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Holiday Lantern

Holiday Lantern

Description:  The Holiday Lantern is a Macrame decoration that features a round frame covered with a spiral design. 

Inside the ball is a white candle with a flame, much like vintage lanterns. 

The brushed fringe at the bottom resembles a wreath. 
This Macrame project is rated Easy, which is suitable for beginners.

The frame is made by connecting three brass rings, or you can use a ball frame designed for a project like this.  Most ball frames are between 5 to 8 inches in size.

For frames/rings larger than 8 inches, be sure to use 6 mm material and make the candle longer. 

The chart in Preparation will help you determine the length to cut the cords for different sizes, and the total you need to purchase.

This Macrame project is rated easy, suitable for beginners.

Supplies Needed:
  • 4 mm cord material (for 5-inch to 8-inch ball frame) -- see Preparation
  • 6 mm white material for candle (3 yards)
  • 2 mm or 4 mm gold material for flame (24 inches)
  • One 2-inch ring
  • Three metal rings or one ball frame (5-inch to 8-inch) -- see Preparation
  • Ribbons or other decorations
  • Project Board and pins
  • Plastic ice cream bucket (optional)

Knots Used:


Candle: Cut 2 pieces of 6 mm white material, each 60 inches long.

Flame:  Cut two pieces of gold material, each 12 inches long.

Use this chart to determine the cord lengths you need to cover the frame for your Holiday Lantern:

(These measurements apply to rings or ball frames) 

Ring Size
Length of each Cord

Total to Purchase
5 inch
 6 cords -- 3.5 yards long
22 yards
 6 inch
  6 cords -- 4 yards long
25 yards
7 inch
  6 cords -- 4.5 yards long
28 yards
8 inch
  6 cords -- 5 yards long
31 yards
Over 8 inches
see below
see below

For a large Holiday Lantern using rings over 8 inches, here is the math for the cord lengths:
  • Diameter of Ring x 3
  • Multiply by 8
  • Divide by 36 (for yards) Cut 6 cords, each the length you came up with.

You should use 6 mm material for frames over 8 inches.

Ball Frame

To make the frame with rings, arrange three of them inside one another so there are 6 sections.

You may need to bend the rings slightly. 

Secure the top and bottom with tape or a piece of wire.

Macrame Cord Divider


 The Candle

The candle for the Holiday Lantern is made with a Crown Knot sennit.

Step 1:  Place the 2 white cords on your project board so they form an X shape.  Match the centers and secure them. 

Mentally label the four segments A - D as shown in the images below.

Segment A

Move segment A to the right, placing it on top of segment B

Make sure it curves as shown.

Segment B

Move segment B backward, placing it on top of segment C.

Segment C

Move segment C to the left, placing it on top of segment D.

Segment D

Move segment B forward, heading toward the curved area of segment A.  Pass it over - under segment A.

Tighten the first Crown knot by pulling on all four segments gradually.  Tighten firmly so it's as small as possible. 


Step 2:   Remove the pin from the center and place it on the outside of the first knot.

Repeat step 1 several times to make more Crown knots. The knots will stack on top of each other as you progress. 

Step 2, continued:  Stop when the candle for the Holiday Lantern is 5 inches tall.

For ball frames over 8 inches, make the candle 6 inches tall.

Designer's Tip:   Eventually you will need to lay the candle on your work surface. 

Secure it to your board on its side, then curve the area where you are working upward so you have easy access to the last knot tied.

Gold Cords

Step 3:  Pass the two 12-inch gold cords through the crossed area at the top of the candle.  Match the ends so both halves are the same size. 

The two cords will act together to make the following knots.

Half Hitch

Tie a counter-clockwise Half Hitch with the left half of the two cords, passing them around the right half.


Tie a clockwise Half Hitch with the right half of the two cords, passing them around the left half.

This image shows the area where you pull out the fibers in the next step.


Step 4:  Unravel and brush the fibers to form the flame.

The best way to do this when using braided material is to pull out individual fibers close to where the knots are tied (shown in previous image).

That loosens the braid and makes the rest come apart more easily. 


The Top


Step 5: Fold one of the cords for the ball frame in half.

