Christmas accessories have come a long way since the silver icicles and tinsel garland of my childhood. And it’s a good thing. Aside from the cunning Elf on the Shelf (he scares me), today’s more minimalist, modern decorations are so fresh and inviting… embroidery hoop wreaths, handmade ornaments, and yes, macrame.
I love tabletop trees worked into sweet vignettes. My past favorites are one adorned with my childhood tea set and another made from bare branches displaying my handmade Ukrainian eggs. But this year has been busy for me, and I don’t have time to dig through multiple boxes of old decorations or hand make new intricate ones. That’s why I love the idea of this simple, quick-to-make macrame tree.
- paper mache cone – 23″ height and 6″ base diameter
- white spray paint, cream and copper craft paint, & sea sponge
- cotton cording – (approx. 4-6 mm size, suitable for belts or key chains)
- tape – scotch or masking
- heavy duty thread & beads for embellishment
step 1 – paint the cone
For a clean, minimalist look, I spray painted the paper cone white. Using a sea sponge, I then dappled on white, cream and copper craft paint to add depth.
step 2 – prepare the cording
Cut the cording as follows:
- one piece 10′ long
- 7 pieces, 9′ long
- 4 pieces, 4′ long
Tape the ends to prevent fraying.
step 3 – lark’s Head Knots
Lay the 10′ long piece of cording horizontally on a flat surface. Tie the seven 9′ long strands of rope to the center of the long piece, using Lark’s Head Knots.
step 4 – Square Knots
First, tie the rope with the 7 strands attached to it onto the cone. Tie the 2 loose strands together in the back, as shown below. The rope should fall about 3″ below the tip of the cone.
There are now 12 individual pieces of rope falling evenly around the cone. Using 4 strands at a time, make a horizontal row of 4 Square Knots.
Now that the first row is completed, tie another row of 4 Alternating Square Knots. Continue making 8 more rows of Alternating Knots, gradually increasing the space between each row. Stop when you have a total of 10 rows.
Next, take one of the 4′ cords and fold it in half. Pull the ends up through the spaces between two Square Knots on the bottom row, as shown in photo (1) below. Now pull the ends down and under the middle of the rope, forming a Lark’s Head Knot (2). Gently tighten (3). Tie the remaining 4″ cords to the other “in between” spaces.
There now are 24 individual cords around the cone. Using groups of 4 individual strands, make another row of six Square Knots.
Now, directly beneath each of those last six Square Knots, tie a second Square Knot.
To fill the space between each of the last Square Knots tied, take one individual cord from a knot on the right and one cord from a knot on the left; tie them together as shown below. Continue doing this until all the spaces are filled.
step 5 – finishing touches
You are now ready to add finishing touches to the bottom of the tree. Tie a knot in each strand (all at random heights), then cut and fray the ends. Next, using jewelry thread (or heavy duty sewing thread), attach beads in a random fashion to the tassels.
Lastly, attached an ornament or small tree topper to the top of the cone. I used a glittery stag’s head (on a floral pick). I also draped a strand of crystal baubles around the cone, as well as a strand of copper star wire.
The beauty of this little tree is that you can give it your own special touches, using favorite ornaments and decorations. (Colored buttons instead of beads would lend a whimsical, folksy flavor.) Also, the macrame cover slides off and on easily, if you decide to repaint the cone for a different vignette.
So happy to share this tutorial with you on Tinselbox. You can find lots more macrame and DIY projects on my blog My French Twist. Now go and get your merry on!