DIY Painted Feathers

DIY Painted Feathers |

Stripes. Animal prints. Aztec. Tribal-inspired patterns are all over home decorating and fashion right now. Take advantage of the tribal trend this season and create your own painted feathers.

This is an easy craft project that’s perfect for this time of year. Put on your slippers, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to paint.

Whether you want a quick-and-easy craft project or a simple decoration to spruce up your space, these DIY painted feathers are dramatic-looking without a lot of work.

DIY Painted Feathers |

I came up with this project when tasked with producing a tribal-themed craft for the Fall 2015 issue of VintageKC magazine.

The tribal trend is everywhere this season, but I’m much more of a neutral person. I tend to choose patterns for my home with great care—and sparingly. So, I wanted a small-scale project, where I could make something that I’d actually want to use in my home.

These DIY painted feathers were just right. They display bold patterns, but on a small scale. I can easily stick them in vases or add them to vignettes without the look going over-the-top tribal.

DIY Painted Feathers | redleafstyle.comDIY Painted Feathers | redleafstyle.comDIY Painted Feathers |

You’ll just need a few supplies from the craft store to create your own DIY painted feathers.

What you’ll need:
– Feathers (I used plain white)
– Acrylic craft paint in a variety of colors
– Paintbrushes

The acrylic paints I choose were all on sale and just happened to work well together. Choose whatever colors you like. I’d recommend grabbing black and white. They’re good foundations to go with your other colors. Once you have your supplies, you’re ready to get started. Here’s how to make your own DIY feathers.

DIY Painted Feathers | redleafstyle.comDIY Painted Feathers |

Step 1: Mix and blend
After trying to paint my first feather, I figured out that adding a bit of water to the paint helps it absorb into the feather more easily. The added water also blends the colors together, which adds a pretty watercolor effect. Use a small paper plate or bowl to blend your paints with a bit of water.

Step 2: Get painting
Turn your creative juices on and start painting. I’m not a strong painter, so I stuck with simple lines and dots. To make small dots like mine, use a small, pointed brush and don’t add water to the paint. You could also paint stripes, big polka dots, or create an ombre effect. To get the most out of your paint, you could also mix your colors with white to get a slightly different hue.

Step 3: Let it dry
Make sure to let your feathers dry in between layers.

DIY Painted Feathers | redleafstyle.comDIY Painted Feathers | DIY Painted Feathers |

These DIY painted feathers turned out beautifully. I like how they’re all slightly different, but they go together really well.

Turns out these DIY painted feathers are perfect to make this time of year. I could see them decorating a Thanksgiving table. Stick a few in vases for an easy Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Or, just sprinkle them around a centerpiece you already have. You could also set one feather on each place setting as a small gift. There are so many possibilities!

This project was featured in the Fall 2015 issue of VintageKC magazine, a vintage lifestyle magazine inspired by the booming vintage and antique market in Kansas City.

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Easy Yarn Twig Décor
DIY Embroidery Hoop Sun Catcher
Cork Trivet Wall Décor


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  3. Diena Cameron
    November 14, 2016

    I love this but when i tried it, it made the feather hard and the individual sections are not individual any more. They are hard and stuck together. What to do ?????

    1. Red Leaf Style
      November 17, 2016

      Hi Diena! Did you add water to your paint? My only guess is that you didn’t dilute the paint enough. The paint will definitely harden the feathers, but I think if you dilute it more, it will keep the sections from clumping.

  4. cheryl
    October 19, 2017

    These are absolutely perfect for my log cabin home! Can’t wait to put a couple on a few picture frames … or something!

    1. Red Leaf Style
      October 20, 2017

      Great idea to put them in picture frames Cheryl! I’m glad you liked them. 🙂


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