I’ve always wanted to integrate some macramé with one of my yarn projects. I love the intricate patterns of this traditional craft but I also love the softness and warmth that yarn evokes. As I prepare my home to transition from summer to fall, I thought it was the perfect time to combine the two.
This ombre yarn garland with a macrame twist was the result.
If you’d like to try a project like this, here are the materials you’ll need:
- 5 yarns, similar in thickness
- cotton cording
- round wood beads
- scissors, pencil & measuring tape (not pictured)
Determine the width of your wall hanging by measuring the wall space available. About two-thirds to three quarters of the width of the wall is a good rule-of-thumb. I had close to 8 feet of wall space and determined that about 5 feet would do.
Once you’ve determined the width you’ll need, measure the cord to fit the width, then double it. This will ensure you have enough for an upper and lower portion. Once you’ve doubled the length of the cord, cut it in half. This is because there are actually two pieces to this garland display.
Remember: since the garland hangs slack, you’ll want to account for that when measuring your cord.
Mark the cord along each point where you will transition from one colour of yarn to the next. In this case, 5 colours, equally-spaced for the upper part of your garland and the same for the lower.
Cut the individual strands of yarn that comprise your garland. Each strand will be folded in half and looped around the cord. Once you add some macrame patterns, this will shorten their length by a couple of inches. To be safe, cut each strand a few inches longer than you’d want when the project is complete. For this project, I cut each strand to about 16 inches when folded in half (or 32 inches unfolded). This was so I could have a finished product that hung at about 12 inches when complete.
Begin attaching your yarn to the cord. Take two strands of folded yarn together and place on top, as pictured.
Taking the top of the loop, pull underneath the cord.
Take the ends, pinch together and feed into the loop from above.
Tighten to create a loop knot.
Continue making loop knots along the cord.
Continue until you reach the end of one cord. Then do the same for the second cord.
To create the ombre effect, you’ll want to make sure that you gradually transition from one colour to another. To do this, simply take one strand from one colour and one strand from another to create a single knot. Repeat a few times to create your desired transition. As pictured below, the knots I’m holding are the transition knots. This creates a seamless transition from light grey (on the left) to cream (on the right).
For colours that have a greater contrast, you may need a couple of extra of these dual colour knots to ease into the next colour more gradually.
Remember to reverse the direction of the ombre effect for the second garland.
Time for some macrame! For this project, you will be creating a simple square knot along the top. You will be creating these using two loop knots attached to your cord. First, tape down the cord. This will keep it in place as you create your knots.
For a typical square knot, you need 4 strands. But because the loop knots attached to your cording were created out of two strands of yarn, you will actually have 8 strands available to create your square knot. For each single strand needed, group two strands together.
Creating your first square knot: Take the doubled strand on the far left and place over top the two doubled strands in the middle and then feed underneath the doubled strand on the far right, as pictured below.
Notice that there is a somewhat circular hole created on the far left. It will be important for the next step.
Next, take the doubled strand on the far right and feed it underneath the two middle pieces.
Then feed the same double strand through the circular hole on the far left, starting underneath.
Pull through the hole going upwards and then lay the end to your left. You should end up with a double strand on the right and a double strand on the left.
Pull the double strands in opposing directions to tighten. This forms the top portion of your square knot.
To create the lower part, simply repeat the process just underneath. This will create a ‘square’ effect.
You’ve just created your first square knot.
Repeat these steps across the rest of the two garlands. It’s a small detail, but it adds a cute touch to your garland.
Once you’ve created your square knots, it’s time to add another small detail to this garland display: the wood beads. Attach the beads at random spots along your garland. I used a needle to thread mine through, but it will depend on the size of the hole and the thickness of the yarn. Try to match the size of hole to the thickness of yarn as close as you can.
The beads are lightweight and will stay on so don’t worry about knotting your strands to keep them on. Depending on your colour scheme, you can always paint the beads, let dry and attach. You can also hang other decorative objects like feathers or brightly-coloured tassels.
Time to hang your garland! I used push pins to hang mine for easy removal. You can also use wash tape, depending on the weight of your garland. I wanted mine to appear as a single piece, hung askew, and so attached them to the wall as if it were a single garland folded in half.
This is an easy project, but by no means a quick one. It took up a good chunk of time to attach each knot on this 10-foot, 2-piece garland, but I am loving the results! Garlands are a great way to decorate a large wall space or hang on an oversized mirror or window. Add some fall foliage or feathers for autumn or small ornaments for Christmas. The possibilities are endless.
Hope you give this a try!