Paper Feathers 2.0

Remember when I made these paper feathers last year?  And showed you HOW I made them.


They sold really well in my booth at Stars, so I decided to make more.  But I noticed that the last few leftovers got very ‘crunchy’ over time and cracked and broke easily when handled.   Time to re-think the process to make them hold up better and longer.

Pretty much the same supplies: bamboo skewers, old sheet music and book pages and glue.  I decided to use regular Elmer’s glue instead of thinned down tacky glue this time.



First I glued the bamboo skewer down the center of a scrap piece of book page.  Left them to dry overnight.   I did a couple dozen at a time.


I used scrap cardboard, the fronts and backs of old cereal boxes, cut into thirds; glued the skewer/paper to the center of one side of the cardboard.  Let dry.

Then I glued a piece of pre-cut sheet music or book page paper to both sides of the cardboard.  This project uses a LOT of glue.  The average size on my feathers is 7″ x 3″, and I went through a 4oz bottle of glue for each dozen feathers.


I used the handles of my scissors, but you could use a boning tool or any other ‘hard edge’.  After I placed my paper atop the skewer side of my cardboard, I ran the handles of my scissors along the skewer, to work out any air bubbles.


Once I had several of them this far, I IRONED them.  Yep. I ironed them.  This helped set the glue and work out any air bubbles and to keep the cardboard nice and flat.  The glue wasn’t 100% dry at this point, so I let them sit overnight before cutting them.


Then I cut them into a feather shape, then I cut the feather slits.

I came across one small kerfuffle in the process.  When I cut the slits in some of them, the paper was coming loose from the cardboard.  This happened after I had had no problem with about 40 of them, so I was perplexed!

I just tossed out the one that came apart.  A few minutes later, it happened again?!?  What’s the deal with THIS batch??  I just tossed that one out too.  Then it happened to the very next one.  What the heck am I doing wrong??  Is this whole batch going to fall apart???

I decided to investigate a little further and pulled the paper completely off the ones that were coming apart and discovered that they were all from the same box!  So I ended up having six of them in total come apart like this.  Not really sure what was so different about that particular cereal box that caused this to happen; but I can tell you that it was the one and only ‘store brand’ cereal box that I had in my stash.  So, FWIW, keep that in mind if you decide to make these.  P1380220

I’ve already taken a big batch of them to Stars, and made a second batch for the upcoming Spring show.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Time for another SALE @ STARS!!

Just what you need to fend off those winter blahs!!  Shopping therapy!

STARS 5-day sale

Thursday, February 28th – Monday, March 4th

11am – 6pm ~  Both stores.

I just took in TEN BOXES of fresh product this week to ready my booths for the sales.


I brought in my beach cottage decor.

 Mermaid crowns, shell topped bottles, beachy lanterns and candles.

How fabulous is this shabby white wood trough?!?  I’ve used it to display some beach decor in, (floating starfish frames, white glittered sugar starfish and some metal bowl fillers) but you could use it for dozens of other things.  Perfect piece for the center of your farmhouse table.

I made these sweet little beach lamps.  Found the lamps at an estate sale, and filled the clear glass bases with an assortment of shells and beach glass.

These one of a kind lamps are $49.00 each.  OR $49.00 for BOTH during the sale!

The shabby beachy crates UNDER the table are for sale too!

These fishbowl beachscapes are so much fun to make.

These little ‘six section crates’ make handy little display shelves for smaller items.

Small sea glass wreaths, framed pictures and framed shells.  Beverage bottles and shell topped bottles.

Beachy wreaths and framed shells are hung on the side of my other booth.

***Helpful hint:  If you have some starfish or shells that you want to mount and frame, use a piece of sandpaper for the backing. 

Vintage ironstone creamers, sugar bowls, soup/cereal bowls and butter bells.  Vintage glass snack sets and apple shaped snack plates.

Lots more Ironstone dishes and cake stands.

I’ve added lots of newly procured vintage milk glass pieces too.

Two little pink chairs and a little pink scalloped edge shelf, perfect for a little girl’s room.  Upcycled male and female mannequins are great decor pieces.

Regular price on the male is $129.00 ($64.50 at half off during the sale)  Female mannequin is $155.00 ( $77.50 at half off during the five-day sale only)


My wall booth is stocked plentifully for the sale too!

Pretty white frames, gold glitter metal crown, big vintage jar filled with dried Hydrangea (from my very own garden!) sweet little crystal accent lamp.

Another little accent lamp, this one is an upcycled vintage Ball Mason jar, next to an upcycled vanity mirror tray.   Unique shape, narrow bird cage.  Gold cherub jewelry box and gold metal cake stand.

