Make a macrame lawn chair for your yard! This upcycling project is easy, and you can customize it too.
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DIY Upcycle: How to Make a Macrame Lawn Chair
Macrame Chair DIY Project
I’ve been noticing a lot more macrame furniture out there lately. I love macrame and a macrame lawn chair is one of those DIY crafts that I have always wanted to try!
In the spirit of getting my place cleaned up for spring, I decided to upcycle some of my lawn chairs that have seen one too many summers. The chairs have perfectly good metal frames and just need new webbing, making it them perfect macrame project candidates!
As I searched for macrame pattern inspiration, I noticed there’s a major lack of detailed instructions. So I decided to experiment and create my own pattern.
I went ahead and mocked it up so you won’t have to go through the same exhaustive search I did. You can download it HERE (for free).
- 200 yards of 6mm macrame craft cord (I did 100 yds of each color)
- 2 19.00mm crochet hooks
- Metal lawn chair frame
- pattern (download mine here)
Let’s Get Started!
Step 1: Remove Fabric from Chair
Using scissors, remove the webbing or fabric from your chair. Clean the frame.
Step 2: Start Weaving on Straight Parts of the Chair
To start your chair, you’ll want to place your roll of macrame cord on the ground inside the macrame chair frame. This is the easiest placement of the cord for the entire weaving process.
Starting on the seat bottom frame, make a double square knot, leaving about 6″ of slack at the end. Keep in mind that you are only going to weave on the straight parts of the chair frame, leaving the rounded edges bare.
Step 3: Continue Weaving Top of Frame
Now take your cord up, below the center bar and up over the top of the frame. (See pictures below)
Then, loop the cord over the top of the chair frame and pull it around to the outside. Push your crochet hook through the loop you just made.
Be sure to pull the cord tight so the hook doesn’t fall out. Also, in order to make sure you will be able to get your hook through the next time around, make sure the loop is resting on the fattest part of the hook.
Trust me, this will make your life much easier as you continue!
Bring the cord back down, underneath the center bar, and over the front of the seat frame. Wrap the loop over the frame and pull it under to the outside of the first couple of cords.
Just as you did before, push the crochet hook through the loop, having it rest on the fat part of the hook. Pull the loose cord tight and continue.
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Step 5: Work on the Chain Stitches
Now, bring the cord back up the chair just as you did before — underneath the center bar and up over the top of the frame. This time, pull the loop around the frame and back in between the cords.
Grab the new loop with the crochet hook and pull it through the first loop making your first chain stitch.
Same as before, make sure this new loop rests on the fattest part of the hook. Pull the free cord tight and continue back down the chair frame.
You will repeat this same procedure across the frame until you’ve created enough cords for your pattern. (For our pattern we needed 26 pairs)
Your first couple of chain stitches may have three cords, the rest will only have two. This is fine, just be sure to count the number of cords you need for your pattern correctly.
Step 6: Secure the Vertical Weave
Once you’ve made it close to the end of the chair frame, it’s time to finish off and secure the vertical weave.
When it looks like you need to do one more pass, take your cord and measure out how much cord it will take to complete the last pass. Then add about 6″-8″ to that length and cut the cord.
Take the cord and continue your last weave just as you did before. When you get to where you make your chain stitch, pull the end of the cord all the way through the loop.
Make sure it’s tight. This may be where you are done if so, skip to where we tie the cord off.
If you still have one more loop to make, take the remaining cord and continue on down the chair and make another loop.
Once again, pull the chain stitch all the way through with your hook. Pull the cord to make sure it’s tight, and make a double square knot super close to the base of the cord.
To seal off the cord, you have a couple of options.
You can take the remaining end and weave it on back down the frame of the chair. Or, you can trip the cord and seal it with a lighter. This is completely up to you.
Starting the Horizontal Weave:
The steps for starting the horizontal weave are exactly the same as the vertical weave, the only difference is that this is where your pattern comes to life! So you will be doing some extra weaving (and thinking) during these steps.
