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Handcrafted Planter

Handcrafted Planter

Description:  This Handcrafted Planter features the Switch Knot, which is not usually found in plant hangers.

It's made by switching fillers and working cords before tying each Square Knot, and is found in the long sennits in the middle section.

Using the Switch Knot results in a crisscross pattern, which has small open spaces.  So it has a more delicate appearance. I encourage you to give it a try.

You can use other knots, but make sure you cut the cords longer than described in Preparation.

This plant hanger is easy to make, and is suitable for a beginner’s Macrame project.

The finished length is approximately 50 inches, which includes a double fringe at the bottom.


Supplies Needed:
  • 6mm Macrame Cord (42 yards)
  • 12 Beads (25mm or larger with 10 - 12mm holes)
  • 16 Beads for Fringe (10 - 12mm with 6mm holes)
  • Two 3-inch rings
  • One 2-inch ring
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Project Board and pins (optional)
  • Masking Tape and Rubber Bands
Knots Used:

Cutting Instructions:

  • Cut 8 cords, each 5 yards long
  • Cut 2 cords, each 36 inches long (for Wrapped Knots)

In the images below, I used a contrasting color (brown) for the Wrapped Knots, since I wanted to use remnants.  This is optional, but looks very nice if you have any leftover material from other projects.  

Cut the cords longer if you plan to use different knots in the long sennits. Multiply the finished size you want x 7 to get the length of each cord.

Prepare the cords with masking tape to prevent unraveling as you work on the Handcrafted Planter.  When applying the tape, compress the ends of each cord to make them as flat as possible, to make beading easier.



Top Section

Step 1: Fold the 6-yard cords over the bottom of the 2-inch ring, while holding the ring upright. (See image for step 2)

Match the ends to center the cords. 

Roll Up

For each cord, roll up both halves together and secure the bundle with a rubber band.

The reason is that you will need to pull the cords later on, and rolling the two halves together ensures you are working with one cord at a time.

Wrapped Knot

Step 2:  Use a 36-inch cord to make a Wrapped Knot around the entire bundle of long cords.  Start the knot just below the ring, and wrap for 2 inches.

After the knot is tightened, pull BOTH halves of each 5-yard cord at the same time, so they grip the ring tightly.  Make sure the two ends are still matched up, so each half is the same length.

Step 2, continued:  You can now finish off the ends of the 36-inch cord, cutting off the excess material flush with the top and bottom of the knot. 

Push the stubs inside the knot so they can't be seen.

Step 3: You now have 16 cords to make the Handcrafted Planter.  Divide them into four groups of 4 cords.

Place the Wrapped Knot on your project board, standing upright as shown in the image below.  Secure it to your board.   Arrange the 4 groups of cords so they are spaced equally, and are spread out around the ring.

Next Ring

Place a 3-inch ring over the Wrapped knot and position it on top of the cords as shown. 

Measure the distance between the Wrapped knot and the ring.  It should be close to 1-inch in the four areas where the cords rest. 

Secure the ring in the areas between the cords.

Half Hitch

Step 4: Attach a cord to the 3-inch ring with THREE Half Hitches, rotating counter-clockwise.  This image shows the first knot. 

Tighten the first knot as much as possible, so there is tension in the area between the Wrapped knot and the ring.


Next Knot

Place the second and third Half Hitches to the right of the first.  These should be tight as well.

Repeat with the other three cords in the group, then will all the remaining cords.


Step 5:  Hang the Handcrafted Planter by the small ring at the top. 

Keep the cords arranged in the same 4 groups.


Using one group, move down 1-inch below the ring, and tie a Square Knot.  Measure in the center of the group (near cords 2 - 3).

Slide a bead onto all 4 cords, then tie another SK below it. (see Beading Tip below)


Beading Tip:  The best way to add the beads for the Handcrafted Planter is to pass the fillers through it first. 

Push the END of one working cord into the bead, arranged in front of the fillers. Twist the bead with one hand while pushing the working cord towards it with the other.  Repeat with the other working cord.

Step 5, continued:   Repeat this same process with the cords in the other three groups.  Make sure you measure carefully, so all the beads are at the same level.

Step 6: Working with one group of cords, measure from the bottom of the Square Knot down to the area 1-inch below it.   Mark the spot with a piece of tape.


