Watercolor Feather Bookmarks



The kids and I worked on a craft for our abandoned art project today, so I thought I would share it.  It’s simple and beautiful!  Even little kids can do this one if you help cut out the feathers and tie the ribbons.  Mother’s Day/Father’s Day is coming up too.   ::wink wink::




Heavy watercolor paper

The free printable Feather Template

Watercolor paints (Prang brand suggested)

Paint brushes


Thin ribbon or twine

Beads and eyelets/hole reinforcements (optional)



How to make it


Cut it:

Print out the feather template on cardstock and cut them out.  Trace around the feather templates on the heavy watercolor paper with a thin pencil.  Cut out the watercolor paper feathers.  You’ll need sharp scissors and little kids may have trouble with the precise feather gaps.

Yes, it’s a lot of cutting.  I couldn’t figure out how to print on the watercolor paper without creasing and bending it too much.  If this is way too much work and you have a Sizzix die cutting machine, there’s a slightly smaller feather die available to make things easier.  Since I don’t have the $120 machine, I’m stuck with hand cutting each feather.


Paint it:

Select 2 different colors of paint: blue/purple, blue/green, red/orange, and orange/yellow worked really well for us.  I suggest using Prang brand or another student brand, not Crayola.  For some reason, Crayola and other “kid” watercolor trays are anemic looking and muted.  A small Prang watercolor tray from Amazon is about $4, in the same price range as Crayola.

Work a small amount of water into the trays of your selected colors.  Then paint water – clear, clean water – on the feather.  Dry your brush off, dip it into the first color, and drop a dot of color on the damp feather.  Watch the color – it will bleed all over the sections with enough water.  Add more water and more color until you get the effect you want.  We liked the full, bright color version.

Add a little more water in various spots and add the second color so that they blend with the first.  If the colors don’t bleed enough, add a drop more of water.  When you’re finished, let it dry until it’s no longer tacky.  Turn it over and do the same thing to the other side.  If desired, paint the “stem,” or rachis of the feather in a brown.


Finish it:

Once the feather is dry, you’re ready to finish it off.  I wrote a small quote on the feather where the rachis goes down the center – I’ll list those quotes at the bottom of this post if you’re interested.  Make sure you use an acid free pen, preferably one that won’t bleed.

Punch a hole near the quill portion of the feather, but leave enough room for it to be stable and secure.  If you’re using eyelets like I did, make sure you use the right size hole punch.  If you want to reinforce the hole for the ribbon, paper reinforcement labels are a cheap way to go without having to buy the entire eyelet setting kit.

Cut a piece of ribbon about 8 inches long and thread it through the feather’s hole.  Tie a knot about 2 inches out.  Thread beads or charms on each piece of ribbon and secure with a knot at the end.  Trim any excess ribbon.  Tuck it in a book, and done!


What kind of beads did we use?  

I’m not exactly sure what to call them.  They’re found in the seed bead section of the craft store, but they’re larger.  I think they’re 6/0 or E sized beads.  The hole is large enough to pull a thin slant-cut ribbon through, and they’re light enough to not be totally annoying.  



“We read to know we are not alone.”  C.S. Lewis

“Reading is a staple of life, like bread or water.  Or chocolate.”  Rhett MacPherson

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”  Logan Pearson Smith

“Just handle the books gently and you’ll get along fine.”  Patrick Rothfuss

“If a book is well written I always find it too short.”  Jane Austen

“Libraries raised me.”  Ray Bradbury

“The problem with books is that they end.”  Caroline Kepnes





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