Weekly updates from BLDG 25

DIY Painted Feathers

I’ve always loved the idea of painting fake feathers, and with festival season underway it seemed like the perfect time to do it.  I originally thought of these purely as decorations but then it occurred to me that they’d be a great finishing touch for a festival outfit. This is a great activity to do outside on a warm sunny day, and once you start it’s slightly addicting!


What you need: fake feathers, paint (I used acrylic paint), and a paint brush.


I got this paint from Utrecht and I love it.


I added a little bit of water to the paint before applying to the feathers, and they absorbed the paint almost like watercolor. I love the way the colors bleed into each other.


After the entire feather was covered I added some dots and lines with white paint.


Get as creative and colorful as you want with the feathers!





I wanted to add in some of the smaller brown feathers to my arrangement, so for those I kept it simple and painted them in colorful ombre shades.



Arrange your feathers on a wall as beautiful spring artwork!


Another idea: Stick one in a fedora for an awesome festival look.


You can also use jewelry wire to attach a feather to a bag as a cute, boho charm!


Bag pictured: Diamond Stud Crossbody.

More DIY Projects from the BLDG 25 Blog!

Photos by Julia & Brigette.

Tags: , , ,


Charlotte -March 27, 2013, 8:49AM

These are beautiful, great for sprucing up a room!


Katie -March 27, 2013, 9:00AM

So beautiful as decor! Where can I get fake feathers? Really don’t want to buy the real ones.

fp julia -March 27, 2013, 9:10AM

You can get them at most craft stores! I got mine at AC Moore :)

Jeline -March 27, 2013, 9:38AM

Ohmygosh this is sooo cool! The feathers look so pretty after being painted. I might just do this for the fun of it! ♥

baxton -March 27, 2013, 9:44AM

yeah, I don’t think those are fake….but you can cut vinyl or leather into the shape of one and then add fringe by cutting into your ‘feather’

Lynn -March 27, 2013, 10:04AM

So super duper cool!!! I need to make a few of those!!!

Meghan -March 27, 2013, 10:17AM

This totaly caught my eye this morning.
They are like works of art. Love!

Taylor -March 27, 2013, 10:19AM

I do this for the dream catchers I make ;)

Terri Betz -March 27, 2013, 11:02AM

Wonderful! Thanks for this post! Off to paint feathers! :)

Megan -March 27, 2013, 11:09AM

Love this, so cute!

Kacie -March 27, 2013, 12:24PM

Wow those look so gorgeous, I must do this now!

Sarah -March 28, 2013, 1:31AM

Yeah, the feathers shown in those images are real, not fake… why would Free People lie about using real feathers? It’s obvious they are real.

Sarah -March 28, 2013, 1:33AM

Oh and I should have said that I love this post and the DIY idea… I just meant to point out the weirdness that FP would say they used fake feathers when it’s very obvious from the downy base and the shaft of the feather that they’re definitely from real birds.

AC -March 28, 2013, 4:32AM

It’s so cool !
OMG I love your rings ! where did u get it?

Oblivion -March 28, 2013, 5:51AM

Love it!!!SO inspiring!!!xxx

jenny -March 28, 2013, 6:00AM

such a lovely idea and so fun!

fp julia -March 28, 2013, 8:27AM

Sarah, I can assure you, they are fake! I read the packaging to make sure :)

Billy -March 28, 2013, 10:17AM

Hi was wondering if the paint makes them hard?

Catherine -March 28, 2013, 11:02AM

Some great ideas here! I already paint feathers and sell them in my etsy shop (mostly for hair accessories), so some tips for other people who are new to this is to definitely mix the acrylic paint with a lot of water. You can always use several watered down layers of paint over one another to achieve a color. It gives you more steps to do, but it really helps if you want to avoid a hard and separated feather.

shauna -March 28, 2013, 11:09AM

These are so pretty. What a lovely idea.

NEgan -March 28, 2013, 11:37AM

I love these!
How long did the paint take to dry? And did you wait for the paint to dry between colors?

fp julia -March 28, 2013, 12:18PM

NEgan, it dried pretty quickly, i’d say no more than an hour! I did not wait for the paint to dry in between colors because I liked the way they bled together :)

Ashley -March 30, 2013, 6:17AM

I’ve been trying to find feathers for forever now! I can’t seem to find the right ones. Is there any online store i can order it? I’ve already tried looking at Michael’s :/

Amanda root -April 10, 2013, 12:36AM

Great spring break project with my daughters!!

