Macrame Bird Leaves

You know. Bird Leaves. They look like leaves and they also look like feathers, so… Bird Leaves!

Okay okay, let’s get to it.


30 Minutes 
  • Macrame cord (Cotton, 3 strand, twisted like rope)
  • Scissors (Sharp ones, you want to cut clean, and safe)
  • A fine toothed comb (You can reuse it for hair later)
  • Ruler (Or something to measure against like a cut strip of paper)

To begin, gather all your supplies together and then start cutting some of your cord to length. One long piece of cord and double it over like in the middle image above. Then you’ll want to cut a bunch of equal lengths of the cord–always in even numbers–that will make up your leaf. The amount of equal length cords you’ll need is dependent on the longer cord, and the length will depend on how you want your leaf to look. 

Do you want the leaf to look very full? Cut longer cords. Do you want your leaf to look long and thin? Cut shorter lengths. 

Just remember: You can cut your cord back at the end, but you can’t add to it. So make sure its long enough to work with. I wouldn’t cut anything shorter than maybe 2.5 inches.

Making Your Leaves: The Knots

Start by grabbing two pieces of your short cord and fold them both over into loops.

Then take one loop and set it underneath your long doubled over core. Take your second loop and feed the feet of the second loop through the opening of the first loop from the top. Take the feet of the first loop and feed it through the opening of the second loop to make a sliding knot on the core (like in the second image above).

Note: You’re only ever tying around the center core, nothing goes through it, and it doesn’t tie to anything. The loops just hug the center cord.

Pull it all tight. It may try to wiggle around and untie itself. Just be patient with it. Tug slowly on opposing cords until it’s tight (like the middle picture).

Then repeat for the next row of loops and push it up tight to the first.

Note: You can do all the loops starting under on the same side (like the left leaf in the image below) or alternate which side you start your loop on (like the right leaf in the image below). This all depends on which side the first loop points in any loop pair.

Finishing Your Leaves: Styling

You’re going to repeat the knot pattern all the way down your leaf until there’s about an inch of the core strings hanging out the bottom of all the hugging loop pairs. 

Now’s the easy part!

Comb all the tails out until their fluffy and full. just brush down from the center to the end of the strands on one side, and then repeat for the other side! Easy!

Note: Look at how fluffy it is! It’s so soft. What a good bird leaf.


Now you get to decide what your leaf looks like! Grab those scissors and trim the ends of the cords to the shape you want. I went for a simple shape here, leaving the center strands the longest and making the tip and the stem the thinnest points.

This is where you get to make your choices! Have fun with it and make a bunch! They’re really quick once you get the hang of it. You can make them with multicolored macrame cord, or make them white and dip dye the ends with water color or fabric dye

The possibilities are endless!

Note: If one turns out more special than the others, set it aside and give it to someone you care about. You can stick these in a binder for school, hang it on a cork board of memories, or put them on key rings and make them into lanyards! You can even make them MASSIVE and hang a collection of them on a wall like the art they are. 

And who knows, maybe in a few years you can open an Etsy store and sell them (Large ones are selling for about $80 each right now before shipping) it might be something relaxing to do to make some extra spending money in college. 


Macra-MAKE as many as you want!

I’ll…just see myself out.

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Teen Librarian at the Valencia Library

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