IMG_5096_FBXMAS_1800What up!

Well, we are officially only a week away from Christmas day, so it seems only right to mark this countdown with a festive DIY for you guys to play with before the big day arrives.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we all love a bit of Christmas tradition, you know: jolly, tubby little Santa figurines, the traditional red and gold bauble, dare I say it, maybe even a hint of tinsel (!).

That said, if you’re a free-spirited gal at heart, you’ve probably found yourself yearning for a little more from your baubles…

Enter, our Bohemian Baubles and Festive Feathers.

Imagine a rich, indulgent palette with copper highlights (of COURSE) and a resulting set of sweet, delicate garlands and baubles that celebrate the sheer beauty of the feather.

So, without any further ado and with a massive thank you to my Beau at Old Bear Media for the shots, prepare to get yourself covered in glitter and have a sweet time doing so!

IMG_4913_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4875_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4884_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4888_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4873_FBXMAS_1800I know, right?!

They’re all kinds of pretty and really, in the grand scheme of things, a pretty straightforward DIY!

The Shopping List

Ok, let’s kick things off with the bits you’ll need on order:

  • Feathers  The more the merrier and a selection of shapes and sizes makes for a gorgeous finish!
  • Fillable baubles  We used a variety of these round, teardrop and droplet shapes
  • Brown garden string
  • Glitter  We went for this beautiful copper colour
  • Paint  We used what we had lying around (poster paint and a bit of gouache), but generally something with a thicker texture sticks a little better
  • Glue  We used Mod Podge, but PVA would work just as well
  • Paint brush
  • Masking tape
  • Super glue (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional, to finish)
  • Twigs  (again optional to finish) So, we just clipped a few from the garden (whoops!), dried them out near a radiator and gave them a few coats of white paint, but if you plan just to adorn your Christmas tree you won’t be needing these, or you might wanna buy an entire twig tree like this instead!

IMG_5017_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5026_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5032_FBXMAS_1800Make sure you think carefully about your colour scheme, have a little peruse of Pinterest for ideas, I searched ‘Christmas Jewel Palette’ and chose this image for inspiration. Choosing a palette and sticking to it throughout will give your decorations a really cohesive, professional finish.

I know you want every colour of glitter they stock (me too by the way), but you must resist deviating!

Earn Your Stripes

Ok, so you may have seen DIY’s for painted feathers before, but we’re gonna keep things pretty straight forward here at FBrides, opting simply for horizontal bands of colour and letting our gorgeous feathers and indulgent colour palette do all the talking!

Using a backing that you don’t mind getting paint on:

  • Select your feathers, the flatter the better at this point
  • Rip off a piece of masking tape and place as you’d like on your feather, leaving the area you’re going to paint exposed. At this point we’re only doing blocks of colour separated by unpainted stripes, if you want to do 2 colours adjacent to one another, we’ll address that later!

IMG_5047_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5051_FBXMAS_1800

  • Using your chosen colours, paint your exposed areas, working with strokes towards the tip of the feather (going with the grain of the barbs rather than against it)
  • Make sure you give the area a good, thick covering of paint to get it to stick to the often waterproof feathers
  • Also, ensure you work right up to your tape line, this will give a beautiful, crisp edge to your stripes

IMG_5054_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5060_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5065_FBXMAS_1800Aaaand now you play the waiting game. This needs to dry thoroughly before you can hit the next step.

Don’t get all keen and rip off that tape before it’s dry, smudging the colour, covering yourself in paint and ruining at least 4 feathers…

Yup, totally did all of the above *face palms*

While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, let’s talk glitter! With your next group of feathers, again on a surface you don’t mind getting a little glue on:

  • Using the same principle as above, cover the areas you don’t want to glitter with tape
  • Again, using your clean paintbrush, paint a thin coating of Mod Podge or PVA. Be sure to be thorough, painting right up to the line, but don’t plaster the feather, or the barbs with clump together
  • Now douse with your chosen glitter and be sure to get it everywhere!

IMG_5067_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5072_FBXMAS_1800Now, I know I said we were gonna keep things simple with our painted designs, but I did mix it up just a little when it came to the glitter because, put simply:

I CANNOT resist a gilded edge. It’s delicate, it’s refined and in my opinion, literally everything should be edged in sparkle!

Delicately paint glue around the 1-2mm edge of your feather to get this super sweet effect, and tap the feather to remove any stray sparkles!

IMG_5080_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5081_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5083_FBXMAS_1800I MEAN, right!?! Just the sweetest.

