Elevate your gift wrapping with macramé

It's undeniable that I am a big fan of ribbons for wrapping - whether they be velvet, satin, holographic, or simple bakers twine.  They bring everything together (literally, and visually) and are super versatile.

Macramé is a series of really fancy knots, often used for homewares, jewellery, clothing, and accessories.  These knots also look great when used to wrap with ribbons!  In this article we're going to talk about using the pipa knot - it was originally designed to be used as a clasp on clothing, so makes a statement.

In these photos I'm using a 5mm mustard macrame cotton.

Just follow these photos to make your own pipa knot:

  1. Set up your cord, lying over each other.  You're longer end will need to be at least 40cm or so, but make it longer if your gift is bigger.  In each photo this long end is marked with a star so you can track where it is moving.
  2. Bring the long end around behind the top loop.  How you position it here sets the size of the top and bottom halves of the knot, so have a think about this as you do this step
  3. Bring the long end down and create a loop inside your bottom loop, bringing it up and over to the left top
  4. Repeat the motions from 2 and 3 again - bring the long end around the back of the top, down and outlining the bottom loop, ending at top left again
  5. Keep repeating this until the bottom loop is full (if you start with a bigger loop, you'll need to do this many times
  6. To 'seal' the knot, bring the long end behind and down again - but instead of creating another loop, you feed it through the hole in the centre and back out the other side.  I'm using a skewer in this photo to show you where you should feed the long end through

You're now done!  I tied a knot at each end of the cord and brushed out the cotton at each end.  If you don't like this look, you could add a dot of clear glue to make sure your cord doesn't unravel over time.

 To tie the cord around your gift, lie it on the top, bring the long end around the gift, feed it through the top loop of the knot and back around to the short end where you can tie it into a knot or a bow.

I quite like the bold colours of cotton macrame cords - but I think this would look great in a more luxe cord like satin cording, or metallic thread.  One of my favourites is when I made this knot using a patterned cord I found during a hardware store visit.  Have fun trying it out with different textures!