Macrame Butterfly

Step-by-step instructions with images - UPDATED!

macrame butterfly tutorial

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macrame butterfly macrame butterfly pendant

This Butterfly makes a beautiful unique brooch, pendant, hairclip or can be used as a home decor piece.

You will need 10 cords 1,5-2 meters (5 feet) long, or around 17-20 yards of cord total. I used thin (1 mm) waxed polyester cord,because it holds the shape of the finished item prettygood, but satin or cotton thread will work good too.The size of the finished butterfly is about 3,5 inches. 

I made this Butterfly two-tone - white and pink, but you can improvise with other color combinations, or make it monochrome or even ombre! For example, the butterflies to the left (on the picture above) were painted with acrylic paints after they were done. Have fun!

50 Yards - 2mm Silver/Grey Satin Rattail Cord Chinese/china Knot Rat Tail Jewelry Braid 100% Polyester 

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Butterfly’s head

1. Double 2 threads and attach them to a cushion. Make 2 Chain braids, consisting of 15 Loop knots – it will be the Butterfly’s “antennas”.

macrame butterfly tutorial

2. Then put all 4 threads together and make 7 Square Knots. Then create a “Berry” pattern - this will be the Butterfly's "head".

macrame butterfly tutorial

3. Separate your 4 threads again into 2 parts, and make 8-10 one-sided Loop Knots on both sides of the “head” (the top cord must be the base cord). Curve the braids, creating two Butterfly’s “eyes”, and tie a knot to the Berry pattern/"head". 

4. To finish the Butterfly's head, again separate 4 threads into two parts and make a small Diamond pattern (with just one Double Half Hitch knot on each side). Put the “head” aside for now.

macrame butterfly instructions

Butterfly’s wings

1. We will create our Butterfly’s wings “upside down”, starting with it’s smaller wings. Double two threads and attach them to the cushion close to each other. Make 3 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots using an outmost cords as working threads.

2. Then mount 3 doubled cords on each of the base cords. For mounting use the Lark’s head knots with two Loop knots added on both sides. You will have 8 ends on each side.

 macrame butterfly instructions

2. Take a top thread, point it down and, using it as a base, make a Hitch with all other cords.

From this point I'll show how to make one pair of wings, but keep in mind that the same steps need to be done to make another pair of wings (but as a mirror image - flipped horizontally). While working on it, keep comparing it with the first set of wings and make sure they are identical.

macrame butterfly two tone

3. Then take the top thread from top and tie on it 3-4 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots with the second cord – it will be an outer edge of the Butterfly’s “wing”. 

4. Next, point the base cord down and towards the first Hitch, and make on it 4 Double half hitches with one extra loop. 

 macrame butterfly tutorial

5. Repeat the 3 and 4 steps two more times, and then make one more Hitch

macrame butterfly instructions

6. Take the edge thread and, using the other 4 threads as a base, tie 5 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots. It will curve, creating a half-circle, that will connect forewings and hindwings of our butterfly.

7. Make a Horizontal Hitch on 4 base threads of the half-circle, at first using the three threads from the previous Hitch, then continue with the Clear Edge Method (keep adding threads to the base). When there will be only one thread left, make on it 3 Frivolite / Lark's Head Knots. It will be the outer edge of the wing. 

macrame butterfly tutorial

8. Now we continue to the second (larger) pair of our Butterfly's wings. Continue making 4 more wing's sections (5 total), just like you did in steps 3-4, but add one Frivolite / Lark's Head Knot to the wing's edge in every next section. Also, in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Hitches you can make couple extra loops in each Double Half Hitch.  It will slightly widen the wing. 

9. Finally, create a long central “axis” of the wing. Use the two threads from the Butterfly's wings edge as a base and make on them Double half hitches with 2 extra loops (it will create a Spiral effect). Every time add the working cord to the base (the Clear Edge Method). Then make 7-10 Loop knots with the last working cord.

macrame butterfly tutorial

Almost there!!

Butterfly’s Body

1. When the central “axis” will reach the half-circle, separate the 3 shortest threads and hide them under the wing (later we will use them to attach our Butterfly to some surface). Then weave the last working cord around the half-circle.  

macrame butterfly tutorial

2. Next, take your Butterfly's head, and using the cord as a base, tie a 4 Double half Hitches with all the threads you have left and plus two threads from the head. Repeat on another side with the second pair of wings.

macrame butterfly

3. Continue making Hitches, pointing the base thread to the center of the Butterfly’s body. In each row leave one outmost thread out.

macrame butterfly

 4. Now take the top outmost thread, and using it as a base cord, make on it Double Half Hitches with each of the cords that you have left out. 

macrame how to

5. Turn the Butterfly on the opposite side. Take the threads that you left out in the step 1 and make 2 Spiral braids (5-6 one-sided loop knots). Or you can make a Berry pattern on these 6 cords, and use it to attach the Butterfly to any surface (as another option – just cut the threads off).

Then put all 6 threads together and tie a Square knot on the 4 base cords. Next, take the outmost cords and using them as working cords, tie another Square knot (now on 6 base cords). Repeat with each pair of outmost cords, each time adding the working cords to the base. 

Similar pattern is used in the Macrame Bat project (the Body part).

 macrame butterfly

 6. Cut off the remaining threads. You can secure them with some clear glue, also, synthetic threads can be burned off with a lighter. 

7. Flip the Butterfly back and finish the bottom of the body.

macrame butterfly

 8. Cut the extra cords and hide them on underside, apply a dot of clear glue if needed.

macrame butterfly underside

Your Macrame Butterfly is ready now!

 macrame butterfly tutorial

 With beads, used as a suncatcher:

macrame butterfly suncatcher 

Other Macrame Butterflies made using a similar pattern:

macrame butterfly instructions

Use your imagination and various knots combinations – and you will create different types of Macrame Butterflies. Good luck and have fun!

The pattern and some of the images used for this project are courtesy of Anna Krauze, "Macrame", 1987, Uzbekistan.