Craft feathers are delightful. But they’re so light that they fly everywhere, they’re hard to glue, and they tend to shed. Enter the watercolor feather! I discovered these last year while running a summer program for 1st-4th graders. Although I’m not sure who loved this project more… me or them! They’re so much sturdier, and while not 100 percent realistic they are absolutely stunning. I’ll share a few of the uses we found for them below, but really the sky is the limit with these beauties.
- Cardstock, posterboard, or heavy watercolor paper
Prepare the Project:
Draw as many simple feather shapes as you can fit on the paper, including a pencil line down the center of the feather. Older kids may be able to do this themselves.
Make Some Art:
- Paint the feathers! Don’t worry about going outside the lines, you’ll be cutting them out.
- Experiment with designs, patterns, color mixing, and using more/less water. You really can’t go wrong.
- Cut out the feather shapes.
- Cut the barbs with short downward strokes toward the center of the feather. This is the trickiest part and can take a bit of practice to get the hang of; depending on the age of the kids you’re working with they may or may not need your help. (If you accidentally cut straight through a feather, just tape the back and keep going!)
- Revel in the beauty of your feathers!
As for what to do with them… here are a few projects we made:
This is an archeopteryx from a dinosaur unit. A year later I still have this hanging in my office!
A simple hanging mobile with a found stick and some twine. I may do a separate tutorial on this one, which I also still have hanging in my office. I’m a little obsessed with these feathers. ;)
If you do this project, please take photos and share them with me! I would love to see, and I’d love to start a gallery with submitted photos of art projects.