To prepare your feathers, strip the downy strands from the shaft (or quill) to where you want your feather to fan out. Separate the barbs and gently pull them away from the shaft. Leave at least 1-inch to 2 inches of the shaft on top to secure to your earwire later.
For beading your feathers, have a general sketch, or idea of your bead design in advance. Beginning at the stripped end of the feather, separate four or five individual barbs with your fingers or tweezers. Dampen these with wet fingers and roll to a tight point. Thread on your beads.
After beads are threaded on, apply a spot of glue, then push your last bead down over the spot to secure it. This will hold all the other beads on. Continue separating barbs and applying beads. remember your design symmetry while doing this and keep your spacing even.
Repeat the design on the other side of the feather. If your feather has become ruffled during your beading and handling, gently stroke it back into shape.
There are many ways of finishing your earrings. One way is to thread a bead on the shaft of the feather. Take a long shank fishhook earwire and trim it to the desired length and hold the earwire and feather shank together. Apply a dab of glue and move the bead over it so it covers up the ends of the earwire and the feather shank.
The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We
encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.