Macrame Feather Earrings
Updated: Mar 13, 2021
First off, let me just say, I don’t have pierced ears. But that’s not going to stop me from making these earrings! LOL! I also know next to nothing about macramé, so if I can make these earrings, so can you.
These earrings are fun to make, and easy to make in bulk. They work up quickly, so they’d make a great addition to your market booths, too.
Want to buy some macramé earrings from me? Click here to view them in my Etsy shop.
First off, let’s talk materials.
I have found that I absolutely love Lion Brand Yarn’s Coboo yarn for this project. If you don’t have any, or don’t have access to it, embroidery floss would be a good substitute. The reason Coboo works so great for this is that it has a nice sheen (a little bit shiny), and it easily splits into its individual “plies” (strands). That makes it somewhat of a hassle to crochet with, but perfect for this project! It also is 50% cotton, 50% bamboo rayon, so it’s pretty resilient.
You’re going to need some earring findings. I picked these up at JoAnn Fabric & Crafts, but you can pick any kind of ear wires you like, they just need to have a loop to be able to attach your work to.
Washi Tape (or any tape, but I like to use washi)
Tassel Maker, or cardboard template (link to the one I have)
Hair Straightener (small travel size works great!)
Rotary Cutter (link to the one I have)
Cutting Mat (link to one I have)
Quilting Ruler (link to one)
Let’s Get Making!
Cut 20 lengths of yarn approximately 5-6 inches long. This is enough for one earring. Cut another 20 pieces for the second earring (40 total). We’ll trim this later, but it’s better to be too long than too short. I have a tassel maker that I use to wrap the yarn around 20 times, then cut one edge to create the 20 pieces I need; then I repeat for the second earring.
You can also use a cardboard template or anything, really, that you can wrap your yarn around to get consistent lengths. If I know I am making several pairs of earrings, I will cut a bunch of yarn ahead of time to speed up the process.
You also need to cut two lengths of yarn that are about 12 inches long each. This will be for the center body of the earrings and will be what attaches to the earring hook.
Straighten Yarn (optional)
This step may not be necessary depending on your materials, but I like to run a warm hair straightener over my cut strands before assembling the earrings. I have a travel-sized hair straightener that I use to smooth out the strands because they can come out of the yarn skein somewhat curlicue sometimes. If you have an adjustable temperature straightener, I would use the lowest temperature setting, but mine doesn’t have an adjustment and it works just fine on the Coboo yarn.
Make sure to run the straightener over the yarn somewhat quickly, as if you linger, the heat may discolor the yarn.
DO NOT DO THIS STEP IF YOU’RE USING ACRYLIC MATERIALS.
Assemble Base of Earring
Take your ear wire and your first long strand of yarn. Feed the yarn through the ear wire. I find it easiest to fold the yarn, then feed the loop through the ear wire.
Knot the yarn as close as possible to the ear wire.
At this point, I have found it’s easiest to use washi tape (or any low-tack tape) to tape the ear wire down to your work surface so it stays in place while you work with it.
Add 1st Layer of Yarn
Lift up the center yarn that you just attached to the ear wire so it’s out of the way for a moment.
Take your first strand of yarn and fold it in half. Lay it down in line with your ear wire.
Take your next strand of yarn, fold it in half, and lay it down beneath the first strand of yarn, but with the cut ends on the opposite side from the folded end.
Lay down 10 folded strands of yarn, alternating the direction of the cut ends back and forth for each piece (see picture).
Now lay the center yarn on top of the folded yarns you’ve laid down.
Add 2nd Layer of Yarn
Lay a layer of yarn on top of the center yarn in the same manner as the first layer, but alternating the side that the cut edge of yarn is on. So, if your first strand on the 1st layer was laid down like a C, with the cut ends of the strand to the right, the second layer should be laid down like a backward C with the cut ends of the strand to the left.
Alternate the direction of the folded yarn, back and forth, for 10 strands.
For each of the 10 strands of the second layer of yarn, there should be a corresponding strand of yarn on the first layer. You’ll now make the first and second layers of yarn intertwine to form a knot.
To do this, tuck the top layer of yarn ends into the loop of the first layer of yarn. Also, pull the yarn ends of the first layer of yarn up through the loop of the second layer of yarn.
