I’ve been seeing macrame feathers on Pinterest lately, and decided at some point I needed to make some. I have been working on a bird motif in my decorating for about four years. You know…the whole empty nest thing. 🦉
I was a child of the 70’s and I used to do a lot of macrame when I was a young teenager. It is pretty easy to tie knots, you know. While I’m not looking to add the “boho” look to my home, I’ve been hoping to find some macrame ideas that fit with my Mid-Century modern aesthetic.
I had an empty space above our fireplace…I just didn’t know what to do with it. The Mister really loves the brick. I didn’t want to cover it up with a painting or canvas. I wanted something that let the brick show through. Why not a wall hanging? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It was super easy!
Macrame Feathers Are Simple
Out of all the Pins and how-to’s I found on Pinterest, I found this tutorial on YouTube from Oh So Hygge. It’s a four minute video. It’s actually an easy macrame project, but sometimes things look harder than they are when the tutorial isn’t detailed enough. This is a good one.
Rather than write my own, I’ll embed it…Here’s the video:
I had been saving a fallen branch from the yard. It was pretty dry by now so I used a hand saw to cut it to about 24 inches. I took my radial sander…which I LOVE!…and I sanded off the bark and smoothed out the ends.
My Skil orbiter sander that the Mister got me to make quick work of my refinished end tables with hairpin legs upcycling project. This saved my hands from so much fatigue:
The branch might be a little too large in diameter for my hanging, but I used it anyway. I might replace it later with a smaller branch. That’s what I love about a good DIY. You can just tweak it later if you’re not fully satisfied.
Supplies for Macrame Feathers
For macrame feathers you need single twist string. You need to be able to brush out the strands when you are done knotting them. If you get a braided string, it’s very difficult to brush out. I happened to have some kitchen string that I bought once to tie up a whole chicken to roast.
Yes, I did that once, lol. Now I just pop that chicken into my Instant Pot. No string necessary, so why not use it for a craft? I ended up using the entire ball of string…minus the 18 or so inches I originally used to tie up a chicken.
The tutorials often use a cat brush to brush out the string. I don’t have a cat or a cat brush, but I have a round blow-drying brush with fine bristles and it worked well.
I also had two colors of RIT dye that match my Mid-Century decor scheme: orange and teal. I made the feathers, brushed them out, then dyed them. The string won’t take the dye well when it’s still twisted.
I had to swish them around every few hours to get the dye into all the strands. I was experimenting so I used powdered dye for the teal color and liquid dye for the orange. I couldn’t tell any difference in outcome.
I like the liquid better simply because you can put the lid on and not worry about spilling it or letting it get clumped or old over time like the powder.
I also followed advice from other tutorials that recommended fabric starch. I found that the threads kept wanting to twist back up, so the fabric starch helped keep them from curling so much.
Tassels and Beads for Added Interest
It was a little plain for my taste, so I got out some beads and twine from my stash and made tassels from the remaining kitchen string. I used a mix of wooden beads, dark orange clay beads, and metallic blue beads. I topped the feathers and the tassels in varying ways and strung them from the branch randomly with the twine.
I just tied them around the branch. I twisted floral wire around the branch and made circles in the back to hang onto the two screws that were already in the brick fireplace. Easy-peasy.
Wooden beads are super popular right now in Farmhouse design and crafts. I think they also fit in well with boho and mid-century design.
You may not have a stash of beads. My grandparents were jewelers and I inherited boxes of stuff! (ore on that later.) Add to that all the things I’ve purchased over the years to keep my crafty children happy…I have a huge stash!
If you don’t have a stash of beads, there are lots of them on Amazon. The sky’s the limit! I think these three items are a good value on Amazon:
I printed out images of feathers from Pinterest to follow when I was trimming the feathers. I’ll probably succumb to doing some more trimming and tweaking, because I can’t help myself.
A scripture that has been running through my mind as I was planning and creating this project:
“How precious is your loving kindness, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Ps. 36:7
It’s a great reminder to me when I sit in front of the fireplace enjoying a warm fire.
Eventually, this hanging will probably reside in a spot on my dining room wall with a smaller branch. I’ll post a new picture when I find the perfect branch. Then I’ll be in pursuit of another DIY art piece to go above the fireplace.
I’ve got my eyes on some beautiful weaving tutorials. I think this big branch will be a perfect hanger for a large weaving. I used to weave when I was a teenager, and now that all those 70’s arts and crafts are cool again, I’m excited about getting back to those early creative days! Stay tuned for some more creative fun!
Categories: Do It Yourself