TIPS & TECHNIQUES

Shaping, Painting, Curling and more… Here are some tips & techniques for working with feathers (click through).

CURLING FEATHERS

The wispy strands that extend out of the main quill of a feather are called flue. This flue can be curled nicely on many types of feathers. Separate a small section of flue and pull it over a knife or the sharp blade of a pair of scissors. The technique here is very similar to … Continue reading CURLING FEATHERS

GILDING FEATHERS

Gilding is simply the process of applying a thin layer of metallic sheen to an object. Feathers can be gilded using a variety of metallic paints. Acrylic metallic paints can be applied with a brush allowing you to; cover the entire feather, create patterns and designs, or just gild the tip. There are also metallic … Continue reading GILDING FEATHERS

GLITTERING FEATHERS

You can apply glitter to feathers in a couple of different ways; -You can use a spray adhesive and then dust with a hand full of glitter or purchase a spray glitter that contains both the adhesive and the glitter all in one shot. -Painting a light coat of white glue onto the feather and … Continue reading GLITTERING FEATHERS

SHAPING FEATHERS

To shape a feather, gently bend the quill, working with small sections at a time, until you have curved the entire length of the feather. Wider and stiffer quills are shaped best using a rounded object like a pen or marker. Peacock swords and goose biots are shaped best with a thinner edge (like closed … Continue reading SHAPING FEATHERS

PAINTING FEATHERS

Feathers are a great canvas for all kinds of painting projects! Acrylic, watercolor, or tempera paints all adhere nicely to the surface of a stiff feather, such as a turkey quill. You can add patterns by hand or with the use of stencils or tape. Spray paint is another great and easy paint option.

STEAMING FEATHERS

Feathers are natural products, and as such, they are prone to wrinkling, wear and tear. If you have some feathers that look a bit ragged or dry, perhaps from long periods of storage, you can revitalize them with a quick blast of steam. If you have a garment steamer, that will work wonderfully, but if … Continue reading STEAMING FEATHERS

STENCILING & SPRAYING FEATHERS

A great way to add patterns and shapes to your feathers is by using stenciling techniques with spray paint. Apply tapes, stickers, or stencils to the feather and spray with a light coat of paint. Allow the painted plume to dry and peel away the stencil to reveal the new design.

STRIPPING FEATHERS

The sides of a feather can easily be stripped off to create interesting and new shapes. To strip the feather, pull unwanted parts starting from the top of the quill toward the bottom. You can strip all of the flue from one side of any feather to create a sword-like shape. Another option is to … Continue reading STRIPPING FEATHERS

STORING FEATHERS

Feathers are best stored in a ph neutral environment, such as a shoe box or plastic container or ziplock bag. The box need not be airtight, but if not, you should consider using some moth balls, cedar chips, or scented dryer sheets to deter pests that may make a home in your feathers and ultimately … Continue reading STORING FEATHERS

TRIMMING FEATHERS

Trimming a feather allows you to create totally new shapes and also utilizes and restores imperfect feathers. Using a sharp pair of scissors; trim away the edges of the feather shaping it into a point, trim a rounded end, or create new shapes along the length of the feather. Peacock eyes in particular, can be … Continue reading TRIMMING FEATHERS

CLEANING FEATHERS

General Cleaning/Dusting You Will Need: Soft brush (ex: paint brush) Steps to Clean the Feathers It is best to avoid washing feathers regularly, instead remove the dust and dirt in a gentle way. Rest the feather on your hand for support as you brush away the dust that has accumulated with a soft brush. Follow the … Continue reading CLEANING FEATHERS