Amanda root -April 10, 2013, 12:37AM

Ben Franklin had great white feathers…

Jules -April 10, 2013, 2:12PM
Lisa -April 13, 2013, 1:43PM

So pretty! And i love all the ideas of ways to use them

Vanesa -April 17, 2013, 2:48PM

Definitely going to try this with my dreamcatchers! My store is if anyone wants to take a look at some of the designs I came up with.

Christina -April 19, 2013, 8:09PM

I love this! I’m going to make these tomorrow! I bought “Touch of Nature” Feather Quills in 12″ white and 6″ brown

Paisley -April 23, 2013, 4:01AM

The spotted feathers are guinea fowl feathers. They are very much real, and I’ve collected many naturally shed feathers that looked just like that when my family used to raise them. I’ve always loved the look of their speckles, and very much approve of the tinting you added to them :) The white feathers are likely chicken or turkey feathers, and might have said “faux” or “fake” in reference to the black marking pre-painted on them, such as “faux seagull feather”. The feather is certainly real, the marking, however, has been faked. Spraying your feathers with a fixative before and after painting might help extend its longevity ^^

Rebecca -May 15, 2013, 10:17AM

So pretty. I never would have thought of painting feathers! Awesome. Thanks for the post.

Libby -May 20, 2013, 10:48PM

It’s important to keep in mind that in many states and on federal land, possession of feathers from certain wild birds is illegal, even if one finds them on the ground.

Maddison -June 10, 2013, 8:25PM

I love the idea but were do you put the feathers do you put them in your room or in your hair.
Anyway awesome idea I’m going to try it some time

Emilie -June 17, 2013, 9:56AM

I come from the Netherlands and had a question for you; Do you have to use a basecoat? And how do you seal your work, are u using varnish spray or hair spray? Sorry for the bad Englisch. Love your work!

Laura -June 22, 2013, 11:55AM

I am so doing this! I love this idea!

Louise -July 12, 2013, 8:51AM

I really think these painted feathers are beautiful gonna go to the store an get some feathers an paint. Great project for grandkids.

Carolina -July 18, 2013, 7:32PM

How did you arrange the feathers on the wall? With string, tape?

Knitascarf -August 1, 2013, 5:37PM

These are amazing !I really love this and they look so cute.

rachel -August 4, 2013, 12:26AM

I tried painting mine and the feathers separated and now just look like wet bird feathers… any suggestions?

Holidays -October 17, 2013, 10:49PM

Aaah this will come handy in one of these crafty Holidays ! :)

kagney -October 23, 2013, 3:25AM

OMG why are you calling these “Fake Feathers”…These are real bird feathers from birds farms. These farms are mostly in China. Hate to give you the image of what their life is like and how they extract the feathers..

I so appreciate this beautiful creative artwork but needed to say something.

BDM Oxygen Plants -October 23, 2013, 4:52AM

Nice Creativity…

Amit -November 6, 2013, 6:59AM

Why are you so creative..
but i loved it..

Coral Senekal -November 22, 2013, 7:07AM

I think the feathers are fantastic. Would love to put some on my Christmas tree. Where can I get the fake feathers from. I stay in Ballito. Thanks Coral

Coral Senekal -November 22, 2013, 7:09AM

Fantastic, would love to put some on my Christmas tree. Where can I get the fake feathers from. Thanks Coral

steeni -December 4, 2013, 3:24PM

Why do you use fake feathers? Can I use real ones?

Raven -December 12, 2013, 10:50AM

Hi I love the you paint you’re feathers

Raven -December 12, 2013, 10:51AM

I mean I love the way u paint you’re feathers

Raven -December 12, 2013, 10:57AM

Hi I wish there was a game like that on this website

Teddy -January 29, 2014, 5:07AM

I have chickens and I was wondering if their feathers would work? that way I don’t have to pay for the feathers at the craft store.

Steffi -June 27, 2014, 6:27AM

Wirklich wundervoll diese Federn. Das musste ich einfach mal zeigen. :-)

Gruß Steffi

Kaveeta baral -June 28, 2014, 3:15AM

In my hometown we can find natural feathers falling on grasses n on rooftops. I use that :)

Jackrabbit -June 28, 2014, 9:42AM

These are real feathers you have used! Most come from chickens or turkeys. Fake feathers are paper and you can’t do much with them. These are real!

