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How to Make a Feather Tree
Feather Christmas Trees

A small blue feather tree from the Dennis Bauer workhops

Barb Crews

Supplies needed to make a feather tree include:

  • a dowel for the trunk
  • wires for the branches
  • goose feathers (see below)
  • berries for the tips of the branches
  • floral tape
  • tissue to wrap the trunk
  • glue
The types of feathers used are goose "biot" feathers which are sliced down the spine, and each half is then wrapped around the wire branch.

The construction of a branch begins with placing the berry at the tip with the 'tail' of the berry laying along the branch wire. Using floral tape, wrap wire branch and berry wire tugging lightly as you wrap to create a bond with the wax covered tape, and stopping about an inch from the base of the wire. Next, each feather half is wrapped around the branch with the little quills fanning out, using glue to begin the feather and wrapping the feather around its own tip to secure it. A piece of floral tape adheres the end of the feather and the new feather begins over that floral tape piece. Continue this process leaving an inch of wire exposed. Bend the last 1/4" of each wire 90 degrees (perpendicular) using pliers.

Assembly of the tree begins with the top shoot glued into the hole that is drilled into the end of the dowel. Apply glue to the dowel from the tip to the first row of holes and wrap with the tissue, wrapping up towards the top shoot and back down to the top row of holes. Insert the top row of branches into the dowel with the branches facing upwards. Tightly wrap thin wire around the base of these branches and secure with twists of the wire. Apply glue to the wires and dowel, down to the next row of branches. Repeat the process of wrapping tissue around the dowel working upward covering the wires of the row above, and then back to the next row of holes. Repeat with each row.

Allow your tree to sit for 24 hours to let the glue dry well, before opening the branches.

Ann suggests not closing the branches up, once they’ve been opened as this weakens the wires somewhat each time you do.

Store in a climate controlled space covering your tree with a pillow case or cotton sheet to keep dust off.

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