by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Feathers are flocking into fashion-forward weddings, landing in hair accessories, jewelry, cake toppers, table décor and more. A trend inspired by Carrie Bradshaw's exotic cobalt blue veil plume in the "Sex in the City" movie, brides are opting for cutting-edge, distinctive feathery designs and accents.
Most recently, feathers are popping up in bridal bouquets for the ultimate couture-inspired wedding statement, fetching high-end prices and lots of attention. Incorporate your own wedding style and add personalization to your wedding day by making your own, one-of-a-kind feather bouquets.
The perfect project to make with a bridal entourage at a shower, these handmade bouquets offer an unlimited amount of design potential. Feathers add a fun, flirty and feminine element to bouquets that won't get tossed. Read on to discover how to create flowers from feathers, add spectacular feather accents to existing floral bouquets or make an entire bouquet out of feathers.
Making Feathered Flowers
Make your own breathtaking blooms from feathers that will last a lifetime. Combine multiple feathered flowers together for a full bouquet, incorporate with other feathers or use as accents in floral bouquets. Feathered flowers can also be added to hair accessories, veils and wedding décor.
Instructions: You'll be designing the flower from the inside-out, starting with the wire stem and stamen (pollen producing part of the flower) and then adding clusters of feathers to create the petals of the flower.
Take the colors and style of the wedding into consideration when selecting the type of feathers to use. Choose from marabou-style turkey feathers, guinea feathers, goose and chicken feathers and more. The different colors and natural patterns available in feathers produce dramatic plumes. You can contrast the stamen color from the petals or go for a monochromatic look.
Stem Begin by making a wire stem/base for the flower. Use 20-gauge wire for the stem, cut to your desired length and bend the tip over at the top. This will help keep the feathers from slipping.
Stamen Attach a few feather pieces (typically in a different color than the rest of the flower) or pearl/crystal wire sprays to the wire steam by securely wrapping them several times with thread or 32-gauge wire.
Petals Start by cutting the feathers to your desired petal size. Next, cluster and curl three feathers at a time against the wire stem and secure them tightly to the wire stem with thread or 32-gauge wire. Continue to add clusters of feathers until the flower is complete and secured against the wire stem.
Design tip: If the quills create a bulky lump, trim them away with scissors.
Complete the flower by wrapping the wire stem with florist tape.
Feather Accented Bouquets
Flora and fauna inspired bouquets set the stage for unforgettable nuptials. The textural combination of flowers and feathers will keep your guests talking long after the ceremony.
Dozen roses or other fresh/silk flowers of your choice
Instructions: Select the flowers and feathers you would like to use based on your wedding style and colors. Popular looks include contrasting the colors of the feathers and flowers, such as marabou-style black turkey feathers with white flowers. For a monochromatic look, use white feathers and white flowers or tone-on-tone with different shades of the same color feathers and flowers.
Arrange the flowers as desired and add in the feathers. You can frame the bouquet with feathers by adding them at the bottom or add feathers, such as a peacock feather accents, throughout the flower bouquet. Once you have your desired look, wrap the stems and quills in florist tape. Next, starting at the base, cover/wrap the stem with ribbon. Secure the ribbon with glue as you go. Tie a bow with the ribbon at the top of the stem for additional embellishment. After you have completed the stem wrap, glue on flat back crystals or pearls, incorporate crystal headpins or pin on a brooch for a special touch.
Let the feathers make the statement with an all-feather bouquet. Incorporate feathered flowers (instructions above) or gather feathers for a spectacular display. Many brides are just simply holding feathers (such as peacock feathers) for a simple, yet dramatic effect.
Instructions: Select the feathers you'd like to use in your bouquet and place the quill ends of the feathers into a foam bouquet holder. Start at the bottom of the bouquet and fill it in a circular motion until you reach the top. Place larger feathers towards the bottom and smaller feathers at the top. Finish the bouquet holder with ribbon embellishment.
Depending on how many feathers are used, you can also tie the feathers together using ribbon and not use a bouquet holder.
Additional Ideas for Feathery Wedding Statements ...
Add feather accents to birdcage veils or incorporate into a floral head wreath