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Macrame Santa

Macrame Santa


Description: This Macrame Santa holiday decoration is a really fun project to make with your children. 

Your Santa will have a fluffy beard and mustache, and a red hat with a brim, and a pom pom at the top. You can use any type of eyes, including those that wiggle.  

You can make this Christmas ornament in several sizes now.  In the images shown, I made a medium sized Santa, and he was 10 inches tall when completed.  

This pattern is rated moderate, since you should have some experience with the decorative knots listed, before attempting this project. 

Supplies Needed:
  • Red material for the hat 
  • Tan material for the face 
  • White material for hatband
  • White material for the mustache and beard (see Preparation)
  • Brass Ring (see Preparation for sizes)
  • Two eyes, 20 - 25mm  (or beads)
  • One red bead for nose, 15 - 20mm
  • Project Board, tape and pins
  • Fabric glue that dries clear
  • Tweezers or small tip pliers

Important:  The amounts for all the materials will vary, depending on the size.  See the chart in Preparation. 

Add up the lengths for each color, so you know how much purchase for your Macrame Santa.



Knots Used:



To make a small Macrame Santa, you need a 3-inch ring for the face.  Use 2mm size material for the hat, face and brim.  For the beard, use 4mm material.

For a medium size, use a 4-inch ring and 4mm size material.  For the beard, 6mm material is the best size.

For a large size, use a 6-inch ring and 6mm size material.  Use 6mm material for the beard as well.

Important:  For the beard and mustache, cut the cords as you apply them to the face (not now).  This way you can adjust the length if necessary. 

There is no need to prepare them in any way, since you will be unraveling them.

Braided material is the best for brushing, but it's not easy to separate the fibers.  Twist style material is your other option, if you can find some. 

(Ebay is a good source for twisted style cord)

Use the following chart to cut the hat, brim, and face cords for the Macrame Santa design:

Hat - Short

Hat -- Long


 28 inch x 10
50 inch x 2
50 inch x 4
 30 inch x 12
 30 inch x 10
60 inch x 2
60 inch x 4
 40 inch x 12
36 inch x 12
70 inch x 2
70 inch x 4
 50 inch x 12

Prepare these cords by applying tape to the ends.


The Face

Step 1: Attach all of the tan cords to the top of the ring, using Larks Head knots:

Fold Cord
<<  Fold one cord in half and place it under the ring as shown.

Bring the ends over the ring, towards the inside.  Pass them under the folded area.  >>

Pull both ends firmly to tighten.
Larks Head

Mounted Cords
<<  After all the cords are mounted, check the coverage by arranging the knots evenly across the top half of the ring.

Add Half Hitches if the top half of the ring is not completely covered (with one or both halves).  >>
Half Hitch

Mounted Cords

When you are finished mounting the cords, there should be little or no space between the knots.

Choose which side of the ring you prefer to call the front, since each looks a little different.  Place that side of the ring facing up.  Arrange the cords so they pass in front of the ring at the bottom.

The face for your Macrame Santa is made by tying rows of Alternating Square Knots.   The first four images below show you the steps for tying a Square knot.  

All the Square Knots should be tightened as much as possible

Left Square Knot Instructions

Step 1
 Mentally number four cords.  The fillers are cords 2 - 3.

<<  Move cord 1 to the right, over the fillers and under cord 4.

Move cord 4 to the left, under the fillers and over cord 1. >>
Step 2

Step 3
The working cords have switched places.

<< Move cord 1 to the left, over the fillers and under cord 4.

Move cord 4 to the right, under the fillers and over cord 1.  >>
Step 4

First Row

Step 2:  Following the instructions above, tie a row of Square knots so they rest just below the Larks Heads. They should follow the curve of the ring.

Each knot should consist of 2 working cords and 2 fillers (total of 4 cords).


Step 3:  Mentally number the cords that come from two Square Knots (1 - 4).  Alternate the cords by using 3 and 4 from the SK on the left, with 1 and 2 from the knot on the right. 

Use the new group to tie a SK. It will rest below the ones in the first row.   Repeat this step with the remaining cords.

Design Tip:  Another way to look at alternating is that you tie the second row of knots using cords 3 - 22 only.  The first and last two cords are not used. 

As long as you are careful about selecting each groups of 4 cords, the alternating should work out.  But it's a good idea to check that you are using 2 cords from two knots from the previous row.

