Growing up in a single parent family, my Mom & I had to stay with her Mom to save money growing up. She never let us forget that we were staying in her house (for which she had many rules) so I (we) didn’t really get to experiment with interior decorating. (Hey, don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful she let us move in with her!)
Luckily for me, I have finally moved out and I am making up for years of home decor deprivation by going mad about interiors. Here’s a fun project that I did over the weekend to create some extra cushions for my place- cheap but stylish and comfortable!
Best of all? You can use the same method to make a bracelet, necklace and (maybe) even a dog toy!! (I need to do more research around dog toys before sharing this as a dog toy tutorial- pet safety first, after all!)
What you need
Only fabric yarn
Here I’ve used a selection from Bobbiny (houndstooth), Hooked (pink), Tek Tek (blue) & Jolly Good Yarn (yellow)
Cut 2 lengths of thread in each colour, each measuring at least 3.5 m (So you’ll end up with 8 strings of yarn)
Line them up so they all start at the same point, then fold them into two. At the midpoint, tie a knot to secure the threads in place,
Separate the yarns into 4 equal sections, all at ninety degrees to each other. Basically you’re forming a very colourful cross.
You don’t have to use 4 different colours but this makes it easier for you to see what I’m doing in the photos. If you’re new to macrame, I’d suggest starting with different colours at first to avoid confusion.
Now for the macrame knotting bit. First thing to keep in mind is you will be working anti clockwise during each knot you form. So you start with the yarns at the top (pink) then move on to the ones on its left (blue) then bottom (yellow) and lastly right (houndstooth)
So bring the ends of the yarns at the top (the pink yarn) down as shown below. It MUST cross the yarns on its left (the blue yarn)
Now bring the blue yarns over the pink and yellow yarns. (The houndstooth yarns (yarns on the right) remain untouched and remain above the blue yarns)
Then bring the yellow yarns above the blue and houndstooth yarns.
And lastly, bring the houndstooth yarns over the yellow yarn and through the hole formed by the pink yarn- this under movement closes the knot. This last step of each knot is the only time you go through any of the yarns.
You end up with a very loose looking square:
Pull all the yarns to close the square and here’s your knot! Is it just me or is it very pretty? 🙂
Now move on to the next knot- you basically repeat everything in Step 3 but when you bring down the first yarns, they should cut through the diagonal of the square formed in Step 3. If this sounds confusing, look below. If you don’t get it round, don’t worry- you’ll still get a very nice macrame finish but it’ll be squar-ish in shape instead of cylindrical.
Keep making the knots till you run out of fabric then tie a knot at the end. Loving these colours!
Note: some people use the above as a dog toy- I can see how that MAY work but I’d be concerned that a dog could “destroy” the entire toy and separate it into all its component yarns, then swallow the yarn? Maybe I’m thinking too much but if you’re thinking of DIY-ing it as a dog toy, please do some research on the safety aspect first!
Because the yarns are stretchy, you’re going to end with the yarns all being different lengths at the end. Just trim off those that are too long.
Now to make the actual cushion- you’re going to need a LOT MORE yarn. Basically the small cushion you see below is made from 1 entire spool of T shirt yarn (so almost 80 m? I kept the length unchanged- so each string was about 3.5-4m. ) To make a fatter cushion, either keep the tension looser or add even more yarn!
What do you think? It makes a great neck support when I’m lying down and watching Netflix or Viki 🙂
Note: for my cushion, I went back to re-tie the knot in Step 1 in the same way as I ended the cushion in the last step (I wanted my cushion to be symmetrical!) But it’s really up to you- you can leave it as is and it’ll still look great!
PS You can also use this as a bracelet! To do so, leave enough remaining yarn so that you can tie it through the loop formed in Step 1 to fasten around your wrist.