Repeat this for each of the 10 sets (1st and 2nd layers) of yarn.
At this point you can slowly start to pull the left and right sections of yarn outward from the center to tighten the knots formed. I use my thumb to hold down the bottom of the center yarn, or you can tape it down to your work surface. Then use your index fingers to slide the strands outward from the center.
After you’ve slid the strands outward in each direction, you should have something like this:
Remove the tape from the earring.
Adjust & Secure
Slide each of the knots up the center strand so they are nice and tight together, and tightly against the knot at the top of the earring. Pull them outward once again to make sure they are nice and secure.
If you want, you can measure from the first knot to the last knot to make sure each of your two earrings will come out the same length, but I mostly just like to eyeball it.
Using the center yarn, make a knot just beneath the last knot in the strand. This needs to be snug against the line of knots so it secures everything in place.
Lay your earring back down on your work surface and grab your comb. Comb out each side to separate the strands in the yarn. I like to lay my index finger down along the line of knots so I can hold them secure while combing outward. This also prevents me from snagging the knots with my comb.
Once you’ve combed out one side, flip the earring over and comb out the other side.
If you feel it’s necessary, you can use your hair straightener to re-straighten any wayward strands.
Cut & Shape
Lay your earring on your cutting mat. Comb one side of your earring straight out from the center of the earring. I leave the center strand straight down, and trim that last.
Using your quilting ruler and rotary cutter, measure out from the center how long you want the fringe on your earrings to be. I cut mine 1.5 inches from the center.
Cut your strands with the rotary cutter and quilting ruler. I prefer the quilting ruler from a normal ruler because you can see through it to make sure your earring is lined up straight before you cut, as well as that it flattens out the piece and keeps it more secure when you are cutting. The rotary cutter works great because you can cut all the strands with one swipe.
If you don’t have all the fancy tools that I do, you can also just use a pair of sharp scissors.
Once you’ve cut the first side, flip the earring over and cut the other side using the same measurement from the center.
Now that both sides are cut equally, comb both sides downward toward the center strand that hasn’t been trimmed yet. Where the two sides of fringe come together at the bottom is where you will want to trim the center strand of yarn.
Trim any strands that may be sticking out further than the others.
Your earring is finished! Now you just need to make another one. 😉
Tips & Variations
You don’t have to make these earrings in the same size that I do. To make your finished earrings longer or shorter, do more or less than 10 knots down the center strand.
To make your finished earrings wider, cut each side longer than 1.5 inches. Cut them less than 1.5 inches to make them narrower.
You can use a light hairspray or starch spray to help keep your earrings tidy and straight, but I honestly think they do just fine after using the hair straightener on them.
If you’re not into earrings, use this same technique to make a keychain. I have made some clip-on keychains with this method and loved how they’ve turned out.
Try making them bulkier by using more than one strand of yarn at a time.
If you want your finished piece to spiral, you can create your knots in the same direction, instead of alternating back and forth. So, when you lay down your first layer of yarn, put all the cut ends on the same side rather than doing left-right-left, etc., and make all the ends of your second layer go in the opposite direction of the first layer. This will lend the finished piece to twisting into a spiral.
You can also trim your earrings into different shapes. Maybe you’d prefer them to be a little narrower at the top and wider at the bottom (sort of leaf shaped). That is all in how you trim them. You can also make yourself a cutting template out of cardboard or some other sturdy material and lay it on top of your piece to use as a guide to trim around.
You can also make these in different sizes or yarns to create feathers to use in many different ways. You can hang them from a metal loop and create sort of a minimal boho-style dreamcatcher or wall hanging.
Use floral wire as the center ‘string’ to make them bendable.
Use them instead of tassels.
Alternate colors of knots to give the finished piece some variation.
Did I lose you somewhere back there?
I’ve created a video tutorial, below, to show you exactly how I create these, in case video is more your style of learning.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy making these macramé feathers! I would love to see your finished pieces! Tag me on social media @CraftilyConcocted to show me your finished pieces.
I absolutely encourage you to sell your finished pieces, if that is your thing.
*The photos on this web page belong to Alicia Mugaas of Craftily Concocted and may not be used for product sales/product listings (please take your own photos). Please share a link back to my blog if you would like someone else to see or work with this tutorial. Thank you so much and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!*