PAPER CRAFT DIY: Rainbow Glittered Paper Feathers Wreath

Last year, I made a feather mask for a class I taught. I made the feathers using cardstock that I'd glittered. They are lux and easy to make. I was thinking about the feathers recently, as they are a great substitute for real feathers in many projects. Perhaps better, since they are less expensive, can be made in any size, shape, color, and texture. I do a lot of fashion related projects, as you all know, but wanted to do something bigger and different. I decided to show you how to make these glittered paper feathers into a wreath. In honor of June being LGBTQ month, I went with a rainbow coloration, to represent the rainbow flag. Though, this will stay hanging in my house long past June, because rainbows are year round here. You can use any color palette you want. I used supplies I had on hand...yes, I have that much glitter, but I'll share my secret.

  • Various colors of fine glitter - Here's my secret. I bought packs of super fine glitter from Dollar Tree, in the crafts section. They are by Crafter's Square. The packs come with 6 shades of glitter within the same color family. This is a great way to get a variety of glitter colors for cheap
  • Various colors of cardstock paper - I used the colors I had on hand, from big packs of cardstock I'd purchased from Michael's. This rainbow pack from Michael's is perfect. I used a total of 6 sheets for this whole wreath. Ignore the black paper, as I'm going to use that for a different project
  • Mod Podge Gloss - This works as a glue and a sealer for the glitter. It's important to use the Gloss formula, so the glitter retains it's shine after sealing
  • Wax paper - For the feathers to dry on. You'll need enough for all the feathers to dry at the same time
  • 1 Pencil with eraser - To draw your feather shapes and vein lines
  • Small scissors - For cutting the paper feathers
  • 2 Thin paper plates for each color of glitter - 1 used glitter in 6 color families, so I had 12 plates. 1 plate is for applying glue and the other for applying glitter. If you used the same plate for both, the glitter will adhere to any excess glue on the plate, thus wasting glitter. I used cheap paper plates that bend well, not the sturdy waxed or thick kind
  • 1 Small foam brush for each color of glitter - Glitter will cling to the brush when you are sealing the feathers. If you don't use a different clean foam brush for each color change, you will deposit other colors onto the feathers. This looks sloppy. Foam brushes are cheap. You can buy them in packs for a dollar or more. Wash them after using them
  • 1 Plastic spoon for each color of glitter -  I use spoons to sprinkle glitter onto the wet gluey feathers. Since glitter clings to the plastic, it's best to switch spoons when you switch colors. You can wash the glitter when you are done, and reuse them for other projects
  • Thin cardboard - To use as a base for the wreath. I save the cardboard from posters. I used a section from one piece
  • Xacto knife - To cut the cardboard
  • Tacky Glue - For attaching the feathers to the cardboard to form a wreath
  • Black acrylic paint - For painting the cardboard
  • Newspaper - To protect your work surface while making the wreath part
  • (OPTIONAL) A paper bowl - To pour the Mod Podge Gloss into, if you don't want to contaminate your jar with glitter. Mine is already contaminated, from dipping into the jar
  • (OPTIONAL) Thin ribbon or cord - To hang your wreath
  • (OPTIONAL) 2-4 Nails and a hammer - For nailing your wreath onto a wall. I did this.
  • (OPTIONAL) A glue stick - The big feathers were floppy at the top, so I used a glue stick to adhere the floppy feathers to the wall. You could use double sided tape or that poster putty


1) Using the pencil, draw feather shapes onto each sheet of cardstock. These probably look more like cartoon flames than feathers, but I like drawing whimsical feathers instead of realistic. They are getting glittered after all. You want to vary the size, so you'll get more design depth when making the wreath. The bigger they are, the more floppy they will be after glittered, so keep that in mind. I arranged the paper, so you can see the colors I used as a base for the glitter. I'll use the black one for a separate project.

2) With the scissors, carefully cut out the feathers. I did break from the drawn lines, to maximize the paper usage. The pencil lines will be on the backside of the feathers, so it's not a big deal if they show. This photo is just to show you size and color variance. As you will see later, there are way more feathers than this.

3) Lay down wax paper in large sections onto your work surface, so the feathers have ample drying room.

4) Start with one color of feathers and coordinating glitter. You'll need 2 plates, 1 foam brush, and 1 spoon for each color of cardstock. Lay a feather onto the 1st plate. Using the foam brush, dip into the Mod Podge Gloss. Paint an even layer of Mod Podge onto the feather.

5) Move the feather over to a dry plate. While the glue is still wet on the feather, quickly sprinkle glitter onto the feather. I used glitter straight from a little pack 1st, before needing to scoop it up with a spoon and sprinkle it. The glitter needs to evenly coat that side of the feather.

