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  • Bex Grimwood

Top Five Macrame Projects To Do On The Sofa


Quite often when you see macrame makers posting their 'work in progress' online, they're standing up. Or standing up AND reaching awkwardly above their head.

As a person with health problems (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) that means I can't always stand up and definitely can't be reaching above my head for any amount of time, I used to think it meant that macrame might not be the right craft for me. But I was very wrong because there are SO many macrame projects you can make whilst sitting on the sofa. Or at a desk. Or in a wheelchair. Or wherever the hell is best for you to be sitting down.

This list is not exhaustive, but I just wanted to show you that there are macrame projects you can do without having to stand up to do them. All you’ll need is a clipboard to hold the projects steady on your lap and maybe a cushion or two to prop up the clipboard to save you from hunching over too much.

Macrame Bookmarks

A yellow macrame bookmark sits inside an open book which features black and white photographs of men

A macrame bookmark is a perfect place to get started making macrame without having to stand up. The Terracotta & Twine Eccleshill bookmark is a great place to start if you’re a total macrame newbie. If you do have a little experience, you could give the Idle bookmark a try.

The Idle bookmark is a slightly more complex macrame pattern, but either of these are great options that actually require you to be using a clipboard to make them - they’re literally designed to be made sitting down. And as a bonus - you can get stuck into a new book to use your bookmark after. If you're looking for recommendations, I’ve just spent the weekend reading Husband Material by my favourite author Alexis Hall. His last book A Lady For A Duke was also spectacular.

My bookmark DIY kits come with a mini clipboard, so if you don’t already own one, this is the perfect way to get started.

Macrame Coaster

A turquoise mug sits on two square macrame coasters on a wicker side table

Macrame coasters are fairly quick projects, which means if you’re used to macrame, you can stick on an episode of Schitts Creek and have one made by the time you reach the happy ending (if you know, you know).

I’m constantly giving people coasters as gifts for special occasions because I have SO MANY of them in the house - whenever I’m watching a film and want something to do with my hands, making a coaster is my go-to.

If you’re brand new to macrame, the Terracotta & Twine Forster Square Macrame Coaster DIY Kit is perfect for beginners - and comes with that super handy mini clipboard.

If you’re looking for something slightly more complex, this tutorial by United Knots is a great way to learn to make spiral coasters. This is not the exact pattern I use to create my spiral coasters, but the finished result is equally as pretty. All you need is some cord, scissors and a comb - and a pile of cushions on your lap.

Mini Macrame Wall Hanging

a macrame wall hanging sits in the foreground with the contents of a DIY kit scattered on the table around it

I say mini, but I have made macrame wall hangings on 30cm long dowels on my lap whilst sitting on the sofa. It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world as there was a lot of cord that I kept getting tangled in, but it is possible.

For an easier, more suited to sitting down option though, you can make mini macrame wall hangings. These are still pretty and fun to make, they’re just smaller which means less cord to get tangled in your lap and less arm movements needed if that’s something you struggle with (I do).

Terracotta & Twine offers a range of mini macrame wall hanging DIY kits and patterns that are aimed at beginners. They gradually increase in difficulty to help you learn the basics and then gradually get more intricate as your confidence grows. The first wall hanging in the range is the Oakworth, though the Keighley wall hanging is the most popular.

Any of these wall hangings are perfect for making in your lap though and the DIY kits do come with a clipboard for people who wish to make them whilst sitting down.

Macrame Keyring

A selection of macrame keyrings in different colours and styles lay at a diagonal angle on a table

This tutorial for a macrame wristlet keyring from Soulful Notions is a perfect pattern for macrame beginners.

All you need to complete this pattern is macrame cord, a keyring clasp, scissors and a clipboard to hold the keyring in place.

In the video, she does have the keyring hanging as she makes it, however this is super easy to adapt for sitting down as you can just clip the keyring clasp onto a clipboard instead of hanging it.

The finished result of this project is a lovely keyring that means you can carry your keys on your wrist - perfect if you’re clumsy like me and have a tendency to drop things all the time!

Macrame Plant Hanger

A leafy plant hangs in a terracotta plant hanger in front of a plain background

Okay, bear with me on this one because I know you’re probably thinking “are you nuts?! Macrame plant hangers are massive, you can't make that sitting down!”.

You’re not wrong. It is a little tricky to make a plant hanger on your lap - especially because the part at the bottom which actually holds the pot needs all the knots to be totally level, which is a lot easier to achieve if it’s hanging and you have gravity to assist you. BUT, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do this sitting down.

To create a macrame plant hanger whilst sitting down, you’ll need a large A4 sized clipboard, not one of the mini ones I use in some DIY kits. I’m talking like, this kind of clipboard. This is the specific one I use.

You’ll need to feed your cords through the clip at the top, so that as you work down the plant hanger, you can just keep feeding it through and always be working on the clipboard itself. When you get to the part where you need everything to be level, you can use a tape measure. Pull the cords as tight as you can before you measure the gap between them and this should give you a result which has all the knots level with each other.

Having such long lengths of cord in your lap as you work can be tricky, but if you fold up each cord and tie a knot in it to make it shorter, it becomes a lot more workable. Just undo this knot and let out a little more cord as needed.

Whilst I have made a version of my Chellow Dene Plant Hanger in my lap, it turned out perfectly functional but was a little wonky - it still looks great though. If you’re going to make a plant hanger in your lap, I’d suggest doing one that’s a little more traditional and simple, such as using my Sunbridge pattern.

It’s always been super important to me when designing macrame products that such a large range of them are able to be completed sitting down so that macrame doesn’t feel exclusionary in any way. Before figuring out that so many projects could be completed on my lap using a clipboard, I made significantly less macrame pieces and spent ages trying to figure out ways of doing it without standing up. The time I made a keyring by tying cord to my desk leg then clipping the keyring to the loop of cord and then sitting on the floor because my hip hurt too much to stand was particularly grim - sitting on the sofa with a clipboard feels much more civilised.

Are there any macrame projects you’ve been wanting to try but can’t figure out a way to do it that works for your body? Feel free to get in touch if you’re struggling and I’ll see if I can figure out a work-around for you.

Macrame should be for everyone - even if we can’t always make all of the things.

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