how to make a fake bird with feathers

I love birds of all sorts. They are all so beautiful, and each feather is unique. While looking through a bag of pheasant feathers, you might initially think there are ten feather variations, only to realize there are twenty or more similar colors/patterns. Even then, each one is its own individual self, just like a snowflake.

After a bird hunt, I clean the birds and prepare them for cooking or freezing. The meals made from these are wonderful, healthy, and delicious! Along with using the meat for food, I dont like wasting any parts of the animals I harvest. so I find ways to use them up. You can use the bones and carcass to create a beautiful stock for soups or stews. You can skin the entire bird and then dry and mount the skin and feathers to display as a cherished memory of your hunt. Or you can pluck the birds and save them for my favorite usage of the feathers: crafting!

Prior to attempting these feather ornaments, I had seen a few photos circulating online, but wasnt able to find any tutorials. So off I went to the craft store and sought out clear glass ornaments and a few different types of glue. I made a handful of horribly disfigured, sticky, disastrous ornaments and another trip to the craft store before I finally figured out my best way of creating these beautiful works of art!

You can use many types of feathers for these ornaments: I chose to use both pheasant and chukar. The only limitations I would mention is the larger the feathers, the larger the ornaments you will need. The smaller the feathers, the easier it is to use smaller ornaments because its time-consuming to put that many on a larger ornament.

Make sure you have your feathers collected and have already preserved them with the method you prefer. I personally freeze them in bags and add a good amount of borax to them. When ready to use, I dust them off by blowing on them and shaking them out (very scientific, I know). I then separate them into small Ziploc bags, Tupperware, or bowls by color, size, and pattern so it is easy to navigate through them.

– Cardstock, which is a thicker paper than printer paper but not quite as thick as cardboard Office supply and craft stores sell it in large quantities.

Make a bunch of smaller cuts all down the side. This gives the feather even more texture. You can omit this step if you prefer the feather to appear less frayed and worn. In order to replicate how the feather fibers split in actual feathers, I’ll now also make one or two larger cuts and remove a tiny triangle. Occasionally, I’ll also leave the feather tip longer and with fewer tiny cuts. An illustration of this is shown in step six. Remember to vary the cuts when making multiple feathers!.

I currently have a lot of mess and small paper fragments all over the place. The feathers are looking decent, but they need some color. This is one coat of black spray paint. Time to break out the paint! I didn’t intend to attempt hand painting every one of the roughly 20 feathers I had. Because I taped the feather down to apply spray paint, the very bottom of the feather is white. I intentionally lengthen the stalk to compensate for the lack of paint in that spot, but the area will still be covered when the feathers are layered.

On the paper, sketch a simple outline that resembles a half-feather. You’ll get the hang of it after a few feathers and won’t require any kind of guidance.

Nevertheless, the Raven Queen will require some feathers for her clothing, as you might have assumed based on her name. I don’t want to use real feathers for this because of ethical concerns (which I don’t want to debate or discuss and which have nothing to do with the costume). After extensive searching, I’ve found a few tutorials for creating faux or fake feathers. The process is usually very long or expensive. I want to make two complete wings, so I need something inexpensive and quick. That’s why I’ve decided to use paper. Yup, paper. And after making a few iterations, I finally came up with a method I like. These are quick, simple, and inexpensive! Here’s how they appear in bad kitchen lighting, captured with an iPhone:

Painting the Ornament Base Color

I chose clear glass ornaments, as the hot glue would pull away somewhat easily if I needed to pull a feather off that I accidentally put out of place. I chose the brand Fab Lab ornaments in both 75mm and 40mm sizes. The first few feather ornaments I tried were clear in places, making the feathers look sparse, so at this point I decided to color them. By using clear glass, I was also able to choose what color base to start with and customize to the type of feathers I was using.

You can purchase cheap acrylic paints and even mix some if youd like: for the pheasant ornaments I mixed dark brown, glitter orange, and shimmery red; for the chukar ornaments I did a grey/beige mix. Use a small amount of alcohol to thin the paint in a disposable bowl so they are easily pour-able, but not too runny. Then pour a spoonful of the paint into the smaller ornaments or two plus spoonfuls into the larger ornaments and swirl them around to cover the entire inside of the ornament and let the excess drain out. If it wont spread very easily, you need more alcohol added to your paint. If it pours out like a liquid too quickly, you have too much alcohol and it will not dry. Its fairly easy to find the right consistency once you play around with it.

