In today’s post: Learn how to make super easy macrame gnomes – no macrame experience needed! This is a cute craft project you can complete in under half an hour. Use these adorable little gnomes to make a Valentine’s Day garland or hang them on your Christmas tree – you can vary the colors and embellishments for any holiday. Video tutorial and written tutorial included.
When I first saw a version of these adorable little gnomes I was intimidated by the fact that they are “macrame” gnomes. I don’t know how to macrame! (Or is “macrame” even a verb? Told you I had no idea.) Turns out I didn’t need to worry, because you don’t need any experience of any kind to make these cute little decorations – it’s the perfect first macrame project for a beginner.
The first gnome you make will probably take about half an hour, but you’ll get faster from there. This is an easy DIY you can complete while listening to a podcast or watching a show. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I added little wood hearts to my gnomes, but you could customize them for any holiday. They’d look cute strung on a garland and hung up on the mantle, or with a loop added to turn them into Christmas ornaments. (You could also thread a metal ornament hanger through the back if you want to make gnome ornaments out of them.)
You only need five supplies to make simple macrame gnomes:
- Macrame Cord: I used 5 mm cord that I found at Hobby Lobby
- Yarn: I used standard medium weight (#4) yarn, also from Hobby Lobby
- 3/4 inch Wooden Beads: from, yes, Hobby Lobby
- 55 mm Wooden Rings: these I ordered from Amazon, you can find them here
- An empty toilet paper tube
How to Make a Macrame Gnome Video
Make the Hat
You’ll start by making the gnome’s hat. For the hat, you’ll need about 40 pieces of yarn that are 11 inches long. Instead of measuring them out piece by piece, you can fold a sheet of heavy weight paper (like card stock) in quarters to make a template. Wrap the yarn around the template, wrapping 40 times, making sure you are wrapping it around the longer direction. Then slide the yarn off the template and cut through it at the bottom. That will give you 40 pieces of string 11 inches long.
Next, cut a 3/4 inch wide piece off the end of an empty toilet paper tube. You’ll use very simple macrame knots to attach the yarn to the tube. Grab one piece of yarn and fold it in half, creating a loop. Slide the loop inside the piece of tube, as shown below.
Then reach through the loop with fingers on your right hand and grab the tail ends of the yarn. Pull them through the loop and out to the right as shown.
Repeat that process 35-40 times, until yarn completely covers the toilet paper tube. Then grab all the yarn tails in one hand, twist them together and press them through the tube. Pull the tails all the way through and straighten them out a bit. This hides the knots inside the tube, and creates a “brim” for the hat.
Make the Beard
Now you’ll set the hat aside for a moment and make the gnome’s beard. We will use the same simple macrame knot to do so. If you are using 5mm macrame cord, you will need 7 pieces of 11 inch long cord. Take one piece of cord and fold it in half, creating a loop. Send the loop through the middle of the wooden ring, as shown.
Again, pass the tail ends of the cord through the loop, but this time pull the tails straight out to the left. Give them a good tug to tighten the knot (note: this is called a lark’s head knot).
Repeat with the six remaining pieces of macrame cord. Pull all of the beard cords tight, and press them close together. Using a comb and starting at the bottom, begin combing out the macrame cord, separating it into individual strands. It’s easiest to comb out part of the beard at a time. This will only take a few moments. Once the cord is all combed out, use scissors to cut it into a beard shape.
Glue the Gnome Together
Once the beard of your gnome is complete, assembly is very easy! Use hot glue to adhere a wood bead on the inside of the ring at the middle of the beard. If your bead has holes on each side, glue it with one hold down toward the beard and one hole facing up.
Then add glue on either side of the wood ring just above the beard and slide the hat down onto the ring, pressing it down until it meets the sides of the beard. The brim of the hat will cover the top of the bead.
Cut one more piece of yarn and use it to tie the top of the hat. Then trim the yarn ends to create a pom pom look on the top of the hat. Glue on any embellishments you’re using, like the wooden hearts I used on these gnomes.
- Yarn in various colors I used medium Weight #4 yarn
- Macrame Cord I used 5 mm cord
- 5 cm Wood Rings
- 3/4 inch Wood Beads
- Empty Toilet Paper Tube
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- Cut 40 pieces of yarn at 11 inches. Cut a 3/4 inch wide piece off the end of an empty toilet paper tube. Fold one piece of yarn in half, creating a loop, and place the loop through the center of the tube.
- Reach through the loop to grab the tail ends of the yarn, then pull them through the loop to the right, pulling them tight.
- Repeat 35-40 times until the entire tube is covered with yarn. Then grab all the tails of yarn, twist them together, and push them through the tube. This hides the knots and creates a "brim" for the hat.
- Cut 7 pieces of macrame cord at 11 inches. Fold one piece in half, creating a loop. Place the loop through the center of a wooden right.
- Pull the tail ends of the yarn through the loop and then pull them to the left, pulling tight. Repeat with the other pieces of macrame cord.
- Starting from the bottom, comb out the macrame cord to separate it into individual strands. When it is combed out smooth, cut it into a beard shape.
- Glue on the wood bead for a nose.
- Place glue on the sides of the wood ring above the beard, then place the hat onto the ring, sliding it down to meet the beard. Use another piece of yarn to tie around the loose yarn to finish the hat.
- Trim the excess yarn from the top of the hat and glue on any embellishments as desired. Add a loop to the back to use as an ornament or string it onto a garland if you wish.