Macrame Lantern DIY

Macrame Lantern DIY

The perfect addition to any chic chill out spot, a macrame lantern looks luxe with fairy lights and adds texture and dimension to any living area ,dressing up a bare space with natural materials and bold tones.

Using our chunky wool I created a simple version, with maximum tassel! I chose fiery earth tones from the Nanacindy hand dyed chunky wool range because I wanted a dark tropical paradise vibe for my living room. I gathered together;  one skein of variegated chunky wool yarn, scissors, a measuring tape, a cord, a large hoop and small hoop.

I used the inside of some embroidery hoops I had, you can buy hoop packs for this purpose or use things like bracelets or curtain rings. Different sized rings create gentle curves in your lantern and you can also achieve layered effects with them.

It was a beautiful sunny day here so I used a sandpit frame to hang my work from so I could sit under a tree and enjoy the fresh air. This is a lovely relaxing project to do this summer, a tree branch or tent would be the perfect place to hang it up and work away. If you don’t have anything a broom or driftwood suspended between two chairs will work too.

First I seperated my yarn up into 10 sections around 5m long, I lined these up all alongside each other and marked the centre with a contrasting strand of wool. Using the two outer lengths tied a sinnet (series) of 8 square knots around the 6 inner strands (knot bearers) in the centre. This creates our handle. Fold this in half and tie onto your frame with a strong cord.

Purely because I love how the chunky speckle dyed wool knots up into twist knots I create a sinnet of 14 one sided flats knots using one cord wrapped over three. I used the most pretty length of the 4. This created 4 twists. Folding and tieing the long ends made this a lot easier!

I then tied each of the 4 cords from each twist onto the larger hoop with overhand knots and spread them out equally.

Working now from the 20 strands on the hoop I tied the outer two lengths from each group of 4, about 2cm down with over hand knots. You could also use hitches or chinese button knots but I feel they look mostly the same in the chunky yarn. I then tied the remaining two sets creating the first row of a short net. I then created a second row, alternating the cords used so a knot is formed in the gap.

Gathering the 4 cords of each ‘net’ , in line with the groups of 4 descending from the initial twists, I then created a lovely puffy blackberry knot to give it some dimension.

Using two lengths tie a sinnet of 6 alternating flat knots around two central cords. Use the shorter length of yarn in the centre. Then bringing those central cords up through the centre of the space above the first flat knot and bring it back down, securing the ‘blackberry’ with another flat knot. I pushed my finger in the middle to adjust it to its full fluffiness.

Using the shortest length cord, I tied an overhand knot onto the smaller hoop about 5 cm away from the blackberry knot. And gathered these 4 cords into the centre of the hoop (inside) and tie them all tightly with an overhand knot so the knot is centred in the hoop. I Trimmed to 30cm 

I then tied another small net with an overhand knot 2cm between the knots and bringing the 3 cords back together under the first blackberry knot, created a second Blackberry.

Taking the three remaining cords and wrapping the longest (or prettiest) length around two with a sinnet of 42 one sided flat knots, creating another twist. Gosh it looks a bit odd at this point but bear with me, we are about to be-tassel this into a boho delicious floofy, chunky, wool dream! I Tied these three off with a flat knot going the other direction and trimmed the ends to 27cm. Tucking these out of the way for now.

Tassel time! I Cut; 20x 30cm lengths, 1x 15cm and 40 x 50 cm lengths

I Folded the 30cm lengths in half, wrapped  over the central hoop tassel and bind around the whole lot underneath with the 15cm length, tucked the end through the middle of the tassel to secure (I use a knitting needle to poke it through)

Using the 50cm lengths, I folded in half and tie onto the hoop with larks head knots, around 8 to a section, spreading these around evenly. I took the twists and moved them two spaces to the right creating a lovely arc and tied the remaining ends on with overhand knots, blending them in with the tassels. I then gave it a light trim to even it all out.

Then I took a piece slightly larger than the larger hoop itself and tied on with overhand knots in 6 places evenly around the hoop. I left a small amount of slack in each section to create 8 arcs on which I tied my remaining yarn with larks head knots, cut into 20cm lengths, around 12 for each ‘arc’. Tassel-tastic! Now this fiery hand dyed yarn delight, just needed a nice tassel haircut to ensure the beautiful blackerry knots can be seen.

Now it’s ready to style- I chose the most retro funky corner of my lounge and I added some led lights to show off the dimensions of the macrame lantern. If you do this, be careful to use lights that don’t heat up!

We want the retro look of the 70’s, without the fire hazards.

What do you think? Would you give this a try with Nanacindy chunky wool yarn? I think there’s great potential- lovely lanterns in ocean inspired blues for beach style houses or blush pinks, mint greens or lemon yellows for nursery mobiles. Make two identical macrame lanterns for a striking yet balanced look in your plant room or hacienda and hang above your bed or under a canopy for a boho luxe boudoir. 

Can you tell I have been waiting my whole life for these aesthetics to come back in fashion? My house is looking 100% funkier already and I am so excited to bring my next projects to you! I'm thinking wearable, maybe something cute to wear to a festival this summer?

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