DIY Macrame Feathers

Beautiful, wispy macrame feathers have been clogging up my social media feeds as of late - but I'm not mad about it. They're incredibly beautiful and I've definitely found myself bookmarking them to purchase later, to hang in the kids' room. But of course, I was also curious to know how they were made. How in the world do you achieve that perfectly soft fringe?! Well, thanks to Damaris Kovach's amazing tutorial, I finally got all the answers. And it involves a cat brush. Enough said. Honestly though, the possibilities are endless here and I can't wait to play around with this technique more. But in the meantime, I hope I'll inspire you to make these at home.

You'll Need:

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For a medium sized feather, cut:

  • 1 32" strand for the sprine
  • 10-12 14" strands for the top
  • 8-10 12" strands for the middle
  • 6-8 10" strands for the bottom

Fold the 32" strand in half. Take one of the 14" strands, fold it in half and tuck it under the spine.

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Take another 14" strand, fold it in half and insert it into the loop of the top horizontal strand. Pull it through and lay it horizontally, on top of the opposing strand.

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Now pull the bottom strands all the way through the top loop. This is your knot!

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Pull both sides tightly. On the next row, you'll alternate the starting side. So if you laid the horizontal strand from left to right the first time, you'll lay the horizontal strand from right to left next.

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Lay the first folded strand under the spine, thread another folded strand into its loop. Pull the lower strands through the top loop. And tighten.

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Keep going and work gradually down in size.

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Be sure to push the strands up to tighten - grab the bottom of the middle (spine) strand with one hand and with another, push the strands up. Once you're done, drag the fringe downwards to meet the bottom of the middle strand.

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Then, give it a rough trim. This not only helps guide the shape but also helps with brushing the strands out. The shorter the strands, the easier, to be honest. It also helps to have a very sharp pair of fabric shears!

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After a rough trim, place the feather on a durable surface as you'll be using an animal brush to brush out the cording. The brush will damage any delicate or wood surface so I suggest using a self healing cutting mat or even a flattened cardboard box.

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When brushing, start at the spine and push hard into the cording when brushing. It'll take several hard strokes to get that beautiful, soft fringe.

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Work your way down. When you're at the bottom, hold the bottom of the spine while brushing - you don't want the brush to yank any strands off!

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Next, you'll want to stiffen the feather. The cording is so soft that it'll just flop if you pick it up and try to hang it. Give it spray, or two, and allow to try for at least a couple of hours.

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Once your feather has stiffened up a bit, you can now go back and give it a final trim. This, I would say, is the most challenging part. Take it easy. It's better to trim less than more! And you might need to adjust your trim depending on how often you're moving the piece. Once you're done trimming, you can even give it another stray of fabric stiffener for good measure. And then, you'll be ready to hang your piece!

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Leave a Comment

34 Comments

  1. Berry wrote:

    these are one of the prettiest DIYs you’ve ever featured (and I pretty much love them all!)

    10.3.18
    Reply
  2. this is so beautiful! xo

    10.3.18
    Reply
  3. Jenny wrote:

    I really love this tutorial, but the string you use is so expensive. Do you have an less expensive suggestions?

    10.6.18
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      @Jenny, if you look on Etsy, you can find sellers that sell smaller quantities. You won’t need 1000ft, which makes the cord so expensive! Try this seller.

      10.8.18
    • Jenny wrote:

      Thank you so much!!

      10.10.18
  4. Kelly wrote:

    What colors did you use for the dye? So pretty!

    10.7.18
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      I didn’t dye them. I bought them already dyed. But you can definitely dye them yourself!! That would probably have been the most cost efficient way to go 🙂

      10.8.18
  5. Karla wrote:

    ¡Que cosas tan bonitas !. Que padre que compartan sus técnicas !

    10.10.18
    Reply
  6. Astha wrote:
    10.13.18
    Reply
  7. Astha wrote:

    So Amazing and beautiful.
    http://lingayasuniversity.edu.in/

    10.13.18
    Reply
  8. María wrote:

    Excellent feathers in macrame technique, there are beautiful and lovely to decorate our beach summer baga, tippically to do keychains or for the corner or to decorate a pillow case or to sew in bed sheets or to make dream Catchers, well, there are for a lot of things and there are easier than other designs. Congrats for the teacher that explain so good. Im very happy ‘cause I looking for those feathers long time ago and never found the rules to does it.
    Thank you
    Best regards
    Sincerely
    Maria

    10.15.18
    Reply
  9. Maria Matinez wrote:

    Me gusta y es natural

    10.17.18
    Reply
  10. Shana wrote:

    Again, a great DIY tutorial. Maybe I’ll frame mine and add to my collage wall.

    10.17.18
    Reply
  11. This is a reeeeeally good idea! I’ve never really been into the whole macrame trend, but I could get on board with these leaves! They’d look so good in autumnal oranges and browns, then hung up as a seasonal garland. 🙂

    – Mike, http://www.thecraftygentleman.net

    10.19.18
    Reply
  12. Terri wrote:

    Great tutorial! Completely understand exactly how to make this craft. Thank you.

    10.21.18
    Reply
  13. 10.30.18
    Reply
  14. Chelsea wrote:

    Did you thin out the fabric stiffener liquid?

    11.7.18
    Reply
  15. Mel wrote:

    These are gorgeous, what are the measurements of the finished piece?

    11.9.18
    Reply
  16. Rajendraprasad.Rama wrote:

    Good

    11.9.18
    Reply
  17. Ann wrote:

    I love your feather. They are remarkable and look relatively easy to make. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I would never have been able to do it without your instructions. ☘

    11.12.18
    Reply
  18. Sophia wrote:

    I love this DIY so much. So easy to do. I have practiced mine.Thanks a lot for this piece.

    11.14.18
    Reply
  19. Cindy wrote:

    Soooo Pretty!! Where did you get the hanging basket in the picture, I like those too.

    11.15.18
    Reply
  20. Harriet Smith wrote:

    These are really clear instructions to make the Jute feathers.. I thank you generously as I am really excited about making these !!! when my inspiration comes it’s intense. !!

    11.21.18
    Reply
  21. Harriet Jane Ann Smith wrote:

    If you use the numbers and lengths of strands,the size of the leaf is rather small. Now I used very soft cording….it just caught me . I will try adding one more smaller set at the bottom?? I would not use it as a singular wall hanging…too small so….make more. The knotting is easy….love it.
    TY for sharing. Instructions well done!

    11.25.18
    Reply
  22. Caroline wrote:

    Love this tutorial, reblogging this if it is ok?

    11.27.18
    Reply