How to Make a Feather Fan

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Whether you’re channeling a Victorian lady at tea or a burlesque queen on stage, a fan made from feathers adds a touch of “wow” to your wardrobe. You can even substitute a feather fan for a bride’s or attendants’ bouquets for a touch of the out-of-the-ordinary, and the fans make an attractive bit of home decoration, as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Fabric (optional)
  • Spray adhesive (optional)
  • Feathers -- ostrich plumes or peacock feathers work especially well
  • Permanent craft adhesive
  • Acrylic paint (optional)
  • Beads, brooches, ribbons and other embellishments

Warning

  • Do not use feathers found on the ground or in your garden. These can harbor mites and diseases. Craft feathers are available at most hobby, fabric or craft stores.

Step 1

Cut an oval about 2 inches wide and 6 inches long from the cardboard. A rectangle with rounded corners will also work.

Step 2

To cover the cardboard fan handle with fabric, apply spray adhesive to one side of the cardboard fan handle and cover it with fabric, smoothing out any wrinkles and air pockets. Wrap the fabric onto the other side about 1/4 inch. If you’d rather paint the handle, wait until the other steps are complete.

Step 3

Arrange the feathers on the back of the handle, placing them in a semi-circle around the edge. Fill only half of the length of the oval. You can use a single layer of feathers or you may want to stack them.

  • Add taller feathers, like ostrich plumes to the fan first. Glue them in place with the permanent adhesive or glue gun. If you use hot glue, add a heavy layer. It won’t show in the final product, so put it on thickly to make sure the feathers stay in place.
  • Trim the second layer of feathers so that they are about 1/2-inch shorter than the first row. Arrange them across the first layer, alternating from side to side to keep them spaced evenly. Glue them into place.
  • Trim the third layer to about 1/2-inch shorter than the second. Arrange and glue them as you did the second row.

Step 4

Fold the other end of the cardboard over the ends of the feathers and glue it into place. If you did not cover the handle with fabric, now is the time to paint it.

Step 5

When all of the glue and paint have dried thoroughly, embellish your fan with ribbons, old jewelry, beads or other items.

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