Thanksgiving DIY: Watercolor Feathers

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I made a fun little decoration yesterday – a garland of fluttering paper feathers made from recycled magazine pages and decorated with a bright watercolor wash. Its a Thanksgiving decoration that veers away from the traditional brown and orange palette, and you can give it a try by following along:

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Step One: Find recycled magazines or other papers printed on a white background. Then create a feather shape template – I used two different shapes. Accordion-fold the paper and snip out a handful of feathers. Repeat until you’ve got at least 15-20. 

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Step Two: Get out your watercolors (I used gouache). Mix up some very watery colors, and brush them across the feathers. Make sure you’re painting on top of something you don’t mind getting stained. I used at least two colors per feather and let the colors blend together a bit. Let dry. 

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Step Three: Snip the fringe. Stack about 4-6 feathers together, and fold lengthwise. Using scissors, snip a fringe along the edges, but do not cut all the way across. Continue snipping all the way to the base of the feather. Unfold and separate the feathers, repeating with the next set. 

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Step Four: Measure of length of fishing line, and use small pieces of washi tape to attach each feather from behind. 

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You can hand the garland across a doorway, in front of a window, along the edge of a table, or just drape across a centerpiece. When they hang, the feathers catch any slight breeze or movement and twirl gently.  

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