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Description:  The Penguin stands upright on his webbed feet, and features the use of fur yarn for the “feathers”.

Macrame animals can be a great way to introduce your entire family to this craft.

In this Macrame project you will learn techniques that can be used to make other types of animals, such as webbed feet.

The person who inspired me to create this creature is Susan DeRoy.

Finshed Size: Approximately 10 inches tall


Supplies Needed:

  • 4mm Black cord material (51 yards)
  • 4mm White cord material (20 yards)
  • Black and White (or Ivory) Fur Yarn   (Yellow is optional)
  • One 3-inch Foam Ball
  • Stuffing fiber
  • Two 20mm Animal Eyes (available at Acajou Crafts)
  • Project Board and Pins
  • Glue

Knots Used:


The cords for the Penguin are cut as you progress. 

Make sure you prepare the ends with tape, wax, or glue.  See Cord Preparation for more details.


The Head

Step 1:  Cut 10 black cords, each 3-yards long.

Secure the center of them to your board vertically.  Tie a tight Square Knot at the center, using 2 working cords and 8 fillers.  


Step 2:  Secure the knot to the top of the foam ball with glue.  You can also hold it in place with a pin, but still add the glue.

When the glue is dry, fan out the cords so they are evenly spaced around the top of the ball. 

Step 3:  Now you will make a net-like design around the foam ball, so you have a place to add the feathers for the Penguin.  

Mentally number the cords 1 - 20, and mark cord 1, so you know where to start the numbering each time.   Each knot should have 2 working cords and 2 fillers. 

Tighten the knots firmly, so the net fits snugly around the ball.

Move down 1-inch. Tie a row of Square Knots using the following groups:

  • Cords 1 - 4,  5 - 8,  9 - 12,  13 - 16, and 17 - 20

Step 4:  Tie the next row with these groups:

  • Cords 3 - 6, 7 - 10, 11 - 14, 15 - 18
  • Combine Cords 19 - 20 with 1 - 2

Step 5:  Repeat steps 3 and 4 several times, until the netting reaches the bottom of the foam ball.

Step 6:  Bundle the black cords together with a rubber band to get them out of the way. You'll use them again when you make the back of the Penguin.

Step 7: Choose a section of the head that you want to be the face of the Penguin.

Cut two small openings in the foam for the eyes.  Make sure they line up.

Apply plenty of glue to the stem before pushing them into the holes.

The Beak


Step 8: Cut 2 black cords -- one 15 inches long, and one 30 inches long.

Attach the 30-inch cord to the center of the 15-inch cord, with a Double Half Hitch.

Fold the 15-inch cord, and secure it at the center. 

Use the ends of the 30-inch cord to tie several Alternating Half Hitches onto both halves of the 15-inch cord. 

Stop when the Penguin's beak is 3 inches long

Step 9:  Attach the four ends to the cords on the head with Overhand knots.  It should rest slightly below and between the eyes. 

Trim the excess material to 1 inch and unravel the cords so they fluff.



Front of Body


Step 10:  Cut 8 white cords, each 2.5 yards long.

Attach 2 cords to the areas between the SK, at the bottom of the head. Fold them in half and attach them with Larks Head knots.  

They should be lined up with the beak of the Penguin. 

Step 11:  Mentally number the four cords.  Tie a SK with cords 1 and 4 around cords 2 - 3 (fillers).

Step 12:  Add another white cord by attaching it to cords 1 - 2Start by centering it underneath them.

Use the ends of the new cord to tie the SK. Cords 1 - 2 are the fillers.

Repeat this process, adding another white cord onto cords 3 - 4.

Step 13:  Mentally re-number the cords 1 - 8.  Tie a SK with cords 3 - 6.


Step 14:  Repeat step 12, adding another white cord onto cords 1 - 2 as well as cords 3 - 4.

Add a white cord to 5 - 6, and to cords 7 - 8.

When finished, you will have 16 cords to make the front body area of the Penguin. Mentally number the cords 1 - 16.

