May is MACRAME Month

Thursday, May 1

Anyone remember macrame? As in knots, pretty cord all tied up in knots.

My first experience with macrame was back in December 1980. Christmas time, over 27 years ago, at my father-in-law’s house. It was family get together time with a food spread to die for and the annual Christmas gift exchange. My hubby’s aunt received this gorgeous antique white purse as a gift. A macrame purse. I had never heard of macrame before. All I knew was that the purse was beautiful and I wanted one just like it.

The next day hubby and I went to a local craft store, Frank’s Nursery and Crafts. (It has since gone out of business. 😦 ) We searched the aisles for macrame, anything macrame. The shelves had been cleaned out, hardly any craft merchandise was left. All I could find was an owl kit in a box. It had macrame cord, two gold metal rings, two beads for eyes and an instruction sheet. Took it home, all excited, ready to learn how to macrame. Couple hours later, and a lot of head scratching, I hadn’t figured out what to do nor had hubby. Next day we go back to Frank’s. This time I purchased a Knotting Board and T-Pins. LOL!! No one explained that the cord needed to be attached to something or mounted to something to get it started.

So.. that was my first experience with macrame. My owl, BTW, I still remember it, even still have a picture of it, came out pretty good. I was proud of it.  I added a couple sticks from the back yard to make it look more realistic. Here it is.

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My second owl was sold to a co-worker the same day I took it to work to show it off. It was red. I made many many more owls after that in every color in the crayon box. I never counted them but I bet over the years I made and sold over 100 owls.

I was hooked. Scratch that. I was addicted to making pretty things with knots. I would eat and sleep knots. I macramed 24 x 7 for years. I made things for the home mostly. Wall hangings, plant hangers, towel holders, napkin holders, candles, baskets. Also purses, cosmetic bags, coin purses, key chains, bracelets, belts. My most popular item was a square tissue box holder. They were fast to make and sold like hot cakes.

I sold a lot of things at work, then sold at craft shows, eventually branching off into consignment sales. I once had an open house for family and friends. That was cool AND successful!! Practically sold out.

Want to take a stroll down memory lane with me?

Here are a few of the things I made in the early years.

Purses
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Kid’s Stuff
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Holidays

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For Baby
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Plant Hangers
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I even made a wall hanging from jute. It was a special request from a co-worker. I hated working with jute. Really hard on the hands and what a mess. Even with a plastic sheet on the floor, straw and tiny pebbles were everywhere!! I never worked with it again.  My first and last time!!

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So.. those are just some of the things I made from the 80’s to the 90’s. I will next show you some of my creations from last year.  Sewing baskets, sports baskets and baby baskets.

I plan to post a tutorial for a basket you can make yourself. It may be hard to find macrame supplies but if you search the net you may still be able to find a few suppliers in your area. I found a shop online that sells just about everything you will need. Macrame cord, rings, beads and other macrame neccessites.  They have a large inventory and are quick to ship. Prices are reasonable.  Their site says wholesale but anyone can buy from them.  http://www.kingskountry.com/

16 comments on “May is MACRAME Month

  1. Quilty says:

    I remember macrame owls! I went to a class and made a jute onion bag. That got thrown out long ago. But I do like the handbags and purses made with very fine cord… and those little coloured round boxes with lids that you make.

  2. don_mae says:

    Thanks!! Those round boxes with lids are fun to make. I had a Christmas wreath I made years ago. Hung it every year. Only recently bit the dust and threw it out. It was all matted and beyond saving. I hated to toss it. Had too many memories in it.

  3. Belinda says:

    I remember macrame. However, most of the creations I remember are those plant hangers. Your things are much more creative and much prettier. 🙂

  4. Belinda says:

    You’re not going to forget about poor Janome again, are you?! 😉

  5. Quilty says:

    Nope, she has heaps more bags to make. I haven’t named her the Bag Lady for nothing! 😀
    And she must not forget how to do peyote beadwork either. 😉
    Macrame month (because it is May and starts with an M)just means that she adds macrame to everything else, not swaps over and neglects beads and bags. Aye, Donna?

  6. don_mae says:

    LOL!! I am going to be BUSY!! Beading, sewing and doing macrame. Nope, I won’t forget about Janome. I got her going now and do like to sew. I just forgot how much. And with Quilty’s ideas… I am itching to sew them.

  7. Wow…you’ve made a lot of knots in your day!

  8. don_mae says:

    And that is just a few of the things. In the beginning I took pictures of everything I made. I bet I spent more on film that I did on macrame supplies. LOL!!

  9. Maria Nyberg says:

    I have been making macrame jewelry for about two years now, it´s so much fun. It´s fun to see that other also think macrame are fun to do.
    /Maria

  10. don_mae says:

    I would love to see macrame come back in full force with everyone making it again.

  11. Charlene says:

    Gee, I would love to see macrame come back. Gee your lovely things brought back memories to me. My eldest daughter learned how to macrame, and she use to do alot of different items with me. Gee the owl was one, and all those hanging planters. and a chair. I would love to see a video on how to make alot of the items. Gee, I almost bought a store that sold the items. That was when macrame was at its peak. I hope macrame will come back soon.

  12. don_mae says:

    Hi there, I think macrame is making a “mini” come back. There are a lot of young people finding the craft. I still enjoy it.

  13. Jan and Callie says:

    We are looking for instructions for making a basic macreme necklace using the half-knot twist and adding a couple of beads and a pendant. We need to know how long to make the strings (cords). Could you please give us this information?

    We enjoyed your website. thanks for the great pictures.

  14. don_mae says:

    Hi there, I would probably experiment and go with 3 yards for the outer knot tying cords and at least 1 1/2 yards for the center filler cords. Half knots are going to eat up your length pretty quickly. Try it and then if necessary, add more length for the next one. Good luck.

  15. maureen says:

    Hi..just browsing the net, not sure if this web page is still up & running, or monitored at all, but who knows…i loved all the stuff you made , such beautiful work. i’m like you “did” macrame in the 70’s-80’s, (was it really such awhile ago?) made a macrame owl, gave it to my adopted mum, trying to trace it since we moved them nearer us, still looking for it! also plant hangers too. i shop at the macrame superstore, gets shipped to my twin in NY, who mails it onto me. just finished my first plant holder, looks great, really proud of it. no macrame stuff in the UK so hard to purchase the stuff you need, looking for a owl pattern like the one i used to have, regards to all reading this, & may macrame make a comeback here too! ..maureenx

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