Paper Feather Garland: The Perfect Centerpiece
Paper thrills and delights me more than most any other material because you can create anything from it. I’ve been making paper flowers, paper animals and paper feathers for years and this little garland grew out from experimenting with paper, wire and paint. A paper feather garland can be made in any size or color for any occasion or season. With a little prep, you can whip this up just in time for your favorite holiday gathering, wedding, or dinner party.
Materials: a stack of 2″x3″ book pages and/or black construction, scissors, gold great paint, gloves (optional), thin gauge wire, thin black masking tape and white masking tape or washi tape.
Begin by prepping all your feather or leaf shapes. Stack up to 5 sheets of paper together, fold in half the long way, and cut a leaf shape. You can choose to cut to cut your shape so that the white margin of the page becomes the tip of the feather or the stem of the feather. Cut between 50-100 feathers in book pages as your accent paper color (black).
To add gold accents to your feathers, line individual feathers on a sheet of scrap paper, then lay an additional sheet of scrap paper over the top (this will act as a mask) so that just the tip or stem of the feather is showing and spray with gold metallic spray paint.
You can vary the amount of gold you paint on each feather by adjusting your masking paper. I like to do the tips of the feathers or the stems, only exposing 1/3 to 1/2 of the feather to paint.
You may want to hold down your masking paper so you get a clean line where you spray. If you do this, use gloves or you’ll wind up with gold fingertips! Allow the freshly painted feathers to dry for about a minute.
Stack together several painted feathers, re-fold along the center and with the stem facing away from you, cut little feather barbs down from the stem to the tip. Repeat until all you leaf shapes are cut into feathers! If you want to make this a leaf garland, you can skip this cutting step.
The more textural you can make your feathers, the more movement you’ll have in the finished garland. The two things that contribute to the movement are the barbs you cut in the paper feathers and the wire you add to each feather.
Wire Your Garland
Cut 4″ – 6″ lengths of wire. Tape wire onto the back side of each feather about 1/2 to 2/3 or the way up the feather. I used white masking tape for the book page feathers and black masking tape for the black feathers, but you could also use washi tape for a little surprise of color. You won’t likely see the backside of the garland, but like Rebecca says in her sampler classes, adding something special to the back is a nice little surprise for the person making the piece, and I agree!
Once all your feathers are wired, you can give them some shape, but gently bending them. Start bundling your feathers in grouping of 3-5 feathers, varying the colors.
Create Your Garland
To create the garland, begin with the first bundle, then add your second bundle just below the first, overlapping slightly, and securing together by twisting the wire. Continue adding bundles to create your garland. When you are ready to finish add two bundles in the opposite direction securing them in place on the back side of the garland. This will finish the end of the garland and hide all the wires.
Your paper feather garland is the perfect pop of sophisticated sparkle to any tablescape. You can also add it to a mantle, hand it on a door or shape it into a wreath for the Holidays. Make it with a a splash of neon or other color for a bolder look or make all in white for a beautiful monochromatic piece.