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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98 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
    • Xana wrote:

      Hi! This is Xana. I love your creativity and style. Thanks for sharing it!

      Greatings!
      Xana

      3.6.19
    • You are so creative!

      7.24.19
  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
    • Adriana wrote:

      Hola!!! qué clase se spray se usa?

      10.31.19
  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
    • Sally Jones wrote:

      I found this too, if you count the rows on the pics there are 25-30 plus but the instructions give details for 15 – like you I’ve just added another smaller set at the bottom!!

      Other than that it’s a really good tutorial, thank you x

      1.23.19
  22. Caroline wrote:

    Love this tutorial, reblogging this if it is ok?

    11.27.18
    Reply
  23. Sandra wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this diy. I just got the cord in the mail today!
    Am working on my first one. Gotta say, cutting \shaping them is like cutting ones own bangs! *Giggle*

    12.11.18
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      haha, very true!

      12.12.18
  24. mercedes suarez wrote:

    kool

    12.12.18
    Reply
  25. muy buena la explicacion del tutorial¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡lo fui haciendo mientas leia me quedo de diezzzzzzzzzzz muchas gracias que se repitan los trabajos

    12.18.18
    Reply
  26. muy buena la explicacion del tutorial¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡lo fui haciendo mientas leia me quedo de diezzzzzzzzzzz muchas gracias que se repitan los trabajos soy de ARGENTINA

    12.18.18
    Reply
  27. Gaetane wrote:

    Pretty thank you so much

    12.30.18
    Reply
  28. This is so pretty! I definitely want to try make some! Great tutorial!

    Cassidy x
    http://www.theglamgreengirl.com

    1.18.19
    Reply
  29. OMG. This is so simple, and I have been wondering how to make a macrame feather for my next set of dreamcatchers.

    Thanks for the visually pleasing DIY tutorial, btw!

    1.20.19
    Reply
  30. Ezaton wrote:

    I like this very much! I wanna make some but I won’t cut them like you did. It’s just i want them to be ‚‚wild”

    1.30.19
    Reply
    • Alyson wrote:

      Hi! Is there a trick to getting the curvature effect? Mine seem to go straight down. Please explain! ❤️

      3.22.19
    • Erica wrote:

      To get the curve, you place it on a flat surface, shape it and spray the heck out of it with the stiffening spray! Let it dry throughly before adding another layer. Hope that helps!

      3.22.19
  31. Norma Quiceno wrote:

    Es hermoso todo lo que enseñan. gracias a todos aquellos que se despojan de egoísmo para enseñarle a los que estamos tan lejos, sin acceso para pagar cursos en taller o como yo que cuido de mi hija con discapacidad cognitiva. Un abrazo a todos

    2.4.19
    Reply
  32. Stephanie wrote:

    These are gorgeous!!

    2.9.19
    Reply
  33. Laura wrote:

    I clicked on your Pinterest picture because yours were the best looking feathers of the ones I’ve seen. I wanted to find out how you achieved it and it’s explained very well. I’ll definitely be checking out your website!

    2.15.19
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      Thank you!!

      2.15.19
  34. Lazarus wrote:

    I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. IN A WORLD FULL OF SELFISH PEOPLE,YOU CHOOSE TO BE GENEROUS. THANK YOU SO MUCH. GOD BLESS YOU

    2.17.19
    Reply
  35. Christine wrote:

    So self explanatory. Best tutorial on feathers i have seen. Thank you.

    2.18.19
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      Thanks, Christine!

      2.18.19
  36. MAUREEN JEFFREY wrote:

    All I keep thinking is WTF why haven’t I found this site before there’s not a thing I don’t like or completely love and the macrame feathers are the first thing on my “To Do” list (but don’t tell hubby he thinks that’s painting the bathroom!!!) Thank you and keep it up X

    3.1.19
    Reply
  37. Xana wrote:

    Hi! This is Xana. I love your creativity and style. Thanks for sharing it!

    Greatings!
    Xana

    3.6.19
    Reply
  38. Mari wrote:

    Las plumas espectaculares

    3.25.19
    Reply
  39. Abby wrote:

    When I spray mine with the stiffening spray, all the pieces of cord curl up really bad. Is there a trick to it?

