DIY: Rope Rainbow for under $30!

We have been conducting an experiment in the Team BF household and it’s been going rather well. We declared January through March “No Spend” months.  Well, I declared them no-spend months and my husband was forced to abide. Not that he has had much trouble, since I’m the professional spender in our home.

The rules are simply this: No spontaneous spending (so long, Target!) and anything we do buy has to be long lasting or for a very particular (approved) reason.

It’s amazing the amount of money we have saved from just keeping me out of Target.

I mean, seriously… We could buy a second home with the amount of money I was spending on ridiculous things.  It might be a tiny home, but it would still be a home.

Anyway, in the midst of this no-spend declaration, we needed to get Ivy a new bed (hers was like sleeping on cardboard covered rocks) and she has been asking for a “unicorn and rainbows” bedroom forever.  So, in the most economical way possible, I have been *tweaking* her bedroom and slowly turning it into a magical unicorn universe.

It really is amazing what a coat of paint and some new (inexpensive) bedding can do!

Someday soon I will write a post on the before and after of Ivy’s room and how I did it on a real life budget.

(No I won’t.)

But this particular blog post is a simply a tutorial on a DIY rainbow rope wall hanging I made.

I have seen these rope rainbows around a lot lately and I love them.  Whomever originally came up with this design, I salute you (and the trademark paralegal in me thinks you should have perhaps gotten a copyright on these puppies).  Unfortunately, they are super expensive (like, $100) for these small three to seven inch rainbows – and I just could not justify hitting the “add to cart” button on Etsy.  So, I googled some tutorials (look up “DIY rope rainbows” and you’ll find some posts).  After skimming a few, I got the gist of it and headed to Michaels.

You have a few choices depending on how big you want your rainbow.  I opted for the thickest rope, because I wanted a larger wall hanging.  You can certainly choose the thinner rope for smaller rainbows, etc.  The best part of DIY is that you can customize it any way you want!



The items you’ll need if you do it my way:

  • 2 pkgs jute rope, 15mm x 2.1mm (click here) – $7.39 each
  • 5 rolls of yarn – about $3 each (Michael’s currently has a sale “buy one, get one 1/2 off”, so mine were even less!)
  • 1 pkg paper wrapped stem wire (click here) – $2.59
  • Painters or masking tape

That’s it!  Now let’s get started:

  • Shape your rope into the top/longest arch of the rainbow and cut to size.  Then place the remaining rope under that piece and cut again – and so forth (pretty self explanatory). I did five layers.
  • After cutting all of your pieces, line up your rainbow as you want it and wrap about 2-3 inches of each bottom with the tape (these will eventually be your tassle clouds).
  • Decide which colors you want for each rope and start wrapping!  Just knot your yarn at the bottom of one side – right above the painters tape – and wrap it tightly around and around, leaving no sight of the rope.  This part becomes tedious and actually cramped up my arm a bit, but once you get going, you’ll finish them pretty quickly.  I suggest wrapping them as tight as you can, so there are no loose or hanging loops. Once you reach the end of each rope, tie the yarn in a knot (a few times) above the painters tape on that side.
  • Once you have all the rope wrapped, you may notice some aren’t even. Don’t worry!  Mine weren’t either. Once I took the tape off, I tweaked each one until they were where I wanted them (you may end up unraveling or re-raveling some areas with yarn to make them even).
  • Shape your rainbow exactly as you want it and bind it together with the stem wire at each base (above the painters tape and then two at the top – as shown in my photo).  If you look at other tutorials, you’ll notice this is where I really strayed. They used wire with each piece of rope and threaded it in. I didn’t. Using the stem wire was easier to me – and I also actually like the natural look running across the rainbow. It looks very homemade to me – and I like that look!
  • Take off the painters tape and loosen the rope pieces until they become fluffy tassels. You may need to trim some pieces to make them even.


And voila!  You now have a rope rainbow that you have done yourself – for under $30!  The rainbows I found for sale online were not even half this size and were at least 3x as expensive.  Doing this yourself is totally worth your time, trust me!

Also – I want to note: if any of this doesn’t work for you, just find a way to tweak it!  I bought the stem wire thinking I’d use it the way others instructed, but that wasn’t working for me – so I figured out a way on my own.  You’ve got this!

To hang the rainbow on Ivy’s wall, I just sewed a piece of twine to the back and hooked it on a nail. The rainbows also look great just sitting on a shelf!

So, there you have it… I apologize that I don’t have any photos of the process. I honestly wasn’t planning on writing a blog post on this, but I posted a photo on Instagram and received a lot of requests on the how-to.  For anyone who thinks they aren’t “crafty” or can’t do this, you can!  Just dive in and make it work – it doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to do it exactly this way.

Make your own rules… and your own rainbow!







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