We just received a fresh batch of colorful feathers from our favorite flock of local parrots! Selene, Chloe and Gwendolyn are just a few of the Pionus, Amazon, and Macaw parrots owned by one of our customers. Lucky for us, our feathered friends naturally molt dozens of vibrantly-colored feathers — the perfect accents for earrings, pendants, and more!
We here at Blue Door Beads enjoy earrings of all kinds, but when it comes to large earrings, we feel that the lighter they are, the better. Heavy earrings can stretch earlobes with time, so we recently got busy making some lightweight earrings using feathers. We think they turned out really nice!
The trickiest part about working with feathers is attaching a finding to the quill, which is the small, stiff part of the feather. You can choose to use wire by the foot to wrap a coil around the quill, but we’ve actually had good luck using fold-over crimp ends.
All you need to attach the crimp ends are a pair of chain nose pliers, some Hypo-Cement (optional, but recommended), and a bit of patience. If you want a little bit of added security, you can apply a tiny drop of Hypo-Cement to your crimp end before sliding in the quill. The quill can still slip out of the channel of the crimp end at this stage, but as long as you pinch evenly from both sides using your pliers, you should be able to fasten it fairly easily. Try not to have a “death grip” on your pliers; too much force can cause the quill to crack in the crimp end, and then you’ll have a sad, broken feather.
Once you have attached your crimp end, you can attach an open jump ring to the loop of the crimp end to create a bail. This way, you can wear your feather as a delicate pendant!
Have several feathers you’d like to wear? Attach ear wires to your crimps ends, and you have an easy, lightweight pair of earrings!
Have you found some lovely feathers, but would like to clean them before wearing them? We visited http://www.howtocleanstuff.net and found a helpful, gentle how-to for cleaning feathers:
“Dry” Cleaning Method
You Will Need:
- Corn meal
- White flour
- Powdered Borax
- Ziplock Bag
Steps to Clean the Feathers:
- Fill a bag with ½ cup flour, one cup corn meal, and three tablespoons Borax.
- Place the feathers in the Ziplock bag.
- Close the bag and shake the feathers around in the powdery mix.
- Once the feathers are clean, remove them.
- Shake the feathers to remove any excess powder.
Keep in mind:
- Birds secrete oils that keep the feathers waterproof. Once removed from the bird, these oils quickly deteriorate and make the feather more vulnerable to damage from water and cleaning methods.
- Insects are problem for feathers as they like to eat through them. Check your decorative feathers regularly to ensure they are not being eaten by any unwanted guests.
Have fun creating your fabulous feathered jewelry!