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!
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!
Make 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!
- 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
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!
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!
Once you’re all dry, be sure to remove your tape gently and pull towards the tip to avoid any ruffled feathers!
- 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
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.
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…
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.
Now 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.
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
- Thread the 2 ends of your string through the loop and gently pull through
We 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!
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
- Put the right loop behind the left loop, creating a single loop of 2 strands
- Pinching that loop with one hand, put your feather through the loop and tighten by pulling the two end strands
- Simply repeat at intervals as you’d like to position your feathers
Feathered garlands and spinning, sparkling baubles galore!
And not a ruddy-faced Santa figurine in sight, ha!
Any questions, drop us a comment below!
Peace + Love