Repeat step 4.

As you tighten the first Half Hitch with one cord, pull until the tape is touching the ring. 

Then tie the second and third Half Hitches. 

Step 6, continued:  Attach all the remaining cords in the same manner, making sure you measure accurately, or the ring won't be level.  

The tension of all the cords should be the same in the area above the ring.  Make adjustments if you find some cords have looser tension than others.



Long Sennits (Middle Section)

This is the point where I made the biggest change to the Handcrafted Planter.

I tried various knots, and found the best knots to use for the long sennits were Square Knots.  But tying them close together made this area very bulky.

So I changed to the Switch Knot, which added space between the Square Knots.

Step 7:  Mentally number the cords in each of the previous groups 1 - 4. 

You now need to alternate the cords, so select cords 3 - 4 from one group and cords 1 - 2 from the group next to it.  Those 4 cords will be used to create the Switch Knot sennit.



Move down 1-inch below the ring and tie a Square knot.  Make sure you measure so the spacing is accurate.

Mentally number the cords 1 - 4.


Step 8:  Switch the cords by placing the working cords (1 and 4) between the fillers (cords 2 - 3).

Tie the next SK with cords 2 and 3.  The new fillers are cords 1 and 4.

This knot should rest 1-inch below the SK tied in the previous step.


Step 8, continued:  To make this area of the  Handcrafted Planter look neat, pull on the fillers after each knot is tied, so that the cords are straight in the area between the two knots.

Be careful, so you don't change the position of the knots.

Five SK

Step 9:  Tie 3 more SK, switching cords before each one.

Add a bead to all 4 cords, then tie a SK below it. 

Tie 4 more SK, switching cords before each.

Add another bead with a SK below it.

Step 10:  Repeat steps 7 - 9, using the remaining cords to create the other three long sennits for the Handcrafted Planter.



Step 11: To start the cradle at the bottom area of the Handcrafted Planter, measure the pot or bowl you plan to use.


Start at the top edge, and measure down the side and across the bottom to the center.  

I'll refer to that result as the "Cradle Size".

Step 12:  Place two long Switch knot sennits in front of you side-by-side.  Mentally number the 4 cords in each one.

Alternate the cords by combining cords 3 - 4 from the sennit on the left, with cords 1 - 2 from the right sennit.  Those 4 cords are used to tie the next SK.

Upper Cradle

Upper Cradle:  Divide the Cradle Size by 2, then add 2 inches.

Move down that distance, measuring from the bottom of the last SK tied in the long sennit.

Tie a Square Knot.  Make sure all 4 cords have the same tension in the area between the knots. 

Step 13:  Repeat step 12 with the remaining cords, alternating them before tying the SK.

Organize the cords to make sure they are not crisscrossed, and are straight. 

Try to form a box with the four groups, so one group is in front, another group behind them, and one group on each side.  

Lower Cradle

Step 14: To make the lower cradle for the Handcrafted Planter, divide the Cradle Size by 2.  Move down that distance below the SK tied in steps 12 - 13.

Tie a 2-inch Wrapped Knot using a 36-inch cord.  The top of the knot should rest at the point measured.  

Don't cut off the excess material just yet.


Test the cradle by placing the pot or bowl inside.  The SK tied in steps 12 - 13 should rest half way between the top and bottom edge of the pot. 

Make adjustments by sliding the Wrapped knot up or down. 

Then you can cut off the excess material from the 36-inch cord.


Double Beaded Fringe

Below are the instructions for a double beaded fringe, which can be changed if you prefer a different type of finishing method for the bottom of the Handcrafted Planter. 


Divide the cords into two groups: Those coming out of the Wrapped Knot on the outside of the bundle, and those on the inside.

Apply small beads to each cord on the inside group, placing them 14 inches below the Wrapped Knot. 

Tie Overhand knots below the beads, making adjustments as needed so the beads are all on the same level.

Double Fringe

Apply the small beads to the outside group, so they rest 7 inches below the Wrapped Knot.

Tie the Overhand knots below the beads, making adjustments so they are on the same level. 

Cut off the excess material close to each knot. 

When using Bonnie Braid or Nylon material, you can usually melt the stubs with a flame.  Test the material to make sure it melts rather than burns. 

Important:  After it's heated, press the stub against a surface so that it rests flat against the knot.

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