Little brown glass jars and itty bitty glass vials with plastic lids.  I’m really not sure what people use these little jars and vials for, but they always seem to sell well.

Vintage lamp tables.

Heavy duty set of wicker nesting tables with cast iron legs.  Priced individually at $29.00, $39.00 and $49.00; because if I priced them as a set ‘someone’ will want to buy just one of them.  Pricing them individually just makes it easier.  Of course you can buy the entire set still; you just don’t HAVE to.


There are three graduated sizes of these metal tables too, but they don’t ‘nest’.  They will ‘stack inside each other’ for transporting, but they have to be displayed individually.  (It’s kind of difficult to explain without being able to show you!)  They make nice little plant of lamp stands and are light weight enough to hang on the wall.

It’s difficult to see the second one in the picture on the left.  It’s just below the other one, and I used the third one under one of the beach lamps.

A new batch of hand crafted paper feathers, made from vintage book pages and sheet music.  I made this batch of the differently than I did the first ones.  Tutorial to follow soon.  Upcycled gold metal cloche on upcycled metal dessert stand.  Vintage cherub statues.

Get out and get yourself some BARGAIN SHOPPING THERAPY at Stars!

“Happily Ever After” ~ New wall space display.

Sorry that it has taken me so long to get the new booth display posted.  Been dealing with a LOT of things all at once.  Finally feeling settled enough to get caught up on my blog.


The theme for May is “Happily Ever After”.  Wedding decor.  Mostly whites with touches of gold, silver, pale pink and blue.  LOTS of vintage milk glass.

Here are some of the major elements that might be a little hard to see once they are filled with displayed smalls.  Lots of shabby white tables and shelves.

Some of the hand crafted elements.  ‘Happily Ever After’ banners made using vintage sheet music and book pages.  Bride to be crowns.  Vintage paper feathers.  Hand stitched vintage lace and felt hearts.

Vintage shabby white candelabras and metal filigree lanterns.

Most of the small shelves can be wall hung OR set on a flat surface.

I couldn’t fit ALL the milk glass and cake stands in the wall booth.  Lots more to explore in my bigger booth.

As always, aqua and turquoise.  Vintage chenille spread and coverlet.  Little aqua stuffed hearts made from vintage chenille cutter spread.  Trugs with vintage wood legs as handles, and pretty dessert stands.


Front view of my big booth.


As much of what was leftover from last months booth display as I could fit, has been moved over to my bit booth.  Bird nests, jars of eggs and moss, jars of natural elements, bark, moss, dried flowers and pods.  Some of the burlap items.

And lots of the assorted galvanized stuff.  Including that cute 12 hole cubby shelf!!


No such thing . . .

 .   .   .   .   as TOO much Ralph!

Some assorted urns from the thrift store.

This one had some especially fun detail work.  It just didn’t show up too well.

Just add Ralph!!!  Brush on the Ralph Lauren tobacco glaze (be sure to get in ALL the creases) then lightly DAB off with a soft cloth.

Glob it on and spread it around with a brush.

The brush marks will ‘go away’ when you dab off the excess.  I prefer to DAB as opposed to WIPE.  Wiping will give you a greater contrast, by taking more of the glaze off the raised parts.  I prefer to DAB and leave a bit of the glaze on the top parts, and LOTS of the glaze in the recessed parts.

I had to do this one in ‘two parts’ in order to have something to hold on to while working.  Then once the top part dried, I went back and did the base.

See how the glaze makes the details POP?

And here’s what I did with the finished urns.  Added some moss, feathers and and egg.

Here’s my trick for filling the urns with moss, so I don’t have to use as much.  Squirt some tacky glue in the bottom and add some crumpled newspaper.   Cut a piece of cardboard  and glue that to the top of your newspaper.  This really works better than using ALL moss; as the moss seems to ‘settle’ and get kind of matted down after a while.  PLUS, this makes it difficult for those with sticky fingers to steal the ‘innards’ of your urn.  (Hard to believe, but it’s been done!  Had the contents of the urn, moss and egg, stolen from my booth) 

And then to theft-proof the egg (they REALLY like to steal the eggs!!!) I do this.   A little extra work, but worth it to not have to be replacing eggs all the time if you are selling in a ‘mall’ type setting.  ( I never had this problem when we had our own store; but then I had eggs in jars that they could buy however many they wanted)


Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 9:52 am  Comments (3)  
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Ain’t she sweet?!

Yippee!!! I finally found a mannequin! Been hunting for one for 4+ years. I had a wire one when we first opened our store; but it had a more traditional ball shaped skirt. I LOVE the shape of this new one much better! And I like the scroll work on the base.

