Beginner Macrame Knot Guide

So you've decided to try macrame.. now what?

This knot guide is a step-by-step breakdown of some fundamental beginner macrame knots to get you started. The knot guide includes photos of each step to help guide you through a square knot, barrel knot, spiral knot and a simple knot. 

Half Square Knot

Step 1: Start with four strings. Pull string D under C & B and over string A.

Step 2: String A goes over string B & C.

Step 3: String A then goes UNDER and OVER the “elbow”.

Step 4: Now pull tight and you have a half square knot!


Full Square Knot

Steps continued from half square knot – we are doing the same steps in reverse.

Step 1: Pull string D under B & C and over string A. 

Step 2: Pull string A over string C & B, then string A goes over & under the “elbow” of string D.

Spiral Knot

Instructions are continued from a half square knot. To make a spiral knot, you have to make consecutive half square knots (in the same direction).


Step 1: String A goes under C & B and over string D.

Step 2: String D then goes over B & C, then OVER and UNDER the “elbow” of string A.

Step 3: Repeat the same actions multiple times to create a “twisted” effect.

Simple Knot

This knot is sometimes called the overhand or basic knot. 

Step 1: A goes over B.

Step 2: B then goes over and under the loop, making a pretzel shape.

Step 3: Both A and B sides of the string are pulled to form a tight knot.

Barrel Knot

Step 1: Begin with a piece of string between 3-5 feet long (Pictured in grey).

Step 2: Make a loop at the top, keeping side A 3-4 times longer than side B.

Step 3: Wrap the string from side A around all the gathered strings until it reaches the top.

Step 4: Pull the string through the loop, and pull both ends of the string until the knot is tight.

Step 5: Now cut your ends and you have a barrel knot!


Now you're ready to make your first macrame plant hanger.

For a downloadable version of this knot guide, click here.  

More knots you'd like to learn? Send me an email at

Thanks for reading!