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Reindeer Decoration

Reindeer Decoration

Description:  This Reindeer Decoration is a cute Macrame Project to add holiday cheer.  This design is easy to make, but if you are a beginner, practice all the knots listed below at least once. 

The features include small horns, a puff for the mane, and fuzzy ears.  The halter is made with a Switch knot technique and beaded fringe.  The nose can be either brown or a red color, if you want Rudolph.

The finished size is 12 inches from the top of the horns to the nose.  The width of the face is 5 inches, and it's 9 inches wide at the ears.

Supplies Needed:

  • 6mm brown or almond cord material (35 yards)
  • Thick dark colored yarn material for horns
  • Cord material for halter (6mm size is best)
  • Two 20mm black beads for eyes
  • One 30mm - 35mm round bead for nose (10mm hole or larger)
  • Eight 16mm Beads for halter (optional)
  • Project board and pins
  • Glue and Tape

Knots Used:

Please Note: The Reindeer Decoration is made from the nose (bottom) towards the ears (top).

Nose, Face, Eyes

Step 1:  Cut 10 cords of brown material, each 3 yards long.  Prepare them to prevent unraveling.

Arrange two cords on your board horizontally.  These will be holding cords, so they should have tension.  Mark the center with a pin.

Larks Head Knot

Mount 4 cords to the left of the center with Larks Head knots.  Tighten firmly.

Mount the other 4 to the right of the center.

Curve the row of knots slightly, with the center as the high point (see image below).

Row 1

Step 2: Mentally number the cords 1 - 20.  The two holding cords now become working cords and should be numbered 1 - 2 on the left, and 19 - 20 on the right.

Tie a Square Knot with cords 5 - 8, and another with cords 13 - 16. 

Row 2

Slide the large bead for the nose onto cords 10 - 11.
Tie the second row of ASK using cords 3 - 6 for one knot, then 7 - 10, 11 - 14, and 15 - 18 for the others.

Tighten all knots firmly.

Odd Rows

Step 3: Tie 10 more rows of Alternating Square Knots, as follows:

Rows 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 9
: Tie ASK with cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, 13 - 16, 17 - 20.  

Even Rows

Rows 2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 10:  Tie ASK with cords 3 - 6,      7 - 10, 11 - 14, 15 - 18

Left Eye

Step 4:  Slide one 20mm bead for the left eye onto cords 6 and 7.

Tie ASK with cords 1 - 4, and 9 - 12.

Right Eye

Slide the bead for the right eye onto cords 14 and 15.

Tie ASK with cords 17 - 20.

Step 5:  Tie 4 more rows of ASK to complete the face for the Reindeer Decoration, as follows:

Rows 1 and 3:  Use cords 3 - 6, 7 - 10, 11 - 14, and 15 - 18.

Rows 2 and 4:  Use cords 1 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, 13 - 16, and 17 - 20.



The ears for the Reindeer Decoration are made with cords 1 - 4 and 17 - 20.  Push the others aside for now.

Add a Cord

Step 6: Cut one cord, 36 inches long. 

Slide it under cords 2 and 3.  Match the ends so it's balanced.   Tie a Square Knot with the new cord.  The fillers are cords 2 and 3.

You now have 6 cords to make the first ear.  Mentally number the cords 1 - 6.

Holding Cords

Step 7: Re-position holding cords 3 and 4 to the right and left diagonally, on top of the other cords.

Attach cords 2 and 1 to holding cord 3 with clockwise Double Half Hitches (DHH). 

Attach cords 5 and 6 to holding cord 4 with DHH, rotating counter-clockwise.

Notice the Arrows?  That's the direction the working cords should rest after the DHH are tied, which is towards the inside of the diamond.

For the lower portion, the cords are heading outward (see next 2 photos).

Lower Left

Step 8:  To make the lower left portion of the ear, move holding cord 3 to the right.

Attach cords 1 and 2 to it with DHH, rotating counter-clockwise. 


Lower Right

To make the lower right portion of the ear, move holding cord 4 to the left.

Attach cords 6 and 5 to it with clockwise DHH.



Step 9: Attach holding cord 3 to holding cord 4 with a Double Half Hitch. 



Step 10:  Repeat steps 6 - 9 to make the other ear for your Reindeer Decoration, using cords 17 - 20.


Step 11:  In the back of each ear, slide 5-inch pieces of material under the loops made by the DHH, in as many areas as possible.  Make sure you don't untie any knots.

Unravel, trim and fluff the cords to form a soft fringe along the edge of each ear.


Step 12:  Move cords 9 - 12 back towards the eyes, and secure them.   These will be used for the hair, and are not needed right now.

Cords 5 - 8 and 13 - 16 are used for the horns of the Reindeer Decoration, which you will make next.



Step 13: Cut one piece of yarn, at least 36 inches long.  It will be used to make the first section of one horn.

