Books + Magazines Modern Macrame

Published on October 16th, 2017 | by Julie Finn

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Review of Modern Macrame: 10 Simple Projects to Enhance Your Home

Modern Macrame

You cannot have too many plant hangers, I promise you this. If there is a window in your house that does not have a plant hanging from it, then you don’t have enough plants. If there is a plant hanging in front of every window in your house, then you need to get yourself some more windows.

Because fresh air, friends, and greenness. Happy living things that ask for a reasonable amount of care (unlike my children, or the dog).

I’ve got loads of these homemade hanging planters in my house, but the traditional macrame plant hanger had always been beyond me. Knots are confusing. Better just to use power tools.

So this all-in-one craft kit that I received free to review had just one job to do: could Modern Macrame: 10 Simple Projects to Enhance Your Home teach me how to make a macrame plant hanger?

It taught me how to make two!

Out of the box, Modern Macrame has enough paracord to make plant hangers as well as several beads and the dowel that’s called for in the wall hanging project. This wasn’t immediately ideal, as paracord is made of nylon and isn’t, therefore, an eco-friendly craft supply. It DOES handle moisture and sunlight well, though, and I do use some non-natural materials in my home, so it’s cool.

The beads were a bigger problem. The first tutorial in the book, the simple plant hanger that I was totally about to make, called for the beads, which were wooden (yay!) and cute. However, the beads that came in the kit weren’t wide enough for the paracord to fit through–oops! Fortunately, I keep a stash of unfinished wooden beads on hand for various projects, and they were just the thing.

Also, you don’t actually need the beads to make your macrame functional, from what I can tell. They look to be just for giving your projects that finished, decorative, macrame-esque look, similar to the seashells that my Mammaw’s macrame hangings always incorporated.

I also struggled a little with cutting the lengths of cord to the correct, SUPER long size, and I ended up having to go hunting out in the garage for a tape measure, but after that… after THAT!…

I successfully made a plant hanger! And it took something like ten minutes to complete! AND it’s really cute!

The tutorials for the two plant hanger projects that I completed are both perfect walk-throughs, and the paracord does have the benefit of being so nice and wide that it’s easy to see what you’re doing, and easy to pick a knot apart if you make a mistake. The knots that the tutorials use are so simple to learn that I had each of them memorized after trying it just a couple of times. Here, for instance, is a square knot that I now know how to make:

Modern Macrame

My fingernails are dirty, but pretty fingernails don’t re-pot ferns.

In the long plant hanger, two of these come before and after this series of half-hitches that are a little trickier to get right, but the square knots keep them anchored:

Modern Macrame

There are tons more macrame knots to learn, and this book is just an introduction to them, but it’s thorough enough that I feel confident that I can even create original designs now. For instance, check out my hallway window with the two plant hangers already in it, above the bench shelf that serves as my plant hospital (currently holding three ferns that did NOT enjoy their summer spent outdoors), next to the wall with our family shrine to housecats:

Modern Macrame

All I’d have to do is eliminate one of the series of alternating half-hitch knots and I’d have a macrame plant hanger that could hang in between my current two, and also bridge the vertical distance…

Stay tuned!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



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