Step 15:  Tie 8 rows of Alternating SK, as follows:

  • Odd numbered rows -- Cords 3 - 6,  7 - 10, and 11 - 14.
  • Even numbered rows -- Cord 1 - 4,  5 - 8,  9 - 12, and 13 - 16.



Back of Body


Step 16:  Turn over the Penguin, and arrange the black cords (from the head) into five groups of 4.   Mentally number them 1 - 20. 

Pass cords 1 and 20 through spaces along the edges of the white panel you just created (front of body). 

Important:  Make sure you pass them through spaces just below the head, where you began adding the cords in step 12. 

Tie 3 rows of ASK as follows:

Row 1:  Cords 1 - 4,  5 - 8,  9 - 12,  13 -16,  17 - 20

Row 2: Cords 3 - 6,  7 - 10,  11 - 14,  15 - 18

Row 3:  Pass cords 1 and 20 through the edges of the white panel again (lower down).  Tie ASK with cords 1 - 4,  5 - 8,  9 - 12,  13 -16,  17 - 20.

Step 17:  Cut 6 black cords, each 2 yards long.

Row 4:  Add a new 2-yard cord onto cords 1 - 2, the same way you did in step 12.  Add another one to cords 19 - 20. 

Tie ASK with cords 3 - 6,  7 - 10,  11 - 14,  15 - 18. 

You now have 24 cords to work with, so re-number them.

Row 5: Pass cords 1 and 24 through spaces in the front panel. 

Tie ASK with 1 - 4,  5 - 8,  9 - 12,  13 -16,  17 - 20, and 21 - 24.

Row 6: Add a new 2-yard cord onto cords 1 - 2, as well as 23 - 24.

Tie the ASK with 3 - 6,  7 - 10,  11 - 14,  15 - 18,  19 - 22.

Mentally re-number the cords 1 - 28.

Row 7: Pass cords 1 and 28 through spaces in the front panel. 

Tie ASK with 1 - 4,  5 - 8,  9 - 12,  13 -16,  17 - 20,  21 - 24,  25 - 28.

Row 8: Add a new cord to cords 1 - 2 and 27 - 28, as you did the others.

Tie the ASK with 3 - 6, 7 - 10, 11 - 14,  15 - 18,  19 - 22,  23 - 26.

Row 9:  Tie ASK with 1 - 4,  5 - 8,  9 - 12,  13 -16,  17 - 20,  21 - 24,  25 - 28.

Important:  No additional cords should be added before this row is tied.


Step 18:  On the black panel, tie the next row of ASK with cords 3 - 26 only. 

The four cords not used are for the feet, so move them aside.

Step 19: On the white panel, tie a row of ASK with cords 3 - 14 only.  The 4 dropped cords are also used for the feet.

Step 20:  Put stuffing inside the body of the Penguin, making it as round and full as possible.



The Tail


Step 21:  Tie 3 rows of ASK for the tail, creating a tube, using all the cords (both colors).

It's hard to number the cords in this area of the Penguin design, so alternate by choosing 2 cords from one SK in the previous row, and combine it with 2 from the next knot.  

Step 22:  Drop 4 black cords (two at each side of the tail), and tie the next row of ASK as if they were not present. 

Step 23:  Repeat step 22, dropping 4 white cords.  

Step 24:  Repeat step 22, dropping 4 black cords.

Step 25:  Tie several more rows of ASK using the remaining cords, still working around both back and front.

(Optional) You can drop more cords if you wish to make the tail more narrow. 

The dropped cords should be resting on the outside of the tail, to be used as part of the fringe.

Stop when you like the length of the tail, but be sure it's at least 3 inches.

Step 26: Tie a final knot with two cords, around the remainder, which are fillers. 

Apply glue to the knot and allow it to dry before moving on.


Step 27: Trim all the ends to 2 inches.  Unravel and brush each cord. 

Use scrap pieces of black and white material to add along the edges of the tail, filling in the fringe. 

Slide them through 2 spaces, and tie an Overhand knot with the two ends.  Trim and brush.


