DIY DYED MACRAME BACKDROP
Calling all bohemian wedding lovers! Today’s DIY is for you! EEK I have been so excited to share this project with you for so long and today is finally the day! Not only are we going to show you how you can create this epic macrame wall hanging, but we’re also going to show you guys how you can dye it a gorgeous colour to create a really striking piece! The great thing about this backdrop is that, although it looks really large and overwhelming, it’s actually 7 small macramé pieces lined up together, so you can just break it down section by section and assemble part by part!
Oh and did we mention the best part? You can totally create this using whatever colours best match your theme! We’ve teamed up with Rit Dye for this project and they have over 1000 colour formulas! There’s even this incredible colour formula guide that shows you a bunch of the different colours and the mixes you’ll need so you can make sure you order the perfect dyes to the get exact colour you love! It’s a LITERAL colour lovers dream!Ok, before we get started it’s worth noting that this is a BIG project, if you’re planning on creating this for your wedding then you’ll want to ensure you allow yourself plenty of time before hand to make it. There would be nothing worse that rushing to get this finished in those last days before the wedding. I would say this took me around 35-40 hours total to make (roughly 5 days), with learning all of the knot techniques and dying the project. This does not include the 1-2 days that it took for the project to fully dry afterwards. On the plus side, a piece this size on Etsy roughly costs £500 and this cost us around £95 in materials so if you’re wanting those boho vibes on a budget then creating your own is definitely the way forward! Of course there are also much simpler designs out there that would take a lot less time and if you’ve already purchased a piece then you can still dye it yourself with the simple steps towards the end of this post!
YOU WILL NEED:
5mm Cotton Rope (we used just under 6 of these 90metre rolls) // A large wooden pole (which we got from our local hardware shop and cut it to 5 feet) // Strong Scissors Elastic Bands/Thin hair bobbles // Masking Tape // Riy Dye in the colours of your choice, we used Eggplant, Fuchsia, Emerald & Dark Green for this project // Plastic gloves // Plastic dust protective sheet // A Paint brush // A plastic mixing bowl // A plastic jug // 3 separate glasses //
THE MACRAME PROCESS
If you’ve already got your macrame wall hanging and you simply want to know the best way to dye a pattern onto it then this skip this section until you get to the ‘dyeing process’ part of the post! If you want to make this entire piece from scratch then of course, read on….
STEP 1: First things first, I purchased 2 pattern sheets from Etsy to get this piece started, I had never created a macrame piece before so wanted to make sure I wasn’t winging it (at least for the start anyway), for the middle section I followed the instructions here, and for the two either side of that I followed these instructions, of course, if you’d prefer to swap out the middle three sections for a YouTube tutorial then you totally can! I just wanted to make sure I was doing it correctly to begin with.
Ok now don’t freak out when you see the instructions or follow any of the tutorials on YouTube, I promise it looks so much more confusing that it actually is, I was SO OVERWHELMED at the beginning of this project, I didn’t know any of the knots, had never worked with rope like this before and was worried about how it would turn out but once you get going it’s honestly much easier than you think!
STEP 2: You’ll want to get your rope ready for the middle section first, as we’re going to start at the centre then work our way out for this project. I cut sixteen 20 foot cords of rope, in hindsight this was slightly too long but I would rather it be too long than too short. Then to tie them to your wooden rod you need to fold each piece of rope in half and mount them to the bar using the Larks Head Knot technique.
Next tape up the ends of each of the ropes so that the ends don’t fray when you’re working with the rope, then you’re going to want to take your hand and one piece of string and start rapping the rope around and around until you’ve collected a large part of it, then secure with an elastic band. This just makes working with the long rope so much easier instead of having to thread and weave super long strands! Ok so now you’re ready to either follow the steps in this tutorialto create the same central pattern as me, or choose a different macrame piece on YouTube.STEP 3: Next it’s time to start on the two sections on either side of the middle (one at a time), you’ll want to cut twelve 20 foot cords of ropes for each and once again mount them to the rod using the Larks Head technique. This particular pattern uses the Diagonal Clove Hitch technique, as I stated before I used this pattern PDF to learn this exact pattern, or you can learn it through this YouTube tutorial.
STEP 4: The next sections on either side of these I just made up but it was VERY easy, it’s simply a cross between the first tutorial and the second. So I started by cutting ten pieces of rope in total, then tying them on as always with a Larks Head Knot. Start with 3 rows of square knots. The first row creating the knots with rope numbers 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16 and 17-20. The second row with rope numbers 3-6, 7-10, 11-14, 15-18. For the third row repeat the same pattern as the top row. Then I created two diagonal clove hitch patterns to start the top of the diamond, followed by another 3 rows of square knots, the same as the top. I finished it off with another two diagonal cross stitch patterns in the opposite direction to complete the diamond! Repeat this with ten more pieces of rope on the other side.
STEP 5: You’re so close to having the macrame part done now! YAY! Finish off the piece following this tutorial for a Berry Knot pattern to create those small end parts. You’ll only need to cut five pieces of rope for each of those end sections and once again you’ll need to mount them using the Larks Head Knot.
