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When we started making our DIY platform bed, I realized that it was going to sit a lot lower than the current bed frame, which would make our gold mirror feel a little too small for such a large wall.
Rather than try to hunt down a piece of artwork that was large enough for the space but still within budget, I decided to tackle some DIY feathers.
Since they were going above the bed, I didn’t want typical DIY macrame feathers. I wanted to make them fluffy–almost like a cloud.
After trying out several methods and a handful of different yarn types, I finally landed on the perfect method. Lucky for you, it’s the easiest method too!
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
- Hot glue gun
- Scissors (personally, I use these PowerSnips on all my projects–they cut through everything like butter!)
- Comb and/or a furminator
What You’ll Need
How to Make Large Feather Wall Art With Yarn
If you’re more of a visual learner, you can see videos of how I created the feather over on Instagram.
STEP 1: CUT YOUR YARN
First cut a piece of yarn a little more than twice as long as you want your final feather to be. Put this aside.
Now decide how wide you want your final feather to be and find something that’s approximately that width.
Wrap your yarn around the object (I used pieces of wood, planners, and books for my different feathers) at least 30 times. You’ll probably have to go back and make more strings, but this will be a good start.
Once you’ve finished wrapping, cut one side of the yarn so that you end up with similar length pieces.
You can also measure your strings individually, but I’ve found just wrapping it around an object goes a lot quicker.
STEP 2: MAKE YOUR FEATHERS
Grab the first string that you cut in step 1 and add a little loop and a knot up towards the top. The loop doesn’t have to be too big. It’ll be used later to hang the feathers to your bamboo.
Once you have your center piece ready, grab two pieces of yarn and fold each of them in half (photo 1 below).
Slide one piece of yarn underneath the middle piece, and weave the second piece through the loop of the first piece (photos 2-3).
Then, pull the “tails” of the first string through the loop of the second piece (photos 4-5) and pull your strings tight.
Once you have a knot formed, you can slide it up to sit right underneath the knot above it.
Repeat until your feather is mostly done.
As you get closer to the bottom, remember that you don’t need to add yarn all the way down. You should stop when the tail of your middle piece is about the length of the strings you are adding on either side.
Double or triple knot the tails of your middle piece so that the yarn you already added doesn’t slide towards the bottom when you pull them.
STEP 3: MAKE THEM FLUFFY
When I shared this project on Instagram, the big question was…how do you make fake feathers fluffy??
There are two parts to this little secret.
Step 1: split all of your yarn.
I know, I know. It sounds like a lot of work, but I promise this is what makes your feathers fluffy instead of a tangled mess in the end.
It also goes by pretty quickly once you get into a groove. You can split them however you like, but I had the most success with putting two fingers between the yarn strands as close to the center of the feather as possible and then spreading my fingers apart. As you pull your fingers apart, the yarn should unravel.
Every once in awhile, it’ll get knotted and require some extra force, but overall I found that method pretty quick and effective.
Step 2: comb your yarn.
I found that the Furminator was faster and made the yarn look fluffier than a standard combe, but it also pulled out more of the yarn so you have to be careful to not overcomb.
In fact, stop combing as soon as the top layer of your feather looks fluffy. The back won’t look like you combed at all, but that’s okay–no one ever sees the back.
And don’t worry about fully fluffing the ends. We can go back with a normal comb at the end and get them looking just right.
As you’re combing, make sure to hold the center of the feather so that you don’t pull out all of the yarn. You’ll probably lose a few along the way, but you want to minimize that as much as possible to keep your feather thick.
I also found that starting from the middle and running the comb side to side as I worked my way down the yarn was most effective.
STEP 4: ADD YOUR FELT
Now you might be tempted to skip this step, but it’s super important, especially if you have large feathers. If you don’t add the felt, the feathers won’t be able to support themselves and they’ll just droop forward.
One of the other methods I tried was fabric stiffener, but it really weighed the yarn down and minimized the fluff. It also required a LOT of stiffener and I’m really not sure it would have even held up over time.
Moral of the story: don’t skip the felt!
To add your felt, first lay out your feather how you want it to lay. If you want a slight curve down the center, position it with that now.
Then, cut your stiff felt to be close to the general shape of the feather. You don’t have to cut it all the way to the end, just enough so that the feather is supported enough through the center and sides to not hunch forward.
Then hot glue your felt to the feather. Start by gluing it down along the center and pressing the felt down to dry.
Then work your way out, adding glue underneath the felt and pressing it down.
STEP 5: TRIM YOUR YARN
Once your felt is glued down, lift your feather up and make sure that you don’t need to add any additional felt. If you’re feather is keeping it’s shape, you’re good to go.
Flip your feather so that the front side is facing up.
Trim the edges of your yarn until you’re happy with the shape of your feather.
You can also grab your comb and fluffy out some stray pieces that you notice or finish fluffing up those ends.
STEP 6: MAKE MORE FEATHERS
Keep making feathers of different shapes and sizes until you have the number that you want.
STEP 7: ARRANGE YOUR FEATHERS
Lay your feathers out in the position that you want them. Focus on height and how much overlap you want.
Once you’re happy with the placement, decide what length you want your bamboo to be. Ours is approximately 4′ long.
STEP 8: CUT YOUR BAMBOO
Using your handsaw (this is my favorite one), cut your bamboo to the desired length.
To prevent it from rolling around while you cut it, clamp two pieces of wood to either side of the bamboo so that it’s supported and unable to roll.
STEP 9: ATTACH YOUR FEATHERS TO YOUR BAMBOO
To attach your feathers to the bamboo, we’re just going to add loops of yarn. Some will be small, some will be long depending on how far down you want each feather to hang.
Simply loop the yarn through the loop at the top of the feather, and tie a knot so that it’s looped around both the feather loop and the bamboo.
Trim off any excess yarn.
STEP 10: ADD YARN TO HANG YOUR FEATHER WALL ART
To hang our feather wall art, we simply tied a loop around one edge of the bamboo piece, and then tied a loop around the other edge of the bamboo piece. I’d recommend double-knotting to prevent your knots from coming undone.
Then, we hung ours with a simple, small hook.
If it’s not looking straight once you hang it, adjust where the loops and feathers are.
There you have it! Now you know how to make a really large DIY yarn wall hanging! These might not be the typical DIY macrame feathers you see, but I think the fluffiness makes them a soft addition to any space.
If you’re looking for more boho wall art ideas, check out this wood and fiber wall hanging. The original piece was $379, but we made ours for less than $25! Talk about savings😉