6) I used different shades of each color. I mixed the glitters on the plate when needed...say if I didn't have enough of one shade remaining to cover a full feather. I held the spoon vertical in one place on the plate, and gently bent the plate around it, one side at a time, to shift the glitter to the spoon. You can then mix the glitter and scoop it onto the wet gluey feather.

7) When you are done glittering a feather, lay it on the wax paper to dry. Make sure the feathers aren't touching, or they will stick together from the wet glue.

REPEAT STEPS 4-7 until all the feathers are completed. Let them all dry for 30-45 minutes before moving onto sealing them.

8) Place a feather onto the glue plate that coordinates with it's color. Dip the coordinating foam brush into the Mod Podge. Paint an even coat of Mod Podge onto the feather, to seal in the glitter. If you notice some glitter flaking too much, pounce the glue on and make even brush strokes to smooth it afterwards. Lay the feather back onto the wax paper to completely dry. Repeat for each feather.

They are all dry here. This is to show you how many feathers each sheet of cardstock produced, and the glitter color variation.

9) With the pencil, draw a center vein line on the back of each feather, following the general curved shape. This yellow one is fairly straight, but most of them are very curved. This line will serve as a cutting mid-point, so don't get wonky or over sliced feathers.

10) With the small scissors, make small cuts at a downward angle. This will simulate the appearance of a real feather. This isn't hard, but will take several hours to complete, as there are many feathers and cuts to make.

11) With the pencil, draw a donut shape onto the thin cardboard. Mine is 11" diameter for the outer circle and 5" for the inner circle.

12) I used scissors to cut out the outer circle.  I tried to cut the inner circle with scissors, and that looked terrible. I used an xacto blade to re-cut the inner circle. It does not need to be a perfect circle, as it will be covered with feathers.

13) Squeeze a little black acrylic paint onto one side of the cardboard donut. Use a clean foam brush to smooth the paint out. Repeat this until the donut is evenly coated on one side. Do a 2nd coat for even coverage.

(OPTIONAL) If you wanted to add a hanging ribbon or cord, this is the time to do that. Tie it around the donut, through the inner circle. Add some tacky glue to make the ribbon or cord flat against the cardboard. Make a hanging loop at the top. You will cover the ribbon or cord with the paper feathers, leaving only your hanging loop showing. I nailed my wreath to the wall, so I skipped this hanging method.

14) Sort your feathers by color and size, so you know how many of each size you have.

15) I have a gallon of Tacky Glue left over from classes I taught. I poured some into a paper bowl and used a clean foam brush to apply the glue to the feathers. If you have a bottle, you can use that instead.

16) Starting with the largest feathers, lay them out evenly around the outer edge. Mine were so long, that I made them overlap the cardboard close the inner circle, so they would be extra secure and not as floppy. Once you have a layout you like for the 1st layer of feathers, you can glue them down. I brushed glue onto the section of feather back that would touching the cardboard. Press the feather down and smooth it out. Excess glue won't matter until you get close to finishing. Tacky Glue dries clear and a bit shiny.

Repeat this for each size and layer until you get to the last layer which is the inner circle ring. I tried to stagger my colors, so there wasn't too much of one color clustered together. Make sure you are covering the black donut well, and none of it is peaking through.

17) For the last layer, I used the smallest feathers. I glued them along the inner circle to cover any feather edges from previous layers and remaining black donut. I barely glued the 1st feather for the ring, so when I got to end, I could lift it slightly and glue a last feather under it a bit. This makes the inner ring look seamless.

18) If you have any remaining small feathers, you can glue them in between other feathers from previous layers. Make sure the bottom ends are tucked in, so it blends well with the other feathers. Let the wreath fully dry flat before hanging.

19) I hammered my wreath to the wall. I used two small flat head nails. I pulled some feathers back slightly to expose a large flat feather. Using a hammer, I nailed into the donut, securing the wreath to the wall. I laid the feathers back down to cover the nail. I repeated this again at the bottom. We have trains that pass by our house daily, so this is the most secure method for hanging my wreath.

20) Some of the top feathers were flopping over. I used a glue stick on the feather where it could naturally touch the wall, and pushed it against the wall until it stayed in place. I did this for each floppy feather. You could use double stick tape or poster putty instead.

That is all for this tutorial. The wreath is surprisingly light weight. I don't recommend putting it outside, as it's paper and might wilt under hot sun and rain. I hung mine inside. You can make the wreath any size or shape. Add flat back gems, paint, and other embellishments to make it fancier. Add a mirror to the center. You could use these feathers for other projects...frames, bouquets, hair accessories, gift toppers, masks...etc. Get creative and make them your own! Happy Makery!


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