Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's De Ja Vu All Over Again - Macrame Hangers Are Back

Sorry that I am a bit behind on my blog posts this week, but it's just been one of those weeks.  Our oldest daughter's family all came down with the creepy crud and I spend some time running back and forth across town taking supplies to them and then another trip to take a pot of soup since she had her hands full with sick children and there was no cooking in her future.  Tuesday was toast.

Wednesday was volunteer day and then we went to dinner with our second daughter and her family and another day went by with no post.  So, here I am today sharing a walk down memory lane with you.  As Yogi Berra said, "it's de ja vu all over again."  That always makes me laugh.  But it truly is de ja vu all over again.

Many of you are not old enough to remember the macrame craze of the 70's.  Plant hangers, wall decorations, I even made macrame leather belts for Christmas one year.  Yes, I did a lot of macrame and lo and behold it is ba-aack.  Seriously.  Who would have thought?  So, I dusted off the rusty knot tying skills and made myself some candle holders for my patio umbrella.  It's hard to see in this dark picture where they are actually hanging, but we put cup hooks in the wooden spokes of our patio umbrella and I hung my candle holders from there.  It just dawned on me one day that was the solution to more table space and less clutter.

Sometimes that creative spark is all you need to solve a little dilemma.  This was one of those times when the perfect solution came to me.  Love when that happens, don't you?  And, it was fun putting these all together.

I started with some little apothecary jars I bought at Old Tyme Pottery for 50 cents each.  You could use baby food jars, small mason jars, anything you might have on hand, doesn't have to be these particular jars.  I painted the inside with some Pebeo glass paint I had from another project.  I did this by dropping some paint in the bottom of the jar, adding some acetone nail polish remover and swishing it around with a sponge brush until the inside was covered.  Then, I turned them upside down and let them drain on some paper.  Following the paint jar's instructions, I then put them in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and removed them after they had cooled.  Easy peasey.
They are all different colors that match the lights on our patio that I got as a Mother's Day gift last year. I was lucky enough to have paint in just the right colors.  Nice coincidence.

Now, to make the macrame hangers.  I wanted simple and easy so I used a spool of jute twine I had from the Dollar Tree.  It was more than enough to make these six hangers.
I used my trusty yard stick and cut 8 pieces of twine, each piece one yard in length.  Put all ends together and make a slip knot and pull it tight.  This will make your hanger for the top.
Now, you need something to hold the twine while you tie the knots.  A clip board works well if you have one.  I used my trusty candle holder that has little feet on the bottom.  The loop fit right under one of the feet and the candle holder had enough weight to hold the twine in place.

Now, separate the twine into 4 groups of 2 pieces of twine each.  I went down about 12 inches to begin tying my first set of knots.  You are going to tie an overhand knot which is super simple.  You simply take the two pieces of twine and take it up over, around and through the middle.
Now, pull it taught.  Repeat with the remaining three groups of twine making sure the knots are each the same distance down the twine.
Next, you are going to separate the pieces of twine by moving the far left and right piece out.  Then, put a left and right piece together going across.
This will make a "Y" shape.  Now, go down 3 inches and make an overhand knot with each pair of twine pieces.  You will have 3 knots.  Finish by tying a knot bringing the far left and right piece together.  

Go down three inches and repeat the above process.  You should be able to see how you have a hanger at this point.  Your twine will be in a circle with diamond shapes between the knots.  Repeat until you have 3 rows of knots.  To finish, bring all the pieces of twine together, go down 1 inch from the bottom row of knots and tie a big overhand knot with all the twine.
Your hanger is finished.  You can place your jar inside the hanger.  It will look like this.
I know that reading the instructions sounds very confusing, especially if you have never done macrame but it is super easy if you just follow along with the actual twine.  You will have a diamond pattern between the knots and that is what you need for a hanger to work.

Next, I put some epsom salts in the bottom of the jars and placed a tea light candle in each jar.  You can use sand also, just something that will allow the candle to sit flat.  If you don't want real candles, you can use the battery operated flicker candles you get at the Dollar Store or craft store.  They work great too.

I am so happy with our candle hangers.  The look great hanging from the umbrella and it gives us so much more space on the table.  Using the cup hooks allows them to be easily removed for storage, especially if it is supposed to rain and then you can easily hang them back up.

I made my hangers different lengths just because I wanted them that way.  You can make yours whatever length you like using the same basic principles.  I am thinking about making more to hang from trees in the yard and along the deck rail.  They add a lovely ambiance to an evening on the deck.
Here, you can see how we put the cup hooks in the spokes of the umbrella.  Dan just pre-drilled a small hole and screwed the cup hooks in.

This is an easy and inexpensive project.  I have $1 in twine, $3 in jars and used paint that I already had.  If you want to use the glass paint, you can get it at most craft stores and it is not expensive.  Think how lovely these could look at an outdoor wedding.  Now, I am inspired to make more.  It's de ja vu all over again!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

You can observe a lot by just watchin'.  Yogi Berra

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