All things feathers are hugely popular perhaps due to the hat craze at the Royal Wedding this past spring. But instead of crimping them into your hair (which are not removable), or only getting an occasional wear of a hat, how about making a more versatile and economical feather barrette?
Here's how, an illustrated step-by-step lesson, easy enough for beginners. Costs very little, and pays off big!
plain metal clip barrette
felt or fabric to cover barrette
ribbon for a bow
hot glue gun
bead or rhinestone (optional)
Top left: I prefer to use naturally shed feathers found in my yard and the environs. These are much more humane and make the work more interesting and personal. Look around for your own, you'll be surprised how fast and often you'll find them!!
(Feathers are also available at Michaels, but how and where they are obtained are unknown. Most are also probably dyed. Before you buy, think about the effects of your purchase to the environment.)
Center Right: Plain metal barrettes are available at Michaels, a pack of 15 or so for a few dollars, and don't forget to use a coupon to knock the price almost in half. Alternatively, plain barrettes with a cover over the metal are also usually available at the dollar store in packs of two or three.
Step 1: Cover the bare metal barrette by hot gluing on a bit of felt or fabric.
Step 2: Think ahead of the feather arrangement on your barrette and perhaps set them unglued in a practice arrangement. In this example, I placed feathers from large to small (right to left) with a small slant and overlap. Try a fan or bar arrangement (see additional examples at the bottom of this lesson).
Dab some hot glue on the reverse side of the feather.
Step 3: Adhere the first feather to the felt on the barrette.
Step 4: Dab glue on the second feather and adhere to the felt on the barrette (slight slant and overlap in this example).
Step 5: Repeat with additional feathers until barrette back is full.
Step 6: Tie a bow with a piece of ribbon, hot glue the bow at the end of the feather row, covering the bare end of the last feather.
NOTE: Use any other decoration at the end of the feather row, such as an interesting (flat) button, artifical small flower, puff ball, etc. Check your craft supplies on hand.
Step 7: (Optional) Finish with a sparkle. I am holding a pink rhinestone with tweezers and will hot glue it to the center of the bow.
VOILA! You are done! Wear and gift with pride.