Some things to keep in mind as you start your horizontal weave is that you will start at the front seat of the chair and have your roll of cord either to the left of you or underneath the center of the frame as you did before for the vertical weave.
You will start on the bottom seat and work towards the back and finish it off just as you did the vertical weave. Then you will start the back of the seat frame as a separate weave.
Step 7: Start the Horizontal Weave
Start the horizontal weave on your macrame lawn chair just as you did before by tying a double square knot to the frame, leaving about 6″ of slack. This is where your pattern starts, so weave your loop under and over across the chair until you get to the other side of the frame.
Just as you did before, take the loop over the frame and to the outside of the cords. Push the crochet hook through and pull the cord to keep tight.
Because you are weaving your cord, the other end of the cord is already back on the side you started.
Make a loop and pull it over and around the chair frame to the outside of the cords. Push your crochet hook through and pull the cord tight.
Start your next weave going back across to the other side of the frame. This is where your chain stitches start just as they did on the vertical weave.
Pull your loop around the frame and back in between the cords. Grab the loop and with your crochet hook and pull it through the loop, creating your first chain stitch.
Continue back to the other side and do the same.
Work across the bottom of the chair until you’ve come to the end of the bottom frame. When you finish the pattern, end it like you did the horizontal cords by cutting the end and singe.
Step 8: Weave the Back of the Seat
The pattern really makes your chair come to life!
Start the back of the seat just as you have the bottom seat and the vertical weave. You will start this part from the base of the chair, rather than the top of the chair.
Finishing the top of the chair is the same process as before.
And that’s it! The weaving can be confusing on the first part of this DIY.
Eventually, you will get the hang of it as you weave your way through the other parts of the chair frame. Simply follow the steps carefully and revel at your masterpiece!
Enjoy your new macrame lawn chair!
What other projects do you love to DIY for the summer? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 2, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
I am wondering WHERE can you purchase the lawn chair frames to do the projects? Also can you use wooden frames as well. I would like to make some chairs but I am unable to come up with any suppliers of JUST the lawn furniture frames. Thank you.
You can buy used lawn furniture at second hand stores, yard sales and even some trash piles (free)! The Arizona sun takes its toll and the regular webbing just does not hold up…Happy hunting!
Sandi Fentiman says
I think this is a great project; especially if one is stuck indoors during the winter. I think you forgot one tool that is needed. Some sort of small clamp to hold your work in place, in the event you need to leave the project for some reason. It would hold your work in place and not those the tension.
Your chair looks great! Timely information too – I bought retro-esque round chair frames from Big Lots for $30 apiece with macrame in mind. I’d tried it on adjustable lounge chairs two summers ago but it didn’t work out because the frames weren’t taut. It wasn’t a total loss though because it inspired a friend to macrame her outdoor dining chairs (and they turned out great). I love your pattern too – I’d bought a vintage lawn chair guide but I think yours will be perfect for these. I’ll send along a link to my blog post when they’re finished!
Thanks. Please send pics! We will post them. Excited to see your macrame project. Good luck!
I have a 2 seat lawn swing that fell into disrepair, no seats, no backs, and no awning,have racked my brain for some solution. But after seeing the genius you have displayed, I have decided to macrame the whole thing. Its shameful to live in the Florida Panhandle and not be able to take advantage of many truly beautiful days. Thanks
Wow. Thank you! Would love to see photos of your chairs when finished. We will post them. Good luck!
I love it. Have some chairs with vinyl straps that the vinyl is falling apart but the frames are great. Already got my spray paint for the frames, going to get the the macrame cord now.
Your video and instructions are perfect…thanks. I want to use the same principal to macrame the seat and back of my outdoor swing (seats 2-3 adults). Need help figuring out how much rope to buy. Wondering if Sunnye sent you a picture of her swing project (any design?) and possibly amount of rope she used. Thanks for any help you can provide!
