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Tea Cup Decoration

Tea Cup Decoration

Description:   This Tea Cup Decoration is an adorable way to decorate your kitchen.  Inside the cup, place either real or artificial flowers, potpourri, or similar small items.  The finished size is 6 inches wide and 3 inches tall. 

Alternating Square knots are used to create both the cup and saucer, which is a different color.   These instructions do not contain the steps to tie a Square Knot, so be sure to view that page by clicking the link below.

This Macrame project is rated Easy, suitable for beginners.

Important:  The material used to make this Macrame decoration should be either nylon or polypropylene, which can be melted as part of the finishing process.  Test the material by heating it with a flame.  Do not use if the material burns rather than melts. 

Supplies Needed:
  • 4mm synthetic cord material that melts when heated
  • Rings: One 2-inch, one 4-inch, one 6 inch
  • Project board, pins, masking tape
  • Lighter

Knots Used:

Preparation and Mounting

Cutting Instructions:
  • Color A (for cup):  Cut 24 cords, each 25 inches long (63.5cm).
  • Color B (for saucer):  Cut 24 cords, each 25 inches long.

Prepare the cords for the Tea Cup Decoration by applying masking tape to the tips (or Overhand knots).

Fold Cord
Step 1: Mount one Color A cord (for the cup) to the 4-inch ring with a Larks Head knot:

<<< Fold the cord in half and place it under the ring.

Bring the ends over the ring and under the folded area.  >>>
Larks Head Knot

Half Hitches

Add a Half Hitch with each end, by making a loop over and under the ring. 

As you pull the end down, it should pass over the cord.

Step 2:  Repeat step 1 with all the remaining Color A cords.

Create the Cup

Row 1

Step 3:  Tie one row of Square Knots with groups of four cords. 

Tighten the knots firmly so they rest as close to the ring as possible

Step 4:  Tie five (5) more rows of Alternating Square knots to form the cup portion of the Tea Cup Decoration. 

Read the text below for a review on how to alternate cords.

Important:  You need to tip the ring or suspend it in some manner, so you are making a short tube rather than a flat design.  See the image for step 5.


Design Tip:  When making Alternating Square Knots (ASK), the easiest way to alternate is to mentally number the cords coming from two knots in the last row you tied.

Combine cords 3 and 4 from the knot on the left, with cords 1 and 2 from the one on the right, and use them to tie the ASK in the next row.

Divide the Cords

Step 5:  Tie one more row of ASK.  After each knot is tied, push the FILLERS inside the cup and out the top.

Only the working cords are attached to the next ring.

Use a rubber band or tape to keep the fillers in a group.

Color B

Step 6:  Mount 12 of the Color B cords for the saucer onto the 2-inch ring.

Attach them with Larks Head knots.


Step 7:  Slide the working cords for the cup through the 2-inch ring.

Arrange half of the color B cords to the right of the cup, and the others to the left. 

Half Hitch

Step 8: Attach two cords from the cup to the ring with counter-clockwise Double Half Hitches, since you should progress left to right.



Step 9:  Slide a Color B cord next to the two cords you just attached (from the cup).

Then attach the next two Color A cords with DHH.

Continue this patterns (2 Color A -- 1 Color B), all the way around the ring. 

Tie Off

Step 10:  Turn the Tea Cup Decoration upside down, resting on the top edge of the cup.

Tie off each pair of Color A cords you just attached to the ring, with tight Overhand knots.

Try to arrange the knots so they rest to the inside of the ring, not directly on the metal (see next image). 


Step 11:  Cut off the excess material close to each knot, leaving two very short tips approximately 1/8-inch in size.  

Use a lighter to heat and melt the tips, so they stick to the knot. 

Trim Fillers

Step 12:  Trim the fillers cords you pushed inside the cup to 1-inch, and unravel each one to form a soft nest. 

This will not prevent heavy items from dropping through the ring.
Use a different finishing method if you need a secure bottom.

Create the Saucer

Step 13: To create the saucer for the Tea Cup Decoration, you need to add the remaining Color B cords to those on the 2-inch ring:

New Cord
<<< Fold one new cord in half and secure it under two cords coming from the ring.

Use the NEW cord to tie a Square Knot.  The cords coming from the ring are the fillers.  >>>

Step 14:  After all the cords are added, tie 4 rows of Alternating Square Knots.

Important: This is the most challenging step, so tighten each knot carefully. The knots should remain flat on your board

Tightening the knots too much will cause it to curve upward.  Loosen the knots slightly if that occurs.

Attach to Ring

Step 15:  Attach each cord to the 6-inch ring with Double Half Hitches.  Add extra Half Hitches if needed, to cover the ring completely. 

When moving right to left, you tie the knots clockwise. Make them counter-clockwise if you progress left to right.


Step 16:  Finish off the ends of the cords by tying Overhand knots with sets of two cords.

Remember to push the knots so they rest to the inside of the ring, not directly on it.

Trim the excess off close to the knot, then heat and melt the tips, as you did in step 12.

Create the Handle

Step 17: Cut two cords, each 36 inches long (1-yard), to make the handle for your Tea Cup Decoration. 

Prepare the tips with tape.

Handle Cords

At the top of the cup, push some knots aside to make room for the new cords. 

Slide them under the ring, arranged so that 6 - 8 inches is heading away from you, and the rest dangling down towards the saucer.


Step 18:  Move the short segments towards you, passing over the ring.

Use the long segments to tie a Square Knot around the short segments, which are the fillers.

After the first knot is tied, pull firmly on the fillers (short).

Step 18, continued:  Tie several more Square Knots, until the sennit is 3.5 inches long.


Step 19:  Slide all 4 handle cords through a space at the bottom of the cup, just above the 2-inch ring.



Step 20:  Turn the Tea Cup Decoration upside down and locate the 4 handle cords.

Use all 4 cords together to make one large Overhand Knot.   Trim the tips close to the knot.  Heat and melt the tips if you wish.

Decorate the inside of the cup with flowers, potpourri, or similar items.

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Have any comments about the Tea Cup Decoration? Contact Me.

Macrame Cord Divider