Mannequin from a few years ago.

Here is a wicker one I had 'WAY back when'. Got it at the thrift store; it was just the torso, no base. I mounted it onto a big heavy wood thrifted lamp base.

Back to the ‘new gal’ . . .

I intend to use her as a ‘greeter’ for my space at the antique mall. Hoping to get a bigger space after the first of the year, and thought I’d make her a pair of angel wings.

Inspector kitty, Spike doing a ‘quality check’, and then informing me that he really thought the project could wait until tomorrow because right now he was WELL behind on his quota of scheduled lap time for the day. With Michael out of town for work for four days I guess I’ll be pulling ‘double shifts’ on kitty lap time!

I wanted to use some foam core poster board for the backing for the wings. After striking out at THREE different Dollar Trees though, I had to come up with a plan B. (and paying $5.00 for it at the craft store was NOT in the budget!)

So I bought a POSTER and figured I could use the cardboard it was packaged with for my wings. First I drew the shape of my wings on newspaper; held them up to the mannequin to be sure I liked them. Then I drew them ‘to size’ (newspaper was a bit smaller than the poster board) on the back of the poster. Cut that out and will save it to use as a template in the future. I’ll be selling the wings, but probably not the mannequin. (unless/until I can find another!)

I had to hit FOUR Dollar Trees before I found the 300ct packages of rose petals. They had the smaller packages of 80ct; but I was gonna need a LOT of them. I know they bring in the bigger packages for Valentines day, and was HOPING I wouldn’t have to wait that long for them. Found the foam board at the same DT; a brand new one.

So, I took my cardboard cut out of the pair of wings, my trusty bottle of tacky glue and my rose petals and started gluing away. Worked on it while I watched TV last night and the entire project, from design to finish took under two hours.

AND . . . . .drumroll please . . . . .

The pair of wings cost me less that $3.00 to make!!! It took one full bag of the rose petals plus about 1/4 of another bag. How’s that for THRIFTY CRAFTING?!?!?

I just rummaged through my stash of wire edged ribbon for some white to tie the wings on with, and just tied a regular bow, so it unties easily. (since the wings will be for sale)

BEFORE I happened to find the mannequin, I had planned on making the angel wings, and was just going to hang them on the wall in a BIG frame. Maybe sling a little bow and arrow across one corner of the frame?

This was the only frame I had handy to use for the picture. This frame will be painted black; and I also have some big ‘fancy gold’ frames that I can use. I also sprayed some glittery silver spray paint on the wings. It just gives it a bit of shimmer. Very subtle; and it doesn’t show up in the pics.

I have a really nice white feather boa that I think I’ll use for the next pair of wings. They’ll have to be smaller, and I’m not sure just yet HOW I’ll attach the boa to the wing backing. I don’t think I want to use hot glue because it will flatten out the feathers too much. (and this boa is VERY fluffy) So, I may have to punch holes in the wings and TIE the boa on.

Also want to do some wings with vintage sheet music.

What else could I use for angel wings? Maybe those glittery ‘snow blankets you buy to put the little villages on? Cut out feather shapes???? More work than the just gluing on the rose petals, but it would be SO cool to have a whole collection of angel wings hanging on the walls of our antique booth space!

Don’t forget to please CLICK HERE to vote for me in the Handmade Holidays contest. Just clicking on the link will give me a vote. No need to do anything else.

Spring nesting

This is my favorite new display in the store!  And I keep finding more and more fun containers to make nests in! 

If you want to assemble some of your own, we’ve got the little nests for sale.  But I love how it looks to have these jars filled with them too!

Save your empty jars and make some of your own!  I made mine in ‘purchased’ little apothecary jars that came with lids, but a lid isn’t really necessary.  Just tie a strip of homespun around the collar of your jar to cover it up!

I’ve got these little bags of nest grass and an egg ($2.95); just open it up and put it in your jar and you’ve made your own!  Also have ‘just eggs’ available individually.  And will be putting together some bags of just nest grass and a couple of feathers.

And I do believe that THIS is my favorite nest ‘assemblage’ that I’ve made for the store.  (I’m working on a couple more similar to this using PINK and AQUA paper shred for the nest!)

A little woven basket makes a cozy nest!

And we’ve got the ‘egg image cards’ available to buy if you want to frame up some of your own. 

A lot of these ‘nesty things’ fit in really well with the beachy blue color that Sophie loves.  The neutral colors will really go well with ANYTHING.  And it’s a decorating ‘theme’ that could be left out year round.