Birdy -July 16, 2014, 1:55PM

“Fake” because they are made to look like eagle feathers. They are real feathers, they just are not eagle feathers. “Imitation Eagle Quill” feathers are made from turkey quills and dyed/painted to look like eagle feathers. So, yes, your package said “Imitation” which applied to “eagle quill” not to the feathers themselves. They are real feathers, taken from real birds.

NomadicKate -September 4, 2014, 1:30PM

Love these! I plan on using this technique for our next wreath. :) the patterns are so pretty, and using found feathers makes this super cheap and easy to do!

Akhil K A -October 3, 2014, 12:26AM

Outstanding work…really very beautiful….

anielys -October 18, 2014, 5:28AM

Superbe ! Merci beaucoup !

Silvana -October 25, 2014, 6:17AM

Love this!

HappyCampers -October 25, 2014, 10:56AM

Hi….Check out mom’s Got ink on FB…she stole your photos from this post…

HappyCampers -October 25, 2014, 10:58AM

Also, here’s the FB link to report her…

RLRproDIYer -October 25, 2014, 12:35PM

The look great!

Sylwia -October 27, 2014, 9:27AM
Paulette -November 25, 2014, 10:12PM

I have chickens , find nice size feathers around a chicken farm ,free for the picking up

deb -December 12, 2014, 6:46PM

YOu know i paint feathers too…turkey feathers that i find on the ground….But my feathers are rather waterproof and do not accept the paint easily. I find if i coat them with fabric softner first then they are no longer waterproof… I’m so surprised no one else has mentioned that waterproof problem…

Debbie -December 23, 2014, 5:10AM

Deb, most natural feathers are waterproof, I use turkey and duck and chicken feathers along with any that I find out on my walks in the countryside. I haven’t ran across any issues as of yet with the paint adhearing. Apple Barrel, acrylic paints by Plaid. If I have any problems with the paint I will remember what you did with the fabric softner and try it.

Donatela -January 6, 2015, 1:24PM


gladys -January 9, 2015, 8:51AM

I’m so loving it

tofi -January 12, 2015, 6:09AM

those are real feathers but not real wild birds I guess, seems like turkeys and goose feathers, so you can still say that’s fake…. absolutely great work

Gerry -January 12, 2015, 9:10AM
C and ace -January 26, 2015, 2:04PM

I love this! This is exactly what I was looking for, I’m making a banner for my living room and wanted to use feathers instead of the usual triangles. Thank you!

Haley -January 30, 2015, 1:58AM

Those are real feathers. Also, it’s time to stop appropriating Native American culture and sacred art, bastardizing it, and making it “festival season”. Super offensive.

Lysa -January 30, 2015, 9:49PM

OMG. Im loving it! Gotta try this soon! :)

Creative Khadija -February 5, 2015, 3:07AM

So Pretty! love it :)

Jamila -February 6, 2015, 7:04AM

Cool idea , love it
Thanks for sharing

shirley -February 7, 2015, 5:22PM

Got a pack of feathers today at Michael’s Crafts. Salesperson wanted to know did I want the kid’s feathers or the better ones. Difference in cost was unbelievable, A pack of approx 50 (kid feathers compare to a pack
of 2 (better feathers. Let you know when I get started whether it is worth the extra money…..

seturfashion -February 11, 2015, 12:36PM

very nice,beautiful. can anybody give me any suggestion for my new site

Emma -February 23, 2015, 8:54PM

i’m doing these right now. first one drying! question…. should i paint both sides of the feather? or just the front…

Kimi -March 2, 2015, 2:25AM

So cool. :D I’m gonna try to do this :)

Dawn -March 4, 2015, 3:56AM

Aw man, I love you Free People, more than anything, but those are real feathers. I sell dreamcatchers for a living and work with feathers daily. I find mine organically molted when possible. You can tell by the shaft and the natural fibers. I’m not sure what a ‘fake feather’ would actually consist of. The spotted ones are guinea, and the others are dyed, probably turkey. The package probably said ‘faux eagle feathers’ meaning that they are not eagle feathers (illegal to own). But they are dyed to look like them. Pretty dumb on the company’s part for misguided labeling. Easy mistake, unless you work with feathers on a daily basis, no one could be expected to recognize the difference. Beautiful work though! Thanks for sharing!