Half Hitch

Step 4:  Attach cords 1 and 2 to the ring with a Double Half Hitch. 

To do this properly, first pass the cord under the ring.  Make the first Half Hitch in a counter-clockwise direction, passing over - under the ring, and over the cord.

Repeat one more time, to make a Double Half Hitch. 

Step 4, continued:  Finish the 3rd row by tying Square Knots with cords 3 - 22. 

Attach cords 23 and 24 to the ring, as you did the first two cords, but rotate clockwise.

Step 5:  Mentally re-number the remaining cords 1 - 20. 

Attach cords 1 and 2 to the ring, as in the last step.    Do the same with cords 19 and 20.


Step 6:  Slide the bead for the nose of the Macrame Santa onto cords 10 - 11.

Just below, tie the 4th row of SK using the available cords, including cords 10 - 11.

Step 6, continued:  Try to follow the curve of the ring as best you can. 

There may be some space between the knots in this row and the ones made in row 3.


Step 7:  For the remaining rows, don't worry about numbering the cords. Just attach the first and last two cords to the ring with DHH, as in the previous steps.  

Complete the row by tying SK with the remaining cords.

Stop when the last row of SK is against the bottom of the ring.  Attach the cords to the ring with DHH.


Step 8:  This is the best time to attach the eyes for your Macrame Santa.  They should be attached to the fabric with glue.  (see tip below)

When using the type with washers, poke the stem through a space between the knots, and then apply the washer. 

Design Tip:   The best place to attach the eyes is between rows 2 and 3. 

They can either rest on top of the fabric, or be pushed through a space if they have stems.


Step 9:  To finish the face for your Macrame Santa, flip the ring over so you work in the back.

Pull the cords to the back of the face, so they can't be seen from the front.

Using two cords per knot, tie tight Overhand knots. Apply glue between the two cords before tightening.


 Beard and Mustache

Step 10:  To make the beard for your Macrame Santa, first determine how long you want it to be. 

Then cut a piece of the white material double that length.  Add 1-inch extra since you will need to trim the beard to neaten it.

(Example: To make a 6-inch beard, the cord will be 13 inches long)
Cord for Beard

Tie an Overhand knot in the center of the cord.  Find two spaces close to each other, at the bottom of the ring.

Pass each end through those spaces, from back to front.  The knot should rest in the back.  Apply glue under the knot.

Pull Out Fibers

Unravel the cord by pulling out one fiber at a time, in the area close to the face of the Macrame Santa.


Brush the fibers while holding both ends in your hand.
This way you can control the tension, so you don't accidentally pull the knot out of the face.

Attach several more cords in the same manner, along the bottom of the face.  You can change the length of the cords as needed, to produce the shape you like.

4 Cords

Step 11:  Cut 4 white cords, each at least 8 inches long.  Arrange 3 of them horizontally, and one vertically, under the others as shown.

Use the two ends of the vertical cord to tie a very tight Overhand knot around the middle of the 3 cords.

Attach Mustache

Attach the mustache to the face by passing the ends used to tie the Overhand knot through one space just below the nose. 
(continued below)

Pull the knot through the space, so it rests in the back of the Macrame Santa. 

Apply glue under the knot, and then push the ends back through to the front through a different space.

Separate and brush the fibers, and trim as needed until the mustache for the Macrame Santa is the shape you want.


The Hat

Step 12:  The hat for your Macrame Santa is made by adding cords, so follow these instructions carefully.

Long Red Cords

Fold the two long red cords in half, and secure them to your board.  Cut 2 - 3 white cords for the pompom, each 6 inches long.

Place them through the red cords as shown, under the working ends and over the fillers.

Square Knot

Tie a tight Square Knot using the two working ends, around the fillers.

Separate and brush the fibers for the pom pom (white), and trim them to approximately 2 inches. 

You can add more material to the face later, to make the pom pom more full.

Step 12, continued:  Now you will add the short red cords to create the diagonal shape for the hat of your Macrame Santa. 

Short Cord
<< Fold one short cord in half, and place it under two of the long ones from step 12.  Secure the cord.

Tie the Square Knot with the two ends of the short cord.  The long cords are the fillers.  >>
Tie the SK

Two Knots

Repeat the process again, adding another short cord to the other two long ones.  

Push both knots up to rest against the SK above them.

Row 3

Step 13:  You now have 8 cords to work with, so mentally number them 1 - 8. 

