• Paper Feathers Tutorial: Bookmark + a Gorgeous Garland

    In this post, you’ll discover a duo of delightful projects that bring paper feathers to life. Equipped with a free downloadable paper feathers template, you’re about to embark on an engaging artistic adventure.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial: DIY Hand-lettered Bookmark and a Gorgeous Welcoming Garland

    I’m in the thick of writing a book about calligraphy, and I work on intricate projects for it nearly daily. While I’ve been enjoying that project creation, I needed a palette cleanser: something simple and pretty. These versatile paper feathers are just what the doctor ordered. They’re easy to create, endlessly customizable, and useful for a variety of projects. Today, I’ll walk you through two paper feather projects and provide you with a free printable template.

    The Printable Paper Feathers Template

    Before you begin either of today’s projects, start by downloading and printing the free paper feathers template.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Use scissors or an X-Acto knife to cut out all the feathers out of the template, and you are all set to make either of the two projects below.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Tutorial 1: Basic Paper Feathers Bookmark

    Paper feathers make for unique, creative bookmarks that can be given as gifts. I love to send them in my written correspondence as part of a snail mail treat!

    Paper feather bookmark with "Hannah" written on it in George Style lettering

    Here’s a short supply list for this project:

    1. Trace and Cut

    Begin by using a pencil to trace around the largest feather template your cardstock.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Next, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the feather out. If any pencil lines remain on the edge of the feather, erase them.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    2. Write the Recipient’s Name

    Use a parallel glider and your pencil to make pencil guidelines, then use your pen to write the bookmark recipient’s name using George Style Lettering. Once your lettering is finished, your bookmark is ready to use or gift. Yep, that’s all there is to it!

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    I added a heart to visually center this name. Remember that embellishments like hearts, stars, and flowers are an option if you don’t get the name centered just right.

    I am suggesting that you use this feather as a bookmark, but it could just as easily serve as a place card, part of a mail art goodie packet, or a gift tag.

    Tutorial 2: Paper Feathers Name Garland

    Name garlands are wonderful for birthday parties, graduations, or room decorations. This paper feathers version of a name garland is simple to create. For best results, use all three of the feathers in the template.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    A paper feathers garland that says "Sara" used in a guest bedroom
    Can you spot the garland? I love to make these for houseguests as part of a warm greeting.

    1. Trace and Cut Several Feathers

    Start by using the paper feathers template to trace around and then cut out as many paper feathers as there are letters in your garland recipient’s name. Be sure to use at least two different colors of cardstock.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    After you cut out your feathers, use an eraser to get rid of any pencil lines along the edges.

    2. Write the Recipient’s Name

    Once you have cut out the feathers, write out one letter of the recipient’s name in the calligraphy or lettering style of your choice on each feather. To give the project a funky, artistic feel, use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters. I wrote my letters in Janet Style calligraphy, but any calligraphy or lettering style will look great.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Heads up: pointed pen calligraphy tends to feather on cardstock. Be sure to use the faux calligraphy technique instead!

    3. Cut Loops for Hanging

    When the ink used to write the letters has dried, use your X-Acto knife to make two parallel slits near the top part of each feather, as pictured below.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    I like to cut paper on a self-healing cutting mat (affiliate link) for this step. If you don’t have one of these, a scrap piece of cardboard or chipboard works nicely.

    4. Thread the Feathers Together

    Now, starting with the feather that has the first letter of the recipient’s name, run a piece of string or ribbon through the slit in each feather.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Once all of the paper feathers are on the string, the garland is finished and ready for display.

    Paper Feathers Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make a paper garland: they add elegance and creativity to any space. There’s no rule that says it has to spell out a name, either — you can choose any word. “Welcome” or “Congratulations” are good choices for events. For longer-term use, like using your garland to decorate a classroom or a workspace, you might choose “Imagine” or “Create”.

    A paper feather garland hung on a chalkboard

    No matter what creative spin you put on your paper feather projects, I hope you enjoyed these speedy and fun little tutorials. Thanks so much for reading TPK, and have a fabulous weekend!