I've seen those feathers-on-a-chain hair clips go for upwards of $15.00, so I decided to make my own. They were also never long enough to match the length of my hair. This is a great project for belly dancers, burlesque performers or anyone who loves to put fabulous stuff in their hair.
Places to find the cord crimp ends: Michael's, in the jewelry department. Joann's carries them as well, just not in any amount that makes it worthwhile. Joann's does have the tiny ones for microscopic feathers though. The Michael's ones are by Jewelry Essentials Findings in the light blue packages. Joann's are by Blue Moon Beads and are in a dark blue package with baggies on the front. Also, you can order them online through Fire Mountain Gems.
Gather your supplies. Plug in your hot glue gun. Have a trash can nearby for all of the loose feather bits that will be thrown away.
Pluck any fuzz from the bottom of any feather too fluffy at the base.
Snip off of the ends of the feathers, leaving about a 1/4" without fluff on it.
Clip off the stem on the Joann's feather bunch right at the base of the floral tape.
Any obstinate feathers may be clipped using wire cutters.
Your should have a variety of sizes and shapes all clipped and ready to go.
Make sure your feather(s) will fit inside the cord crimp end.
If a feather is too big, take the wire cutters or scissors and snip the bottom of the feather into several sections. This will allow the feather parts to overlap and be smaller. Do not remove any of the base of the feather.
Add a tiny amount of hot glue to the end of the feather. Place it into the cord crimp end, making sure not to cover up the hole. Let it cool slightly.
Using your chain nose pliers, fold in one of the sides of the cord crimp end. Make sure the feather(s) are positioned exactly how you want it before you tighten it down. It is not so important for the feather and the loop to be parallel, as you won't see it in the mass of feathers that will be on the chain in the end.
Fold over the second side and squeeze hard. Give the feather(s) a good tug and make sure they aren't going anywhere.
Crimp the feather bunch VERY tightly. Check to be sure that the feathers don't move or rotate. They will fall out otherwise.
You should have all of your feathers crimped. Lay them in the order you would like them to be on your chain. I recommend smallest at the top, largest at the bottom. The feather bunch from Joann's goes at the very bottom of the chain.
Cut the chain with the wire cutters at the length you want the overall length to be, minus the length of the feather bunch. I made mine extra long, because of how long my hair is.
Open an oval jump ring, add the feather bunch to it, then hook it to the very bottom of the chain. Close the link. The weight of this bunch helps keep the chain from fluttering too much.
Add feather(s) about 3/4-1" apart up the length of the chain.
Alternate which side of the chain you put the jump ring through. It will help balance it out.
Cut about 6" of wire. Thread it through the gap between the jaws of the alligator clip and the hinge.
Cross the wire behind the clip, close enough that is inside the clip grip, but loose enough that it can rotate freely.
Snip off one end of the wire and make a loop. Give the loop end a tiny tweak to make it look like this.
Wrap the long end of the wire around the loop end until you are just below the bottom of the loop. Snip off the wire with the wire cutters and then press the end of the wire down with the needle nose pliers. If the end is sharp, take a file or an emery board to it.
Open the loop on the wire and put the end of the loose end of the chain on it. Close the loop.
Alternately, if you aren't comfortable with wire working, you can use a jump ring through one side of the hinge on the alligator clip and add the chain that way. I've done both. Make sure that the jump ring is strong enough to withstand some tugging without opening or coming off of the clip.
Viola! put your clip in and hit the town!