Use macrame to add a touch of privacy to a window or door without blocking the light! This DIY macrame curtain is a great way to enhance an opening and even provide some coverage, while still keeping things breezy and open.
Macrame is a knotting craft technique that allow you to form objects like panels, planters, and so much more. For this curtain, there's a small section of knots at the top, then the ropes hang down to form the rest. That makes it perfect for hanging in areas like closet doors where you want to keep things accessible, while also semi-blocking the view. You could even make a large curtain as a room divider.
This curtain uses simple knots so you can learn how to do macrame without tying yourself up in knots.
Equipment / Tools
- 50 to 150 yard 6mm cotton macrame rope
- 1 smooth branch or 1-inch wooden dowel
Macrame rope comes in different styles and thicknesses, and while most types will work, you will have different results.
This twisted cotton is easy to work with and super soft. It's also possible to untie your work and tie the knots again, although this can cause the ends to fray some. And that's okay because you can trim the ends when you're finished.
To match the gauge of this macrame curtain, you need to use 6mm rope. If you use a different thickness, your curtain will come out a different size and it's likely that you'll run out of rope.
To give this a more natural feeling, we used a smooth, mostly straight branch that was wide enough to span a window or standard door. You can also use a wooden dowel rod or a thick tension rod, which makes it easy to hang without brackets.
If you use a branch or hanging rod that is larger than about 1-inch in diameter, you should add a few inches to each cut of rope.
Cutting the Rope
Because sizes curtains are all different, depending on how you want to use them, you'll need to do a little math. But don't worry! Most of the math is already done for you. What's important is the width of the opening you're covering, as well as how long you want the curtain.
This design is set up in panels that each measure twelve inches wide. Use as many as you need, adjusting the spacing as needed to fine-tune the size.
The measurements given are for making a 30-inch long window curtain. Be sure to follow the extra notes for altering the length.
For one 12-inch wide panel:
- Cut two: 108 inches
- Cut four: 92 inches
- Cut six: 84 inches
Repeat these cuts for as many panels as you need.
Altering the Length
If you want a shorter curtain, the simplest method is to trim the excess rope when you're finished. You can also measure and subtract the difference. Then double that and subtract the result from the total length of each rope.
For a longer curtain, measure the total length desired and subtract 30. Double the result and add that to each cutting length from the list above. For example, if you want an 80-inch curtain, subtracting 30 results in 50. Double that, and add 100 inches to each cut of rope.
Attach the Ropes to the Rod
Fold each piece of rope in half and use lark's head knots to attach them to the hanging rod. Bring the center over the rod and then slip the ends through the loop and pull it tight.
If you are making a curtain with an odd number of panels, start with the two longest ropes and center them on the rod. Add two medium length ropes on each side, followed by three short ropes on each side.
If your curtain has an even number of panels, start with a short rope at the center of the rod and work either to the right or to the left as follows: three short, two medium, two long, two medium, three short.
Space the ropes out so they measure about twelve inches across.
To keep the ropes and the panel sections from getting confused, it helps to add one section of rope at a time. It's also helpful to work with the rod hanging at your shoulder level instead of lying flat.
Tying Square Knots
This curtain uses all left-facing square knots, so it's easy to remember the pattern once you know how to make the knot.
First, separate out the first four pieces of rope. Bring the left rope over the center two filler ropes, then under the right rope.
Next, bring the right rope under the center two ropes and through the loop formed by the first rope. When you do this, the right rope is really going over the left loop.
Pull the ropes to tighten them so they are about one inch below the lark's head knots. This is the first half of the square knot.
To complete the knot, bring the left rope under the two center ropes and over the right rope.
Finally, bring the right rope over the center ropes and through the loop of the left rope, this time so it ends up under the left rope.
To summarize the entire knot, it's left over two and under one, right under two and over one, left under two and over one, and right over two and under one.
Repeat With the Following Groups of Ropes
Working with the next group of four ropes, repeat the previous step to form a left-facing square knot.
Repeat this with each group of four ropes across the panel. Make sure that all the knots are at the same height.
Start the Next Row of Knots
Push two ropes to the side and work with the next four ropes. This will be two ropes from the first knot and two from the second knot. Tie a square knot to start the second row a little below the first.
Work with groups of four ropes at a time and knot across the row. At the end, you will have two extra ropes.
Add More Rows of Knots
For each new row of knots, set aside two more ropes at the beginning and the end. This will form a triangle of left-facing square knots. Be sure to keep the spacing even for each row.
Tie the Last Row of Knots
Add one last row of knots, this time, working diagonally from left to center and then right to center. Once again, work with four ropes at a time and tie the left-facing square knots so there is a gap of three to four inches between these knots and the ones above.
Add Panels for Width
Add the remaining panels to the curtain, repeating the steps above.
Trim the Rope Ends
With the curtain hanging at the correct height, trim the ends of the rope so they are even. You can untwist the ends a little or leave them as they are.
Hang Your Macrame Curtain
Hang your curtain using extra rope or brackets. When working on a branch, it may be difficult to keep everything even, but that's part of the rustic charm. You can also adjust the knots and panels for spacing.
Don't want a curtain? You can also use this design as a wall hanging, or adapt another wall hanging pattern into a curtain!