Turn those old leather scraps into a cute hanging planter

What do you get when you combine an ancient form of Japanese paper cutting art and a 1970s knot craze? No, not an old hippie in a kimono. You get a fabulous plant hanger DIY project! Let’s take the basic macrame to the next level — introducing the modern leather hanging basket.

What is this ancient Japanese art form of which I speak? It’s called kirigami, and it is a variation of origami that involves paper cutting. The result is an intricate, symmetrical pattern on a single sheet of paper. Now, using the same method of paper cutting on a more durable material like leather will give you a modern “basket” in which to hold your plants. Add in a bit of macrame-style knot tying and you’ve got a stylish, modern plant hanger. Your friends will be dying to know where you got it.

Supplies needed:


  1. A piece of leather at least 8 by 10 inches
  2. Scissors
  3. Masking tape
  4. X-Acto or craft knife
  5. Self-healing mat (or a surface you do not mind cutting up)
  6. String (paracord, sisal rope, mason twine, etc.)

Optional supplies (if you wish to make the gray and black hanger in the feature picture):

  1. Leather hole puncher
  2. Eyelets
  3. Eyelet anvil and driver
  4. Metal ring
Step 1
  • Print out this template from Design Sponge. Cut out the “circle” from the 8 by 10 sheet that it printed on and tape it to your leather.
  • Using the X-Acto or craft knife, cut the black curved lines only.
Step 2
  • Remove the template and make sure that all the cut areas are completely cut through.
  • Take the leather “basket” you just cut and find the center of the top cut sections (there are four).
  • Mark the center with a pen.
  • Punch a hole through the center mark.
Step 3
  • Slip the eyelet through the punched-out hole. Make sure the flat part of the eyelet is on the pretty, finished side of the leather.
  • Place the eyelet on the anvil and line of the driver on top and tap with a hammer until the eyelet is set. Repeat for the other three sides.
  • Decide how long you want your plant hanger to be. Then cut two equal lengths of string that are double that measurement. For example, if you decide your hanger is going to hang 12 inches, then cut two 24-inch lengths of string.
  • Line up the two lengths of string together and fold them in half.
  • Pass the folded loop end through the metal ring and tie a lark’s head knot. Here’s a short YouTube video on how to tie the knot. Put the strings and ring aside for now.
Step 4
  • Grab the metal ring with the strings. Take the end of one of the strings and insert it through the back side of the eyelet (the smashed side facing the unfinished side of the leather). If it is hard to get the string through, wrap the end of the string with a piece of masking tape first.
  • Tie a knot at the end of the string once you pass it through the eyelet. Do not tie it too tight at first (keep it a little loose so you can adjust it if needed). Repeat this for the three remaining sides.
  • Insert your plant and make sure it is balanced. Adjust the knots if needed.
  • Hang it up and enjoy.



You can get as creative as you want with the macrame part of the hanger. For the second hanger, I used sisal rope and wood beads. I tied knots before and after I inserted the beads. With the third planter, I used the sisal rope and wood beads as well, but finished the top with a basic macrame braid before I added the ring. You can also tie a simple loop knot at the end instead of using a metal ring. Get crazy on this part; use different color beads, strings and even eyelets. Anything goes! Hang up your plants in style.

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