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Holiday Angel

Holiday Angel

Description:  The Holiday Angel features several basic Macrame knots, so is a good project for beginners.  It helps if you have some experience before making this holiday decoration.

This Macrame pattern is flexible in that you can make it different sizes, depending on the thickness of the cord you use.

In the example shown, I used 4mm cord material, and the finished size was 8 inches tall (medium). 

To use this Angel design as a tree ornament, make it with 2mm material (small).  For a large wall decoration, use 6mm material.

To decorate, you can add one or more bells, artificial flowers, or ribbons.   You can also use two colors, one for the body and the other for the wings.

For the hair, you can use the same color as for the body, or use Macrame cord remnants you've saved from other projects. 

Supplies Needed:
  • Cord Materials: (Small or Medium = 25 yards)     (Large = 30 yards)  
  • One ring (see chart below)
  • Project board and pins
  • Tape
  • Fabric Glue that dries clear
  • Tweezers or small pliers
  • Bells, ribbons, or other decorations
Knots Used:



Use the chart below to determine the lengths to cut the cords for the wings and body of the Holiday Angel, and for the ring sizes needed.

Small - 2mm cord
1.5 inch
6 cords, 50 inches
6 cords, 36 inches
Medium - 4mm cord
2 inch
6 cords, 65 inches
8 cords, 45 inches
Large - 6mm cord
2.5 inch
6 cords, 80 inches
8 cords, 60 inches

  • Cut 2 holding cords, at least 40 inches long for small and medium sized Angels.  For a large size, they should be at least 45 inches long.
  • Prepare all the cords by applying tape to the ends.

Mounting Process:  Attach the 6 cords for the body to the ring, following the steps below.

Fold Cord
<< Fold one of the cords and place it under the lower part
of the ring.

Bring the ends down and under the folded area of the cord. >>

Pull on both ends to tighten.
Larks Head


Creating the Head

Step 1:  Turn over the ring. Secure it to your board so it's standing upright on it's lower edge, with the knots flat on the board. 

Mentally number the cords 1 - 12. 


Cords 1 and 2 work together as the left working cords for the Square Knots.

Cords 11 and 12 are the right working cords.

Cords 3 - 10 are the fillers.

Step 2:  The next 4 images show you how to tie the first Square Knot. 

After that, you will make the rest of the SK Button for the head of you Holiday Angel.

Left to Right
<< Move the left working cords to the right, over the fillers and under the right working cords.

Bring the right working cords under the fillers, and over the left cords, as you pull it left. >>

Pull the ends firmly to tighten.
Right to Left

The working cords have now switched places.

You now make the second half of the Square knot in the opposite direction:

Right to Left
<< Move the left cords over the fillers and under the right cords.

Bring the right cords under the fillers and over the left cords, as you pull it right.

Pull the ends firmly to tighten the second half of the SK.
Left to Right


Tie 3 more SK below the first one you just made. 

Note the spaces just below the ring, between Larks Head knots 1 and 2 (left), and 5 and 6 (right).

That's where the ends will go through in the next step.

Ends Through Spaces

To create the head for your Holiday Angel, divide the cords into two groups of six.

Pass each group through one of the spaces indicated in the previous step (right or left).

You may need to use pliers or tweezers.

Button Knot

Roll the Square Knots into a button by pulling firmly on the ends. 

Select the 4 cords furthest to the right and left. Tie another Square Knot below the button.  Make sure it's as tight as possible.


 Body and Arms


Three Groups

Step 3:  Divide the cords into three sets of four.  The set in the middle is for the body, which is made with the Spiral Stitch.

The other two are for the arms of the Holiday Angel, and you tie Square Knots to make them.

Right Arm

Using the cords for the right arm, tie a sennit of Square Knots measuring 2 inches, for a small or medium size.  It should be 3 inches for a large angel.

There are two working cords and two fillers, but the process for tying the SK is the same as in step 2 (first four images).


Lift up the arm so you are working in the back.

Use the two working cords to tie a tight Overhand knot.  Apply glue to the inside as you tighten it.

Do not cut off the extra material.

Repeat step 3 to make the left arm for your Holiday Angel.

Spiral Stitch

Step 4:  To create the body, use the four cords in the center (two working cords, 2 fillers).

Tie a Spiral Stitch, which is the same as tying the first half of a SK over and over (step 2, first two images).

The body should be 1/2-inch longer than the arms. 


Curve the arms in front of the body.  Add a bell or other decoration to one cord.  Tie the arm cords together with tight Overhand knots.

Pass one cord from each arm through the body, so they stay in a rounded position.

There's no need to add another knot, just unravel the cords and brush (see below).


Step 5:   For the final touches to the body of the Holiday Angel, trim the cords, and then unravel them one at a time.

The easiest way is to pull out one fiber, using tweezers.  Do this near the area where the cords are tied.  Repeat this several times.

Once the fibers are all loose, brush them.

Step 6:  Add small pieces of the trimmings to the head, if you want the Holiday Angel to have hair. 

The best way is to work your tweezers under the cords and pull the new one through half way.  They don't need to be knotted, since the cords are very tight at the top of the head.

You can use different cord material for the hair, if you have scraps of cord or yarn available from other projects. 

Macrame Cord Divider

The Wings

 The wings of the Holiday Angel are made with Double Half Hitches (DHH).  You will be tying them in two directions, so pay close attention to the images and instructions. 

Each wing will have 4 working cords, for large and medium sized Angels. 

When making small Angel ornaments, each wing will have 3 cords.

Step 7:  Arrange the holding cord horizontally, and secure it so it has tension.

