purrfectly cute DIY cat bed using macrame cord
This DIY cat bed was a true evolution from a differently planned project to the outcome which I will get to in a bit. I have been wanting to make a hanging DIY cat bed for our dining room window because the windowsill is so small and the cats love sitting there to watch the birds that nest in our shutters. We don’t have enough room for a cat tree though, so a hanging macrame bed was my idea for solving this problem and this hanging DIY cat bed is actually pretty similar to my macrame plant hanger
Willy used to love swinging in our daughter’s macrame chair which we have since sold. Not every cat likes swinging in a moving cat bed, just ask Maya.
Let me explain the evolution part of this project. I had planned to make a macrame cat bed with a metal plant basket that I bought which you might have already seen on Instagram. When I was working on it, I increasingly had the urge to make a chandelier out of it because I loved the shape of it and how it looked. Willy was rather obsessed with it too and after I finished the chandelier, I wanted to also come up with a different version of macrame cat bed yet.
cute hanging DIY cat bed using macrame cord
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A lot of people get intimidated by macrame but I feel like you just need a certain mindset. When I was little I used to love building things with legos and to me different macrame knots are like lego building blocks. So if you only have one, two or three knots figured out, you can literally use them to stack and build something.
For this tutorial I only used two knots, that’s it. You just have to keep that in mind when you read this tutorial. It might look a lot harder at the beginning than it actually is.
I have seen many macrame cat beds on Pinterest but I have always disliked the fact that they have too many strings that I’d fear my cats could strangle themselves in, especially if they have a squabble. Let me show you below which macrame beds I’m talking about:
They are definitely stunning and if you aren’t a worrywart like me then go for one of those.
I wanted to also create one that was easier to make so you guys can replicate it.
Materials used for my DIY cat bed:
- macrame cord
- two 18-inch metal hoops
- wood beads are optional (I already had mine and can’t find the exact same ones but THESE would be great or THESE, THESE and THESE)
- 18-inch round pillow (or HERE)
- plant hook to mount to the wall
- measuring tape
- small clamps optional
How to wrap the hoops with macrame cord
Below you can see the video tutorial. Use the triangle on the image to turn on the video. If you are on a phone or Ipad, hold the device sideways for better viewing. If the video doesn’t work, you can head to my YouTube channel to watch it HERE.
I started out by wrapping the two brass rings with Vertical Lark’s Head Knots which is definitely optional. You can make it even easier if you don’t mind the shiny gold. I, on the other hand didn’t want the brass to show and also wanted to make sure that the other parts didn’t slide around on the brass which wrapping the rings accomplishes. You could also use a dab of hot glue under the parts of the macrame yarn that are attached to the hoops to avoid sliding if you want to skip the hoop wrapping part.
- Cut a string around 40 feet long. I know it’s super long but that’s what I used. I bunch all the string into a neat ball so I can easily loop the knots and then just pull out more whenever needed.
- Start creating the Vertical Lark’s Head Knots by looping the yarn around the hoop as shown in the first and second photo with a short end of string hanging to the side
- Pull the yarn tight
- Then lay the yarn on top of the ring and pull through the back to the left side and pull tight
- After that place the yarn behind the loop and up through the left as pictured. (I always keep telling myself in my head first front over and trough the back, then behind over and through the front so I remember to alternate to create the Vertical Lark’s Head Knots)
- When you reach all the way around, you can cover the small string that you left at the beginning of the wrapping with more Vertical Lark’s Head Knots.
- At the end you will have one piece of string left hanging which you will cover later with the other knots of the hanging cat bed.
- If you run out of string during the hoop wrapping, you can just cover the ending string the same way and start a new row of Knots the way I showed you at the beginning.
Do this with both 18-inch hoops and put them aside until later.
Creating the hanging part of the macrame DIY cat bed
The way I created the loop part to hang the cat bed can be done different ways. If you want to save time then you can do it with a ring the way I did in my DIY macrame lantern tutorial. Just make sure you use a metal ring instead because the wooden rings can snap and break.
The loop I created is again the same Vertical Lark’s Head knots that I used to wrap the hoops. This time you wrap the strings that hang down at the center with a piece of yarn that’s about 8-foot long. Let me show you and you can also see this part in the video.
Figuring out how much macrame yarn to use
To me figuring out how much yarn to use is always the hardest part, especially when it is a project that I come up with myself and I’m not following someone else’s tutorial. I’d rather end up with a lot of leftover yarn material than not having enough. I always use my scraps for other projects like my macrame planter sleeve, macrame earrings, macrame bracelet and macrame half-moon embellishments.
You need to determine how long you want the cat bed to hang down. I knew that I wanted the bed to hang slightly above the window sill. So I hung my plant hook above the window first and then measured the length.
I multiplied that times 10 so I could have enough yarn for the rest of the knotting and the bottom tassel part.
Cut 8 pieces of yarn of that length and fold in half.
After I folded the yarn in half I draped the center part over a doorknob to start the Vertical Lark’s Head Knots at the center of the folded yarn with the separate 8-foot piece of yarn.
Now simply repeat the same steps for the Vertical Lark’s Head Knots as I showed you above when wrapping the hoops and as shown in the video.
Like I mentioned earlier my macrame lantern tutorial pretty much starts out the same way except for the ring part.
The Gathering Knot Method is best watched in my video at the 3:12 mark. Or you can just tie it of by twisting yarn around the strands and placing a tight standard knot at the end to hold it all in place.
For the rest of the project I used only square knots but you could also use spiral knots which are almost the same as the square knots, you just don’t alternate. Check out the difference in my YouTube video about Spiral and Square Knots.
I decided to not use Square Knots the entire string sections to make the project faster and to make it more visually interesting which is also why I added the wooden beads.
Below you can see that I always measured 5-inch equal sections on all 4 parts of the strands and just kept repeating that.
My beads didn’t have a hole big enough to add 4 strands of macrame yarn so I used a 3/8 drill bit to make the existing holes big enough. I clamped the beads into a vice and then drilled into the center. This leaves little teeth marks from the vice but I’m ok with that since I don’t have a drill press.
Attaching the hoops to the hanging strands
It’s time to create the area for the pillow to create the lounging part of the cat bed.
I marked 4 equal sections on the hoops and attached the strands with square knots to the hoop which you can see in the video.
Place the two center strands in front of the hoop and the two outside ones behind the hoop and then place the square knot under the hoop to hold it all in place as shown in my video.
Now it is time to cut more string for the sections between the top hanging strands. I decided to do three more strands for a Square Knot grid in between.
Cut 24 pieces of macrame yarn at 180 inches long. You need to fold each strand in half and loop them onto the hoop with a Lark’s Head Knot the way I showed you above when starting the Vertical Lark’s Head Knots. The only difference is that there isn’t just a small piece of yarn hanging to the side. This time it is equal yarn parts because you folded it in half. Maybe sounds complicated but really isn’t as shown in the video.
Believe it or not, I eyeballed this part instead of marking it exactly because in the end you won’t be able to tell.
Like I said above, fold the strands in half and loop the macrame yarn onto the hoop with Lark’s Head Knots as shown below and my video.
Each section has two Lark’s Head Knots to get the 4 strands that are always needed to create Square Knots.
I added a Square Knot to each section to match the Square Knots I used to attach the top hanging strands to the hoop.
Repeat this 12 times to complete all the sections.
Time to make the grid that will eventually hold the pillow for the cat to sleep on.
Grab the two outside strands on two adjacent sections and gather them with a Square Knot. I measured about two inches down.
Then keep repeating this all the way around the perimeter of the hoop.
Next, you have to repeat that again to create a criss-cross pattern. Grab the two adjacent strands next to each other which you can see below and gather with another Square Knot.
You have to attach the second hoop with more Square Knots which is the same way you attached the first hoop, remember?
Next you could continue the grid knotting with Square Knots to meet in the center of the hoop the way I did above but I decided to just gather the strands and tie them together to make things easier for me and you.
I simply used a piece of macrame yarn to tightly knot the yarn strands together in the center. You could also use a Gathering Knot like I used at the top of the DIY cat bed.
Trim the tassel at the bottom of the hanging DIY cat bed, add the pillow and you are done.
How to hang a macrame cat bed
My hanging planters are usually all hung from the curtain rods which has worked well but for the macrame cat bed I wanted to ensure that it was hung a bit sturdier.
I used a planter hook that is typically used outside to hang the cat bed as you can see below. This way I could use two large screws to drill into the wooden structure that holds the window behind the drywall. It might not look as pretty but I better play it safe than be sorry later.
Our kitties safety always comes first!
Finished hanging DIY cat bed
Willy happily modeled the DIY cat bed for you. He loves the attention when I take photos of him. So cute!
You can see below that Willy isn’t scared of the bed and swinging around at all. I call him my little pirate in his pirate ship.
Here you can see the hanging cat bed with my other macrame projects like the hoop and basket macrame plant hanger, my modern green macrame wall hanging, and my macrame planter sleeve that the fiddle leaf fig is in. You can see it better in some of the photos below. You can also check out my DIY black and white curtains.
Willy loves sitting in his new macrame cat bed so he can watch the front of the house and all the birds.
And yes I am aware that salt lamps can be harmful to cats but mine doesn’t bother with them. Should they ever be interested in them, I will immediately remove them from our house.
Willy has claimed the hanging macrame bed as his throne and Walter is only interested in the bed if Willy lounges in it. Otherwise, he could care less about it. LOL, that’s so typical.
As always, if you don’t like making your own then you can purchase similarly made cat beds online. Check out the ones I found below.
I know this project might sound and look a bit difficult but it really wasn’t bad and took me about a day to make. So not bad overall considering how long some of my other projects take me.
Is this something you’d try to make for your own cats?
I think it’s perfect! Not sure if my cats would go for the “swing” effect, but I think I will give it a try. Used to macrame years ago and really enjoyed it. My question is, how can you actually make a hanger, especially with all those tantalizing string “toys” and cats? Unfortunately I don’t have a separate space to shut myself into without one of the cats or the dog insisting on joining me. Love your blog. Thank you.
Thanks Barb! They do help from time to time and I actually enjoy that part too when they get busy with the string. It’s so cut to watch 🙂 and keeps us all occupied.
this is so adorably purrfect and you have the cutest model!
My cats will love this its fantastic. Please could you tell me in total how many yards of cord you used and is it 2mm?
Thanks Louise, I used the exact 4mm yarn that I linked to in the post. The amount of yarn you need depends on the measurements of how you low you want your bed to hang and where the hook is hanging. You should be good with one order of macrame yarn.
I love this and am giving it a try. I am at the part where I have to measure from the ceiling hook to where I want it to hang. I then multiply that by 10 (for example I want it to hang 60 inches down so I only cut the cord at 600 inches?). And then I have to cut 8 more pieces of 600 inches? This is where my confusion is. Please help me 🙂
Hi Melissa, I pinned a comment to the top on my youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCokmBizXMc of someone who made it as well and altered the measurements. That might be helpful.
“It’s so lovely thank you for the tutorial!!🥰 a few tips for anyone making this you will need 200 Meters of cord I made mine 54inches long (I had planned for it to be 4ft but it turned out longer) I did 7 times the finished length I could have got away with 6 times and the 24 added pieces were only 110inches in length but that will depend on how long you want the tassels!! “
Thank you for the video and tutorial! Very well made and easy to understand and follow. Tried my very first ever Macrame with this kitty swing/bed….I used alternate materials – whatever I could round up – So it has a Frankenstein-like appearance -Lol ut, I will get proper materials and attempt more Macrame. I found it to be relaxing.
Thank you again-Debi Curd
Oh I’m glad you like it Debra and I totally agree with you, macrame is relaxing to me too.
Thanks for sharing! It looks so awesome and I have 2 cats (out of 3 total) that I can only imagine would LOVE this to be hanging around for them to nap on, Gizmo & Milo! It’s been awhile since I’ve macramed and my husband use to make necklaces with hand blown glass pieces for himself and his friends. Hopefully he will be able to help me if I get stumped. Now I just need to obtain all the items to make it!! Do you think hemp string would work as well? I ask because that’s what I may already have on hand. Thanks again and can’t wait to try this out!
I think hemp string could work as well but I have never used it so I can’t say for sure. I just love the softness of macrame yarn and 4mm is the perfect thickness. Hope Gizmo and Milo will love it.
That looks comfy for my kitties, a swinging bed will be a good addition to their cat tree and wall perch. Thanks for sharing your DIY. Detailed and straight-forward.
Thanks so much Jeanie!
I love this! I’m giving it a go, but as a macrame newbie(well, since I was a teenager) I’m a little confused by the differing ring sizes, are the rest of the measurements for an 18″ hoop or a 20″ hoop? I ordered the 20″ 😉 Thanks for your time!
Hi Chelsea. I made a typo with the different ring sizes. The ring size has to match the pillow size. And I cut definitely too much when I made mine because I didn’t even really know how I would make it. I came up with it along the way. So there will be enough.
Hi Julia! This looks so beautiful. Do you have any tips for stabilizing this a bit more? My cat is 14 and I think she’d be a bit hesitant to jump onto something that would immediately start swinging.
Hi Elisabeth, yes I could see a senior cat being a bit scared. I actually tied two pieces of macrame yarn on each side and jammed them shut under the window. It’s docked like a boat on the water 😉 and it works ok for us. Hope that helps.
I’m going to make this for my mom for a Mother’s Day gift. My question is can you give me an average yards you used so I can get an idea?
Hi Tonya, someone on my YouTube channel said that she used around 200 meters (around 219 yards) to make the bed as a rough idea.
This is awesome! I was looking into buying a perch for my Daisy but I’d much rather make it! I’m wondering how big Willy is, Daisy is about 12 pounds so just thinking about scale. Thanks so much!
Hi Lydia, Willy is 10.5 pounds. Our Maya is 12 pounds and fits in the bed too but she doesn’t like that it moves and never uses it. Hope that helps.
I’m in the process of making one- my Big Boi is 19lbs (big, not fat), and I’m wondering if 4 strands in the 4 lines coming down will be sturdy enough for him- can I add 2 more strands to each line? Newby macraméist.
Hi Kristen, I guess you could add extra strands to the center of the lines that are coming down but they would have to be in the center of square knots. I’m not sure if that makes sense to you.
My Big Boi is 19-# (big, not fat) and I was wondering if I could add 2 strands to the 4 on each line running down? Newby macraméist here!
I love this! I’m in the process of making it, but a little confused about where the leftover long strand from the rings is used?
Hi Sarah, I used some of the leftovers as the gathered tassel on the bottom.
Hi do you make these to sell? 😊
Hi Raylene, no I didn’t but I linked other small businesses who do.
Do you know what weight this will hold?
That is a great question Carole and I am sorry because I do not know. My cats are all on the smaller side, so I didn’t worry about it.