How to Make DIY Macrame Curtains

DIY macrame curtains
Mollie Johanson
Overview
  • Working Time: 3 hrs
  • Total Time: 3 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $20-30

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.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors

Materials

  • 50 to 150 yard 6mm cotton macrame rope
  • 1 smooth branch or 1-inch wooden dowel

Instructions

Choosing Supplies

Supplies for making a macrame curtain with rope and a branch
Mollie Johanson

Macrame Rope

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.

Hanging Rod

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.

  1. 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.

    Fold each piece of rope exactly in half
    Mollie Johanson

    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.

  2. 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.

    Attach the rope to the branch with a lark's head knot
    Mollie Johanson

    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.

    Attach 12 pieces of rope to the branch
    Mollie Johanson
  3. 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.

    Bring the left rope over two and under one
    Mollie Johanson

    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.

    Bring the right rope under two and over/through the left rope
    Mollie Johanson

    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.

    Tighten the half square knot up to about 1 inch under the branch
    Mollie Johanson

    To complete the knot, bring the left rope under the two center ropes and over the right rope.

    Bring the left rope under two and over one rope
    Mollie Johanson

    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.

    Bring the right rope over two and under/through the left rope
    Mollie Johanson
  4. 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.

    Tie a second square knot with the next group of four ropes
    Mollie Johanson

    Repeat this with each group of four ropes across the panel. Make sure that all the knots are at the same height.

    Tie left-facing square knots across all the ropes
    Mollie Johanson
  5. 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.

    Set aside the two left ropes and tie a square knot with the next four ropes
    Mollie Johanson

    Work with groups of four ropes at a time and knot across the row. At the end, you will have two extra ropes.

    Tie square knots across, leaving two ropes at the end
    Mollie Johanson
  6. 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.

    Add more rows of knots until you reach the center point
    Mollie Johanson
  7. 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.

    Tie a row of knots below the first triangle of knots
    Mollie Johanson
  8. Add Panels for Width

    Add the remaining panels to the curtain, repeating the steps above.

    Add more sets of ropes and repeat the knotting process
    Mollie Johanson
  9. 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.

    Trim the ends of the ropes to make them even
    Mollie Johanson
  10. 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.

    Hang the macrame curtain over a window
    Mollie Johanson
DIY Macrame Curtain on a Branch
Mollie Johanson

Don't want a curtain? You can also use this design as a wall hanging, or adapt another wall hanging pattern into a curtain!