Once you’re all dry, be sure to remove your tape gently and pull towards the tip to avoid any ruffled feathers!

IMG_5084_FBXMAS_1800Now, to add any adjacent lines of colour that you might fancy, use the same principle as above, and adhere to our useful little tips:

  • Be sure to be super delicate when taping over your existing colour, don’t press the tape down too hard as you may strip some of the colour when you come to peel it off later
  • When placing the tape, as long as you’re using glitter or painting with a darker colour than is already on the feather, leave a tiny bit of the dried paint exposed, and simple glue/paint over that little bit. This slight overlap will produce the crispest line and eliminate any accidental gaps between the stripes

IMG_5087_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5090_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5093_FBXMAS_1800C’est voilà! Beautiful, right?! The bold, contrasting colours really show it off!

Now, it’s time to think about how you want to group and arrange your little feathery masterpieces. Totally optional, but we loved the effect that layering the feathers produced. Simply dab a tiny bit of super glue on the stem of your smaller feather, wait 10-15 secs for it to go tacky and then press to the thicker stem of your larger feather.

Cute, cute and cute.

IMG_5095_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4941_FBXMAS_1800So cute, in fact, that with a few of our feathers we simply bound the ends in brown string and laid them on the tree near a fairy light to show them off in all their unfettered beauty!

Boho Baubles

Right, so don’t say I didn’t warn you, but this bit’s a little fiddly.

That said, it’s a great exercise in patience and totally worth it for the results! Here’s our technique for creating those little clear showcases…

IMG_5100_FBXMAS_1800After many attempts I discovered the following was essential: bend your feather.

I know, I know, having just created this delicate little piece of art, it truly feels like the last thing you wanna do to it, but it really is the only way!

Carefully work your way down the stiff stem, gently bending it. Don’t worry if you get a snapping sensation, I found it was the only way to get most feathers to really curve.

IMG_5103_FBXMAS_1800Now place inside one half of your bauble case, always observing from the outside of the shell, to get a feel for how it’s gonna look, and gently rub the feather against the inside of the bauble case to create a little static, helping to hold your feather in place.

IMG_5105_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5106_FBXMAS_1800Encase your feather as shown above, being careful not to trap any wispy bits and gently pressing the two halves together until they click shut.

IMG_5110_FBXMAS_1800It’s tricky, but it’s worth enduring! Now, repeat!

IMG_5113_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5115_FBXMAS_1800

Knots you Need to Know

The Lark’s Foot

This one’s for the top of your baubles, a sort of slip knot if you will:

  • Cut a piece of string twice the length you desire to hang your bauble
  • Find the middle point and fold in half
  • Push the half way point through the hanging point at the top of your finished bauble, creating a loop on one side

IMG_5118_FBXMAS_1800

  • Thread the 2 ends of your string through the loop and gently pull through

IMG_5119_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5120_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5132_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4952_FBXMAS_1800We then used one of the threads to tie the bauble to a tree branch or our twigs, using the second strand to disguise the plastic hoop at the top of the bauble and then twisting it up the hanging thread to give this rustic finish.

Add draped ribbon over your Christmas tree’s branches or your twigs, and a scattering of loose feathers to finish!

IMG_4880_FBXMAS_1800

The Clove Hitch

You’ll need this super useful knot if you fancy creating a garland from your feathers, a little trickier than the bauble’s slip-style knot, but it gives a beautiful ‘bound’ result on the stem of your feathers and will leave them hanging straight, rather than all wonky!

It goes a little something like this:

  • Create an anti-clockwise loop in your string where you’d like the feather to sit
  • Next to that first loop, create another, identical loop with the same anti-clockwise motion

IMG_5134_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5135_FBXMAS_1800

  • Put the right loop behind the left loop, creating a single loop of 2 strands

IMG_5136_FBXMAS_1800

  • Pinching that loop with one hand, put your feather through the loop and tighten by pulling the two end strands

IMG_5138_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5139_FBXMAS_1800IMG_5141_FBXMAS_1800

  • Simply repeat at intervals as you’d like to position your feathers

IMG_5145_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4922_FBXMAS_1800And that’s it!

Feathered garlands and spinning, sparkling baubles galore!

And not a ruddy-faced Santa figurine in sight, ha!

IMG_4958_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4886_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4871_FBXMAS_1800IMG_4876_FBXMAS_1800So grab that Bublé CD you’ve been denying yourself thus far this Christmas, warm a mince pie (or 3!) and enjoy allowing your bohemian spirit to get a little festive!

Any questions, drop us a comment below!

Peace + Love

Clare X

Pin It on Pinterest