I am a sucker for unique nursery decor, but I am even more of a sucker for doing it myself at a fraction of the price! After scouring the internet for the perfect "find" I stumbled across a tutorial for a DIY rope rainbow. It seemed easy enough, and since the purchase price was almost $200 I figured it was worth a try! (Although if you aren't crafty, click here to see the cutest Etsy shop full of rainbows!) Liv is not a "rainbow baby" in the sense that she followed a miscarriage, but she is definitely a reminder of God's promise to me for a daughter!
This is not a quick project. I spent an entire day on this, not to mention shopping for the "ingredients". But I am totally happy with how it turned out, and even happier with the meaning behind it. So lets get started!
WHAT YOU NEED:
Thick rope - This is key. I opted for the cheaper rope pack at Lowe's that was $18 instead of $45 but here's what I didn't get. My "fringe" is more shiny, where if you buy real rope, your fringe will look more boho/macrame. I ended up not minding once it was all said and done, and I was definitely choosing the budget option. Lay it out before you buy!
Yarn - Whatever colors you want! I bought mine at Michael's and it was $1.67 for a huge amount. I barely made a dent in my colors. Mix in yarn with textures or metallics to make it interesting!
Wire - Strong enough to hold shape, and make sure you have wire cutters.
Curved upholstery needle - DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP, I almost did. Once the layers are wrapped you'll need to sew them to each other and it would be impossible without this. Costs around $2.
(I am borrowing pictures and explanations from PureSweetJoy blog, because I didn't stop enough to take good enough pictures of my own process!)
1. Start out by laying out the rope in your rainbow shape. Cut each piece and tape up the end to keep it from unravelling. Remember to leave enough extra rope for the fringe.
2. Cut a piece of wire and bend it the shape of the rainbow layer. Keep the wire a bit shorter than where you want the rope to be wrapped.
3. Using a clear tape, tape the wire to the rope at either end and in the centre. This tape will get wrapped around and covered and will then be stitched through, so don’t make it too thick.
4. Start wrapping the rope with your thread. Since I’m using a thin thread, I pulled of a long section and doubled it up twice. This meant I was wrapping four pieces of thread at a time, making it MUCH faster. Start by tying a simple knot around the rope. Lay the extra tail of thread up, on the rope. Wrap your thread around the rope, covering over the tail end. Keep all wire, knots, stitching and other extras on the back side of your rope rainbow layers.
5. Keep wrapping your thread around the rope, making sure that the front side of the layers is neatly and fully covered. If small bits of rope show through on the back it’s not the end of the world. They can often be covered over at the end, by rubbing the threads a bit.
Once you’ve finished wrapping that colour, tie another knot at the other end. If it doesn’t feel secure, tie another one. Thread the tail pieces through, under the wrapped thread and them trim them off neatly. With each layer, be sure to line them up when wrapping to try and get the wrapped colours to match up as neatly as possible at the ends.
6. Stitch the layers together, one at a time. A curved upholstery needle makes the job so much easier! Do a back stitch on the back side, at one end of the wrapped rope. Make sure it’s firm. Zigzag back and forth between the new outside layer and the layer before it. Do a back stitch every now and then to keep it all tightly together.
7. Unravel your rope fringe and practice your hairstyling skills, by giving the rainbow a haircut. I really loved the look of the long fringe, but since my inner layer had a short fringe I had to try even it out a bit. Rather than cutting the whole fringe the short length, I chose to cut a slightly messier, layered look. This meant I could blend in the short fringe section with longer pieces.
Thank you for reading along, and make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make one!