April 23, 2022
Add an artful and totally eye-grabbing touch to your next special gift. This mini macramé mandala gift topper is actually a gift itself. With a little crafty handmade magic we will walk you through below, your mini macrame art levels up any basic wrapped box with a perfectly pretty boho touch. And bonus: it can be saved and hung on the wall or in a car.
Make sure your gift goes the extra mile for Mother’s Day, boho birthdays or bridal showers, weddings, or for any stand-out everyday gifting. Fiber artist Rachel Breuklander of The Lark’s Head Shop created this gift topper tutorial and custom DIY craft kit exclusively for Wrappily. Follow her step by step instructions and video tutorial below as she guides us through the process of creating two styles of Macramé Gift Toppers.
Craft along with Rachel: head to our youtube channel to watch the full video tutorials of Style 1 - Simple Macrame Mandala Topper for Beginners & Style 2 - Clove Hitch Style (Intermediate) Macramé Gift Toppers.
Save yourself a trip to the craft store, for a limited time you can buy the full DIY Macramé Gift Topper Kit in mustard color (as pictured) in the shop. This eco-friendly kit includes materials for three mini mandala toppers, but does not include scissors or measuring tool.
Rachel adds, “sustainability is very important to me in everything I create, including these gift topper kits. The string provided, which I also supply in my online shop, is made from 100% recycled cotton from the garment industry, keeping those materials out of landfills. The rings are made from from birch wood, and sourced from a US-based small business. The combs provided in the kits are made out of corn husk instead of plastic so they are fully biodegradable, and can be reused for countless other projects. Even the drawstring bag can be reused!”
There are ways to customize this craft depending on your skill level or personal flair. Rachel has shared two styles for us to try, both start with the same steps. Follow along with the following steps to make this simpler version that comes together quickly and is a safe place for beginners to start.
“My favorite thing about macramé is that it is so easy to pick up—if you’ve tied your shoes, you can learn macramé," says Rachel. "Once you learn two or three different knots, you can do almost anything. Even the most intricate designs usually only consist of three main knots.”
Step 1: Measure & Cut Cords
Precut the 5mm cordage into 12-16 inch lengths determined by your wooden ring. If you’re using our Macramé Gift Topper Kit, you’ll need:
12 pieces for the 1.75” small hoop
15 pieces for the medium 2.25” medium hoop
19 pieces for the 3” large hoop
Step 2: Cover Hoop in Cordage Stands
Use a lark’s head knot to attach each cord length to the wooden ring. Continue until the entire wooden ring is covered.
Step 3: Rough Trimming
Take your fully covered wooden ring and trim the loose ends in a circular shape, eyeballing an approximate 1-2” in length, depending on preference. Leave longer for more shag or a wider gift topper.
Step 4: Comb Fringe
Use a comb to brush out cordage into a fluffy fringe.
Step 5: Final TrimTrim the ends once more to even them out and create a smooth circular shape.
Step 6: Attach to Your Gift
Measure and cut 2mm twine long enough to wrap around your gift, plus an extra ten inches. Fold one tail of the twine at five inches. On your mandala gently scooch between the cordage to attach the twine on the hoop using a lark’s head knot.
Place topper on your wrapped box then wrap the twine entirely around the gift coming back up the opposite side.
Run the loose end of the twine over the top of the hoop, down through the center, and back out. Cross the string to the right, thread it back through the hoop, this time starting from underneath and threading it up through the center making a loop.
Thread the tail of the twine through this loop and pull to tighten. Trim end even with cordage and comb to blend into the fringe.
“I always get super nervous and excited giving gifts because I try so hard to give my loved ones gifts that show that I really know them and listen to what they like—and I want that to show!" shares Rachel. "Putting extra attention into the way my present is wrapped is another way I show my care, by wrapping it in a way that perfectly suits the occasion or their personal style.”
If confidence abounds, then step up your skills to make this more elaborate mandala design. An extra layer of knots adds a more intricate, exciting look to your gift topper.
Follow Step 1 & Step 2 as listed above
Measure and cut cords, then cover the hoop in cordage strands using a lark's head knot.
Step 3: Start Your Lead String Clove Hitch Knot
Cut one additional 5mm cord to the length of 20 inches, to serve as your ‘Lead String.’ Place the lead string along the edge of the hoop, leaving 5” to the left with all remaining length to the right.
Select a cord to start with and tie it in a loop around the Lead String as shown in the picture above. This forms half of a clove hitch knot (or double half-hitch knot). Tie one more loop around the lead string to complete the clove hitch knot.
Step 4: Halfway Pause
Moving from left to right, continue tying clove hitch knots around the lead string until you have completed a layer around half of the ring. Pause here to attach twine for hanging.
Measure and cut your 2mm twine long enough to wrap around your gift, plus an extra ten inches. Fold one tail of the twine at five inches. On your mandala gently scooch between the cordage to attach the twine on the wood hoop using a lark’s head knot. Pull to tighten, then tuck the twine underneath the Lead String.
Step 5: Complete Clove Hitch Knot Layer
Continue tying your clove hitch knots around the Lead String to complete the rest of the circle. At this point gather the remaining Lead String lengths with the 2mm twine and hold separate from other cordage ends.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Rough cut cordage lengths to just over 1” in length. Comb ends into a fringe. Trim the ends once more to even them out and create a smooth circular shape.
Step 7: Attach to Gift with Final Clove Hitch Knot
Place topper face up on your wrapped box then wrap your twine entirely around the gift box coming back up the opposite side.
Run the loose end of the twine over the top of the hoop, down through the center, and back out. Cross the string to the right, thread it back through the hoop, this time starting from underneath and threading it up through the center making a loop. Thread the tail of the twine through this loop and pull to tighten.
To cinch your clove hitch knot layer, cross the Lead Strings over each other and use the twine underneath to tie one more clove hitch knot. Thread the tail of the twine through this loop and pull to tighten. Trim ends even with cordage and comb to blend into the fringe.
“Half the fun of receiving a gift is the experience of unwrapping it. How much more exciting is it to open a gift that you can see was wrapped with extra attention to detail?" asks Rachel. "Seeing a gift wrapped with care and topped with a handcrafted accent immediately gives the sense that the gift inside was chosen with the same love and thoughtfulness as can be seen on the exterior.”
Rachel is a modern fiber artist based in Los Angeles, California. She started learning macramé in 2016 as a creative outlet and quickly developed a passion for the craft. Now this is her full time creative pursuit. When she’s not tangled in a mess of string at her studio, she loves going hiking with her pup Finn, camping, or curling up at home with a good book. Her love for nature is the biggest inspiration for her art.
Rachel loves to share her passion for her art by teaching classes and workshops, as well as providing online education and support to other budding macramé artists and enthusiasts. Rachel firmly believes that everyone has a creative side, and macramé is a fantastic way to explore and develop that creativity. She also encourages fellow makers' exploration into the world of fiber crafts by supplying eco-friendly macramé supplies, DIY kits, and craft supplies.
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