Webbed Feet


Step 28:  To make the Webbed feet for the Penguin, you will use the 8 cords you separated in step 23.  There should be 4 cords on each side (2 white, 2 black).  

Cut 2 black cords, each 25 inches long. 

Use them to make a Wrapped Knot around each set of 4 cords.  The knot should be 1-inch in size. 

Step 29:  Cut 1 black cord, 60 inches long.   This is the working cord for the first foot. 

The four cords you separated for each foot will hold the knots, so spread them out and secure them to your board.

Mentally number the holding cords 1 - 4.  

Step 30: Leave a 2-inch tail, and attach the working cord to holding cord 1, with a Vertical Half Hitch.  Tighten the knot firmly.

Slide the working cord under holding cord 2, and then tie a Vertical Half Hitch onto it.

Repeat this process, tying a Vertical Half Hitch onto the other two holding cords.

Important: Make sure you pass the working cord under the holding cord before tying the knot.


Step 31:  Spread the holding cords apart slightly.  Reverse the direction, tying Vertical Half Hitches onto cords 4 - 1. 

Step 32:  Repeat the process again, tying Vertical Half Hitches onto cords 1 - 4.   Make sure you spread the cords further apart than the previous row.

Step 33:  Repeat the process again, spreading the holding cords further. Tie the knots onto cords 4 - 1.

Step 34: Trim the end of the working cord to 2 inches, and weave it through spaces in the bottom of the foot.  Do the same with the 2-inch tail you left in step 30. 

Step 35:  Tie a very tight Overhand knot with each holding cord, so it rests next to the last row of Half Hitches. Apply glue and cut off the excess material when it's dry.

Step 36:  Repeat steps 29 - 35 to make the second foot for your Penguin.



The Wings

Step 37:  Cut 4 black cords, each 60 inches long. 

Fold two cords in half and secure them at the center, resting side by side.  Mentally number the 4 segments, which you can view as 4 cords.

Use cords 1 and 4 to tie a SK, around 2 and 3 (fillers).

Pull on cords 2 and 3 to remove the slack above the knot.


Step 38:  Add a new black cord to cords 1 - 2 and another onto cords 3 - 4.  Use the same method for adding as in step 12.

Step 39:  Mentally number the cords 1 - 8.  Tie a SK with cords 3 - 6.

Step 40:  Tie more rows of ASK until the wing for the Penguin is 5 inches long.

The next row is tied with cords 1 - 4 and 5 - 8, and the following with 3 - 6.

Important: Stop on a row where you use all 8 cords.

Step 41:  Tie a very tight SK, using cords 1 and 2 combined, along with 7 and 8 on the other side.  The fillers are cords 3 - 6.


Step 42:  Repeat steps 37 - 41 to make the second wing.

Step 43:  Attach both wings just below the head of the Penguin, at the sides of the body, where the black and white sections join together. 

To do this, pass 2 cords from one of the wings through 2 spaces and tie them together with a tight Overhand knot.   Repeat with the other 6 cords.

Trim the excess material to 2 inches, and push the ends through spaces in the body.


Adding Feathers


Step 44:  Cut the White Yarn into 18 inch pieces. 

Attach several pieces to the netting on the lower part of the head (front), under the beak of the Penguin.  Use Larks Head knots to secure them.  You should put some through the spaces in the “neck” area as well. 

You can also use scraps of cord material in the same manner.  In that case, you would unravel and brush the fibers.

Step 45:  Cut the Black Yarn into various lengths, depending on where you attach them on the body of the Penguin.  The goal is for some of them to reach the tail. 

Attach them to the netting on the head, as well as on the upper body.  Use Larks Head Knots to secure them, and be sure to add plenty of cords so that the foam ball does not show.  

It's best to attach the yarn in layers, so the cords at the top of the head are shorter than those at the bottom.

Step 46:  (Optional)  Cut Yellow yarn into 12-inch sections and weave it through the netting on the head, near the beak.  You can also add some in the neck area.

Step 47:  Trim and brush the cords, and smooth out the yarn, until the Penguin looks good and is neatly finished.


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