Add short cords to 1 - 2, as well as 7 and 8, as you did in the previous step.

Tie a Square Knot using cords 3 - 6.  When you are finished, there will be three SK in this row.

4th Row

Step 14:  You now have 12 cords available for the 4th row.  Mentally number them. 

Add a short cord to 1 and 2, as well as 11 and 12.

Tie SK with cords 3 - 6 and with 7 - 10.

5th Row

Step 15:  Mentally number the 16 cords you now have to work with, for the 5th row.

Add a short cord to 1 and 2, as well as 15 and 16.

Tie Square knots with cords 3 - 6, 7 - 10, and 11 - 14.

Step 16:  You now have 20 cords, so mentally number them again.  Add short cords to 1 and 2, along with 19 and 20.  

The Square Knots are tied in the following groups: 
  • Cords 3 - 6
  • Cords 7 - 12
  • Cords 11 - 14
  • Cords 15 - 18

This is where you STOP adding cords for a small or medium size Macrame Santa.

For a large decoration, add two more cords at each edge of the hat design, and tie Square Knots with the remaining cords.

Step 17:  Alternate the cords and tie the next row of ASK.  Two cords at each edge will not be used for this row.

Alternate again, and tie the final row of ASK using all the cords.

Step 18:  Cut a piece of red material, at least 10 inches long. 

Arrange it horizontally, on top of the working cords for the hat.  Secure it with tension, since it's a holding cord.

Holding Cord

Attach each working cord to the holding cord with DHH. 

Rotate counter-clockwise, and progress left to right

Tighten the knots firmly.

Holding Cord

Tie a tight Overhand Knot with each end of the holding cord.

Tighten it so it rests close to the Half Hitches.

Turn over the hat for the Macrame Santa. 

Bring the ends of the holding cord to the back, and work them under the back of two knots in the area, to hold them in place.  You will need tweezers or small pliers to do this. 

Apply glue. When it's dry, trim off the excess material.

Tie Off Cords

Step 19:  In the back, tie off the first and last two working cords by tying tight Overhand knots (two cords per knot).  Apply glue while tightening.

Skip past the next two cords at each edge, and then tie off the remainder in the same manner.  The four cords you keep will be used to secure the hat to the face of the Macrame Santa.

Attach Hat

Step 20:  Attach the four cords on the hat to the top portion of the ring, by sliding the ends through two spaces.   Make sure the hat is balanced.

Turn over the face design and tie tight Overhand knots with the two cords, on each side.  Apply glue to the knots as well as underneath them.  When the glue dries, cut off the excess material.



The Hat Brim

The brim for the hat is made with Square knots, arranged to form picots.  In the images shown, the red cords are there for instruction purposes only. 

You should use the FOUR WHITE CORDS cut for this purpose.

Four Cords

Step 21:  Arrange the four cords for the brim to your board, vertically.  Secure them at the center.

Tie a left Square Knot.  Tighten it so it rests next to the pins at the center.


Step 22:  Tie the next Square knot, leaving a 1/2 to 1-inch space between the two knots.

Push the second knot up, so it rests next to the first knot.

First Half

Step 23:  Repeat step 22 several more times, until the brim is half the size you need to cover the bottom of the hat.

Tie one final SK, without the extra space (no picot).

Turn Around

Step 24:  Turn the brim around and go back to the knot at the center.  

Move down and tie the next SK, but make sure it's a right Square Knot.  In other words, start with the cord on the right.

Move the knot up to form the next picot.

Step 24, continued:  Continue to make more picots,  until the brim for your Macrame Santa is the proper size for the hat. 

Don't forget to tie the final SK without a picot (no space).


Step 25:  Turn the Macrame Santa to the front and position the brim.  It should rest on top of the row of Half Hitches at the bottom edge of the hat.

Once it's in position, pass only the working cords through spaces between the knots on the ring (face), so they are in the back. The fillers remain in front.


Step 26:  Combine one filler with one working cord to tie an Overhand knot.  Apply glue as you tighten it.

Do the same with the other two cords, and then repeat the process at the other side of the brim.

Trim the cords, and secure them to the back of the face with more glue.

Finishing Touches:  Add extra pieces of white material to the sides of the face and the area below the pom pom.   Brush and trim all the fluffed areas one last time.

Add a piece of scrap cord (or wire) to the back of the hat, if you wish to hang the Macrame Santa decoration.

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