Photos by Bailey Benningfield

Everyone loves succulents: They’re cute, compact and, most importantly — for those of us who don’t have a green thumb — incredibly easy to keep alive. If you’re looking for a way to take your succulent love to a whole new level, consider hanging rope planters. They are simple to make and add a healthy dose of nature to any space. The wonderful thing about rope planters is that, although they all use the same basic supplies, they are infinitely customizable. I sat down with Catalina Sanders and her two tabbies to make one of these lofty, lovely planters.

What You’ll Need

  • A potted succulent
  • Rope, twine or hemp string
  • One doily per planter
  • Scissors

Let’s Get to It!

STEP ONE: Buy your supplies. The doilies and pots can be thrifted, and small plants and succulents are available for $1 every Wednesday at the farmers market in downtown Gainesville.

Illustration by Sara Nettle

Illustration by Sara Nettle

STEP TWO: Depending on the size of your doily, cut several pieces of string of the same length. (For a medium-sized doily, I used six pieces of string.) Thread the bottom of the string through a hole in the doily and make a knot about 1 inch from the edge. Repeat this process with all the pieces of string.

STEP THREE: Take two adjacent pieces of string and knot them together about 3 inches from the edge of the doily. Repeat this for each set of adjacent loose string. (Because I used six pieces of string, I had three sets of two strings knotted together.) Make sure the knot you make for each set of strings lines up with the knots you make in the other sets of string.

STEP FOUR: Make designs in the hanging rope planter by knotting strings together from different sections. For instance, you can take a string from the first set of strings and knot it with a string from the second set to create the macramé-like design of the planter. Continue this pattern by knotting the second string from the second set with a string from the third set, then knotting the second string from your third set with the loose string from your first set.

STEP FIVE: Decorate your planter. You can add colored string, beads, seashells, etc. The world is your oyster when it comes to hanging rope planters. (For my planter, I wrapped purple embroidery floss around each of my three sections of string.)

STEP SIX: Place your potted plant in the middle of the doily. Make sure the knots are even and that you love your design. Take all six pieces of string and, near the top of the planter, knot a loop.

STEP SEVEN: Hang the planter and admire your handiwork!