10 Throwback Ways to Display Macrame

Handmade macrame on the empty wall of bright beige living room with comfortable couch with pillows and white blanket , real photo
KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images
  • 01 of 11

    A Blast-From-the-Past Trend

    macrame wall hanging art
    @tangled.gumption / Instagram

    Throughout several periods in history, macrame has had its moments in the spotlight. When most people picture these woven décor pieces, they often think back to when it achieved the peak level of hipness—the 1970’s, when all-things-bohemian was the craze.

    But its popularity predated the era of bell-bottoms and grooviness by hundreds of years. It was first all-the-rage among 13th century Arabic weavers. Queen Mary introduced it to the British in the 17th century. Then the weaving technique had another revival in the Victorian era, appearing as tiny, knotted designs on lacy textiles, almost 100 years before it was reappeared in the ’70s.

    And now it’s back again, and perhaps, it’s better than ever thanks to innovative artisans and makers. As the décor trends shift toward boho details and eclectic design, a natural progression was made toward bringing macrame back. Look no further than ​Etsy or your Pinterest feeds to see proof of this.

    If you haven’t jumped onto the modern-day macrame train, you might envision that worn-out owl with beaded eyes that hung in a corner of your parents’ house for decades. Although those macrame items can indeed be just right in fresh, vintage-inspired spaces, today’s designs marry the old and the new, using time-honored techniques in inventive ways.

    To stay true to the throwback nature of macrame while embracing it in the 21st century, here are some design inspirations to get you started.

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  • 02 of 11

    Plant Hangers

    macrame plant holders
    @creeryan / Instagram

    It doesn’t get more classic macrame than a plant hanger. Your mom undoubtedly had some hanging in your house when you were growing up. Now that plants are cool again (but were they ever really uncool?) and leafy greens are encompassing on-trend spaces, macrame plant hangers make sense, especially these hangers with subtle, twisted detailing. Hang yours alongside windows complete with that ideal Instagram-ready lighting.

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  • 03 of 11

    Fiber Art

    macrame wall hanging decor
    Teddy and Wool / Etsy

    Macrame artwork makes a turn toward modern times when it’s presented as a contemporary version of the dreamcatcher. Hoops and light macrame make for perfect-for-today pieces of art. Traditionally, dreamcatchers are hung above the bed, a spot where pieces like this would look right at home.

    Macrame Wall Hanging, $85.56, Teddy and Wool via Etsy

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  • 04 of 11

    Votive Holders

    macrame votive candle holders
    @thisiswhatido / Instagram

    How’s this for creative? Small glass jars dressed up in their own macrame creations. Purchase them from Etsy or try your hand at it through tutorials found on Pinterest. The weavings add a bit of coziness to the candle holders, where they can be displayed on a nightstand, a bathroom counter or even an outdoor patio. 

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  • 05 of 11

    Wall Hangings

    When it comes to macrame, wall hangings tend to be the standard. The options on Etsy alone are dizzying, and your purchase really depends on personal taste. Do you prefer heavy weaving or light? Short or long? White or dip-dyed? And these days, you can even order macrame wall art that hangs from a reclaimed piece of driftwood. They’re versatile and can fit nearly anywhere in the home, like a diminutive wall that needs something to fill it or a gallery where it can be juxtaposed next to framed prints.

    Fallon Macrame Wall Hanging, $29, Urban Outfitters

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  • 06 of 11

    Woven Hammocks

    Yes, the throwback way to display a macrame hammock would be in a backyard, but we think it works even better inside. Hang it in a corner to serve as a laid-back reading nook or on a three-season porch where you can take in the outdoor scenery and watch Netflix.

    White Macrame Hammock, $85/day, Patina Rentals

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  • 07 of 11

    Patterned Stools

    @lespetitsbohemes / Instagram

    Macrame also makes a lovely addition to a chair or stool, either as a decorative accent, or, if the fibers are sturdy, a pretty spot to sit. Either way, it’ll look charming set into a corner among plants and other decorative objects, or display several around a dining room table.

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  • 08 of 11

    Decorative Garlands

    It’s not a coincidence that a macrame garland could easily double as a belt Stevie Nicks would have worn in the ’70s. Instead, feature yours on a wall hanger such at this, above your bed or a door or along a windowsill.

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  • 09 of 11

    Knit Placemats

    @thelittleknotshoppe / Instagram

    Make your home look as if it jumped from the pages of an Anthropologie catalog by displaying macrame placemats or a runner on your dining room table. Macrame works for a wide variety of tablescapes, from boho to beachy and most everything in between. It communicates a relaxed yet styled vibe. 

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  • 10 of 11

    Door Curtains

    These aren’t nearly as noisy as those 70’s bead curtains. For a dash of dreaminess to add to any doorway (preferably one with a breeze), hang a flowing macrame curtain. But to get that throwback feel, track one down from Etsy or a vintage shop that has an oh-so-70’s butterfly pattern on it.

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  • 11 of 11

    Hanging Chandeliers

    @modernmacrame / Instagram

    For a flower-child touch, bring a chandelier rendered in macrame into your décor. You can either hang it on its own as a conversation piece, or, many include the ability to put in an LED light, casting a mystical glow throughout the room. Yes, macrame is certainly the design trend of the hour, and we don’t know how long it’ll stick around this time, but let's enjoy it while it’s here.