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Novel Craft: OVAL inspired macrame globe hanger

Terrarium Plant Hanger made by Samantha Grenier

In January, I had the pleasure of picking up Elvia Wilk's novel Oval. And do I mean PLEASURE! I realize it's only February, but I know this book is going to be on my top ten for the year; Hell, it's in my top books of ALL TIME! Needless to say, I absolutely loved this book, and it influenced my first literary inspired project of the year.

I listened to this book on audio, and was immediately taken by the casual, yet smart dialogue and observation exchanges. It's like gabbing with an old friend! True to form, I bought the book and immediately started combing the text for additional themes and motifs. This book would be the focus of my first "Novel Craft" project.

The core of the story discusses the affects of corporate take-overs, and their unreliability. The main couple in the novel, Anja and Louis are living in a sustainable smart home community, which was offered to them in lieu of homelessness, for the honest feedback as test subjects. Anja is a scientist with an incredibly cool project in the works, and her boyfriend Louis is a consulting artist.

Motif inspiration for this project: oval/egg shapes, the color lavender, waste (which I imagined here as re-purposing), fungus, destruction of earth, and home. From all this, I decided to make a light purple toned glass globe hanger, and to keep it rustic with some make-your-own scrap fabric yarn.

And here's the final product on YouTube:

Little things I forgot to mention in the video: it took me about 90 minutes to assemble this hanger, though that doesn't include time to cut the fabric strips, because I already had some on hand, and I was constantly starting and stopping the camera. The final hanger measures 2 feet (61cm) long. And lastly, I originally used a figure-8 hook and tried opening one end to form a hook, but OUCH! It was easier to squeeze one end of an "S" hook, so eagle-eyes may notice my hook looks a little different in some shots.

Want to recreate this hanger?

Plant Hanger Materials

Materials used:

  • 1 - glass globe hanging terrarium (from craft shop or plant nursery)
  • 2 - 10 foot (3 meter) pieces of colored craft jute*—I used natural and light gray color
  • 2 - 10 foot (3 meter) pieces of 20# colorful hemp (the jewelry hemp)*
  • 1 - 10 foot piece of 1/4 inch (6.35mm) satin ribbon
  • 1 - 10 foot (3 meter) length of fabric ribbon made from 1.5-2 inch (38-50mm) wide scrap cotton quilter's fabric.** These pieces varied in length from 6-12 inches (15-30 cm).
  • An "S" or "8" shaped hook, bent into proper hook (I originally used a figure-8 hook, but the re-shaping was BRUTAL! See note above.)
  • A ceiling hook in which to hang your lovely new creation
*Cotton yarn can be substituted if hemp or jute are unavailable.
**Ribbon can be used as a substitute if the "fray look" isn't desired, or you're just not in the mood to splice fabric together; I get it! In which case, I recommend using a wire-free ribbon, at a comparable width.

1. Make the fabric ribbon (figure 1). You'll need to make a 10 foot strand. I had cut fabric strips from a fat quarter from another project, and simply hitched the ends together (I called it a slip knot in the video, it is not, it is a lark's head knot).
How to make fabric ribbon
Figure 1

2. Gather up all the cords. Find an end of all of the strands, and tie them together with one big overhand knot. Proceed to braid (figure 2) to the end. To braid these six strands, hold the fabric strand in one hand, paired off the satin ribbon with one strand of jute, and group the remaining cords (2 strands of hemp, 1 strand of jute). Tie off with a big (overhand) knot at the end. At this point, the braided rope measured around 7 feet (a little over 2 meters).
How to braid 3 strands
Figure 2
3. Find the center of the braided rope, then thread the center loop through the hook. Pass the ends of the cord through the loop and tighten.

4. Form a faux-chain by forming alternating half hitches (figure 3). Space these knots about 3 finger widths apart (roughly 2 inches/50mm).

Tah-dah! A cute and knotty globe terrarium hanger:

Oval novel inspired terrarium hanger by Samantha Grenier

So what should I make next? ;-) What other crafts would you like to see? I dub myself "Knotty Sam" as macrame is my thing, but I'm open to other crafts.