Branches and Dowels are the perfect and most commonly used hanging rods for macrame. The benefit to using either is that they can be cut to the exact size that you need for your project. If you do not need a specific size or haven't designed a project yet, why not get a bit more creative in selecting a hanging rod? In fact some, more unusual items, can also be cut to size.
Consider exploring alternative materials and designs for your hanging rod as a way to not only make your project unique, but as a way to inspire the whole project. Are you going for modern? rustic? playful? Is your piece meant for a dorm room? Master bedroom? Entryway? Above the mantle? Choose an unexpected hanging rod to fit your space and spark your creativity?
Where to Start:
My favorite place to look for unique items is always vintage and junk shops. Before doing that though, you may want to start at home. One obvious example of something you may find at home is a curtain rod. Maybe you have one that is not being used or, even better, macrame right in front of the window and leave it there as a beautiful way to filter the light!
Other Places to Look:
The kitchen and the garage tend to be the best rooms in my house to find items meant for repurpose.
Your garage is likely to be a treasure trove of materials that can be repurposed for macrame hanging rods. Here are some items you might find:
PVC Pipes: PVC pipes can be cut to the desired length and used as sturdy and affordable hanging rods. You can even paint them to match your macrame project's color scheme.
Wooden Dowels: If you have old wooden dowels or curtain rods lying around, they can be repurposed as hanging rods. Sand them down and varnish or paint them for a polished look.
Wooden Planks and Lumber Scraps: Are we the only ones with piles of scraps in our garage?
Metal Bars: Metal bars or rods, such as those used in shelving units or clothing racks, can serve as durable hanging rods. You can leave them in their natural metallic finish or paint them.
Bicycle Handlebars: If you have an old bicycle with handlebars you no longer use, consider using them as an unconventional and curved hanging rod for a macrame plant hanger.
Pipes and Conduits: Metal or plastic pipes and electrical conduits can be cut and repurposed as hanging rods. Be sure to clean and paint them if necessary.
Wooden Molding: Crown molding or decorative wooden molding pieces can be used to add a touch of elegance to your macrame project as hanging rods. Paint or stain them to suit your style.
Pool Noodles or Hula Hoops: Both make a fun and lightweight option for creating curved hanging rods. You might cover them with fabric or decorative tape to match your decor. Perfect for hanging in a playroom or hallway near the kid's room.
Fishing Rods or Sports Equipment: If you have old sports equipment like hockey sticks or baseball bats, they can be repurposed into unique hanging rods with a sporty touch. You may also choose to modify them so that they are not as easily recognizable.
Copper Tubing: If you happen to have copper tubing in your garage, it can make for a stylish and sleek hanging rod option. Copper can be left to develop a patina or polished to a shiny finish.
Garden Tools: You may not want a shovel or pitchfork (or maybe you do!) but the handles from workout tools, even wheel barrels, work well as rods. Old hoses can be shaped to work as macrame hoops too. Just use a little duct tape and cover with fabric.
Wooden Spoons or Utensils: Attach macrame hangers to wooden spoons or utensils, which can be hung on the wall or ceiling. This adds a rustic and functional twist to your kitchen or dining room decor.
Whisk Wires: Repurpose the wires from old whisks to create interesting and unconventional hanging rod shapes.
Tea Towel Rods: Use your collection of vintage or decorative tea towels as the base for your macrame hangers. Slide the rod through the top hem of the towel and hang it from the ceiling or wall.
Colander or Strainer Hangers: Securely attach macrame hangers to the handles of colanders or strainers. These can be hung as decorative pieces in your kitchen or garden.
Cutting Board Rods: Attach macrame hangers to the handle or top edge of a wooden cutting board. Another option is to mount a small rod to the board. This creates a functional and decorative piece that can be hung in your kitchen or dining area.
Cabinet Knob Finials: Use decorative cabinet knobs as finials for your macrame hanging rods. Choose knobs that match your kitchen's style and color scheme.
Pot and Pan Lid Hangers: Hang macrame plant holders from the handles of old pot and pan lids. This creates a playful and functional display for your indoor plants.
Kitchen Tool Rods: Experiment with hanging various kitchen tools, like rolling pins, ladles, or graters, from your macrame hangers.
Time to Shop
If you are not in love with what you have found at home or just don't have anything that you don't currently use, it is time to check out your local antique shop. There you will find all kinds of one-of-a-kind items just waiting to be incorporated into your macrame project. I found this wood carving of an alligator, made in Africa, which inspired me to make this piece.
Tools: Old Measuring sticks are one of my favorites but look for any tool that provides you secure way to attach your macrame.
Frames: You will find old frames in all shapes and sizes for little money. Macrame on the top piece of the frame or use the whole frame like you would a macrame hoop.
Antique Curtain Rods: Look for ornate and decorative curtain rods from different eras. These can add a touch of vintage elegance to your macrame project.
Wooden Ladders: Wooden ladders with worn and weathered finishes can be hung horizontally and used as multi-level macrame hangers.
Furniture: Don't be afraid to purchase old chairs and other furniture and cut them down to create the rod that you want to use for your project. Broken bed post are perfect for this too.
Architectural Salvage Pieces: Vintage shops often have salvaged architectural elements like spindles, balusters, or decorative molding pieces that can be transformed into ornate hanging rods.
Vintage Towel Bars: Look for vintage towel bars with interesting shapes or finishes. These can be repurposed as macrame hanging rods with a functional twist.
Vintage Flag Poles: Old flag poles with unique finials can make striking and tall hanging rods for larger macrame projects. Ensure they are sturdy and stable.
Vintage Wooden Skis or Poles: Add an original and textured element to this commonly used cabin, winter home decor.
The possibilities really are endless but hopefully, this gives you a good place to start. Remember to look for the right shape first. Any item can be painted, stained or covered in fabric. Enjoy the hunt as you make your macrame project truly your own.