Delicate paper feathers
fringed feathers cut from old book pages make delicate decorations
the thick, textural and creamy paper of an old book is perfect for these feathers. A book of poetry is ideal, as the pages are only partially printed with type. It is the thickness of the pages that makes them a good choice for turning into pretty printed feathers. Several can be used to make a garland, or two or three tied together with a ribbon as a place setting.
MaKing the feathers
The shapes of the feathers are traced from the full-size templates on the left, and transferred to the book pages. Larger feathers can be created, if desired, by enlarging the template on a photocopier, or drawing the feathers freehand. The shapes are then cut out of the pages. Stamps are created by cutting shapes out of potatoes or erasers. The shapes are drawn on each in pencil, then cut out using a craft knife. A cutting mat protects the work surface. Repeat patterns are printed down the length of the feather using an ink-stamping pad. Three colours were used to create the patterns on these feathers, two blues and a green. Patterns can also be drawn by hand, painted freehand, or the feathers left plain. A blunt knife and a ruler are used to make the score lines, marked as dotted lines on the templates. The feather is then folded in half along the centre score line. The two sides are then reverse-folded along the outer score lines. The feather will lie flat, with a raised ridge down the centre. To finish each feather, scissors are used to cut very thin snips from the outer edge, toward the centre. These stop short at the outer score lines.
Project extracted from Folded book art by Clare Youngs; photography: Jo Henderson Published by CICO Books (£14.99)