About

Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • •
Time
2h30

Make and keep your craft feathers soft and fluffy!
Don't you hate it when you go to the store to buy feathers, and you open up the bag and the feathers are all flat and stiff and not at all feathery? This tutorial will show you how to prepare your store-bought feathers so they stay nice and fluffy in whatever you decide to use feathers for. Also, it will remove extra dye off of the feathers, so they don't stain your clothes when you wash them, if that's what you're putting feathers on. Look at the second picture to see a comparison of out-of-the-bag feathers next to fluffy, prepared feathers.

Posted by mew Aeris from Orlando, Florida, United States • Published See mew Aeris's 5 projects »
PrintEmbed
  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 1
    Step 1

    Gather all of your materials:

    -Feathers: Whatever feathers you want to use! Make sure you do only one color at a time! *note* I haven't tried this with fancy ostrich/peacock/quail/ect. feathers; try them at your own risk!

    -Container: You want somewhere to put all of those feathers once they're all nice and fluffy. You want one big enough so that all of the feathers can move freely, or else they would be crushed again! Make sure it's clean too. I used a jug of animal crackers.

    -Towel: You put your feathers on this to lay them to dry.

    -Sink: You need one to soak your feathers in. If you have two sinks, good for you! It'll make your life a lot easier!

    -Room: You need to put your feathers in a place where they will not be disturbed while they dry. A room away from the door or any kinds of gusts will work.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 2
    Step 2

    Make sure your sink is really, really clean! Fill it with warm water and add in the feathers.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 3
    Step 3

    Mush the feathers down with your hand until they are completely wet. Let them soak for 10-20 minutes.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 4
    Step 4

    Remove your feathers from the water. See all of that extra dye in the water? That would have ended up all over your project! Dump this.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 5
    Step 5

    Repeat step 3 until the water left behind is clear. it usually takes 3-4 times for the extra dye to soak out of the feathers.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 6
    Step 6

    Spread your towel out in your room where they won't be disturbed. Take your wet feathers and spread them out as much as you can for them to dry.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 7
    Step 7

    Wait for them to dry. This takes a looonnnngggggggg time. A couple of hours. I say leave it over-night to play it safe.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 8
    Step 8

    Close up of dry feathers.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 9
    Step 9

    Now comes the really time-consuming part. Pick up a feather. Hold it by the tip of the quill. Gently put the feather in between your fingers on one side of the feather, and brush them up to the tip of the feather, in the direction of the arrow. You are copying what real birds do in nature, by "preening" your feathers with oil from your hands. This will protect your feather, and just keep your feathers in better shape.

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 10
    Step 10

    Keep brushing until all of the barbs stick together, and the downy part of your feather is really fluffy. Put your feather in your container and move to next one. stop and take a break if your hands start to feel dry. The oils in your hands is what is making your feathers pretty!

  • How to make a feather. Feathers: Preparation And Tips - Step 11
    Step 11

    Tips:

    Separate your feathers by left-and-right side feathers. You do this by looking at the curve of the feather. Wing feathers will have a more dramatic curve than contour feathers near the center of the bird's body. The further away from the center of the body, the more curves the feather will have.

    Every so often, Stroke your feathers like you did in step 9, even after you’re done with your project. This will keep your feathers in good shape.

    If you really want to, go to your local pet store, and buy a dust bath for birds, and brush it gently onto your feathers.

Made this project? Share your version »

Comments

allpowerfulmaster
allpowerfulmaster · Melbourne, Victoria, AU
When processing natural feathers, once washed I put them in an old cotton pillow case and put them in the clothes dryer. This works really well for fluffing the feathers, and is easy to process a large amount at once. I have not done this with shop brought feathers, but natural emu and chicken feathers.
Reply
Kristin V.
Kristin V. · Portland, Oregon, US
Good stuff, thanks for the help. I'm using real feathers but was having a difficult time. I will try this trick out on a few.
Reply
mew Aeris
mew Aeris · Orlando, Florida, US · 5 projects
That is true, but I feel safer using no heat, and you wouldn't get the oil from your hands on the feathers if you just blow-dry them.
Reply
Jessica C.
Jessica C. · Houston, Texas, US · 14 projects
this is an interesting tutorial but just use a hair dryer on low heat, and its done in minutes. Thanks for sharing. Happy
Reply
mew Aeris
mew Aeris · Orlando, Florida, US · 5 projects
You're welcome!
Reply
Sugarlishes
Sugarlishes · Fort Hood, Texas, US · 136 projects
wow never even thought about this, now I am wanting to add some feathers to my craft supplies Happy Thanks this is very helpful! Happy
Reply