May 15, 2012

Feather Making Tutorial

This tutorial was published last Tuesday on Infarrantly Creative. Thank you so very much Beckie for the opportunity to guest blog. Have you seen Beckie's blog? It is a must read!

Now I'll show you how to make handmade feathers here on Blue Sky Confections. Today I'll be using embroidery floss but I've made feathers using yarn and bakers twine. Try them all and see which you prefer.


This crafty goodness was actually a happy accident. I was trying my best to make a hot air balloon decoration for my sons room out of yarn using liquid starch, a balloon and a wire frame that I had created. Because the project was taking me much longer than anticipated I had to stop about half way through. The first part dried, the balloon shrunk, and I was left with deep disappointment. I had failed and the project sat unfinished for weeks. I finally decided to cut the yarn off the frame thinking that I might make a fabric cover for the wire frame. As I was snipping I saw what looked like gorgeous feathers but because the wire was smooth the yarn would not stay put.

So this is what you'll need to make your own:
Cloth Stem Wire - Very important to have the "cloth" variety. You can find this in the floral section of your local craft store.
Liquid Starch - This is what makes the magic happen
Wire Snips
Glue Stick
Sharp Scissors
Yarn, Embroidery Floss, Bakers Twine or even Jute

  • Using your wire snips cut the cloth stem wire to the desired length and apply glue to one end
  • Begin winding tightly starting about a half inch from the end
  • Once you reach the end begin winding back all the way to the other end of the wire
  • Before you reach the end
  • Apply more glue wind all the way to the end and then back about a half inch
  • Once you've wound to the end and back about a half inch snip the floss and glue in place
  • Cut several pieces of floss about 3 inches long
  • Begin single knotting each piece of floss starting about a half inch from the end (that portion will be the stem of the feather)
  • Follow through all the way to the end
  • Pour some liquid starch in a shallow container and submerge
  • Once fully soaked gently squeeze excess starch out of the floss
  • Lay out on a piece of plastic (I used a kitchen trash bag) shape with your fingers and let sit until completely dried. Yarn will take at least 48 hrs.. Floss and bakers twine dry in about 24 hrs.

So now that you've got your feathers made take your sharpest pair of scissors and trim to desired shape and dimensions.

You can use these little lovelies in wreaths or...


make some really stunning garland for Christmas or anytime of year really. They could be used in your table settings or even make really long stemmed feathers and add them to a flower arrangement or wedding bouquet.

Smaller versions can be used to make jewelry, like these earrings I'm in the process of finishing that were made using bakers twine.

But don't stop here. I've got some more feathers drying that I plan to make into hair picks and maybe even a necklace.

Color options are endless. The feathers below are two shades of coral but the photo is making them appear more red.


Experiment with your feathers by adding a pattern using paint pens. I applied a chevron pattern, by hand, using a gold leafing pen. Don't you think these would make beautiful earrings?


Thanks for reading! Now go make your own feather creations!

Jenn K.

25 comments:

  1. I LOVE this - what a great tutorial.

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  2. Umm...WOW! Very cool tutorial Jenny! Love it! Must do this with miss Moya. TFS!

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    1. Thanks Cindy!!! I just bought some more yarn to make a garland for my workspace. Need to add a little whimsy!

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  3. AnonymousJuly 25, 2012

    Love it with the gold!

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  4. AnonymousJuly 25, 2012

    Love the gold.

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  5. This is amazing!! I'm planning on making these for a dreamcatcher I'm creating for my bedroom. These feathers are going to be perfect! :)

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  6. Thank you!! That will be beautiful!

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  7. Me gustan mucho, intentaré hacerme unos pendientes! Gracias por comparir esta magnífica idea.

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  8. Thank you! I am vegan and I object to using feathers in my hair accessories, because you never know what happened to the animal. I love the look of feathers, and I have a ton of old floss - this just changed my life! A great big thank you and hug!

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  9. This is seriously the coolest tutorial ever. I cannot wait to play with this. Thanks!

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  10. Whaouuuuu ! Thank you so much for this idea which is so great and which allows us to make a lot of different things :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading and I'm glad you're able to use this.

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  11. Superbe idée mais je ne suis pas certaine d'avoir tout compris
    Lou

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  12. Thank you for sharing your beautiful technique and happy accident!
    Janet

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    1. Thank you Janet and thank you for reading.

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  13. Thank you for sharing it
    So beautiful and poetic !!

    Sophie

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  14. These are beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your technique and inspiration!!

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  15. Great tutorial, thank you so much~!

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  16. AnonymousJune 28, 2013

    Thank you so much for this!! Is there anything else I can use instead of liquid starch?

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  17. These are awesome! Thanks for the tutorial!

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