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Monday
Feb062012

{DIY} Paper Feather Tutorial

This isn’t the first feather tutorial out there, I’m certain. There’s stuff out there on the interwebs for all sorts of things to make with feathers if you’d like to incorporate them into your wedding décor.

While I was at the trade show in Atlanta, I was pleased to find that the whole French Provincial/Vintage look is still alive and well. It was all over the the place, including the Scott Antique Show I hit up. I don’t think this is a look that’s going to go quietly into the night, like say chevrons.

Anyway, when I’m at a show I often see displays or products for sale that cost an arm and a leg and I always think to myself, “What the hell? This is so expensive! Why, I can make that for a fraction of the price! Pfft.”

And then I never do it.

Well today I did, dammit.

What I saw in a showroom was a big Christmas tree (because it’s always Christmas at the Atlanta show!) decorated with burlap, twine, clear glass and the like. It was really pretty. It also had all these pretty paper feathers stuck in it and that’s when I got all crafty-pious and decided I could do the same.

While I love The Martha with all my obsessive-compulsive heart, her online tutorials (as well as many others) are often lacking in where to find some of the crazy things they use in craft projects. In fact, recently I wanted to make a shrimp stir-fry The Martha had in her February issue. I’m reading down the ingredients, check check check, whoa 1/2 teaspoon of SAMBAL OELEK? What the fuck is that? And just like that, I abandon the recipe. Because I don’t care that sambal oelek is like Asian chili sauce. I care that I don’t have it in my cupboard and I’m not about to go hunt for the shit, pay $800 for a 6 ounce bottle so that I can use it once for this lame recipe. I feel that way a lot regarding craft projects.  I’m going to guess that you might too. Who has time for all this nonsense? No one, that’s who.

My goal is make DIY as simple and as cheap as possible. Otherwise, what the hell is the point?

So, all bitching aside, let’s get to it, shall we?  Here’s what you’ll need:

Step1

  1. Paper, crafters choice. I wanted to use  sepia colored music paper. Naturally, when I’m looking to find ANYTHING vintage-y to print out, I go to The Graphics Fairy. If you’re looking for something specific, go to her search function and you’re bound to find it. I very quickly went to Sheet Music and found several things to print out that worked fabulously, thank you very much. FYI – Card stock or heavier paper might not be best for this project. I used regular old copy paper. Tissue or thinner paper would be super pretty, but probably much harder to work with. I had some that I show in the above pictures, but I didn’t use it because I liked the music paper best.
  2. Feather Template. Google that phrase and you’ll get several options. I found mine right here.
  3. Wire. I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $3.99. I was intending to use floral wire, but I think I left it in the garage when I made the Christmas Wreath on the cheap. I was too lazy to go out in the cold to get it. This heavier gauge worked fine.
  4. Wire Cutters. Or scissors you don’t mind fucking up when you cut the wire, because it will totally ruin your scissors. Forewarned and all.
  5. Glue Stick.
  6. Paper Scissors.

Step 1

Step2

  • Cut out your feather template and just put a quick spot of the glue stick on the back and lay it on top of several sheets of your pretty paper and cut them out. I wasn’t careful or accurate.
  • Reverse the feather and do the same so that you have a front and back for the feather. I didn’t do this and it didn’t really make a difference, I just had to trim some of the edges later. No biggie, but if you’re doing these en masse, it would save you time in the long run.

Step 2

Step3

  • Cut a length of wire the length of the feather, plus a little for the “stem.”

Step 3

Step4

  • Glue stick, baby. On the wrong side of your paper.

Step5

  • Lay the wire on the glued paper.

Step6

  • Place another feather cut-out on top and sandwich the wire between the two pieces of paper, making sure it’s a good seal all around. *Note how my feather templates don’t match (the white paper part). I just trimmed them up. Feathers, snowflakes and sand grains aren’t perfect and no two are alike. Don’t worry about perfection.

Step7

  • Get to snippin’. I opted for some smaller scissors for this and it made for faster feather production. I wasn’t careful or even or anything. I cut big chunks and small chunks and just went at it. The finer the snips, the better looking your feather will be, I’m guessing.

Step 4

Step8 Step9

  • Fluff and bend. Crinkle up the snipped edges, bend the wire a bit and give them some dimension.

Step10

  • If you want to create bunches, gather the stems together and wrap one of the stems around the others.

That’s it! You’re done!

And voila! I made three of them and then stuck them in a bottle I had in my studio with some fake Hobby Lobby style flowers I had from an old arrangement. I actually added in two real ostrich feathers for color. It’s not the prettiest arrangement of all time, but I totally did this whole project in like 20 minutes. No lie.

And there are SO MANY things you can use these suckers for. Make them in smaller sizes for boutonnieres. Wrap the stems in floral tape and tuck them in and around your menus/napkins. Scatter them as table décor. Include them in your bouquet.  Drive yourself batty and make teeny tiny ones and glue them to your table cards. So many craft projects, so little time.

I’m just happy that I proved to myself that I can, in fact, make shit instead of buying it and for super-duper cheap. You can too. 

So do you like? Do tell.

Reader Comments (1)

What an amazing idea, something that is relatively basic but looks like a real work of art. Something the bride and groom can reflect on in the future. I'm a big fan of DIY things like this.

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