Elegant feather ornament tutorial

Since we're getting close to Christmas I thought I would bring you another feather ornament tutorial. If you're anything like me you probably have a vase or box of feathers that your chickens have dropped and you picked up. What better way to decorate for the holidays then to bring the chickens indoors with you in the form of feather ornaments?

Fancy feather ornament craft tutorial

I've already made feather filled ornaments...and it seems like everyone is writing about making these now. Who can blame them though? They sure do look nice on the Christmas tree! Speaking of trees, last year I wrote a tutorial on making feather trees! Those went over really well, especially with my cat! You'll have to click over to the post to read the cat vs feather story. Oh boy that was a dilemma!

I wanted to make something that can be used outside the Christmas tree this year. After all, we keep feathers to memorialize our favorite chickens, right? It's such a shame to have to put those away at the end of the holidays each year. I wanted to make a feather ornament that could be a year round decoration as well as an addition to the holiday d├ęcor.

Related reading: How to make a chicken feather necklace.

Elegant feather Ornaments

This year though I am going in a different direction, super simple and elegant. We're just stringing the feathers up with beads and ribbon hooks. I decided to make this kind of feather ornament for 2 reasons.

1) I saw them in a store display for $9 each! There was no way I was paying that, but they were so pretty that I had to recreate them!

2) Since each ornament only uses a few feathers, we can make a lot of them to cover the whole tree!

So let get started


  • Feathers
  • Large beads
  • White glue, like gem tack or even Elmer's
  • Ribbon
Beads for feather ornaments

I picked everything up at Walmart, but a craft store will also have everything you need. Beads seem a bit cheaper at Walmart though. Mine has a great selection (even the tiny old Walmart in the middle of the country had a nice selection of beads!) You'll want to pick large beads with large holes. Smaller ones will work but you won't be able to get as many feathers in there. It all depends on the look you're going for though.

Start by stacking your feathers in bundles. Try single feathers, groups of 2, 3 or more. Stack the smaller feathers on the outside with the larger feathers to the back or in the middle, depending on how many you're stacking.  

Cut your ribbon in 8" pieces. Fold in half to make a loop.

It seems pretty simple right? Just stick your feathers in the bead, insert ribbons and add some glue. Except...the feathers are going in from the bottom of the bead, and the ribbon is going in from the top. If the hole is big enough it will be easy. If not though, you're gonna wrestle with it. 

You could stack the ribbon on top of the feathers and pull it all through. I ended up inserting the ribbon from the top about 1/4" too far, then inserting the feathers from the bottom and pushing up. You might have to trim the ribbon when the glue is dried if it sticks out too far. 

Feather craft directions

Once you have the ornament how you like, put some glue inside the bead. I used a toothpick to get it all the way inside. Make sure the hole is full of glue, or the feathers may fall out. I like to put some glue on one side of the feathers at the top of the bead, and on the other side at the bottom of the bead. This sort of smushes the feathers and ribbon in the middle gluing it all in place. Or you can dip the feather quills in the glue before inserting them. Play around with it, you'll find something that works for you.

That's it! Now make a bunch and cover your tree with them! I found a lot of super cute beads by the brand Hildie & Jo on sale at my local Joanns. My favorite though, were these chickens. Aren't they cute???

Chicken bead ornaments with feathers, craft

Some of the bead holes are smaller than others (even on large beads) so if working with the small space is difficult, look for beads more like the ones in these ornaments that have lots of larger holes to work with. You might want to switch to hot glue for these though, as there is a bigger space to fill...you need the glue to grip. 

Silver beaded chicken feather ornaments, craft

Just like you can use decorated blown eggs all year round, you can also use these feather decorations for more than just the Christmas tree. I have one hanging from the rear view mirror in my truck and another hanging in the hall window. You'll probably want to make sure they're out of reach of the cats though. I'm sure you know how I found that out!

Pro tip: Don't pick sparkly beads for the rear view mirror feather ornament. Lights will shine off it into your eyes. It does look pretty in a house window though! Where are you going to hang your new feather ornaments?

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