How to make macrame baskets

The best thing about making your own macrame basket, aside from the satisfaction, is being able to decide the colours that go best with the decor where it will be used. Macrame involves tying knots to create useful works of art. This basket is an easy starter macrame basket.


Dilute clear drying glue with water 1-to-1 in a small bowl.

Measure 5 metres (5 yards) of the cord with the tape measure and cut. Dip the ends in the glue to prevent fraying and hang them to dry; repeat three more times.

Grasp all eight ends of the handle cords and find the centre of each cord. Holding all four cords by the centre spot, spread the cords out flat next to each other. Use the outside two cords to tie a square knot.

Measure 60 cm (24 inches) of wire with the tape measure and cut the wire; repeat once.

Slide the wires through the square knots and centre the knot on the wires crossing the wires slightly at the middle. Attach one wire to the 22.5 cm (9 inch) ring by wrapping the wire around the ring several times. Arch the wire to form an arched handle and attach the free end directly opposite the first wrapping on the ring by wrapping several times. Wrap one end of the second piece of wire around the 22.5 cm (9 inch) ring, 7.5 cm (3 inches) away from the other wire. Wrap the free end of the second wire around the opposite point of the ring.

Separate the cords into pairs. Using one pair of cords, tie a Spiral Stitch Sinnet down one wire which will act as the filler. Knot a Double Half Hitch to bind the cords to the ring; repeat with the other three pairs of cords and wires.

Basket knotting

Measure your cord with the tape measure and cut 24 cords, each 2 metres (2 yards) long. Dip each end into the glue and hang them to dry.

Knot three 2 metre (2 yard) cords between two of the closely placed handles onto the 22.5 cm (9 inch) ring with a reverse Larks Head Knot sandwiched between two Half-Hitch knots; repeat this between the second closely placed handles. Knot 9 cords into the two remaining sections using the same technique.

Hang the basket by the handle. Measure and cut four cords, each 5 metres (5 yards) long. Dip the ends of the cords in glue and hang to dry.

Select one of the hanging 2 metre (2 yard) cords and, using a Vertical Double Half Hitch, tie it to the middle of a 5 metre (5 yard) cord very close to the 22.5 cm (9 inch) ring. Work from the first knot to one side tying each hanging 2 metre (2 yard) cord in turn to the 5 metre (5 yard) cord. Continue in this fashion halfway around and then work the other half of the 2 metres (2 yards) cord in the opposite direction until the two ends of the 5-yard cord meet. Tie the ends of the 5 metre (5 yard) cord together with a Square Knot, cut the excess and treat the cut ends with glue; repeat with the other three 5 metre (5 yard) cords.

Tie the hanging cords to the 8-inch ring with Double Half Hitch knots so the 20 cm (8 inch) ring sits snugly against the previous knots.

Work around the ring tying Alternating Square Knots for several rows. Drop six cords in each rotation so drop every fourth cord for the first row and every third cord for the second row of Alternating Square Knots. If you do a third row, drop every other cord. When you drop a cord, push it inside the basket.

Once the bottom has been filled in with the Alternating Square Knots, push all remaining cords into the centre of the basket. Trim each cord to 5 cm (2 inches) and unweave them. Finish by brushing the loose cords with the brush to fluff them up.


To save time, you can cut all the pieces in advance, dip them in glue and dry them the day before. If you are making this basket over several days, mix the glue dilution in a disposable plastic container. When you are ready to stop for the day, place a sheet of clear cling film on the surface of the glue before putting the lid on.

Things You'll Need

  • 6mm twisted style macrame cord -- 100 metres (100 yards) total
  • 1 20 cm (8 inch) ring
  • 1 22.5 cm (9 inch) ring
  • Craft wire (or metal clothes hangers)
  • Glue that dries clear
  • Tape measure
  • Wire cutters
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About the Author

Writing fanzine-based articles since 1985, Kasandra Rose writes and edits articles for political and health blogs and and has an extensive technical writing background. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in biology from Wayne State University.