Let’s just get one thing out of the way, shall we? Cords are ugly. There’s a reason professional stylists Photoshop them out of shots — because they can muck up a perfectly pretty picture with in-your-face utilitarianism that feels anything but chic.
That’s why I was so thrilled with Joanna came to me with an idea to dress up some plain cafe lights for her patio. By using a simple macramé knot (which absolutely anyone can master) and some antiqued golden bells for a little extra oomph, we created charming cafe lights that look like a bohemian masterpiece. So grab some cotton cording, park yourself in front of your favorite show to binge watch (this project takes some time to complete) and get knotting!
- cafe lights
- macramé cord (I used about 80 yards for one 25-foot string of lights)
- duct tape
- embroidery thread
Start by ripping off a small piece of duct tape and using it to tape the end of the macramé cord to the end of the light cord. Use another piece of tape to secure the plug to the table — you’ll need the lights stay put while you’re working.
Now it’s time to knot! Move the ball of macramé cord to the right, then pass it under the lights to the left, holding onto the cord on the right with your hand — you’ll have created the shape of a backwards four.
Next, pass the ball of macramé cord over the lights and through the 4-shaped loop you’ve created on the right side. Pull the cord nice and tight against the lights.
Repeat about a million times more! Just kidding — but this process does take awhile, so I found that it was a good project to keep next to the couch. I could work on it whenever I sat down to watch an episode of GoT or Gilmore Girls.
If you run out of macramé cord in the middle of the lights, just tape the end of the finished piece down, and tape the beginning of the new piece right next to it. Then, use the same process you did at the beginning. Eventually the overlapping pieces will be neatly covered up with knots.
When you’ve reached the end of the cafe lights, use your scissors to cut the macramé cord, leaving about six inches out. Then, knot the cord twice, tightly, and trim off any excess.
And now for the finishing touch — the bells! Start by cutting an 8-inch length of embroidery thread.
Double knot a bell to the end of the embroidery thread then do the same with four more bells, knotting them about an inch apart.
At the top of the strand of bells, create a small loop of thread and trim off any access.
Attach the bells to the lights simply by threading the loop through the clips in the lights, then passing the bells through the loop. Pull nice and tight so they don’t fall off.
Now all that’s left to do is hang these lights, crack open a bottle of rosé and enjoy yourself well into the evening.
Seriously — how cute are these?! And they would definitely work inside, too. Where do you plan on stringing your macramé cafe lights?
photography by Meghan Klein.