A NEW Vintage book page craft! PAPER FEATHER TUTORIAL

Well, it’s new to ME.  I’ve been seeing the paper feathers made from vintage sheet music and book pages on Pinterest for a while now.  Initially they didn’t really appeal to me; but I decided to try my hand at a few to see how difficult they were to make . . . .  and BAM!!  I’m hooked!  I love them and I really enjoy making them.

P1350148My biggest issue with all the ones I was seeing on Pinterest was coming up with something sturdier than just wire for the stems.  Bamboo skewers worked perfectly.  I made the smaller size feathers using the regular size skewers, and some bigger square-shaped ones (closer to chop-stick diameter) for the bigger ones that I made.

I used several different kinds and colors of book pages.  The yellowed sheet music shown above and some varying shades of white dictionary and book pages.

SUPPLY LIST:

Paper: old book pages, sheet music, dictionary pages or ANY other paper

Bamboo skewers for the stems

Thinned down tacky glue: for gluing the two layers of paper to the stem.  Add just enough water to your tacky glue that it’s easily brushed on with a paint brush.

Scissors for cutting out the leaf shapes and feathering.

Mod Podge: apply one coat to each side of your feather shape BEFORE cutting your slits.

As with just about any crafting I do, I prefer to work in an assembly line style.  I selected the vintage papers that I wanted to work with and readied the rest of my supplies.

  1. Fold paper in half so you get two matching pieces of each leaf shape that you cut.
  2. With your thinned tacky glue, evenly coat one side of a leaf and put glue down the center only of the matching leaf.
  3. Place your skewer in the center of the fully glued leaf, and lay the other leaf on top.  Gently press along the skewer with your fingers to get the glue to grab it; and smooth the edges to be sure they are completely glued together.
  4. Set aside for several hours for the glue to completely dry and cure.  (overnight is best)  Your paper will curl a bit from the moisture in the glue, but you WANT that to happen.  It gives them a more natural feel.

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5. Vintage paper can be very brittle.  I ruined several of mine just handling them and gluing them together.  To strengthen your final product, apply a coat of matte finish Mod Podge to each side; one side at a time.

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Mod podge dries pretty fast, adds a little more ‘character curls’ to your paper and will help your feathers last a lot longer.  The mod podge gives the paper a bit of a plastic coated feel.  If you aren’t sure if you will like the look and feel of the added Mod Podge, just do ONE feather with it as a test, and one without it; to see which you like best.  A little bit of the Mod Podge is going to seep over to the other side of the feather, so be sure you lay them to dry on something ‘raised’.  Across an open box or on a cookie cooling rack.

6.  Gather up your dried feathers and grab your scissors.

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Go through your entire batch of them making your first ‘V’ cuts; 3-5 cuts per side, depending upon the size of the feather.  I always keep the total number of cuts as odd number.  IE 3 on one side and 4 on the other.  These cuts are going to be the GUIDES for your smaller cuts, so be sure you make the cuts in the direction that you are going to want ALL your cuts to go.

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7. After you have made those cuts in your entire batch, go back and do the feathering cuts on all of them.  Make your cuts as close together as you can, and cut as close to the stem as you can.

Here are the different kinds of paper/ shapes and sizes that I made.

As you may have guessed from the above pictures, they can become quite addicting to make!!

NOW, I just have to figure out how to use them and display them to sell in my booth at Stars!  Suggestions are welcome!

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thats different. I’d love to see how you display them and what you charge for them

  2. How I will display them remains to be seen. But I can tell you that I priced them at $1 & $2.00. aj

  3. They look really good bunched up in the urn! I would want to whole display! $$$$$$$$ lol

    • Thanks so much for this! I was given a STACK of old old music sheets, and wasn’t sure what else to do with them. Most have a glossy cover & back, with a regular piece of sheet music in the middle. The sheet music I use to decoupage, but the glossy ones are a little thicker. It’s only the outside covers that are glossy, and they are in too tough shape to be worth anything, all from the ’20s to the 50’s, so I def wanted to find something to do w them! These are perfect!
      Having worked with glues for years, I have found school glue used as a “paste” ALWAYS cracked on me. I used to do a lot of “Primitive” crafts, so basically I panted a mixture of cinnamon and clove onto many different surfaces like glass jars, tin cans, and even light switches. I tried them all, but everything except mod podge would crack, every single time. The only thing that never did, was mod podge. I know it’s pricey, but you can use a coupon, and buy a 32oz jar of it for $7-8 at AC Moore or Michaels with a half off coupon and it’ll literally last forever, as will your crafts!
      I glues the skewer onto the sheet music with Tacky Glue. I folded the sheet music in half, then half again (long way or short way, dep on how long or wide u want it) the second half fold I didn’t crease it hard, just enough to “mark” it. Then fold the music sheet in half (hard fold), glued the skewer on the soft half fold, and painted both sides with Mod Podge. Then stuck both sides together and with a “bone folder” I made sure to get air bubbles out, etc. I didn’t need the cardboard, because these sheets are pretty stiff.
      Thanks so much for sharing this! Love your blog!

  4. Wonder how they would look as an addition to one of your wreaths? Or make a wreath out of the feathers without the wood stems? They would look cool added to flower bouquets too, I think.

    No matter how you use these, they alreay look very neat! 🙂

  5. Thanks for the great ideas. They would be SUPER fast and easy to make without the stems, so a wreath of them is very feasible! (not to mention that I could do smaller ones for the wreath) And I could possibly even get away with not doing the ‘feather cuts’, but just the bigger ‘v’ cuts in the smaller leaves. OH MY! I feel another feather making marathon coming on soon! The only thing I have thought of is to attach one to the top of a stack of my vintage grubby book bundles. aj


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