STEP 6: Now all that’s left to do is cut the macrame to the length you desire, I decided to cut each of the pieces individually in angles at the bottom to create a nice jagged line design at the bottom. It helps to get a ruler and mark the two outside pieces of rope on that section (these will be the shortest) then cut at a diagonally angle to the centre of that piece and repeat on the other side. Then repeat on the other sections of the macrame. I kept the middle design the longest, then gradually staggered the length of the other pieces up so they got shorter each time, excluding the two thin pieces on the end which I wanted to keep longer!
STEP 7: Ok I know I said you were almost done and you totally are, the large piece work is finished! I wanted to add on 6 tassels though to give the wall hanging an extra element (plus I knew I would want to dye them a different colour so we could have two different contrasts going on) So I followed this easy YouTube video on how to make tassels and made 6 of them! I decided to create 2 small, 2 medium and 2 long just to once again create a bit more interest in the piece! You don’t need to add these onto the piece yet as we’ll be doing this after they’re dyed.
THE DYEING PROCESS
Now the real fun part! I absolutely LOVED dyeing this piece and seeing the colours explode through the cotton as it soaked up the dye! Although I was equally scared to do it having spent so long creating the macrame I was scared to mess it up but I needn’t have worried! As I already mentioned I used Rit Dye for this piece and I’m so glad I did, the quality was amazing and the colours came out so vibrant and rich!
STEP 1: I decided to dye the large piece first, so I put down my waterproof protective sheet on the floor then laid the piece out on top, making sure that every single line of rope was laying flat and in it’s correct position.
STEP 2: Wet down the parts of your fabric that you want to dye, since this is such a large piece and it would be hard to dip it into anything, I used a spray water bottle to get the ends of the macramé damp.
STEP 3: Mixing up the dye! I wanted to achieve a shade of purple for this piece so I used a colour formula to create it! To get the same colour as me you’ll want to add 1/2 cup Eggplant, 1/2 cup Fuchsia and 1/4 cup Dark green to a large mixing bowl of 3 gallons of hot water. I also added salt to this and washing detergent as stated on the back of the dye bottles. (Side note: Be sure to have your plastic gloves on at this point, just in case!)
STEP 4: Here we go! Dip your clean paintbrush into the dye and start painting it onto the piece, starting at the bottom and work your way up! I did this in the sections again just because I wanted to vary how far I took the dye up each piece, I also tried as hard as I could to create an angle with the dye which mirrored where the macrame braiding stopped on each section. You’ll want to really saturate the ropes with the dye, you want to make sure that it’s getting all the way through to the back of the cord and is completely dyed all the way through, just because when the piece is hanging there is no guarantee that the rope will hang in that exact position, it could twist or turn slightly showing the back instead.
STEP 5: Keep going until you’ve finished dying the entire ends of each section, don’t panic if the dye is starting to creep up the rope a little, that’s totally normal plus it makes a really beautiful faded effect!
STEP 6: Hang up your piece to dry (ideally outside in the sunshine) or if you’re hanging it inside be sure to place an old towel or your plastic sheet underneath to catch any dripping of the dye. Do not put it against any walls as the wet dye will stain the wall surface!
STEP 7: Now it’s time to move on and dye those cute little tassels! To create this colour green I used 1/2 cup of emerald and 1/4 cup of dark green to 1.5 gallons of hot water, I mixed this up in a large jug (along wit the salt and washing liquid again) and then poured the mix into 3 separate glasses, I put a different amount of the dye mixture in each glass so that it would cover the different lengths of tassels I had.
STEP 8: Submerge the first three tassels into the glasses, one small, one medium and one large. I wanted the dye to only reach the loose ends of the tassels but it’s up to you how much you dye! Leave them in the mix for 5 minutes then remove from glass and place on plastic sheet. Repeat with other three tassels.
STEP 10: Finally tie these up to dry too, make sure they’re not touching each other (or the large macrame piece) when hanging to dry as you don’t want the dye to transfer over to unwanted sections.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Yeesh we’ve come so far haven’t we?! Time to see the fruits of our labour! Simply tie the tassels onto the project using the Larks Knot technique, it’s up to you where you place them! At first I had them mounted on either side of the macrame, but later moved 2 on each side further into the piece and kept 2 on the outskirts. What do you guys think?!
To decorate it we simply weaved some greenery throughout the top and mounted it on the wall, how perfect does it look for behind the top table?! Of course you could even put one behind the cards and gifts table, or the seating arrangements, or even have one as a photo-booth backdrop! The possibilities are endless! And once the wedding is over it would look pretty darn bad ass hanging up in your house too as a constant reminder of what an epic day your wedding was!
Don’t forget if you want even more DIY tutorials from us then click here or to see more of Rit Dye and add a huge splash of colour to your instagram then follow them here!You should also check out their wedding inspiration page because it’s full to the brim of gorgeous dye ideas like dyed wedding dresses, table runners and more! xxx