on both sides and trim the skirt of the angel.
  13. Stiffen the macramé fringing by spritzing fabric stiffening spray over both sides and leaving it to dry.
  14. You can tidy up the edges of the wings again, if you’d prefer a more precise line.
  15. Tie a knot in the two top cords to create a loop you can hang on the tree.

Fringed Festive Fun For The Family

The beauty of macramé is that it’s a relatively simple craft to master, and doesn’t require any special equipment. If it’s your first go, start with the mini Christmas tree and work your way up to the more elaborate angel pattern.

Pop your handmade macramé Christmas ornaments in a festive box for a gracious gift anyone will be delighted to receive.

Start Your Easy Macramé Today 

A Beginner’s Guide to Mindful Macramé: From Plant Hangers to Wall Art

Written By

Laura Nineham

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