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, in the bedroom, and even in the living & kitchen 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.
Materials needed to make macrame feathers wall hanging?
- Macrame cord (Cotton cord)
- Sharp fabric shears
- Fabric stiffener
- Cat brush
What is the best macrame cord for feathers?
Macrame feathers are one of my favorite ways to use up the leftover cords. When you make a wall hanging, plant hanger, or anything else, you’ll inevitably end up with some offcuts.
Because of that, you’ll likely end up with a bunch of different pieces of rope that you need to use up. Luckily, you can make feathers with any cord you want!
You can even mix different colors and textures to get a different look. For instance, use some pieces of single twist string mixed with three-strand rope.
As long as the pieces of cord you’re using are about the same diameter, mixing them up is the best way to change up your feathers.
With macrame feathers, the size of the cord you use doesn’t matter, but it will affect the thickness of the feather’s center.
For the natural feather on the left above, I used a 5mm single strand cord. For the blue and pink feathers, I used a 3mm single strand cord. You can see that the center of the natural feather is slightly thicker than the pink and blue ones.
You can also use cords made of hemp, jute, or synthetic materials, but the cotton cord is my favorite.
Sharp fabric shears
I realize this is pretty obvious, but very sharp scissors are crucial when making macrame feathers. Macrame cord is somewhat thick, and especially when you try to trim the feathers at the end, dull scissors are going to cause you all kinds of problems.
Ruler or something to measure with
That might sound kind of weird (like, why not just say you need a measuring tape?!?). As unusual as it may seem at first, I don’t normally measure my cord for macrame feathers. There are a couple of reasons for that.
First, if you are making one of the longer styles of feathers (like the natural or pink ones above) and decide to measure each individual piece, this will take FOREVER. Second, it’s much harder to get all of the pieces exactly the same size.
Depending on your cord, the final size of your feathers, and how you like your feathers to look, you may want to spray them with fabric stiffener when they’re completed. Some cord is softer than others, so it can flop down when you hang up your completed feather. I used fabric stiffener on the blue feather, but not the pink and natural ones.
Some people use hairspray on their completed feathers, but I personally have never tried this, so I can’t attest to whether or not this would work. I would be concerned that it would still be sticky, but feel free to try it if you’d like.
You can find fabric stiffener at craft and fabric stores, and of course on Amazon.
As weird as it sounds to have pet products on your macrame supplies list, you need a brush or a comb to brush out the edges of the feathers so they look wispy. While you don’t absolutely need a pet brush (a regular old plastic comb will also do the trick), I have found that a brush like this one will give you the best results.
The good thing is, wire brushes like this (they are also sometimes called slicker brushes) are very easy to find and are super inexpensive — usually under $10.
Now it’s time to start creating!
How to make a macrame feather wall hanging?
I am going to show you step-by-step how to make this white macrame feather.
To begin, you will need to cut your macrame cord. You will need one long piece for the center and a bunch of shorter pieces for the edges. What size to cut depends on how large you want your completed feather.
To determine how long to cut your pieces, decide first how long you want your feather to be. You will cut your long piece to be approximate twice the length you want your feather to be, plus several inches. It’s always better to have it be a bit too long than a bit too short, so err on the side of caution here.
For the short pieces, again you will determine what you want your final feather to look like. If you want a tapered feather, like this blue one, you will cut your cord into three different sizes. If you’d rather have a more straight feather, like the natural and pink ones above, you will cut all of your edge pieces to the same size.
My completed feather is approximately 14″ long and about 8″ wide at its widest point. So I cut all of my cords to the sizes listed below:
- 1 32″ strand for the spine.
- 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.
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.
Now pull the bottom strands all the way through the top loop. This is your knot!
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.
Lay the first folded strand under the spine, and thread another folded strand into its loop. Pull the lower strands through the top loop. And tighten.
Keep going and work gradually down in size.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 a spray, or two, and allow it to try for at least a couple of hours.
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 fabric stiffener for good measure. And then, you’ll be ready to hang your piece!
If you’ve read this far and you’re still confused or you don’t have time to make them but you like them so much and want to have them right in your home, you can still buy them easily.
Where Can I Buy A Modern Macrame Feathers Wall Hanging?
It is not difficult for you to find a modern macrame feathers wall hanging model anywhere, from stores near your home, to e-commerce sites selling online on Amazon or Etsy.
194 Craft House sells macrame products, with the macrame feathers wall hangings being one of our bestsellers so far this year.
Because of preparing for summer, people often look for modern macrame products to redecorate their homes and macrame feathers wall hanging is one of the priorities.
You can buy our modern macrame feathers wall hanging on Etsy.