mel crumpton -March 28, 2015, 9:48AM

lovely idea

Bella -April 4, 2015, 11:00PM

I absolutely love your ideas! At the moment, I am working on a horse hair band to go on my new Akubra hat and I thought that this idea would look amazing and would really finish the project off. I tried to read the the colors on the labels of your paint (the picture) but some of them (especially the green) is too blurry to read. Can you (or anyone who has awesome eyes and knows) just tell me what it says please? Once again I love this idea and it is so pretty and creative IT LOOKS AWESOME!!!

Kowsikanth -April 25, 2015, 12:33PM

Nice Article. and the end product looks good.

Pam -April 27, 2015, 12:27PM

Very nice, and I do agree that they are not fake feathers. I have been painting on feathers for many years. These feathers are real although prepared for mass marketing into craft stores etc.. usually chicken..and some other birds too.

Kate haley -August 17, 2015, 11:30PM

Those are TOTALLY real feathers. And likely not harvested kindly. Check local bird rescues for feathers. I think calling them “fake” is like passing off some fur as fake in discount stores. This is a beautiful activity but I will be using my bird’s feathers. Please buy humanely.

Alison Barlow -September 1, 2015, 8:15AM

You can buy naturally moulted feathers sometimes on ebay. I’ve sold some on there before that are naturally moulted from my pet ducks and chickens and the money goes towards their food. I love the idea that they are being used for jewellery and crafts etc…better than just throwing them away!

Jan Parker -September 7, 2015, 9:46AM

Why fake feathers?

Jan Parker -September 7, 2015, 9:46AM

Why use fake feathers?

Tanya -October 19, 2015, 1:26AM

Great post, love this idea, might use this for my daughter’s nursery decor.

Pippa -October 29, 2015, 12:40PM

may i show this on my blog? P.

Judi Howard -January 7, 2016, 5:21PM

I live in Brisbane Qld Australia, I used to live on acreage and had lots of chickens guinea fowl turkeys ALL totally free range, even coming in the house certainly nesting wherever they wanted, sleeping in the tree outside my bedroom window. Feathers were everywhere as they roamed freely and I picked them up, washed them ran my fingers down each one and spread them out to dry on a towel. when totally dry i would collate them in sizes and types. Also there were wild ducks visiting my dam and a gorgeous Peacock who I called Andrew (we had a politician named Andrew Peacock) Andrew would molt and leave feathers all over the 3 1/4 acre property. I have these feathers still today more than 20 years later. Andrew’s feathers are arranged in a spaghetti jar beside my bed on a wee table.
I feed wild birds on my verandah in the city of Brisbane, and the Magpies come into the kitchen waiting for their food from the fridge. I still pick up every feather I find in the garden or street and bring them inside and put them in a wee vase. Folk wonder why and i tell them these are a gift. Feathers are not being produced by mankind they can’t produce a product as clever as any bird.
I could speak of the birds all day.
Peace to everyone in the coming year. Judi

Ingrid -January 13, 2016, 11:06AM

These are beautiful, but yeah, those are real feathers. Dyed, but real.

fai -February 3, 2016, 6:55AM

they are so beautiful!! can I put some of your photos on cards to sell ?

fp julie -February 3, 2016, 10:00AM

Fai – So glad you like the post and the photos! Your offer is flattering, however, please be aware that images posted are owned and copy-written under this blog and may not be reproduced.

line -March 3, 2016, 8:31AM


mary -March 5, 2016, 7:45PM

OMG! how on earth can anyone look at a feather! one of the most beautiful complex creations on this earth! Actually look at it and say ‘ They are fake.. it said on the packet?? some of these comments are crazy. seems like turkey or goose so you could still say thats fake?? I have collected some from the beach on holliday once to put in a frame all natural as the come. I like the idea of painting your own desin I am not going to look into it further just yet as the realisation of mass market feather pluckers is sickening. I will apologise when/if someone can replicate THE GREAT MAJESTIC FEATHER X Good luck with that eh x Interesting reading on wiki type in FEATHERS if anyone is confused or interested x

Miranda -March 11, 2016, 2:32PM

These are absolutely stunning! I adore the wall art you created with them. Truly inspirational!

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