Ombre Dip-Dye Macrame Feathers

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By General Craft Contributor Michelle

Have you tried dip-dyeing?  This is a great project to try this technique, while creating a stylish Boho piece of wall art.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

Using your macarame kit, follow the directions, and create the feathered wall hanging.  Just a note about the kit:  The directions have you cut, and separate the strands of macrame cord to create the feathers.  They instruct you to separate each of the twisted cord pieces into THREE smaller strands, but the cord is actually made up of FOUR strands twisted together.  I just separated them into the four separate strands, and then continued using them as directed.  I can’t see any difference in my final project, and I’m wondering if it’s a typo, as it would be a pain to try to create three even strands, from the four very separate strands.   Just separate them into four strands, and go on.

Collect your dyeing materials.  Lay down newspaper, or work on a surface you don’t care about, as the dye is VERY staining.  Be sure to wear rubber gloves.  I mixed my dye in a quart-sized glass measuring cup.  You will use VERY little of the dye packet, as it is super concentrated.  The package says to add a cup of salt to your dye mixture, using so little of the dye, I threw a couple of tablespoons  of salt in the bottom of my container and went on.  I added nearly boiling water to my salt to help dissolve it, and stirred with a spoon until it was combined.  Wearing your gloves, snip off a teeny part of the corner of your dye package.  Sprinkle a tiny amount into your water, we’re trying to make a very light shade of dye at this point.  You want it to be just lightly colored, see through color.  Carefully dip your first feather into the dye, stopping before you reach the top of the feather, so the top inch, or so is still the natural color of your cotton cord.  Pull out of the dye, and hold over the container until the feather stops dripping. Dip the other two feathers in the same manner.  The wooden dowel the feathers are attached to is a great handle to hold onto as you’re dipping, just be sure your hands are clean so you don’t stain the dowel.  Using the dowel, rest your wall hanging on the middle divider of the sink, or across a bowl, or bucket, so you can mix the next shade.   Add tiny increments of dye powder to your light colored dye, until you have a medium colored dye.  Dip the feathers again, this time leaving the natural colored band, and a band of the first, lighter color.

Once again, add more dye to your medium dye to create a dark shade of dye.  In hindsight, I wish I would have made my darkest dye a little darker, because it dried a little lighter.  Maybe add a little more dye than you think you need.  Dip just the tips of feathers, and then prop your feathers up again across a bowl, bucket, or the sink, to let them dry.  You want them to hang down freely, rather than laying flay.

I propped mine up outside and they dried in the sun in no time at all.

When they’re dry, they’ll probably look kind of twisted, and clumpy.  That’s okay.

Untwist them, and gently brush the strands out to the sides.  You can even use a comb to help you straighten, and fluff your feathers.  Trim any scraggly pieces.

Take a leftover piece of cord and tie it onto each end of the dowel to create a hanger.  Now hang up your pretty feathers, and admire your handiwork!

Happy Crafting!

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