Macrame feathers add a unique and creative touch to any room. And though they look complicated, they’re surprisingly easy to make.
With just a few supplies and little time, even macrame beginners can create beautiful feathers to hang in their homes or give as gifts. The step-by-step guide below will help you get started.
Table Of Contents
- What Is A Macrame Feather?
- Supplies For Macrame Feathers
- How To Make A Macrame Feather
- What To Do With Macrame Feathers
What Is A Macrame Feather?
As you may have guessed from the name, a macrame feather is a feather-shaped decorative piece made with macrame knots.
You may have seen one of these feathers integrated into other macrame pieces, such as a dream catcher or a wall hanging. Or you may have found them as a standalone art piece. Either way, they're a fun addition to your macrame collection.
Let’s dive into the tutorial so you can make some of your own. First, you’ll need to gather the right supplies.
Supplies For Macrame Feathers
The good news is you won’t break the bank buying macrame supplies to turn into feathers. If you’ve dabbled in macrame before, you likely have what you need.
If not, you’ll want to get:
- Macrame cord
- Sharp scissors
- Macrame Cord Fring Brush
- Tape measure
- Scotch tape or clipboard
- Fabric stiffener (optional)
The scotch tape and clipboard are both ways to keep the cord in place as you knot. You could also substitute a different foundation, such as a macrame ring or a keychain, if you prefer.
You’ll use the fabric stiffener to make the feather stay perfectly shaped once you’re done. However, this step is optional.
What Size Macrame Cord Is Best For Feathers?
The thickness of your cord matters when making feathers. Thinner cords create more delicate feathers, while thicker ones make bolder and chunky feathers.
We recommend beginning feather makers use a 2-mm thick macrame cord. This size is easy to work with and tends to brush out nicely. But you can try different sizes or combine cords of varying thicknesses if you want something unique.
How To Make A Macrame Feather
Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to get started!
1) Measure And Cut Your Cord
The first thing you need to do is cut the cord for the center of your feather. On a real bird’s feather, this central shaft is called a rachis.
For this tutorial, cut your rachis cord 20 inches long. In the future, you can make this longer or shorter to adjust the size of your finished feather.
You’ll also need to cut several shorter cords, which you will use to make the “barbules” of your feather. The barbules are the strands that fan out from either side of the rachis.
Cut one cord 8 inches long and use that as a guide to cut the rest. In all, you should have 24 8-inch cords.
2) Secure Your Feather
Once your cord is cut, it’s time to secure the center one. Fold it in half, then tape one end to your work area. Alternatively, you can secure it under the clasp of a clipboard.
This step stabilizes your cord and keeps it from moving as you work so your feather stays straighter.
3) Start With A Square Knot
You’ll be tying a lot of Square Knots to make your feather. You can find directions in this post if you don’t know how to make one. It’s worth reviewing since the feather will come together much more quickly if you aren’t struggling to make each knot.
You’ll need to attach two of the smaller pieces to make a Square Knot around your center cord. So take one and fold it in half. Then, place it under your center cord, about 1 inch down from your tape. Ensure the folded portion is on the left side.
Next, take another shorter piece and fold it in half as well. Except this time, you want the folded part to be on the right side. Then, instead of just setting the loose ends down, put them through the loop you created with the other short piece.
Finally, take the loose ends from the first piece and put them through the loop on the right side. Then, pull everything tight.
4) Add More Strands
Repeat step three over and over again until you’ve added all the shorter pieces. After each addition, push the Square Knots toward the tape to ensure they’re nice and tight.
5) Trim The Ends
Once you’ve made your final Square Knot and have all 24 smaller pieces of cord attached, get your scissors out again. Trim the ends of the long, center cord to match the length of the final, smaller one.
6) Comb Your Cord
Right now, your feather doesn’t look like much. But it’ll slowly transform into a beautiful feather with a bit of combing. When you comb the macrame cord, it unravels and becomes soft and fluffy.
Slowly start combing the cut cords with your fringe brush. You may need to apply a little pressure, especially at first.
(Note: You don’t want to comb the center rachis piece. Use your fingers to protect your Square Knots when using the brush nearby.)
Keep combing until you’ve unraveled all the cords.
7) Shape With Scissors
Remove the tape holding your feather down. Place the feather in your palm and look at it closely. Next, you’ll cut the edges to create a nice, tapered feather shape.
Go slowly, and use the comb some more if needed. You want to make sure everything is unraveled and straight before you cut.
Once you’re satisfied with the shape, your feather is done. There’s just one more (optional) step left.
8) Stiffen Your Feather
Follow the directions on your spray fabric stiffener as you apply it to your macrame feather. This will help it keep its shape.
What To Do With Macrame Feathers
Your first macrame feather may have taken a bit of time as you got used to the technique. But now that you know the basics of making one, your next one will go much faster.
With a macrame feather, you can:
- Hang it in your home as a piece of artwork
- Give it to a friend or family member as a heartfelt gift
- Attach it to a dream catcher
- Create macrame jewelry (tiny feather earrings would be so cute!)
- Make several and turn them into a feather wall hanging
- Attach a longer cord and create a feather bookmark
- Make a feather keychain
- Use it to adorn a basket
- Tie several together and create a feather banner
- Use up scrap cord to make smaller feathers
A Feather In Your Macrame Cap
Congratulations on making your first macrame feather! This quick project is a great way to practice your macrame skills.
So grab some GANXXET macrame cord and the other essential supplies and start knotting. Experiment with different sizes and colors and see what you like best. Pretty soon, you’ll have a whole rainbow of feathers to display.
And don’t forget to show off your feathers on social media. We can’t wait to see what you create!