How to Make a Macrame Board
If you enjoy macrame and don't have a macrame board, you are in for a pleasant surprise! I'll show you how to make a custom board cheaply and easily. The board works much more efficiently than a clipboard or a bulletin board and is significantly better than pinning your working cord to your jeans.
The total cost of the materials:
- Foam project panel: $6
- Drywall sanding sponge: $4
- Glue: $5
That brings us to a grand total of fifteen dollars. What a steal!
Materials and Tools
This project will require a few inexpensive supplies. You may already have a few in your home or garage!
- Insulation Board. It needs to be at least 1.5" thick. I had some 2" board in the garage, but you can purchase a "project board" from the store for about $6. The project board is only 1" thick, so you will need to cut each piece twice and glue each piece to its twin (after doing this, you should end up with 3 pieces of insulation board that are each 2" thick).
- Straight-Edge Ruler. It'll allow you to accurately measure each piece.
- Pencil. This is used to delineate your measurements. Measure each piece twice before cutting to prevent having to purchase additional supplies.
- Saw. You'll need to cut through the insulation board. A jigsaw makes this easy, but you can use a hand saw.
- Sanding Sponge. The sanding sponge helps soften the cut edges and prevent the insulation from shedding.
- Glue. It's what holds all the pieces together. I use Gorilla Glue because it makes a very strong bond. When using it, remember that each side touching the glue needs to be slightly wet. Use this glue sparingly because it does expand.
- Clamps. You'll use these to keep the pieces of the board aligned correctly as the glue dries, as they ensure a tight bond. Clamps, vices, heavy books, all of these things will work as long as you are careful to ensure the correct placement of all the pieces before you apply pressure.
1. Create the Pieces
Cut a piece of insulation board that is 16" long by 9" wide. Measure 2" down from the top of the 16" side and draw a line across the entire 9" width. Measure 2" below that line and draw another line. Cut each of the 2 inch pieces with a saw and sand the cut edges until they are smooth. This should leave you with a board that is 12"x9" and 2 pieces that are each 2"x9".
2. Put It Together
Apply glue to the bottom of each 2"x9" piece and place them onto the top and bottom of the 9"x12" base (read the instructions on the glue for best results). After applying the glue, check to ensure that each of the smaller pieces is flush with the edges of the base. Clamp the smaller pieces to the base using at least one clamp on each side.
Why Should I Use a Macrame Board?
I have been a macrame hobbyist for the last three years. In the beginning, I would safety pin my project to my jeans, I progressed to a clipboard, then a loom. I wanted something that would hold both ends of the core cord and allow me some room to move the working cords over and under. I wanted a board which was able to hold the project with tension but still allow me to take the work off to add beads or remeasure.
I began to shop around for something better and considered cork-board and hobby foam (polystyrene), but neither of them could hold up to the abuse of being pulled while holding tension. While walking through the hardware store I came upon insulation board and bought some to try it out. It held the T-pins securely which was a good sign. I put a project on the board that used heavy glass beads and lots of tight square knots, and I put the core cord under high tension along the length of the board. As I began to work, I was easily able to move the working cords above and below the core. I removed the project from the board and then put it back on using the same high tension and it held just as well as it had before I removed it.
That was about a year ago and I have never looked back. I even made some 4" wide "travel" boards.
Jacobb9205 on February 10, 2015: