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How to Host the Perfect Macramé Workshop

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Ready to start hosting macramé workshops but overwhelmed with how to get your foot in the door? Read on for some guidance on how to plan the perfect event!

Picking a Project

There are a few things to consider when choosing a project to teach in a workshop. First off, it needs to be something that you are very familiar with making. Teaching a skillset to others can be challenging enough- if you are forgetting aspects of the project itself while teaching, your students might struggle more than if you are confident. It's best to teach something you don't have to look at constantly to reference!

Another thing to keep in mind is how beginner friendly your project is. Think back to your first projects and what types of knots or techniques you struggled with, and it might be a good idea to minimize how much you use those knots or techniques in the workshop project. Also, something that takes you two hours or so to make will take much longer for beginners, so keep it short and sweet.

The last thing to consider is what your potential students would actually prefer to make. Try hosting a poll on instagram, giving your audience a vote on what they would rather make at a workshop. You might be surprised on what the most popular requests are!

Setting Up the Event

One of the first things you'll need to figure out is a location to host your workshop. If you're lucky, a local boutique or coffee shop might reach out to you about hosting an event- but more often than not it will be up to you to scout out locations and reach out first. One option is to look into renting a venue. Some locally owned businesses, like breweries or small event venues, rent out their spaces at a flat hourly rate. The second option is to common partner with a local retailer, boutique, or coffee shop by hosting your event in their brick & mortar. This seems to be the most common option for finding an event space. Partnering with an independent shop or café is beneficial for both you and the hosting business, as it creates some buzz around their shop while also helping you get the word about your class to a new audience. Also, instead of a flat hourly rate, ticket sales are usually split into a percentage between the host and the teacher!

If you are reaching out to a local boutique or coffee shop, I'd recommend checking to make sure the space will work first. Macramé workshops usually require a good deal of space, especially if you are using garment racks for the students to stand at. Check their website or social media to see if they have hosted workshops and events before and what the setup looked like, or visit in person to check it out!

The next thing to work out is the registration cost per person. To figure out how to price your workshop, there are several factors to consider. How much money do the materials for the project cost per person?How much time will it take you to do all of the preparation for the workshop (creating a lesson plan, sourcing materials, cutting cord, creating any additional resources or take-home materials for students, set up and take down on the day of, etc) and how long will the workshop itself take? Are you providing anything else for the students, like drinks or refreshments? How much is the venue fee or hosting boutique's commission on the tickets?

There's no one-size fits all formula or equation for determining what your workshop costs (if there is, please let me know- lol), but answering the questions above can help to give a good idea of what a reasonable price is. It might also be helpful to search up similar workshops or events on Eventbrite or Etsy to get an idea of what other makers are pricing their classes at.

Getting Prepared

Taking some extra measures to prepare yourself for hosting a workshop can make all the difference in your confidence the day of the event. If you've never taught before, I can't recommend hosting a "practice workshop" enough, with a couple of friends or family members who don't know macrame. Go through the knots and the project step by step, and note where difficulties rise up. You'd be surprised how many things that have become natural to you are very challenging for a beginner!

If you're unable to get any practice students, that's okay! Designate some time for yourself to make the piece from start to finish, and talk through everything you're doing along the way or write some notes. This will help you to articulate the motions your hands or the string needs to make while tying knots.

I also recommend preparing all the materials in advance, down to cutting cord ahead of time. Most of the times that I have had students cut their own cord, it ate into precious time that could have been spent teaching!

Workshop Day

Congrats- you've made it to workshop day. You're going to do great!

Try to arrive earlier than you think you'll need to- I usually get to my workshops at least an hour in advance to set up (depending on venue policy). This calms my nerves because I know even if I hit traffic or run into any issues I will still have more than enough time to set up.

When the workshop students arrive, try breaking some of the tension by chatting with the early birds while waiting for everyone else to arrive. That way, when it's time to address the group, it might not feel as much like you're talking to a group of strangers. I also like to break any tension in the room by asking everyone to share their name and answer a question, which can be something simple like sharing why they wanted to take the class or a lighthearted icebreaker.

Share a bit about yourself, the project, and what students should expect from the class.

For the workshop itself, I have found the most efficient way to teach is to have a rack in the front where I can demonstrate a knot or technique, having everyone's full attention before attempting themselves. Then, I'll release them to try it on their own and go around the room to check on everyone and help where needed. You will find that some students pick up on the techniques quickly and don't need much attention, while others might struggle to grasp certain aspects. Be attentive while walking around the class, because some students are too shy to ask for help and may need you to stop and open the dialogue first by asking if how it's going.

At the end of the class, thank your students for participating and don't forget to snap some pictures with everyone and their final projects!

One final thing that goes a long way in making your students remember your workshop and the attention to detail is sending them home with some extra goodies. That could be a discount code to your shop, a printed knot guide for them to practice more at home, a small amount of extra string and hardware to make a keychain or other small item using the skills they learned, etc.

Additional Resources:

Macramé Knot Guide

Want to send your students home with some extra materials but don't have the time to create them yourself? I created a downloadable knot guide with all the major macramé knots for this purpose! Purchase a copy of my PDF knot guide and print out copies as a take home gift or as a supplemental resource for them to look at during the class. (Please respect the work I put into this knot guide by not photoshopping my logo out of the pages!)

Click on this photo on the right to purchase my macramé knot guide! ----->

Looking for more in depth, personalized advice on:

  • picking a workshop project that your students will love

  • sending your workshop pitch to local businesses

  • negotiating ticket sale percentages

  • pricing your workshop

  • marketing your event

  • and becoming more confident teaching the knots and techniques?

PLUS free monthly resources on other important aspects of growing your small business?

Join my Patreon (Creative Biz Club Level) to access my monthly live Q&A's, free in depth guides every month on a topic you vote on (like workshops, markets, wholesale, etc), and access to a community of like minded small business owners and myself where we ask for and give advice and help each other grow!

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Thanks for reading my post and I hope this information was helpful!

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