Blogger Fala Burnett shares some of her ideas and skills for making beautiful objects with lots of different feathers.
If you own chickens and/or other poultry, you’ve likely found beautiful feathers lying about, especially during the molting season. If you want to learn more about the anatomy of a feather, click here.
There are different ways to go about cleaning and sanitizing the feathers for craft use, so don’t be afraid to collect them for future projects! If you have been saving them over time and are unsure what to do with them, here are some suggestions for crafting with feathers!
Making a magnificent wreath for your home’s door (or even a miniature one to hang outside the coop) is a beautiful way to incorporate a large collection of feathers into one project. There are a few different types of backings/frames you can use for the base of your wreath, but a particularly interesting way to personalize your wreath would be to make one from grape vines such as wild Muscadine vines. Pheasant and Turkey feathers make for beautiful Fall wreaths, while those of say a Barred Rock or a Wyandotte are unique for use in a Christmas one!
A common way feathers are used in the making of jewelry involves crafting earrings with them. Sure, they can be easily bought online, but what a conversation piece it would be to have the feathers from your favorite backyard hen decorating earrings you’ve made yourself! If you have feathers stored from a beloved poultry friend that may no longer be with you, a wonderful tribute to them would be creating a resin pendant with a small feather inside. These pendants are suitable for key chains and necklaces, that will allow you to carry a memory with you.
“Feather stamping” provides a unique way to personalize greeting cards to friends and family members for all occasions. By pressing the feather to paper after it has been coated in ink, the print of the feather makes for an interesting design. Try using multiple sizes of feathers on the face of one card in different colors. If you’d like to actually include a feather onto the card, use thick stock paper and lightly glue the base of the feather onto the card. Using burlap or twine over the base of the feather adds to a rustic feel for the card.
Bouquets and Centerpieces
Another use for a bulk of feathers involves bouquets and table centerpieces, perfect for a wedding in the country. Arranging the feathers in a similar color scheme with complimenting flowers works very well, even for simply home decor. For example, solid white feathers pair well with pastel colored artificial flowers. If you are creating a table centerpiece, try mixing your feathers and flowers in a scheme that matches the colors of your room.
A particular use of feathers that I favor involves using between one to three different feathers to decorate a handmade walking stick. When the stick has been finished, a hole is drilled above the handle and I loop leather or thick twine through here, then tie it together at the end of the loop with the feathers. While the loop is meant to serve as a way to hang your walking stick up when not in use, the feathers add to the character of each walking stick. We once had a gentleman collect a few feathers from his wife’s favorite hens, then made them both walking sticks for Christmas gifts that were decorated with those same feathers!
There are a wide variety of uses for your feathers from chickens, ducks, geese, pheasants, quail, and other poultry. While only a handful of ideas have been suggested, the possibilities are up to you and your creative imagination. Perhaps you do not have birds of your own at this time? Try talking to a friend or family member who has some, and ask them to save feathers for you in the future. Make sure to research ways to cleanse and sanitize your feathers, to get rid of pests such as mites or lice from them. In what ways have you, or will you, craft with feathers?
After graduating high school, Fala Burnette went from working part-time to full-time at an animal shelter, then continued to keep careers that dealt with animals. After she married her husband in December 2014, she left her job working as the kennel manager of a veterinary clinic. The couple moved to Ashland, Alabama to begin building a cabin on the land where her husband was raised.