Looking for a new craft project? Why not give macramé a go? With a few tools and some simple knots, it is amazing what you can create! Below we show you how to make a stylish place mat for your home.

Decorative macramé place mats can make any table setting look gorgeous. Following these instructions will give you a pretty place mat that measures 45 x 33cm.

Macrame _placemat _vertical _300x 450

60m of twined 2.5mm cotton rope
55–60cm dowel, at least 2cm in diameter (only used during the knotting)

Cut the following:
20 cords, each 2m long
4 cords, each 80cm long
52 cords, each 30cm long
2 cords, each 50cm long

Fold each of the 2m cords in half and attach to the dowel, using a reverse lark’s head knot (RLHK).

Note: the dowel is only used during the knotting; it is removed at the end.

Knots usedMethod

Horizontal clove hitch (HCH)
The horizontal clove hitch forms a straight line across a panel, with the filler cord running through it going either left-to-right or right-to-left, or bending back and forth.

Horizontal Clove Hitch Step 1-3_700x 300

Step 1. To make a line going left-to-right, use the furthest left cord as filler cord, holding it horizontally in front of all the other cords on the panel. Use the next cord to the right as the working cord for the first clove hitch, first bringing it forward, up and around the filler cord towards the left. Pull the working cord to tighten the loop while tilting the filler cord slightly upwards.

Step 2. Finish the first clove hitch by taking the working cord around the filler cord again to the right of the first wrap, passing the end though the loop formed under the filler cord. Pull the working cord to tighten the knot. Repeat steps 1–2 for each cord to the right in turn.

Step 3. To make another line underneath the first, bend the filler cord in front of the other cords on the panel horizontally from right-to-left. Repeat steps 1–2, but beginning with the righthand cord and working each knot in reverse towards the left.

Right-facing square knot (LFSK)
A right-facing knot (RFSK) has a vertical bump on the knot that appears to the right. A left-facing knot (LFSK) is tied the same way as a right-facing but mirrored. Follow the instructions for a right-facing, but replace cord A with B, left with right and vice versa.

RF Square Knot Steps 1-3_700x 350

Step 1. Move cord B to the left across the white filler cords, forming a loop, and behind cord A.

Step 2. Move cord A behind the filler cords, and pass it up through the loop from behind. Pull cord A gently to the right, and B gently to the left, while holding the filler cords straight.

Step 3. Move cord B to the right across the filler cords, forming a loop, and behind cord A. Move cord A behind the filler cords, and pass it up through the loop created by cord B, from behind.

Step 4. Tighten the knot by pulling cords A and B while holding the filler cords straight.

Alternating square knot (ASK)
Rows of square knots can be offset to create a net-like pattern.

Alternating Square Knot Step 1-2

Step 1. Tie a row of square knots. On the second row, use the outer working cord of each pair of adjacent square knots as the filler cords and the nearest pair of filler cords as the working cords, so that the second row of square knots will be offset.

Step 2. Tighten each knot, placing it close to the first row to create a fine net, or position it further apart from the first row to create a looser net.

Step 3. Continue alternating the filler and working cords used to tie the knots on every other row.

Reverse lark’s head knot (RLHK)
The reverse lark’s head knot, most commonly used to attach cords to a dowel or an anchor cord, is worked in the same way as the standard version, but from the reverse so the bump is hidden.

Reversed Lark 's Head Knot Alternatively _Steps 1-3

Step 1. Fold the cord in half and then fold the loop towards you over the dowel or anchor cord.

Step 2. Pass the 2 cord ends through the loop at the back and pull the cords to tighten the knot.


Step 1
Take one of the 80cm cords and lay it across so it’s centered underneath the dowel. Using this cord as a filler cord, work a row of horizontal clove hitches (HCH) using each of the vertical cords, a total of 40 knots.

Macrame -placemat -step -1-700x 400-wyza -com -au
Step 1

Step 2
Skip 2 cords, tie a left-facing square knot (LFSK), skip 4 cords, tie another left-facing square knot, repeating to the end so you have 5 square knots. Tie 10 alternating square knots (ASK) for the second row. For the third row, skip 2 cords at the start and tie another 5 alternating square knots as in the first row.

Step 3
Take a second 80cm cord and centre it beneath the knots just made. Using this cord as a filler cord, work a horizontal clove hitch with each of the vertical cords, a total of 40 knots.

Step 4
Tie a left-facing square knot using the 4 centre cords. Then work 2 alternating square knots underneath, then a line of 3 alternating square knots. Continue to create a pair of alternating square knots on each side to make the diamond in the centre of the mat as in the diagram, placing each pair of square knots just underneath the previous pair. Finish with a single left-facing square knot using the 4 centre cords. You’ll have a total of 64 square knots.

Step 5
Repeat steps 1–3 to create the border at the bottom of the mat. Turn the place mat 90 degrees.

Step 6
Attach 26 of the 30cm long cords to what is now the bottom cord using reverse lark’s head knots (RLHK). Position the first 3 lark’s head knots between the 2 filler cord ends, then work 10 before the square knot of the centre diamond. Repeat in reverse with the rest of the cords on the other half of the mat.

Macrame -placemat -step 6-700x 400-wyza -com -au
Step 6 – RLHK

Step 7
Take one of the 50cm cords and lay it across so it’s centred right underneath the lark’s head knots. Using this cord as a filler cord, make a horizontal clove hitch with each cord from left to right, a total of 56 knots.

Step 7_placemat _700x 450
Step 7 – HCH

Step 8
Turn the place mat 180 degrees and repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other side.

Step 9
Remove the dowel and untangle the ends. Cut the loops to make a fringe, and then trim the ends on both short sides to the same length. Trim the remaining long side to the same length as the other side.

Click here to enlarge the below image:
Macrame _Place _mat -step 1-9-diagram _pg 111_1050x 1350

This is an edited extract from Macramé by Fanny Zedenius, published by Quadrille RRP $24.99 and available in stores nationally.

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Photography: © Kim Lightbody