    4.3.19
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      Hmmm, I’ve never heard of that happening. Wondering if you need to give it a good brush after it’s been sprayed? Maybe also try laying a heavy book on top? Let me know if either of those work!

      4.3.19
  40. Linda wrote:

    Where do you find 5 mm for macramae?

    4.3.19
    Reply
  41. Linda wrote:

    Where to get 5 mg cord

    4.3.19
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      You can find it at Niroma or on Etsy.

      4.8.19
  42. Alice O'Hagan wrote:

    Thank you for the information.this well add the finishing touches to my feathers.

    4.19.19
    Reply
  43. LAURA wrote:

    excelente

    4.27.19
    Reply
  44. Rosiléia wrote:

    Tudo lindo!!!!
    Parabéns !!!!!

    5.7.19
    Reply
  45. Wynn Mitchell wrote:

    Hi! I absolutely love these. Would you ever consider selling a few? I’d love to buy!

    5.20.19
    Reply
  46. Genevieve Lyon wrote:

    Hi, great instructions, but just a warning about the cat brush when brushing out the yarn! Depending on what you are using – I was using rather a soft cotton yarn, and the cat brush just ripped it to shreds! Luckily it only ruined a few pieces, which were easily replaced. I then used tweezers to separate threads and a plastic comb to finish.

    6.2.19
    Reply
  47. CECILIA RUIZ BRAVO wrote:

    Me encantó el método para hacer hojas maravillosas.

    6.21.19
    Reply
  48. Just love it!…..I know how to do them, but I need to buy that kind of cord. Thank you for sharing this special project..

    6.27.19
    Reply
  49. Pascale wrote:

    Merci pour ce très beau tuto, très bien expliqué et un grand merci pour ce partage

    7.3.19
    Reply
  50. Cathryn wrote:

    I love your site. Thank you.
    Cathryn

    7.13.19
    Reply
  51. Elizabete Almeida wrote:

    Simplesmente adoreii ,eu vou fazer ,, maravilhosooo

    9.9.19
    Reply
  52. rahma wrote:

    Hello
    How are you?
    this looks amazing.
    I have a question.
    Is there any replacement for the fabric stiffener?
    thanks a lot

    9.13.19
    Reply
  53. Marie wrote:

    Curious. Would this be okay? I see a lot that says single strand like this , https://www.amazon.com/4mm-Macrame-Cord-Single-Hanging/dp/B07RQMF1CS and then many that say 3 strand twisted on Amazon. It is quite confusing their are so many types of rope, cord, string, oh my!
    If the above mention items are not okay, what do you think the difference would be in the outcome with using the other products?
    Finally, one last question. What would I use if I wanted to make small earrings the same way?
    Thanks

    10.8.19
    Reply
  54. Laurie wrote:

    Very pretty! Do you think hairspray would work as a stiffener? 🙂

    10.24.19
    Reply
  55. Jude McLauchlan wrote:

    I have just found your tutorial – it is great and so simple to follow!
    Are there any alternative cords that can be used for the feathers – other than the single twist cotton string?

    11.13.19
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      Hi Jude, I haven’t tried any alternative cords. The single twist cotton string is the easiest if you want to be able to brush it out and get that really soft fringe. Hope that helps!

      11.14.19
  56. Isobel wrote:

    Hi my name is Isobel . I absolutely love your features, I appreciate the way yo have explained each step, and how spraying them with stiffener is important , I have looked at a few different instructions You’re instructions are the best Thank you so much
    Kind regards Isobel

    11.19.19
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      Wow, thanks so much Isobel. What a compliment!! xx

      11.19.19
  57. Carina wrote:

    Just went to make this and realized that there is an error in your instructions.

    If we cut the number of strands you suggest we only end up with 15 sets of cross strands (12+10+8 equals 30 and each cross strand takes 2 pieces)

    All your photos of med feathers show approx 30 cross strands. Therefore we need 60 pieces

    Hope that helps others

    Please note this is not a complaint, just a correction.

    I love the tutorial otherwise.

    ….of to cut 30 more strands

    12.1.19
    Reply