The dull winter days make me crave green. Succulents, purple campanulas, rosemary, basil, a bouquet of deep red carnations – these little plants and flowers brighten up my apartment and my day. The only tricky part to my green obsession is placing them somewhere where they will get the necessary amount of sunlight. Enter hanging planters – the perfect way to suspend a plant in front of a sunny window. Rather than use a boring old hanging basket, I decided to delve into macramé. I found a good tutorial (Brit + Co‘s “Make These Boho Chic Hanging Macrame Vases”) that didn’t seem too intimitidating and dug in. While the tutorial was incredibly helpful, I did find I needed to make a few changes. Here’s my how to:
To make the hanging basket:
1. Measure and cut 4 lengths of string about 52 inches long (I have high ceilings and I like to have lots of extra string to work with)
2. Line up the strings and bundle them together. Fold bundle in half.
3. With folded bundle in hand, make a looped knot near the top (Note: If you want your planter to have a long tail at the end, make sure you make the knot farther down).
4. Turn pot upside down and place the top knot in the middle (you may want to use a bit of tape to secure the knot). Separate the strings into groups of two, laying them across the bottom to divide the pot into four equal sections.
5. Tie each group of two strings in a looped knot, making sure the knot is placed at/near the edge of the pot.
6. Make new groups of strings by taking the right string of one group with the left string of another. This will makes four new groups of two strings.
7. Tie each new group of two strings into a looped knot, making sure the knot is placed about 1/3 ways up the pot on all sides.
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7, inching up a 1/3 of the way each time until you are happy with the coverage and feel like the pot will fit snugly in the basket.
9. Flip the pot with its macramé base right-side up, pulling the remaining 4 groups of strings up vertically.
10. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure everything looks great and is secure.
**Optional** To make a tail: Use scissors to cut the group of strings at the base of the basket in half.
If you are using white string like I did and want a bit more colour, try dip-dying! Remove the macramé basket you made and dip it into some food coloring mixed with boiling water. Dye as much of the strings as you want (I only dyed the basket and about 1/4 of the way up of the strings). I had to soak the strings in dye for a couple of hours to ensure the white string absorbed enough color. The longer you let the strings soak the darker they will become. Periodically check on them to see how they are looking. Once you are happy with the colour, remove the strings and wring them out. Hang to dry.
I learned (the hard way) that the best way to assemble is to use an empty pot. Turn the empty pot upside down and fit the macramé basket over. Flip the pot and basket right side up and adjust to make sure everything feels secure and looks good. Place the four bundles of strings to the side and transfer your plant into the pot. Add a little extra soil and water.
Lift the strings up vertically, and tie them in knot around a key ring or binder ring. Hang from a hook on the ceiling (preferably near a window where the sun can shine in).