DIY Clay Feather Ornaments

by Alexis on December 5, 2012

The holidays tend to bring out my crafty side, so I was excited to tackle the feather ornament DIY featured in the Mixed Bag section of the Holiday Gift Guide. We gave a quick rundown of how to make these ornaments in the guide, but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail here. If you’re looking for a craft to get you in the holiday spirit, these ornaments might be just the thing. Or if baking is more up your alley, maybe the Marbled Cookies or Gingerbread Trees also featured in the Mixed Bag?

Clay (We usedĀ cold porcelain clay we made ourselves, or thisĀ air dry porcelain would work as well)
Small paring knife
Parchment paper or other non-stick surface
Ziplock bag
About a cup of uncooked rice

Start by creating a small oblong ball of clay about the size of a large grape. On a nonstick surface like parchment paper, roll the clay out into a feather shape, about 1/8″ thick. (If the shape doesn’t quite turn out like you wanted, just ball the clay up and try again.) Flip the clay over at this point so it’s not too stuck to move when you’re finished. Using a toothpick, draw a light line in the clay down the center of the feather. Then, using a paring knife or other straight edged tool, press lines from the center to the edge of the feather. Don’t worry about how the lines meet in the middle, you’ll cover this up later. On most of our feathers, we cut small sections out of the feather to mimic the natural separations between barbs in real feathers. Last, take a small pea-sized piece of clay and roll it with your palm into a thin rope about 1/8″ thick and longer than your feather. Line the rope up with the centerline and press into place. Trim one end flush and leave about 3/4″ overhang for the quill on the other end. Last, using a toothpick, create a small hole for hanging. To add a bit of shape to the feathers, we filled a small plastic bag with rice and laid the feathers on it to dry overnight. Once the feathers are dry, add a small ribbon or string to hang.

{Images from the Anthology Holiday Gift Guide}

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