Because they are cheap and plentiful as a by-product of turkey farming, turkey feathers are a common craft product, often sold in large amounts. These versatile, sturdy yet soft feathers can be the basis for a variety of interesting and fun craft creations, from decorative to utilitarian, and from simple to complex.
Make a feather boa by sewing many turkey feathers to a soft, but strong inner fabric core. Some good options for a core include braided yarn, ribbon, or a tough cloth like muslin. Sew each feather individually by poking the needle through the bottom of the feather's central core. Strip the feather fluff from one side of each feather for a traditional, tendril look to your boa, or leave the feathers whole for a fluffier boa.
Dyed turkey feathers are great for creating feather-decorated masks. Purchase a plain plastic or cardboard mask from a craft or party store and coat it with a pattern of colored feathers. For best results, layer the feathers so that they lie in the same direction fanning out from the center of the mask in rows. Begin with the outer row and work inward, attaching each feather with a small amount of strong craft glue or hot glue applied to the bottom of the feather's core.
If you can buy some long turkey feathers, especially tail feathers, use them to create a feather fan. Make the handle from painted and decorated paperboard cut in the shape of a paddle, then glue feathers with the soft tops pointing out. Cover the glued bottoms of the feathers with a thick ribbon or strip of decorative cloth.
Most cats love to play with toys made from feathers and one of the most amusing, yet simple, toys for cats consists of nothing more than three or four turkey feathers tied in a bundle on the end of a length of tough string or fishing line. Attach this string to the end of a dowel so that you can dangle the toy in front of your pet. To make it more interesting, add a sprig of fresh catnip or a small bell.
A good way to use up a lot of extra turkey feathers is by making an old-fashioned feather duster. Tie several small bunches of feathers together bouquet-style, then fashion the many small bouquets into one larger one. Form a cone from craft plastic or cardboard around the end of a short dowel, then glue the feather bouquet inside the cone.
- "Feather Art: Making Crafts from All Feathers for Ages 7 to 107;" Donna Landsman; 2005
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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