My drying rack created with random household items.

After the excess has been poured out, you should let them drip and dry some more. I let mine dry for about six hours in a warm, dry room before they became tacky (make sure the paint is firm on the inside rim). Using a piece of newspaper placed over a square of craft foam and wooden skewers inserted to hold each ornament is one simple way to assemble this. I just used whatever I had lying around the house, and I just so happened to find a box and some skewers (the hot glue at the base kept the skewers in place). This worked to dry the paint as well as the completed ornaments.

Once the feathers have been preserved, you should sort them according to the color, pattern, and size you wish to use. For the ornament shown at the top of this post, you can use alternating rows of feather patterns or one type of feather throughout.

cutting off the base so that the only thing remaining are the lovely, patterned tips

You will need to trim the feathers. Your feathers won’t lay flat because of the callamus, the feather’s bulky base. The fluffy parts at the base will be trimmed off, leaving only the more attractively patterned portion that you want to highlight. My cut feathers ranged in size from the size of a dime to the size of a quarter. They are also frequently too long to use as ornaments.

After your feathers have been trimmed and your ornaments have dried, you can start Locate the precise bottom center of the glass ornament of your choice first. You can either leave this space empty or glue a tiny feather here. I did combinations based on what I thought looked best. Make sure the first row of feathers you add meets up to cover the bottom as much as possible if you are leaving it blank. I usually use larger feathers for the middle rows and smaller feathers for the top and bottom rows.

Apply a tiny dollop of hot glue to the base of each feather before adhering it. To avoid burning yourself, grab the feather by the tip, place its base right onto the glue, and then gently press down with your finger. The feather should be just over the glue. After allowing it to dry for a short while, remove any “glue strings.” Move to the next feather placement.

All that needs to be done to ensure coverage is that the feather tips meet nicely as you arrange them. You don’t need to cover the whole surface because, as you can see below, your subsequent row will fill in any spaces. I positioned my subsequent row in the spaces left by the previous row.

Stagger your feathers in rows to fill the ornament.

Continue making rows until you reach the top; you want to stop slightly below or at the point where the stem and bulb meet. As previously mentioned, I prefer to use smaller feathers toward the top to make the look fuller and more eye-catching. When the ornament surface is completely covered in feathers, it’s time to take off your spray shellac and go outside!

If required, brush your feathers; occasionally, they separate while you’re holding the ornament. Comb them back into place until everything looks proper. After that, turn the ornament over and place it atop a wooden skewer. Use the skewer to spin the ornament in a circle as you shellac-spray it. Pay close attention to the shellac instructions, being cautious not to overspray to avoid the feathers sticking together too badly.

Apply as many layers of this as you’d like. I typically stick with two or three. It gives the feathers a lovely sheen, aids in their retention, and will preserve the ornaments far more effectively than just leaving them natural.

Finished product on the tree!

I will be continuing to make these using feathers from both game birds and pet birds, such as pheasants, chukar, turkeys, and peacocks. I hope this has now given you some insight into making your feather ornaments and getting them on that tree! Get in touch with me if you want to see more of the crafts I make using the “extra” hunt parts!

A collection of tiny ornaments I made with a lot of love, attention, and time

Furthermore, you can incorporate these ornaments into your home decor in a variety of ways, such as by setting them in a decorative bowl next to some treated pine cones, so you don’t have to pack them up at the end of the holiday season!

Let me know if you decide to tackle this project. I would adore to see some of your artwork or creative decorating concepts!

Also, a thanks to www. instagram. Thank you to com/badlandsdesigns for the amicable discussion and glue selection advice!

I’m Rachel Von Fleck, a tall, cheerful, and silly hunter and angler from Southern California. I love being outside, hunting, fishing, and farming to provide my own food.

Rachel Von FleckReelCamo Girl Team Member


Can you get fake feathers?

Artificial feather in good quality, made of polyester. Pack with 5 different colours.