Monday, September 27, 2010

feather headband

to make feather headbands you'll need a feathers, a headband, a glue gun, and ribbon. i get my feathers from lamplight feather company. a cheap headband is fine. you'll cover it up with the ribbon entirely, so no one need see the plastic:

the shiniest, most wearable every-day feathers are usually natural. peacock and pheasant plumage are my favorites, because they're covered in naturally shiny, smooth feathers in fantastic colors:

images via here

ooh, pretty.

select a length of ribbon you'd like for your base. i like to hot glue a piece of ribbon on the ends of my  headband; this is the hardest portion to wrap, so this way you'll already have it covered.

 if the headband is tight on your head, you can add a bit of padding on the insides before completing this step. 

begin by hot gluing the ribbon at an angle, and continue wrapping in the direction to which you angle it:

if your headband has teeth, you can just add more glue and pull the ribbon tightly; the teeth will grip but shouldn't tear the ribbon:

continue wrapping the ribbon tightly. securing with one drop of hot glue on the underside of the headband each time you go around:

 continue wrapping 'til the entire headband is covered.

now for the feathers!

the natural feathers that i think work best for this sort of headband are plumage feathers. these are the feathers from the body of the bird, so they've got a bit of down at the base of each. untrimmed, they look like this:

... since that looks a mess, i remove the fluff.

this feather has some down at the base which could be removed. it's tempting to just use scissors ... until you see how much feather gets trimmed away (for demonstration purposes i'm stripping a large feather 'cause it's all i had at the time, but i'll use very small plumage feathers for the headband itself)

with one hand, lightly hold the feather top that you want to save, and grip the portion you want to remove between your fingers. (this is easier to do when you're not taking a picture of one of your hands):

to remove the down, yank firmly downwards. it makes a noise like a teeny, tiny zipper.

repeat on both sides:

(zip, zzzip!)

the finished feather will have only the portion you like, and a long stem piece which you can leave on or not. i like leaving it so that i have a bit of a handle if the feather is larger, like the one above, and cutting it off if the feather is very small.

repeat until you have about half again as many feathers as you think are necessary:

trim the exposed spine from the feathers with scissors. plumage feathers are really tiny! i space mine out as i do this so that i don't have to rifle through them later:  

now for the fun part:

add feathers! 
i begin at one end with the feather's tip pointing towards the nearest end of the headband. 

only a tiny drop of glue is required.  press the feather gently onto this at its spine:

the most natural looking way i've found to do add these is to overlap them like scales of a fish:

if your feathers are too small, add a couple to take up the same amount of space. 
continue 'til you like how it looks:

i wired a huge feather on top of this one to finish it, but you could continue to the edge for something a bit less silly. what would you add?

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