Rainbows, in many different forms, are everywhere at the moment and I’m certainly not complaining. Although, if you’ve been around here a while. you also won’t be surprised that I like my rainbows on the pink and grey side of things 🙂 This rope rainbow DIY started out as a project for Bubs’ little room, but now that it’s done it has actually earned a spot in the main living area. Even though we repainted over a year ago, our walls are still so bare, so here’s to hoping that this first gorgeous piece of wall decor can be the start of an ever productive styling time!
If you love this rope rainbow trend, you absolutely have to check out Mandi Smethells. I would be happy to call her the Rainbow Queen. Seriously, she’s brilliant! So much inspiration for gorgeous shapes! Now that I’ve figured out a technique with the standard rainbow, I’m definitely going to try play around with some other pieces. Her work is available straight from her Etsy store.
I’ll be totally honest and say that this is not the quickest DIY. It’s not particularly difficult, but wrapping just takes time. Fortunately, it is something that you can work on a bit at a time while watching Netflix. There are little tricks to make it go quicker too, but if DIY is not your thing, I wouldn’t put this at the top of your list. I loved making it and don’t want to put you off, I’m just being honest. I probably worked on it a bit each day for 5 days, so it’s really not that bad. DIY’ing gives you so much room to play with amazing textures and colours and I love the feeling of seeing things I’ve made myself up in our home.
If you’re not up for the DIY, there are also some local South African brands that stock very similar gorgeous rainbows too. You can find them here and here (available as first come first served). I haven’t seen either in person, but considering the work that goes into it, the prices are really good!
Let’s get down to it. Have fun, be creative. I’d love to see what you come up with! #puresweetjoyblog
Rope Rainbow DIY Wall Hanging
What you need:
Thick rope, about 15mm (5/8 inch) wide. (The length will depend on your rainbow’s size. You can always lay it out roughly in the shop, before buying. I used about 3,5 meters for 7 rope rainbow layers)
Thread or yarn, in a variety of colours, for wrapping (Thicker threads or wool will be much quicker to wrap, but I like the thin thread look and I’m a firm believer in using what you’ve got rather than always buying more and more supplies). You can really go wild here by trying different textures, colours, thicknesses or even adding some metallic yarn.
Wire, strong enough to hold a shape, but easy enough to bend with your hands.
Cotton, for sewing the layers together
Normal straight needle, large enough for the thread used to wrap your rope.
Curved upholstery needle
Wire cutting pliers
Ribbon, for hanging
What to do:
1. Start 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.
8. Finally, to hang it up, sew a small strong ribbon or piece of cord onto the back centre of the rainbow, Be sure to sew it on securely. Since the full weight of the rainbow will hang on this ribbon the stitches must go into the actual rope, ideally right through, rather than just pulling on the outer wrapped thread.
I’d love to see your Pure Sweet Joy DIYs. Show me on Instagram using #puresweetjoyblog or email me at deborah [at] puresweetjoy [dot] co.za. Like what you see here? Follow along on Facebook or Bloglovin and subscribe to the newsletter for exclusive access to the latest news and freebies.