DIY Macramé Feather or Leaf | How to Make Rope Knot Ornaments

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Introduction: DIY Macramé Feather or Leaf | How to Make Rope Knot Ornaments

About: Multi-crafter, jewellery maker, card designer and frequent procrastinator.

This feather/leaf shaped ornament is made from only rope, and makes a pretty decoration on its own or as part of a mobile, garland, or larger piece of wall art.

I hope you enjoy this Instructable!

Supplies

- Rope: I used 5mm twisted cotton cord or 'Macramé rope' in a natural beige colour. You can use the same technique with some other forms of 'rope' like chunky knitting yarn - as long as it can be unravelled and brushed it can be used. Also feel free to experiement with other colours of rope.

- Scissors

- Ruler

- 'Disappearing' or 'magic' fabric pen (not vital)

- A piece of paper and a pencil

- A piece of calico/canvas or stiff felt in a matching colour (optional) & some strong clear-drying glue

- Wire pet grooming brush (slicker brush),or other fine comb

Step 1: Begin the 'Stem'

Start by cutting enough rope for the 'stem' of the leaf or feather shape. I cut a length of 70cm.

Fold the rope in half, and tie a simple knot near the top to form a small hanging loop.

To build up the rest of the leaf shape there are 2 different methods you can use so I've shown them both in the following steps.

Step 2: Method 1: Square (Reef) Knots

Now we need to attach the bulk of the leaf shape using one of the the 2 methods on this page.

This method is perhaps quicker and a bit more symmetrical, but it makes the stem bulkier. Method 2 (which is the method I chose to use in the end) is perhaps a bit more uneven but creates a narrower stem. It's up to you which you like the look of best!

For method 1, you first need to cut lengths of rope to fold in half and attach to the stem. I cut out 18 lengths, each measuring 35 cm long.

- Place a folded length of rope (A) perpendicular to the stem, so that the loop end points left and lies underneath the stem.

- Take another folded length of rope (B), facing the opposite direction, and guide the loop end up through the loop of A. The loop of B needs to go over the top of the stem.

- Take the legs of A and guide them up through the loop of B.

- Hold the pair of legs on each side and pull in opposite directions to tighten.

As you may notice, the knot on the rope is not symmetrical, so it's best to add the next 2 lengths of rope using the same technique but as a mirror image. So to start with, you would place a folded length of rope (A) perpendicular to the stem, so that the loop end points right and lies underneath the stem.

Then the rest of the steps are followed as before but you are just working in the opposite direction.

Continue like this down the stem, alternating direction, to create a more balanced look.

Step 3: Method 2: Cow Hitch Knots

As in method 1, you will also first need to cut out the shorter lengths of rope. In my case, I cut out 18 lengths, each measuring 35 cm long.

- Take one length of rope, fold it in half, and then lay it perpendicular to the stem so that the looped end points left. This rope should lie underneath the stem.

- Fold the looped end back over the stem.

- Pull the legs of the rope up through this loop.

- Pull the legs to the right to tighten.

Then you may notice that this knot does not look symmetrical, so for attaching the next piece of rope we will do the same technique but in the opposite direction. So...

- Take another piece of rope, fold it in hald and then lay it perpendicular to the stem so that the looped end points right. This rope should lie underneath the stem.

- Fold the looped end back over the stem.

- Pull the legs of the rope up through this loop.

- Pull the legs to the left to tighten.

And continue like this down the length of them stem, alternating the direction of the knot each time.

Step 4: Complete the Knotting

We now need to work out where we need to stop knotting on the stem. To do this, decide on the design of the leaf shape, as whatever length of 'fluffy' rope you want at the bottom is the length of the stem you will need to leave unknotted.

I wanted to leave about 9 cm unknotted, so I marked the stem (with my disappearing fabric pen) 9 cm from the bottom.

I then added lengths of rope to the stem until I reached this mark.

Step 5: Unravel & Brush

Next you will need to unravel all of the rope lengths by untwisting them, then using either a slicker brush or a fine comb to 'fluff up' all of the rope strands.

Step 6: Adding Support

This is an optional step and depends if you want to add a backing to your leaf shape of not.

The reason you may want to add backing is to add support to the fibres so they don't droop as much. I used a piece of calico, but if you wanted to hold the fibres more solidly a stiff felt would be best.

Cut out a piece of the backing fabric so that it covers as much of the back of the leaf as possible BUT leaving a border of uncovered fibres around the sides. This is because we will be cutting the leaf shape out in the next step and we don't want to uncover any of this fabric during that process.

Then glue the fabric in place and leave to dry. Make sure the fibres are all straight and neatly-brushed before you do this.

Step 7: Cut Out the Shape

This is the point where you can choose if you want more of a banana leaf shape or thin feather shape.

I first cut the fibres back to where the shortest fibres finished.

Then I cut one half into the curved shape I wanted.

Once you've cut one side how you want it, trace this shape onto a piece of paper and cut it out.

Use this piece of paper as a template to cut the other half in exactly the same shape. After all, you'll want the result to be as symmetrical as possible.

Keep brushing and trimming until you are happy.

Note: Using small sharp scissors makes this easier!

Step 8: Finished!

And that's it; your ornament is finished!

I hope you enjoyed this project :)

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