Don't worry about where the cords are placed, you will be moving the loops after they are constructed. 

Mark the center of the holding cord with a pin.

Fold each working cord in half, placing it under the holding cord, before tying the knots (see images below).

Leave a small loop above the the holding cord.  The size will be stated in the following instructions. The process is easier if you secure the cord at the center fold.

To make each Half Hitch, the working cord is used to make a loop, passing over and under the holding cord.

As you pull it down, it passes over the working cord.

It doesn't matter which direction you rotate to make the loops; the Half Hitches will all be made this way.

Half Hitch
<<  Make a 1/4-inch loop, and tie a Half Hitch with the left half of the cord, rotating clockwise.

Tighten the first knot firmly, and tie a second one to the left.  >> 

Both steps = Double Half Hitch
Second Knot

Right Half

Adjust the size of the loop if necessary (see next image).

Tie a DHH with the right half of the cord, rotating counter-clockwise.


Step 8:  Repeat step 7 to make the remaining loops, arranging them next to each other, heading left.

For a Holiday Angel of medium or large size, each of the loops should be 1/4-inch larger than the one made before it (total of 4).

For a small Angel ornament, for each wing there should be only 3 loops, 1/4 - 1/2 - 3/4 inches in size.

Important:  Before moving on, push the knots to the left, so the largest loop is at the center of the holding cord. 

Step 9: In the previous steps, you have been making the lower area of the right wing.  So the wing is upside down at the moment. 

For the next step, you create the upper area. 


Curve the holding cord to the right diagonally, resting on top of the working cords.

In the image the working cords are pushed to the side.
The shape of the wings for the Holiday Angel is determined by the angle of the holding cord, so adjust it until you like the shape.

Step 9, continued:  Moving left to right, attach the working cords to it with DHH. 

These knots should all be tied in a counter-clockwise direction. 

Right Wing

Step 10A:  Turn the wing so the curved area is on the right, with the loops at the bottom

Secure both halves of the holding cord, curving them slightly if you wish.

The working cords are attached to the upper half of the holding cord first, progressing right to left.  So the first one is resting near the curved area of the wing. 

In the image above there is a pin located in that area.  You bring the cord forward in the direction of the other pin (upper edge of wing).

Follow the steps below to complete the right wing for your Holiday Angel:

Step 10B:  Pass the cord under the ones waiting to be attached, and under the holding cord. 
Step 10C:   Tie a Double Half Hitch, rotating clockwise.  Tighten it firmly.

Step 10D:  Pass the cord under the lower half of the holding cord, and attach it with a Double Half Hitch.

Completed Wing

Step 11:  Repeat step 10 with the remaining working cords.

There are now large loops at the top of the wing for the Holiday Angel.  

Step 12:  For the left wing, the process is similar, but there are details for each step that need to be changed:

Left Lower

Changes, Step 8:  Arrange the loops so that the largest one is furthest to the right.

Push the knots to the center, which is on the right.

Changes, Step 9:  Curve the holding cord diagonally to the left, to make the upper portion.  Rotate clockwise when tying the DHH.

Changes, step 10:
Position the wing as shown in the image below, with the loops at the bottom and the curved area on the left.

Attach the working cords moving left to right, starting with the one near the curved area.

Upper Area

Each cord should go under the working cords as well as the holding cords, before tying the knots.

Attach each cord to the upper half of the holding cord, rotating counter-clockwise.

Bring it down to make the bottom portion. 

Step 13:  Arrange the right and left wings so they are close together. 

Make sure the small picot loops (step 7) are at the bottom.

Connect Wings

Tie 2 Overhand knots with the upper holding cords, to connect the wings. 

After you tie the first knot, apply glue and tie the second one on top of it.

Do Not Cut Off the Extra Material.


Step 14:  Flip over the wings, so you work in the back.

Finish off the ends of the working cords by tying very tight Overhand knots, using two cords per knot.

Step 14, continued:  Apply glue to the back of the DHH before tightening, so the glue is under the knots. 

When the glue is dry, you can cut off the excess material.  Save the Scraps.


Finishing Touches

Step 15:  To complete the Holiday Angel, flip over the body. You will attach the wings to the back of the upper body (Spiral Stitch) and head.

Make sure you have the front of the wings touching the back of the body. 

Remember that the large loops are at the top of the wing (step 10). 

The knots you tied in the previous step, to finish the working cords, are at the bottom.

Both upper holding cords you tied together in step 13 pass through the body, near the "neck" of the Holiday Angel

The best place is below the SK tied under the button.

Upper Body

Pass them through to the front of the body, and then through a different space to the back again.

Tie an Overhand knot to secure them.  

Add glue and cut off the excess material when dry.

The next area to attach the wings is on the ring, so the wings are more stable.  This is optional, but makes the wings more sturdy. 

You need a short piece of the same material used for the hair.

Select 3 of the large loops from both upper wings, closest to the center. Fold the short cord around them.  

Pass the ends under one of the SK on the top of the head.  The ends of the short cord should be heading forward, so you can blend them in with the hair. 

There is no need to tie any knots.

Lower Body

Step 16:  Attach the lower holding cords for the wings to the lower part of the body.  

Pass them through the knots and tie Overhand knots.  Unravel the cords and brush, adding the fibers to the skirt of the Holiday Angel.

Extra Cords

To make the lower skirt, add extra cords (scraps) by pulling them through knots in the body.  Don't tie any knots.  Just unravel and brush the fibers.

Trim both parts of the skirt after all the brushing is done, so it looks neat.  Do the same for the hair of the Holiday Angel.

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Have any comments about the Holiday Angel? Contact Me.



Macrame Cord Divider