Apply tape at one end and an Overhand knot on the other end, to prevent unraveling.

Fold Yarn

Arrange cords 13 - 16 neatly, and secure the taped end of the yarn on the head, resting next to cord 13.

Fold the yarn 6 inches from the taped end, and bring the long portion (with the Overhand knot) back towards the head. 


Step 14: Wrap the knotted portion around the secured end of the yarn, as well as cords 13 - 16.  Start as close to the SK (head) as possible.

Wrap firmly towards the folded area, until the Wrapped knot is 5 inches long.

Folded Area

Step 15: Pass the knotted end of the yarn through the folded area, which looks like a loop.

Cut off the Overhand knot and shorten what's left of that end to 2 inches.

Pull End

Step 16: To complete the first Wrapped Knot, pull on the secured end, which has the tape.

The other end and the folded portion (loop) will be pulled inside the wrapped area.  Make sure you pull it at least 2 inches.

Step 17:  Trim both ends of the yarn to 1/2-inch and push the tips inside the wrapped area.  Apply glue as needed.


Step 18:  Divide cords 13 - 16 into two groups of two.

Repeat steps 13 - 16, tying Wrapped Knots around both groups.  The knots should start next to the lower edge of the first Wrapped Knot (no gaps).

You can make these branches any length.

Step 18, continued:  Trim only the long end of the yarn, which had the Overhand knot, to 1/2-inch. Push it inside the wrapped area. 

Do this with both Wrapped Knots.

Secured Ends

Step 19: In the BACK of the Reindeer Decoration, locate the two ends that were secured (with the tape). 

Cut off the tape, and tie the two ends together with an Overhand knot. Apply glue and cut off the excess material.

Design Tip:  You can divide the cords again, tying Wrapped Knots around all 4 cords, if you want the horns to be larger.

Tie Off

Step 20:  Combine the two ends (cord material) of one branch and tie an Overhand knot.  It should rest against the end of the Wrapped Knot.  Apply glue before tightening.

Repeat with the other branch.  Cut off the excess when the glue is dry. Fuse the tips with a flame if using material that melts.

Step 21:  Repeat steps 13 - 20 to make the second horn, using cords 5 - 8.


Hair and Halter

The Hair for the Reindeer Decoration is made with cords 9 - 12.  You can create a short puff or a longer lock of hair.  

Cut 6 cords, each at least 5 inches long.


Step 22:  In the back of the deer, tie cords 9 and 12 together with an Overhand knot. 

Do not tighten it yet. 

Slide the 5-inch cords through the knot and then tighten it firmly.  Balance the cords so there is an equal amount on each side of the knot.



Step 23: In the front of the Reindeer Decoration, hold ALL the cords for the hair together in your hand.

Cut them down to 2 inches while continuing to hold them.  Unravel each one and trim the entire group again.  Brush the fibers until smooth.

This will create a short puff.

Step 23, continued:  To create a mane, bring all the cords forward and trim them to the size and shape you wish to make.  Unravel and brush.

Step 24:  The Halter for your Reindeer Decoration can be made with several types of knots.  The instructions below are for a Switch Knot design, which features the Square Knot.

Using the halter material, cut 4 cords, each at least 60 inches long.   Prepare the ends to prevent unraveling.

Square Knot

Secure the cords to your board vertically.  Move down 8 inches from the end of the cords, and mentally number the 4 cords.

Tie a Square Knot.  The fillers are cords 2 and 3 and the knot is tied with cords 1 and 4.


Step 25: Move cords 1 and 4 over and between cords 2 and 3. 

Tie a Square Knot with cords 2 and 3, with 1 and 4 as the fillers.

There should 1-inch of space between this knot and the previous one.

Third Knot

Step 26:  For the third knot, move cords 2 and 3 over and between cords 1 and 4.

Tie the SK with cords 1 and 4.  Cords 2 and 3 are the fillers.

Step 27:  Repeat step 25 to make the 4th knot. 

Try the halter on the Reindeer Decoration to see if you need to make any adjustments.  You can untie the knots and change the spacing if it doesn't fit. 


Step 28: Place the halter on the front of the face, lined up with spaces along the right and left edges.  Mentally number the four cords on the halter.

On the left side of the face, pass cords 2 - 3 through one of the spaces, front to back. 


Step 29:  Secure the halter by tying a left SK with cords 1 and 4, around cords 2 and 3.

Tighten it firmly and apply glue if you wish.

Right side

Step 30:  Repeat steps 28 and 29 to attach the halter on the right side of the Reindeer Decoration.

Since the knots are turned around, you will need to tie a right SK so it matches the others.

Add Beads

Step 31:  Decorate the ends of the halter cords with beads (optional). 

Tie Overhand knots after the beads are applied.  Apply glue before tightening.  Cut off the excess material when the glue is dry.

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