Pheasant Feather Art DIY Tutorial
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Sometimes I like to shop for ideas. Cruising through my favorite stores gathering up inspiration is refreshing to me. Often I get ideas for projects I’m stumped on. This project is a product of an inspirational walk through a local store I love. The large chalkboard that hung over our piano got moved to my daughter’s room because she REALLY wanted a big chalkboard and I didn’t want to make a new one. That left a huge blank space and me lacking any idea of what to hang up on this focal point. When I saw a picture in a local store my wheels began to turn. In the store I saw one small picture made with real pheasant feathers and I knew I happened to have a sack of pheasant feathers at home. Odd, I know but my dad goes pheasant hunting almost every year and my mom and I asked him to bring us some to craft with. (You can purchase feathers here if you don’t have a hunter handy 😉 )I’ve had a bag of them for a while now and they usually only show up in a fall arrangement or vignette. But not today!
I just talked about my love of thrifted picture frames and I was lucky enough to score THREE matching frames a few weeks ago at a garage sale…for $1 each (plus a few other goodies)! I knew they would come in handy, it’s rare to find matching frames like this. They fit perfectly in the space above the piano too…it was clearly meant to be! They got a fresh coat of black paint for an update.
Anxious to bring my new artwork to life I rummaged around the house for supplies and a suitable background for this fine feather art. A stark white background was too harsh for me, it needed to be a touch softer. Enter paper grocery bags for the win. We have a small stack of paper sacks that we love, they are sturdy and have handles, we use them to tote things around, but I knew the texture and color was perfect. Brown paper bag is one of my favorites, is that weird?
I dismantled and cut up three paper bags in equal sizes. A ruler is a good thing to use to gently pull against for a soft torn edge, it will tear straight and neat (learned that from my scrapbooking!).
Because the sacks already had some heavily creased lines in them I went with it and made some more creases so it would look intentional. Then I crumbled up the paper for a raggedy worn look. Sometimes you just have to roll with what you’ve got and make it work!
Next, I sorted through the pheasant feathers and laid them out across the brown sack backdrop until I was happy with the fullness, height and direction. Jute string served as a plumb line.
Glue is always a factor in a craft project, the right one will make or break your project. For this piece of artwork I used Fabric Glue (this one exactly). I know that sounds weird, but I find it works well on WAY more than fabric and this was one of those success stories. A soft line of glue on each feather’s spine was perfect, I held each feather in place with firm pressure for a minute to help it set. Once all the feathers were glued down I stacked heavy books on top on them for a few hours to allow the glue to dry completely and the feathers to adhere all the way up and down.
For the white background I bought a large piece of foam board for a few dollars at the craft store and cut it to fit my frames. Once the feathers dried I glued the feather art piece to the white board, again with fabric glue and allowed to dry completely. I secured the foam board in the frame with my framing point nailer. It’s a slightly expensive tool to have, but if you DIY a lot of artwork it comes in handy! You could order glass insets for your frames or leave the picture open, which is what I chose to do. The gluing takes a bit of patience, but this feather art project is inexpensive and worth it if you ask me! You could try this with a variety of other feathers or found objects, get creative and decorate on a dime! What kind of feather would you use for this project? I’d love to hear your creative ideas! Stay tuned…the piano is getting a makeover shortly!
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