If you ever sat in the back of the classroom at school or on your best friend’s floor tying plastic strings together to make friendship bracelets or keychains, you’ve already set foot in the world of macramé.
Macramé is the art of tying knots with cord to create something new – whether that be jewelry, bags, wall hangings, plant hangings, and more.
To a beginner, macramé can seem complicated and elusive. Once you get the hang of a few basic knots, though, it’s easy to fall in love with the craft. All you need is a good guidebook to get you started.
So, what are the best macramé books? The best macramé books have basic information on macramé, several knot tutorials, a variety of patterns for macramé projects, and high-quality pictures.
There are tons of macramé books out there. Some are far less helpful than others, and sadly beginners won’t know that until they’ve already purchased the book.
Keep reading to avoid making that mistake; we’ll go over everything you need to know to purchase one of the best macramé books on the market.
The Art of Macramé
As we mentioned earlier, macramé is the art of tying knots with cord to create something new. Sometimes that cord is made from natural fiber and sometimes synthetic. Either way, it’s always tied in knots to create a beautiful piece of art.
The final product can appear similar to items made using knitting, crochet, or even weaving, but macramé is a totally unique art apart from these. Rather than simply weaving or looping the strands together, macramé is knotted.
Knots may seem like just a simple way for you to tie your shoes, but when you dive into the world of macramé, you’ll see just how many different knots there are and the amazing creations they can produce.
Buyer’s Guide – Top Qualities In Macramé Books
With the help of self-publishing, there is a flood of macramé books on the market. A simple search in Amazon will show just how many options there are.
Each of these books has beautiful, highly decorative covers designed to attract you and make you purchase. But for some, the cover is the only brightly colored picture in the whole book – and most of the projects shown on the cover won’t even be in the book.
This is why it’s important to really evaluate the details of the book. Look past the cover and check to make sure each book has basic information on macramé, knot tutorials, plenty of patterns for projects, and high-quality pictures.
For a beginner, this should be a no-brainer. You wouldn’t want to buy a guidebook for a brand new craft that doesn’t even tell you basic information about the craft.
A great macramé book will have a couple chapters just on the art of macramé. These chapters should give specific information on the supplies and tools you need for macramé and any tips and tricks that may help as you get started.
Some of them even give information on how to protect your body as you learn macramé. The rope can sometimes cause rope burn when working for too long, and if you’re hunched over a table tying knots it can cause shoulder and neck problems.
Some of the more helpful macramé books will include information on how to avoid these common physical issues and keep your body healthy as you craft.
Don’t be fooled by books that seem to have plenty of background information on macramé in the wrong way – such as the history and origins. A lot of the lower quality books will try to fluff up their pages with long chapters on the history of macramé.
While this information may be interesting, it’s unnecessary to know when you’re actually trying to learn the craft. Don’t waste your money on books that waste pages with unnecessary information.
This doesn’t mean that all macramé books including information on the history of macramé are a waste. It just means that you should pay close attention to the chapters that follow to ensure there’s still plenty of useful information included.
To truly learn the art of macramé, you have to start with the fundamentals: the knots!
You won’t be able to make any macramé craft without an understanding of the basic macramé knots. There are some intricate knots that you can pick up along the way, but there are certain basics that you’ll need to know up front.
The best macramé books will have tutorials for these basic knots included.
It wouldn’t make sense to pick up a beginner’s macramé book and read “Make a double half-hitch knot” without giving any instruction on how a double half-hitch knot is tied. You have to get all the basics!
Every good macramé book for beginners will include a section on knot-tying. If you scan the pages and don’t see any section that describes how the knots are tied, it may be a good idea to move onto the next book.
Of course, there are still great macramé books without knot tutorials, but those are for more advanced macramé artists.
If as a beginner, you find an advanced book with many projects you like but no knot tutorials, it could be helpful to supplement your knowledge with YouTube videos.
Patterns / Projects
Once you’ve established that the macramé book you’re considering has all the background information you need to learn the craft, you want to make sure it has plenty of patterns for projects to choose from.
It wouldn’t make any sense to learn the whole art of macramé without any project ideas or tutorials! You’d simply be sitting there with individual knots and no final product to show for it.
Some macramé books only have a handful of patterns and some have over 100 to learn. There are also books dedicated to only specific projects, like plant hangers or wall hangers.
The specifics regarding the patterns (such as number and variety) will depend on your personal preference. Think about what you want to create with your new macramé skill and choose a book that has plenty of projects you’d enjoy to get you started.
A common complaint with the lower-quality macramé books is that the pictures are tiny, blurry, or impossible to make out.
Sometimes the pictures can seem to be fully color when you look at a preview online, but when the book comes in, you’ll notice the pictures are all black-and-white.
