How to Make Macramé Wings
Hi there, macramé lovers! And I know you are because, if you’re anything like me, as soon as you discover this amazing art form you can’t stop yourself from devouring every bit of information you can find about it! The technique for these wings is a little bit different, and I would say that it falls into the “medium” category as far as difficulty is concerned. Although it mainly uses one type of knot, the tricky part is making sure that your tension and measurements stay even on each side. If you haven’t made a project that relies heavily on how you manage these things then I recommend starting with a mini version of these wings. It will help you get the feel of the project without having such large areas to keep under control.
You can make these wings any size you like; from cute little mini wings to extra large statement pieces, the process is the same. You can also use a variety of different cords for your craft, but it’s important to remember that each one will give you a different result. If you’re making a large piece it would be best to use at least a 4 mm wide cord. The thinner the cord, the more knots you need to make to achieve the desired size. Triple-twist cord or braided cord also creates a little more bulk than brushed cotton, so that’s something to be aware of also. Plan how you would like the fringe of your wings to look too, as that will change according to your cord choice. I personally love the look of the wavy fringe you get with a triple-twist cotton, but a softly brushed cotton can give a lovely, delicate finish to your work. It all depends on how you envision your finished project!
Double Half Hitch Knot
The knot that you will be using for this project is the double half hitch. The only deviation from this is when you attach your cords. In its essence, the double half hitch is very simple. Unfortunately, it can be pretty tricky to get your head around! Luckily this project is the perfect way to practice, practice, practice—you’ll be a total pro by the end of it! It’s an incredibly useful knot for macramé projects, allowing you to make lines, shapes, and designs. As you practice you’ll get the feel for how to curve and twist your lines, opening up a whole world of possibilities!
To make this knot, you will always be using two cords: your filler cord and your working cord. The filler cord will follow the shape that you want to create as you make knots around it using your working cords.
- With your filler cord pointing left, take the working cord to its left. Lay the filler cord on top of the working cord.
- Take the working cord and fold it up and over the filler cord, poking the tail through the space created between the filler cord and working cord. This is your first half hitch.
- Now that the tail is again at the back of the filler cord, bring it up again to the front and make another half hitch to the left of your first one. The tail will come down and through the loop of itself.
- To make a double half hitch pointing towards the right, simply reverse the directions. Just remember that whichever way you are knotting, you’re always folding your cord back towards your filler cord. This video will give you a visual idea.
Lark’s Head Knot
The other knot that we’ll be using to attach the cords is the lark’s head knot. To achieve this knot, fold your cord in half and poke the folded end over the top of the cord you want to attach it to. Take the tail ends and put them through the folded loop. Pull it tight and you’re done.
Making your wings
- First, you will need to attach the initial cord to your stick. You can use any kind of stick, either a straight dowel or a natural branch. The length that your first cord will be depends on the size of your wings and how long you want your fringe to be. To work it out, lay your cord across your stick to the width you want for one wing. Remember to droop it down a little to give the right shape to your wings; the cord isn’t flush with the stick. Next, the hanging length should be the length of your finished wings plus the length of the fringe. Add about one-third of the total length extra to allow for your knots. Attach the middle of the cord to the middle of your stick using a lark’s head knot. Attach it at either side where you want the edges of the wings to be. This is also using a lark’s head knot, but when you don’t have two loose ends there is another way to achieve it:
Take the end of the cord and fold it from the front to the back of the stick. Bring it down on the inside then lay it on top of itself. Now take it to the back of the stick and fold it over the front and through the loop you’ve created in the front. Try to make sure that both sides are even, but you can adjust them a little bit once you’ve attached all of your cords.
- Fill the top part of your wings with cords using lark’s head knots, keeping them all the same length. Both sides should have the same number of cords, so you can adjust the length by loosening or tightening the length as needed. When you have attached them all, tighten up the initial knot by tying a single half hitch underneath the lark’s head knot. This keeps it from slipping.
- To make the shape of your wings you will create layers of double half hitch lines. Be very aware of the angles you are making with the lines and be sure to replicate them on the opposite side. Alternate sides so that you are creating the entire project from the top down, not one entire side then the other. The lines will change from being more or less horizontal, to gradually becoming almost vertical.
- After you have created the entire shape, you need to attach the fringe. The bottom layer will already have fringe, but the edges won’t. Take cords the same length as the fringe you already have and attach them to the outer cords of the wings using lark’s head knots.
- Finally, brush, unravel, and trim your fringe. There are two different options for this design; individual points at the ends of each wing, or having the wings set into one large point. I’ve got both examples here for you to see and help to make your decision.