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How to Make a Feather Necklace and Matching Earrings

Attach feathers and beads to bias tape to create this ornate necklace and earring set.

Robbin Melton of Fort Wayne, Ind., began making her ornate pieces of jewelry by accident — her boyfriend had braids and she wanted to surprise him by putting beads in his hair, but to her disappointment, he cut it all off without telling her. When she was left with bins of expensive beads, she decided to get creative and the rest is history.

Materials and Tools:

bias tape
feathers
silamide thread
threaded sewing machine
fabric glue
sewing needle
glass beads
necklace clasps
2 earring wires
jewelry pliers
lighter

Steps:

Feather Necklace

1. Cut a length of bias tape to the desired necklace length. Half a yard is enough to make one necklace with matching earrings.

2. Open the bias tape. Cover half the tape with feathers from one end to the other.

3. Place dabs of fabric glue spaced about an inch apart on top of the feathers. Fold the bias tape over the feathers. Press gently in place.

4. Sew along the unfolded edge of the bias tape from end to end.

5. Attach a necklace clasp to one end of the bias tape. The best clasps are ones used for ribbon necklaces.

6. Thread the sewing needle with 2-3 yards of silamide thread. Rather than tie a knot at the end, burn the end of the thread with a lighter to seal the thread. Starting at the back bottom edge of one end of the bias tape sew up through the tape to the bottom edge of the front side of the bias tape.

7. Pick up enough glass beads on the needle and thread to vertically cover the bias tape and sew as close to the top edge of the tape as possible. Repeat until all of the tape is completely covered with a base of beads. Layering may be required.

8. Once the bias tape is completely covered with beads, attach the other necklace clasp to the opposite end.

Feather Earrings

  • Cut two pieces of bias tape each 2 inches long.
  • Add feathers and beads to the earrings in the same method as the necklace.
  • Fold each earring over and stitch the edges together.
  • Add more beads to cover the top and edges.
  • Attach an earring wire to each earring, bending them in place with jewelry pliers.

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