How to Make Paper Feathers for a Heart Wreath

20 Jan 2014

Paper feathers are easy and fun to make, but what can you do with them? One to three of them twisted together make unusual paper decorations for parties (such as attached to napkin rings) or toppers for gifts.

heart wreath with paper feathers
Handmade paper feathers compose this
heart wreath by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

They also look great when amassed, from a simple arrangement in a vase to the heart wreath by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer that graced the cover of I {Heart} Paper magazine.

How to Make Paper Feathers
By Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Materials:

  • Book pages
  • Washi tape
  • Craft wire
  • Matte medium
  • Craft scissors or wire snips
  • Heavy-duty adhesive

Note: Protect your work surface with plastic or a Teflon® sheet so the feathers won't stick as you make them.

Directions:

1. Cut a basic feather shape from a book page. (Figure 1)

how to make paper feathers steps 1 and 2
how to make paper feathers steps 3 and 4
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer shows how to make paper feathers in I {Heart} Paper magazine.
2. Adhere washi tape to the feather shape, focusing it along what will become the spine of the feather and in other select areas. Wrap the tape around the edges of the feather shape in places where the tape extends over the edge. (Figure 2) The washi tape adds strength to the book page so that it doesn't tear when you adhere the wire spine to it.

3. Apply a thin coat of matte medium with your fingers (or a paintbrush if you want) to both sides of the feather to ensure that the washi tape stays in place. Allow to dry.

4. Cut a piece of craft wire slightly longer than the feather. Most craft wire can be cut with scissors. You can also use wire snips.

5. Apply Glossy Accents (or another heavy-duty adhesive) along the wire. Press the wire to the back side of the feather shape. (Figure 3)

6. Flip the feather shape over so that the wire is against the work surface. Use your fingernails to press along both sides of the wire, through the front of the book page, creating a groove for the wire to sit in.

7. Flip the feather over and let dry.

8. Once the wire has dried in place, use the scissors to cut angled fringe along the edges, thus creating the feather. (Figure 4)

9. Shape a piece of armature wire into a heart. Fasten the ends together by creating a loop at each end and then wrapping the loose ends around each other.

10. Attach the individual feathers to the wire heart by wrapping the ends of their wire spines around the armature.

11. Fill the wreath with feathers until you're happy with the results. You can play with the look of the feathers by bending and layering them.

What a great project to make for a Valentine party or a wedding.

I {Heart} Paper is full of instructions for paper decorations to suit any occasion, like paper flowers and paper garlands, in addition to these lovely feathers. Download it now and start making artistic paper decorations today.

P.S. What are your favorite paper art projects for decorating? Leave your answer below.


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Comments

alvajean wrote
on 20 Jan 2014 11:28 AM

I am 70 and have been doing paper feathers for years, love this , I use all kinds of base material, my favorite is leather scraps. All kinds of uses, from covering labels on suitcases to embellishing sweaters, shoes, and even using duck tape layered for feathered jewelry you cannot tell this last from leather.

on 20 Jan 2014 10:15 PM

Love making mini books especially, and altering books. What a librarian, yeah! The children at storytime make paper feathers to put on their hand-drawn, oh-so-original bird drawings, masks, and headbnds to add dimension and fun!

on 21 Jan 2014 5:09 PM

Larger scale origami.  I have made origami reindeer, approx. 15"H, for over 25 years.  I even folded wall paper reindeer for designer houses.  A winner for inexpensive gifts! Now I have brought my origami reindeer tradition to Costa Rica.

Debbie Ray wrote
on 27 Jan 2014 3:31 PM

This is so simple and so cool!!!  I wish I could think of things like this!!