I had an amazing time creating this macrame necklace! It’s a beautiful fusion of macrame, upcycling, and natural dyeing techniques.
I’m particularly passionate about natural dyeing, and in my book, “Macrame for the Modern Home” I dedicated a whole section to teaching readers how to dye strings using leftover food items like avocado and onion skins. I strongly believe in reducing waste as a maker and artist, so I advocate for repurposing scraps from macrame projects and using recycled materials whenever possible. It’s important for us to be mindful of our resources and their origins.
For this project, I used leftover strings and dyed them naturally, experimenting with turmeric tea bags. I simply solar-dyed them on my window sill.
1. Take the strings and place them inside a glass jar
2. Add your dye- in this case, 3 used turmeric tea bags- and boiling water, be careful with this step!
3. Leave the jar on a window sill, ideally south facing, for 3-5 days. I left mine for 3 days stirring the strings everyday
4. When you are happy with the colour, dry the strings outside in the shade
NOTE- once dried the colour will be a few shades lighter
Watch the reel with the steps here
I mixed them with natural strings of various sizes and types (single twist and 3-ply). To finish off the statement necklace, I used the classic Macrame Square Knot to gather and secure all the strings.
Not only is this necklace a bold statement piece, but it’s also completely unique and a one-off! That’s the beauty of making macrame jewellery with scrap strings—each piece is one-of-a-kind and holds a special charm and story, like mine below.
If you’re interested in delving deeper into natural dyeing for strings or fabrics, I recommend checking out my book, “Macrame for the Modern Home”. Additionally, my teacher, Rebecca Desnos, is an expert in natural dyeing. I learned from her back in 2016, and we’ve remained friends ever since. She offers curated online courses and has self-published books and magazines that are worth exploring.
I highly recommend her work and courses, especially “Botanical Colours at your fingertips” the first book I bought from Rebecca, and you can check them here (*affiliate link)
*I may receive a commission if you purchase through this link (at no extra cost to you). I only ever recommend things that I have personally used, love and it.
Statement Macrame Necklace from scraps tutorial:
You can watch the full process on my Instagram Reel here.
To replicate a similar necklace you will need
>10-14 leftover strings in any colour and size of your choice between 60-120cm long. With the longer strings, I went around twice.
I used natural string. Some leftover strings from the installation in the London Townhouse, 3-ply string, and braided cord including some with gold sparkles from Bobbiny UK from thickness 1.5mm to 9mm. I added the naturally dyed turmeric strings as the final touch to make a very summery macrame necklace.
I lay all the strings flat to create a circle big enough to put my head through. The ends overlapped at the top, and don’t worry if you have some bits hanging too, it’s part of the charm!
>I took a 2-meter natural bamboo string to tie a sinnet of Square knots to close the necklace at the top. You could also make a gathering knot. You can find the tutorials for basic macrame knots here.
Your Statment Macrame Necklace made from scraps is done and totally unique!
Wear it and when people comment on it, tell them the story of where the strings come from.
Don’t forget to share a picture of your macrame necklace once you made it, tag me on Instagram or drop me an email.
PIN IT FOR LATER!