Place it through the 2-inch ring so it's under the portion in front and over in the back.

Larks Head

Move both halves forward, passing over the ring and under the folded area of the cord.

Pull both halves firmly to tighten the knot.

Step 6:  Repeat step 5, attaching the remaining 5 cords you will use to cover the ball frame. 

The top area for the Holiday Lantern is made with the Spiral Stitch, which will match the knots on the ball frame. 

The term "Half Knot" is used in the instructions below, which is the same as the first half of a Square knot. 

Three Groups

Step 7:  Divide the cords into 3 groups of four. 

The Half Knot is tied with two working cords and two fillers.

Move the left working cord to the right, passing over the fillers and under the right working cord.

Spiral Stitch

Step 8:  To complete the Half Knot, move the right working cord to the left.

Pass it under the fillers and over the left working cord.

Steps 7 and 8 = one Half Knot

Step 9: Repeat steps 7 and 8 until the sennit is 1.5 inches long.

Designer's Tip:
When you get to the 4th knot, the spiral will become more visible. With some material, you may need to rotate the sennit to create the spiral. 

The best way to do so is to hold the fillers steady and twist the knots so the two working cords switch places.

Three Spirals

Step 10:  Repeat steps 7 - 9 using the other two groups of cords, for a total of 3 Spiral Stitch designs.

You can add an extra knot in the first and third design so the bottoms all line up evenly.

Large Spiral

Step 11:  The next portion at the top of the Holiday Lantern is a large spiral.  This brings all the cords together.

Mentally number the cords 1 - 12.  The working cords are 1 and 12.  Tie a 1.5 inch Spiral Stitch with the working cords, passing around all the others (fillers).

Step 11, continued:  This new spiral is very thick, so you will need to help it along by holding the fillers and twisting the knots so the two working cords switch places.

You will probably be able to twist it only 1 time.

Top Complete

Should you make changes to the top area of the Holiday Lantern, I recommend you bring the cords together in a bundle like this, using one or more knots. 

When you attach the cords to the ball frame the top area will be more stable.


Covering the Ball Frame

The next step for your Holiday Lantern is to cover the ball frame. 

To keep the spirals the same size, tie a set of 5 knots then twist the knots so the working cords switch places.

Also, push the knots close together as you progress.

Half Knot

Step 12:  Choose two cords from the bundle and arrange them on either side of a metal segment on the frame.

Tie one Half Knot, just as you did in steps 7 and 8The metal is the filler.  Tighten the knot firmly, and push it close to the top of the frame.

Step 13:  Go to the metal segment directly opposite, which should be the same ringRepeat step 12 with another pair of cords.

Repeat this process with the rest of the cords, attaching two cords to each metal segment.  This will anchor the top portion of the Holiday Lantern to the ball frame. 

Step 14: Continue using the Spiral Stitch to completely cover the six segments of the frame.  Push the knots close together as you progress.


Have you been wondering what the ice cream bucket is for? 

You use it to hold the ball frame as you cover it with knots.

It works a lot better than holding the frame between your knees, so give it a try!


Step 15:  At the bottom of the Holiday Lantern, divide the cords into two groups of six. 

Tie an Overhand knot using both groups working together.  Tighten it as much as possible. 

You can add some glue to the frame, so the cords sit on top of it.

Step 16:  Unravel and brush each cord individually after trimming to 2-inches.  Keep all the cords outside the frame while brushing.

When using braided cord, remove one of the fibers to loosen the others.  Do this close to the frame rather than at the tip of the cord.  Repeat a few more times, until the cord is completely unraveled.

Repeat this step with the cords at the bottom of the candle. 

Secure Candle

Use one FIBER from a piece of scrap cord, and pass it through the candle near the bottom.

Pass one half around the metal and then tie 2 tight Overhand knots.  This will secure the candle to the bottom of the Holiday Lantern.

Do this in three more areas to secure the candle.

Fringe on Inside

After the cords are brushed and fluffed, trim them to neaten the edges.

Pull the fringe inside the frame so it surrounds the candle.

Add ribbons or other decorations to complete the Holiday Lantern.

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Have any comments about the Holiday Lantern? Contact Me.