Trina Kauk says
Did you make your outdoor swing seat? I have one I need to make a seat for that also seats 2-3 adults. How much rope did you need? Do you have pictures? Thanks!
Melissa D says
I need to do this will a camp cote… guessing that would be double the amount needed.
Anna George says
Thank you for the video it showed me how to do my swing. I would send you a pic but I don’t see how I can place it on here.
Lauren J says
Hi Anna! Email it to [email protected]!
Shawn M says
My grandfather who is 94, made a chair like this 30 years ago. I now have the chair and love sitting in it. Been wondering how he did it and he could no longer teach me. Thanks for the video. I am going to make several of them since I have been collecting lawn chair frames. It will be a great winter project for my child and I.
I want to thank you for the great tutorial. I also want to tell you that I think your tutorial is very well done. I have two other macrame tutorials, one on DVD and another on video tape. Both of those tutorials go back to the 70’s when macrame was very popular. I studied both of those tutorials and I was able to weave a macrame chair. I found it very hard to understand how to weave the chair. The methods the 2 tutorials taught were very complicated. There was one method of weaving the left side of the vertical weave and a slightly different way of weaving the right side of the vertical weaving. The same is true for the horizontal weaving. I however found your tutorial to be very easy to understand. Your method of weaving shows one way of starting and ending the vertical and horizontal weaving and once you understand that method you are ready to weave a beautiful macrame chair. Not only can you weave a macrame chair you can weave stools, benches and beds. I have woven a small bench. In India and Pakistan they have a woven bed called a charpoy or a charpai. If you google charpai or chapoy you will find many beautiful examples of woven stools, benches and beds woven using the macrame technique. I also have some examples of the charpoy woven using the macrame technique on my blog ” How to make a charpoy”. I would like to link to your tutorial so people visiting my blog can use your tutorial to weave a charpoy. Thanks again for the great tutorial!
Jo Ann says
I was wondering how you would handle a Director’s outdoor chair? I have two that I wanted to macrame but because there are not any vertical bars to weave I wonder how strong the end product will be with just a horizontal weave? Any recommendations? Any patterns I can see? Thanks for your time!
OMG! I can’t believe someone is asking you where to get the mesh folding chair frames? Where does she live,the French Riviera? Troll the street on bulk trash pick up days and you can find tons of them.People throw them out and its a shame because they are light weight and comfortable.The Goodwill and others throw them away when they get them because the mesh webbing and the macramé cord is expensive. They would referbish them if they could but the resale would be too expensive for Goodwill to fix them. Can you still fold them up after using cord to replace the mesh webbing? I am sooooo glad you made a video to accompany the instruction clips. Thank you, thank you for showing us how to recycle/upcycle our old mesh webbed chairs. The junk/dump gods are smiling down on you.
I have the same problem Joann has with her chairs. Mine are rockers and don’t have a bar across the front. They have the woven plastic right now but had gotten brittle and broke. I wasn’t sure if I had to have my husband somehow put a metal bar in there or if maybe I could braid some cord and attach that. Any ideas? By the Way… Your tutorial video is awesome. I’m glad I came across it first, because as I looked at others they were so confusing I would have given up. I would like to give this a try if you can give me any ideas.
Thanks for the great tutorial! We have a 25-year old set of vintage patio furniture that was really great and fairly expensive back when my parents got it, but the woven vinyl straps are now starting to deteriorate and it’s looking rather more shabby than chic. I looked into getting it re-woven – over $200! for just a single chaise! and with 2 chases, a loveseat, an armchair and 4 matching dining chairs, that would be just a ridiculous waste of money. I think the macrame is so inspired, it fits easily into both cottage style and the industrial look, and it highlights the vintage look of the furniture, while updating it. This means I can actually freshen up the colors, and do the whole set for less than one chaise would have cost to get done professionally. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Could you please email me the pattern? I have the base part done, but the actually pattern I cannot see. I’m super excited to do it. It’s really small print. My email is [email protected], thank you for the beautiful share. This is one of my therapeutic hobbies. Your work is beautiful.