I think I’ve had a minor feather obsession for as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid I would pick up feathers that I found outside, but my mom told me that they were “dirty” and that I could catch diseases from them. This was before the days of bird flu, so I’m not sure what she thought I could catch. I remember trying to wash feathers in my bathroom sink, but they were never as beautiful after washing. At some point I just decided not to worry about it, and now I pick up feathers whenever I see pretty ones. There’s a pack of crows (a murder of crows, really) that hangs out in my neighborhood, making noise and occasionally dropping feathers, so I have quite the collection. But there’s always room for more. Recently I fell in love with this Mara Hoffman feather print, and decided to make a feather earring version.
Here are instructions for making your own!
Shrink plastic (white)
Earring hooks (2)
1. Sketch your design out on a piece of paper, or print out mine. Keep in mind that it will shrink to 1/2 to 1/3 of its original size. I started with a design that was about 4 inches long. Make sure that there’s enough room on one end to punch a hole.
2. Place your shrink plastic over the design and trace it in pencil, then go over your tracing in permanent marker.
3. Repeat the above steps so that you have two copies of the design. Because shrink plastic can shrink more in some directions than others, it’s important that you orient the designs the same way on the plastic.
4. Carefully cut your designs out of the plastic.
5. Punch holes in one end of each feather with the hole punch.
6. Bake your shrink plastic according to the instructions on your package. Mine said not to bake it directly on metal, and instead to bake it on a piece of cardboard or parchment paper at 250-400 degrees F for 2-3 minutes, so I baked for 3 minutes at 300 F, and I had to add a few minutes. The plastic should curl up, and then flatten again. If it doesn’t flatten completely, as soon as it comes out of the oven press it flat. I actually left mine curled up a little because I thought it made them more feather-like.
7. Marvel at the shrinkage! My feathers went from 4 inches in length to just under 2 inches.
8. To complete your earrings, add jump rings and attach them to earring hooks.