Black-and-white pictures aren’t horrible; they can still be helpful, especially if you have a natural gift for yarn arts.
However, low-quality pictures are usually a sign of low-quality information. Typically, the better-quality books will have pictures that are sharp, high resolution, and easy to see.
When learning a complicated craft like knot-tying, the pictures are vital. Reading the words “Wrap this cord around the other cord, go over then under, wrap twice and pull,” isn’t exactly the clearest instruction. The pictures are hugely important to understanding the basics of tying knots.
Even for those advanced macramé artists who have a good idea of the basic macramé knots, pictures are still needed for the patterns themselves. Regardless of how much base knowledge you have, it’s still helpful to have picture guides when creating something new.
Best Macramé Books
Now that you have a good understanding of what makes a great macramé book, we’ve put together a list of our top picks for the best macramé books. These will have most, if not all, of our recommended qualities to look for in a macramé book.
We highly recommend buying the paper version of these books rather than the e-reader version. With an e-reader, the pictures included tend to be difficult to make out and are often changed from color to black-and-white.
|1.||Macramé For Beginners||Camila Silva Rodriguez||Exclusive macramé guide for beginners with over 150 DIY projects|
|2.||Macramé For Beginners||Erin Blossom||The ultimate and complete guide to practice macramé designs and patterns|
|3.||Macramè For Beginners||Lauren Needle||Ultimate guide for beginners on making macramè patterns|
|4.||Macramé||Fanny Zedenius||Learn the craft of creative knotting for your home|
|5.||Macramé||Olivia England||Lessons for visual learners|
|6.||Macramé For Beginners||Adeline Clarkson||The pattern book to learn techniques and secrets to decorate your home & garden|
|7.||Macramé||Sian Hamilton||Techniques and projects for the complete beginner|
|8.||Macramè Patterns||Rachel Mullins||2 books In 1 - the beginner's guide to making creative ideas, jewelry and gift projects|
|9.||Macramé 2||Fanny Zedenius||Accessories, homewares, & more – how to take your knotting to the next level|
|10.||Statement Macramé||Natalie Ranae||Create stunning large-scale wall art, headboards, backdrops and plant hangers|
|11.||Macramé Plant Hangers||Chrysteen Borja||Creative knotted crafts for your stylish home|
|12.||Macramé Pattern Book||Marchen Art||Includes over 70 knots and small repeat patterns plus projects|
|13.||Macramé For The Modern Home||Isabella Strambio||16 stunning projects using simple knots and natural dyes|
|14.||Macramé For Absolute Beginners||Sarah Afghan||The foolproof guide with step-by-step visual instructions|
|15.||Macramé At Home||Natalie Ranae||Add boho-chic charm to every room|
1. Macramé For Beginners By Camila Silva Rodriguez
This book is great for those who may already be familiar with knots or are able to supplement with YouTube videos. The knot tutorials are lacking, but this book makes up for that when it comes to the projects.
With over 150 project patterns to review and create, this book knocks it out of the park. Although the knot tutorials aren’t great, the instructions it gives for each of its projects are fantastic.
This book is still a fan-favorite simply for the sheer number of projects and the possibilities it holds. The projects are broken down into the following categories: Christmas Projects, Personal Projects, and House Projects.
Although three categories may sound like a small amount, the patterns within those categories go on and on. If you want a large library of projects, look no further.
2. Macramé For Beginners By Erin Blossom
When books have the words “Ultimate and Complete Guide,” it’s often misleading. Readers tend to find themselves missing information in an area or two, making it a rather incomplete guide.
This book doesn’t have that problem. When it says that it’s the ultimate and complete guide, it means just that.
There are several chapters including tons of background information on the tools and supplies you’ll need to get started with macramé. There’s also a section on terminology and a chapter with great knot tutorials.
Not only does it have all of that, but this book also contains a plethora of patterns that are sure to get you making your own macramé creations in no time.
3. Macramè For Beginners By Lauren Needle
A good thing to note about macramé knots is that aside from the basic versions, there are lots of variations to those knots. This book provides a lot of information not just on the basic knots but on their variations as well.
While it may not have over 100 macramé patterns, it does have a good number of projects in a variety of types.
You’ll get a couple basic patterns in most of the common macramé project categories like jewelry, plant hangings, and wall hangings.
4. Macramé By Fanny Zedenius
If we had to pick an overall winner out of these macramé books, this one would be it.
It has good background information on tools and supplies, answers common questions people have when starting to learn macramé, and offers tips and tricks that most books don’t address such as dip-dying and taking care of your body.
And at the end of it all, this book still has a good selection of patterns for projects to choose from.
