Last week’s Paper Feathers Tutorial Part I showed you two practical and artistic applications for paper feathers. I’ll be showing you two more applications today, which will wrap up the Paper Feathers Tutorial series! As with the projects that were outlined on Friday, you’ll need to start by printing out the free Paper Feathers Template.
Next, use some scissors or an exacto knife to cut the feathers out.
Once the feathers are cut out, you’re ready to create!
1. Ruffled Paper Feathers Gift Tags
I recently found myself scrambling to figure out a not-too-feminine birthday gift presentation for my brother. As I brainstormed ideas, I realized that I tend to gravitate toward florals and other feminine elements, which he’s so not into. Then, it came to me: feathers! Feathers are a fantastic, gender-neutral way to decorate any package!
To make eclectic feather gift tags like the ones pictured, begin by using a pencil to trace around one of your feather cutouts — it doesn’t matter which one — on an interesting found piece of paper. I am using a vintage atlas page in the photo below.
When you’re finished tracing, cut the feather out.
If the gift tag is for a special occasion (a birthday, holiday, etc.), you can trace around the second feather on a piece of drawing paper, then calligraph a repeating message like “Happy Birthday” over the outline. Any calligraphy/hand-lettering style and ink combination will look good; I chose to use Amy Style calligraphy with walnut ink here.
Cut out the second feather, then use another random, interesting piece of paper for the third feather. Once the third feather is cut out, you can calligraph your recipient’s name on it in any calligraphy style that appeals to you (I used an all-lowercase Kaitlin … and yes, my brother’s first name is really “Treat”).
After the feathers are cut out and the ink is dry, it’s time to add some texture to the edges of the feathers! To achieve that, you’ll use a sharp pair of scissors to make small (about 1/2″, or 12 mm) contoured cuts all along the sides and top of the feathers.
When you’re finished creating the cuts, use your fingers to ruffle up the edges of the feathers a bit. That will help them to look more real!
After you ruffle the tops and edges, gently fold each feather in half. You don’t need to make a sharp crease here; you just want both sides of the feather to angle up slightly after you fold.
Once you’re finished folding, the feathers will look something like the photo below:
Tuck them under some string on a gift, and they’re ready to go!
I love these ruffled feathers as gift tags, but they would also work great with the name garland concept in part I of this series! Making the fringed edges will take a little bit of extra time than the non-fringed feathers in the name garland tutorial, but it will also render more of a boho chic look. Just something to consider as an alternative project!
2. Simple Paper Feathers Mail Art
Paper feathers can transform any envelope into a creative work of art! To make a piece like this, you’ll use the paper feathers template to create two feathers that are cut out from the paper of your choice. I would recommend using the medium feather and the large feather, but you are welcome to switch it up! Once your feathers are cut out, experiment with putting them on a colored envelope to determine the best layout.
Once you have an idea of what layout you’ll use, you can start writing on the feathers! If you’re using the medium and the large feathers, write the recipient’s name on the medium feather. Any hand-lettering or calligraphy style and ink combination will work here; I’m using Kaitlin Style calligraphy and sumi ink.
Next, write the address on the larger feather. Again, any calligraphy or hand-lettering style will look good here! I chose to use George Style lettering because it contrasts well with the Kaitlin Style name.
Once the inks you used to write out the name and address are dry, it’s time to glue the feathers down! Make sure you glue them down very, very well: you don’t want any of their edges to catch in the sorting machine at the post office!
After the bodies of the feathers are secured to the envelope, you can fold in the stems around the edges of the envelope. Glue them down securely as well!
At this point, you can add some stamps and be finished if you’d like! The result right now is a creative and clean-looking envelope.
If the look above isn’t your style, you can make a more colorful variation of this envelope by employing the use of some colored pencils! Designate 2-4 colors, and alternate using them in order to draw barbs.
You can finish up the coloring by adding a few circles of different sizes.
Outline the feathers with a pen to help them stand out more …
… And you’re finished!
This mail art concept will come in handy if you’re a bit pressed for time, but you still want to send something that’s cool and original! You could also use this decoupage technique to add some personality to sketchbooks, notebooks, or journals. Feel free to experiment!
I hope that you found a good idea or two in this two-part series; I really enjoyed writing it because I’m all about the paper feathers right now. 🙂 If you have any usage suggestions or questions, please don’t hesitate to comment! Thanks so much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your day!