crafts

I Made These Adorable DIY Macramé Planters With The Help Of A Crafting Subscription Box

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love crafting. I’ve always been a creative person, but it wasn’t until high school that I really hit my stride with arts and crafts.

In ninth grade, I spent lots of weekends at the local pottery painting place (yes, as you can probably tell, I was a *very cool* teenager). I painted dozens of plates, mugs, bowls, ornaments, and household goods for myself, my friends, and my family members (most of my parents’ serving dishes came from my high school years).

In college, I transitioned to decorating clothing — I even sold some of my creations at a boutique in town. I also took classes in pottery and letterpress, and a friend taught me how to screen-print clothing.

Since then, I’ve really embraced the crafter within me. In the past few years, I’ve learned how to do calligraphy (I created all the signs for my engagement party), made fun creations with a 3D printing pen, upcycled wine glasses into candleholders, decorated ceramics with oil-based pens (check out my tutorial on that craft here), tried my hand at needlepoint, created an adorable DIY fall-themed garland, made my own soap, watercolored some snarky greeting cards, and recently took up wood-burning. Like I said, I really love crafting.

Given all that, I was thrilled when I found out I’d get the chance to test out KiwiCo’s Maker Crate — an art and design subscription box that teaches you how to make hands-on projects.

KiwiCo is an awesome company that sends art and science projects to people via a subscription box service. It offers boxes for people of all ages and interests, starting at just $24.95 per month:

  • The Panda Crate (0 to 24 months) helps kids explore and discover the world around them.
  • The Koala Crate (ages 2 to 4) encourages kids to play and learn.
  • The Kiwi Crate (ages 5 to 8) teaches kids about science, art, and more.
  • The Atlas Crate (ages 6 to 11) teaches kids about geography and culture.
  • The Doodle Crate (ages 9 to 16+) inspires people to create and craft.
  • The Tinker Crate (ages 9 to 16+) brings science and engineering to people.
  • The Maker Crate (ages 14 to 104) encourages teens and adults to get crafty.
  • The Eureka Crate (ages 14 to 104) inspires teens and adults to do engineering and design projects.

As a 26-year-old craft fanatic, the Maker Crate seemed perfect for me! When my box came in the mail, I was thrilled to see that I would be making macramé planters. I’ve never tried macramé before, but it’s really trendy right now — plus, I have lots of little houseplants that need new homes!

KiwiCo Box

kiwico box
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

When my KiwiCo Maker Crate arrived in the mail, I had no idea what craft I’d be getting. On the outside of the box, I saw that my monthly craft was macramé planters. The box came complete with everything I’d need to make both the clay pots and the macramé hangers (and a cute little macramé keychain).

kiwico box inside
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

I opened the box to discover all the materials, an inspiration booklet, and an instruction manual. The instructions gave me the basics, but they also told me I could find in-depth video tutorials online — so I immediately went to the website to learn more.

kiwico website
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

Once I took a look at the instructions, I realized it would make the most sense to start by crafting the clay pots. The planters might need a few days to dry, so I got out my materials, queued up the video tutorial, and got started.

Planter Pots

pot materials
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

Although I’ve taken pottery classes before, making these clay pots was totally different. I rolled out the paper clay, cut it into shapes according to the rolling mat, and molded the clay around the plastic pot bases. I didn’t end up needing to use all the tools, but I’m glad I have them (since there was a little clay left over at the end).

round clay pot
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

The first clay pot I made was the round one. It was relatively easy to get the clay to stay in place. Using water, I was able to smooth out the edges. I didn’t worry too much about the surface being perfectly even, because I like the slightly more rustic vibe.

clay pot design
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

I wanted to try using some more of the tools, so I carved a floral design into the bottom of the pot. Once that was done, I made the second pot, which was a hexagonal shape. I decided to leave the second pot completely plain (no designs) for a more geometric look.

Macramé

macrame time
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

Next, it was time for macramé! For those of you who don’t know, macramé is a type of textile made by tying cord into knots. There are a ton of different kinds of knots that can be used for macramé projects, but for this one, I only needed to learn some of the more basic knots.

Macramé Keychain

macrame keychain
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

To practice the knotting techniques, the Maker Crate had me start with a keychain. Although it looks somewhat complicated, it’s actually pretty easy once you get started. And if you always loved making friendship bracelets and lanyards as a kid (or adult), macramé will be right up your alley.

keychain
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

I felt really accomplished after finishing the keychain, and I was excited to get started on the bigger macramé projects. Once I started watching the instructions, though, I felt totally overwhelmed again …

Macramé Hanger

macrame hanger
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

For the big macramé project, I had to cut 12 pieces of cord that were 11 feet long. 11 FEET! I looped up all the cord just to be able to work on it at all. It was … a lot. Luckily, I felt pretty comfortable making the knots, so I jumped right in and started making the hanger.

coffee table
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

The macramé hanger took a few hours to finish, so I ended up moving my setup over to my living room. Finally, after a lot of work, I was able to create the net at the bottom of the hanger and combine my two crafting products! I was *so* pleased with the results. I haven’t had any time to make the second hanger yet, but I’m excited to get to do it soon!

Final Thoughts

macrame planters
Ileana Paules-Bronet/LittleThings

When the macramé planter was finally done, I added a cute little succulent and found a cute place to hang it on my wall. I’m honestly obsessed with how this project looks against the brick wall in my living room. Even though I’ve always loved crafting, this definitely reignited my artsy flame — and I can’t wait to take on more new projects.

If you love crafting — or you know someone who loves crafting — you should definitely check out the various KiwiCo crates! You never know, you might find a new craft you’re passionate about!