You know when you find a blog that just sucks you in and you dive deeper and deeper into it and then completely and utterly fall in love with the content? Well that is what happened to me when I happened on Blue Sky Confections last week. I was sucked in mby a handmade feather wreath she had made and thirty minutes later I hadn’t left. I begged Jenn to share with me and YOU how she made these gorgeous handmade feathers. Check it out! Isn’t that just gorgeous? Please welcome Jenn with her handmade feather tutorial!
So here goes. I’m going to do my best to show you what I did to make feathers. Today I’m showing you using embroidery floss.
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.
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
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. 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? I’m picturing them worn with an off the shoulder summer dress, hair pulled back with a bit of a sun-kissed glow.
Again I’m thrilled to have been able to guest post for Beckie!!! Thanks again for the opportunity!
Isn’t that amazing? Thank you Jenn for sharing on IC today! Okay ladies now hop on over to Blue Sky Confections. I will give you a little kick to get you started in that direction…
Word Search Onesie, It’s a Boy Free Printable, Crocheted Bangle
Thank you again Beckie for this opportunity!
So beautiful and I would have never thought that the process was so doable and easy. Thanks so much for sharing. The color possibilities are endless. Awesome idea. Lesley
These are so cool! They look like they would feel really soft. I feel like small ones would look really cute on a headband or hair clip!
Fabulous Jenn! Thank you and you too Beckie! I’m a newbie here but absolutely LOVE all that I have seen. xoxo
Oh my this is awesome. I can see so many uses for these and I love that they only require a few supplies. Wonderful.
Wow, what a wonderful tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing, it’s perfect for Mother’s Day 😀
Wow! That is one of the coolest “accidents” I have ever seen! Keep up the great work!
I’m crazy over feathers! I can’t wait to make one. Thanks for sharing.
That’s so clever! The younger generation are wearing feathers in their hair right now–perfect!
I am absolutely thrilled. I have always wondered how I could make feathers of my own without having to ask a bird! Ths tutorial makes me very happy and I will start on feathers soon. Thank you so much and many greetings from Germany
Wow! These are incredible. Great tutorial
quick question, could this work with stiffy stuff, which is sold in craft stores?
Fabulous tutorial, making the creation of these beautiful feathers look so easy!
Thank you so much, Jenn and Beckie!
So I gave this a try and my feather did not firm up at all after being soaked in the starch and then allowed to dry. It also developed an odd white film. Any advice?
I’m with Lois – after soaking and then allowing the feathers to dry, they didn’t really become stiff…?
Wow wow wow. So beautiful. I have to try this. Thanks for leading me to her beautiful blog!!
No stiffness at all after soaked/dried. Maybe a longer soak?
Will definitly try this! Is that an special glue or regular? I´m from argentina, so i don´t know the name of the brand shown in the picture!
I can’t wait to try this! So original. Thank you for the tutorial!
Thank you so much for this tutorial! These are absolutely beautiful! I have always loved the look of things made with feathers, but as a vegan I would be a hypocrite if I wore them 🙁 Now I don’t have to 🙂
this is a great tuto! but i don’t get it, what is the point of liquid starch?
It stiffens the yarn so it holds its shape.
Wow! These are beautiful. I like how each design is a little different. The types of feathers and their use is endless.
Thank you for sharing.
I absolutely love them too, Marie! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
These are wonderful! Thank you for sharing.
How would you make this waterproof for outside?
Ooh, that is a good question. My only advice would be to try and coat them in a Spar-Varathane. But having never done it before, I am not 100% that it would work.
To make them stiff so you can shape them
You can spray sealant on then once they dry 🙂
could you please tell how to makle this starch?
Hi Jamila, Jenn shows the starch she uses. It is Sta-Flo Liquid Starch. You can just buy it at the store.
Beautiful. Thanks for this awesome tutorial.
So glad you like it! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂
Does starch go mouldy?
I am sorry, Yvonne, but I am honestly not sure. I would try googling it.
Awesome tutorial! Is there anything I could use instead of liquid starch? Modge podge maybe?
Honestly, I think Mod Podge would make them super crusty and too stiff. I would recommend sticking with the liquid starch.
I have read that PVA Adhesive does not leave a residue…although I have not tried this as of yet. Love the yarn feathers!
This is awesome.
Now that I’ve gone Vegan I’m not using real feathers anymore so it’s great to have this alternative!
Glad to help Maribelle. It is a great alternative.
Feather crafts which you made are looking good & very cute. I want to create it one now. thanks for you tutorial.