Things You'll Need
- 8 to 10 skeins of 1/4-inch-thick macrame cord
- Super glue
Old chair frames make fantastic bases for macrame. The back and bottom of the chair is filled with intricate designs, or just a simple pattern using a thick cord material. The macrame looks rustic or elegant, depending on the type of cord used for the project. Macrame cord is available in hemp, cotton, wool and silk. The color, texture and width of the cord varies greatly, but all of the cord produces good results for covering old chair frames.
Basic Macrame Knots
Make a lark head knot by folding the cord piece in half, so the cut ends are together in one hand. The cut ends are the bottom. Place the top, folded end around a pole or chair back, and slide the bottom end through the folded end. Pull the cord through the folded end until it pulls tightly on the wood. This knot is a good starter knot for most projects.
Tie a square knot by folding the first cord from the left over the top of the next two cords on your project. Slide the fourth cord from the left behind the second and third cord, and tuck it over the first cord. Pull the excess cord downward, but leave the knot loose. Fold the fourth cord from the left over the top of the second and third cords on your project. Slide the first cord from the left behind the second and third cord, and tuck it over the fourth cord. Pull the excess cord downward, and tighten the knot.
Form alternating square knots by continuing to make square knots across the area, using sets of four cords. On the next row, make square knots using the third and fourth cord of the first knot, and the first and second cords of the second knot. Continue this process across the row. On the next row, tie the square knots using cords one through four, and alternate the next row with cords three and four of the first knot and one and two of the second knot.
Macrame Chair Pattern
Measure the length and width of the back open section of the chair. Write down the measurement. Measure the length and width of the open seat area of the chair, and write down the measurement. The length and width of the chair determines how much cord you need for the macrame. If the open chair back is 12 inches long, you need 72 inches of cord, so the macrame knots go from the top to the bottom. Multiply the length of the back in inches by six for the correct measurement. The width of the macrame cord determines how many cords you need for the width of the chair. This pattern uses 1/4-inch cord, so you need two cords per inch. Each cord is folded, so it equals 1/2 inch. If the width of the chair opening is 1 foot, you need 24 cords. Measure and determine the lengths of the cords needed for the bottom of the chair using the same method.
Cut your cords for the chair back and bottom. If the chair opening is 18 inches by 24 inches, you need 36 cords that are 144 inches long. Make sure you keep the cords for the back and bottom of the chair in two separate stacks, so the cords don’t get mixed up.
Attach the cords to the top of the back of the chair frame using half hitch knots. Attach enough cords, so the opening is completely filled.
Create the chair back by tying two rows of alternating square knots across the chair back. Before tying the third row, loop the cord on the left side around the left side of the wood on the chair back, and then tie the next row of alternating square knots. When you get to the end of the row, loop the right end cord around the right side of the wood on the chair, and tie the square knot. Continue tying square knots across the whole back of the chair. Make sure you wrap the right and left end cord around the wood on the side of the chair on every row that you tie where the knot starts on the first cord.
Finish the chair back by looping the cord around the bottom of the chair-back frame, and tying a square knot underneath the wood. Make this knot tight. Put a dot of superglue on the left and right side of the knot.
Make the bottom of the chair the same way as the top. Tie a row of half hitch knots to the back of the bottom frame of the chair, so the cords are attached to the frame. The part of the chair where your back is located when you sit is the back. Fill the opening with cords.
Create the chair bottom by tying two rows of alternating square knots across the chair bottom. Before tying the third row, loop the cord on the left side around the left side of the wood on the chair bottom, and then tie the next row of alternating square knots. When you get to the end of the row, loop the right end cord around the right side of the wood on the chair, and tie the square knot. Continue tying square knots across the whole bottom of the chair. Make sure that you wrap the right and left end cord around the wood on the side of the chair on every row that you tie where the knot starts on the first cord.
Complete the chair bottom by looping the cord around the front of the chair bottom frame, and tying a square knot underneath the wood. Make this knot tight. Put a dot of superglue on the left and right side of the knot.
Trim the excess cord off of the back and bottom of the chair leaving a short fringe across the row. Pull gently on each piece of fringe. If the knot feels loose, put another dot of glue on each knot. It keeps the knots from pulling apart.
Periodically, wipe off the chair with a damp cloth, and add a new dot of glue onto each knot. Wear makes knots loosen even if there is glue on the knots. If you do regular maintenance on the chairs, the macrame lasts for years.
- Thick Rope image by Snow Queen from Fotolia.com