earring, feather, bead, wire
These earrings are a great way to display your feather collection! These are designed so that you can keep adding new feathers as you find them.
MAKE SURE YOUR FEATHERS ARE WASHED NICE AND CLEAN!
The long wispy feathers I used are Emu feathers I found on a farm. You could use fly fishing feathers for the same effect.
There is also a small Blue Jay feather and a small black and white spotted wing feather that I think might be from a Downy Woodpecker.
If you're using long feathers, you'll want to trim to the right length. I like to trim at the top end of the feather to keep the natural tapering shape. Remember that if you're going to add beads, they will add to the length of the earrings.
Using the round nose pliers, make a small loop of wire with a tail end of about 1 cm.
(Making nice loops will take a bit of practice if you haven't done this before. Keep in mind that bending wire too many times will weaken and break it!)
Use thick thread or 3 strands of embroidery thread together.
Hold the small wire to loop to the rachis (thick stem of the feather) so that the tail sits along the rachis and the loop is at the end of the feather.
Use a long piece of thread to tie the wire to the feather. Leave a nice long tail of thread.
Begin wrapping up the wire, keeping the feather fuzzies and the thread tail inside the wrapping.
If you are using a flight feather with strong barbs that "zip" together (unlike these fuzzy little barbs), you may just want to trim them away for 1 cm before you begin to wrap. See the picture in step 4.
Once you reach the loop, use the tail end and wrapping end to tie a double knot. (Avoid tying lots of big bulky knots!)
Use a brush with clear glue or nail polish to secure the knot.
Trim any fuzzies and the thread ends with a nail clipper.
Now make a wire hook on the end of a longer piece of wire. The tail end should be as long as the bead you want to use plus a little more than a centimeter. You may need to play around with the length a little.
Slip the bead onto the wire. Bend the wire 90 degrees close to the bead. Then make a loop, trimming the wire as needed, BUT DON'T TOTALLY CLOSE THE LOOP YET!
(this wire is raggedy because I'm reusing scrap wire. you should avoid bending it around like that.)