The pictures are beautiful and easy to make out, along with the illustrations that have arrows and clear step-by-step instructions.
This book has everything you would need to begin macramé as a total novice.
5. Macramé By Olivia England
For all you visual learners, this book has you covered. With 197 HD illustrations included in the pages, this book is great to help people who need to see something done to truly understand it.
There aren’t many visuals when it comes to step-by-step pictures for the knots, but there are pictures of the end-product for every knot along with good instructions.
This book also has helpful project guides, though they’re all for plant holders and don’t have much variation.
One neat feature about this book is the section of background tips on preparing your rope, like rubbing beeswax along the rope’s length.
This can help prevent rope burn when working for long periods of time on a macramé project and is a tip most other books don’t give you!
6. Macramé For Beginners By Adeline Clarkson
This book is a great option for those who feel defeated or overwhelmed by having too much information presented to them all at once.
It doesn’t give you too much information on any one section, but rather gives you a little bit of information on everything.
While it is lacking a little in the photo department, this book does still provide helpful instructions for the patterns and knots it presents.
7. Macramé By Sian Hamilton
Like the one above, this is another good book that gives a small amount of information about everything you’d need to know.
It comes with a few good projects to get you started ranging from wall hangings to plant holders to dreamcatchers.
It also has a great variety of instruction and pictures to help you learn all the techniques and patterns. It even includes bonus information on mixing fabric dyes to create special, colorful effects on your macramé projects.
8. Macramè Patterns By Rachel Mullins
This book is a fantastic choice for beginners. It gives a lot of insight on learning the basics with step-by-step instructions for each of the knots.
One of the best things about this book is the wide variety of projects to start on. It includes 29 different projects in all the major macramé categories, but with a larger focus on macramé jewelry.
If you want to learn macramé to create homemade jewelry, this book is the ideal choice for you.
9. Macramé 2 By Fanny Zedenius
Just as the title suggests, this book is perfect for the macramé artist looking to go to the next level. The patterns it includes are more advanced and designed for people who already have a foundation in macramé.
With a beautiful layout and striking pictures, this book is lovely just to look at. Better still, those pictures serve a purpose. This book includes a wealth of helpful illustrations and instructions that set you up for success with each project it presents.
It even gives you specific lengths to cut your cords, which some books don’t provide. If you’re tired of seeing “cord” listed as a material needed on a pattern and want more information, this book is perfect.
10. Statement Macramé By Natalie Ranae
This is another fantastic book for the advanced macramé artist.
Although it provides no background information on knots or how-to’s for beginners, it’s perfect for those who have already been practicing macramé and wanted to try larger projects.
Not only are the projects included all large-scale, but there’s a large variety of them! This book is perfect for anyone who wants to make their own macramé headboard, curtain, or backdrop.
11. Macramé Plant Hangers By Chrysteen Borja
What we love about this book is the variety of unique projects it provides.
This book doesn’t always have complete instructions, so it’s best to be used only by advanced macramé artists who know the ropes.
However, it does include great pictures for each of its 30 unique plant hanger projects.
It even has a section titled “Plant Hangers Done a Little Differently,” which goes to show that this is not your run-of-the-mill macramé pattern book.
12. Macramé Pattern Book By Marchen Art
Even though this book would be great for anyone, we’ve put in the advanced section due to the sheer volume of information.
It might be overwhelming for the beginner, but it has an incredible number of detailed instructions and illustrations for various knots and patterns.
This is more of a macramé encyclopedia than helpful pamphlet. It includes specific knot symbols at the beginning that it uses later on in the patterns to give you a quick glance at exactly which knots you’ll be using.
Most of the patterns are not actual projects, but simple patterns that can be learned and used to create projects.
13. Macramé For The Modern Home By Isabella Strambio
This book includes beautiful projects, but is best suited for advanced macramé artists due to the simple instructions and limited step-by-step pictures.
If you’re already familiar with the art of macramé and simply looking for a new book of project patterns, this is a great option for you.
It will teach you how to create 16 projects with simple knots.
14. Macramé For Absolute Beginners By Sarah Afghan
This book has a bit of a misleading title because of how difficult it can be for beginners with so little instruction on the knots.
For advanced macramé artists who already know how to tie the knots, though, it’s a great pattern book.
We recommend this book for anyone simply looking to expand their project pattern library.
15. Macramé At Home By Natalie Ranae
If you’re looking to use macramé to spruce up your home décor, Macramé at Home is perfect for you.
We love the way this book divides its patterns by skill level for beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Every pattern is great and would make a beautiful addition to your home.
It is good to note that the pictures are done with white cord on a white background printed on white paper. Some readers have had issues with these pictures because of that, but it all depends on the person.
With so many great projects to choose from, we still think this book is a great option.