Today’s DIY is wire-wrapping feathers!
More DIY tutorials on my blog here.
I love feathers. They’re so light that when you put them on it’s like you aren’t wearing anything at all. I don’t want to go crazy with feather accessories though - some countries are raising fowl for the soul purpose of being stripped of their feathers, to be made into hair extensions!
That’s a little too cruel for my taste and I do NOT want to be a part of any of that. I just buy feathers that I know were shed before they were collected. I asked the clerk at the textile store I bought them at - I just hope he wasn’t pulling facts out of his butt.
Before you can attach feathers to jewelry findings (earring hooks, chain, jump rings), they need to have a connector piece. Either you sew straight through them or pierce them with a jump ring, but I found that method breaks or weakens the structure of the feather shaft.
So I decided to put up a tutorial on the easiest way to wire-wrap your feathers. This way you don’t destroy them, and it doesn’t take too much effort either.
The only things you will need are:
A pair of pliers, some craft wire, and feathers.
This craft wire is copper in gauge 30, which means it’s so thin as to be almost thread-like. I bought it at National Bookstore.They have craft wire in an assortment of colors.
I found it very easy to cut, twist, and bend, and I like that, but you may want to use a thicker gauge wire if you want to cover more surface faster. Thicker wire is more durable, but harder to twist.
I got the feathers, as I said, from the textile department of a local mall here.
I find that the stiffer and longer the feathers, the more nicely they hang as earrings/jewelry.
Fluffy, downy ones are not as stable and are liable to get caught up in your hair, necklace, or snag on your clothes. This is a big no-no for me, since I’m only the biggest klutz alive. -_-
The first step is to take a feather and cut off the shaft with a pair of scissors. The shaft is hollow, so it shouldn’t give you too much trouble.
You can leave it as long or as short as you want - just remember that you will need to cover the length remaining with wire. Meself, I figure about a quarter inch is fine.
The next step is to take a length of wire and bend it, like the above photo.
With your pliers, twist the bent part into a loop. The above photo’s taken against a cardboard background (defensive in case anyone is a big enough jerk to think that’s my thigh lol).
Next bend the loop part perpendicular to the rest of the wire and hold it up against the feather shaft (seriously typing this word so many times in this blog post is making me feel like a pervert so I’m referring to it as the feather stem from now on).
Holding the wire taught against the side of the stem (see, if that had been shaft, it would have sounded perverty!), begin wrapping the wire around it.
Work your way up the stem. Make sure the loop sticks out.
Course, your first try won’t be perfect, like mine here. But you’ll get the hang of it and the next ones will be a lot smoother. Besides, you’re turning it over anyway and the side that people will see (mostly) is smooth.
See? Not bad.
But after a few tries, I finally got the hang of it, and was able to wire wrap a whole bunch of feathers in no time:
Now you can connect them to anything you like! I took my feathers and made them into earrings. Here they are graciously modeled by my ferocious friend:
I don’t think my model is too happy with his line of work, do you?
Happy DIY-ing! ;)