Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TUTORIAL: Spaghetti Box Feathers

Last week Owen and I brainstormed ideas for the construction paper feather he was asked to decorate for the class turkey.  I mentioned how cool spaghetti noodles would look glued on top, like individual feather strands.  But after staring at his green paper for a minute, he said "Mom. It needs to be a watermelon" (which I loved, and which looked awesome).  But I couldn't get that spaghetti out of my head.
So while he was at school, I made my own turkey feathers!
And I have to be honest, they turned out even cooler than I imagined.  Kinda classy.
 And they're made from only 4 ingredients.  I love simple, recycled project.
 Here's what you need:
• Cereal boxes work best because they're long
• Look in the organic aisle of the grocery store for interesting colored pastas, like black bean spaghetti, sweet potato, etc. 
• Use metallic acrylic paint (found at most craft stores for about $1/bottle).  I like the Folk Art brand because they have a good range of colors. 
Then start feathering.
• Draw a turkey feather shape....kind of like a corn dog.  Leave a slight tail at the end, and if you plan to add a metal grommet (info below), make the tail wide enough for your grommet size.
• Cut small diagonal cuts in the sides of the feather
• Paint using acrylic paint (the feather might curl up after painting but will relax as it dries)
• Let them dry (if you're antsy, use a blowdryer but don't let them blow around in the air!)
Now you can just enjoy the feathers as-is.  They already look pretty fun.  But let's add some dimension.

• Glue a single spaghetti noodle down the middle of the feather, using standard Elmer's type glue.
• Glue small spaghetti strands to the sides, in a diagonal.  The best way to do this is squeeze a little glue around, then hold the noodle in place with one finger and snap the end with the other finger.  It's quick and easy.  Don't worry if some noodles hang over the feather edge.  Messy and uneven is cool here.  And's always fun to peel that dried glue off your fingertips, right?
Now you're left with some pretty cool looking feathers.   Enjoy them as they are, or go back over the top with any paint color you like.  Add gold accents here and there or do an ombre of reds and oranges.
And you've got pretty little feathers!
I love how they shine in the sunlight.
To hang the feathers, you can simply tie a piece of twine or string to the end.  But a fun option is to punch a hole in the ends of a few feathers, and hammer a metal grommet through the bunch (follow instructions in the grommet-- or "eyelet"---box, found at most craft stores for about $4). 
 Then decorate! 
Here are a few ideas:
• Hang them on the front door
• Hang them on artwork, window corners, on the wall
• String and tie them into a garland
• Decorate a lampshade
• Scatter them around the Thanksgiving dinner table
• Hang one from your belt.
Gobble Gobble.

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