Written and Photographed By
Wimborne, Kneehill County, Alberta, Canada
From our 2022 Trailblazher Gift Guide
What you’ll need:
If you’re like me and you’re an avid collector of poultry, you may look around your coop in the fall and think “Who made this big mess?!” There are feathers everywhere! Moulting gives us unlimited access to any type and colour of feather that we can imagine which always had me thinking if anything can be done with these feathers in the wind.
I discovered that feathers make amazing and unique Christmas tree ornaments. They also sent me on the hunt for what else commonly found on the farm would make an original ornament?
Wouldn’t you know, grain does! Any kind of grain you might have on hand works, just the less straw, heads, or pods in it the better.
Making these ornaments is incredibly easy and the only rule I’ve self imposed is keeping the grain in smaller balls. It’s heavier than feathers and I don’t want to risk the larger balls being too heavy to hang without falling and making a big mess. (Trust me, you don’t want an ornament full of peas or canola breaking and escaping into your house!)
When you’re making these decorations the first thing you need to do is find clear ornaments. I’ve found them at most craft stores, dollar stores, and Wal-Mart, and frequently they come in various shapes and sizes.
Secondly, you need to wash your feathers. You’ll want to collect the cleanest feathers you can find but even clean feathers tend to have cling ons of dubious origin. You can wash feathers by hand in the kitchen sink with a bit of dish soap and lay them out to dry or you can place them in a laundry bag or pillow case and wash them in your washing machine on a gentle cycle. This way also allows you to easily dry them in the dryer and re-fluff them. It’s especially handy if you’re doing larger batches of feathers.
Once you’ve got your feathers washed and all your materials gathered up you get to pick which feathers and grains you want in your ornaments. You can play with colour and patterns of feathers; types of feathers; number of feathers. You can put only one grain in or you can put multiple grains in. Whatever you like! Feathers can just be poked into the opening, usually stem first is easiest, while grains can be poured in with the funnel.
Next up wrap your twine or ribbon around the anchor and make yourself a loop large enough to hang the ornament with. Then apply glue to the cap and wrap the twine around it until it’s covered. You can even finish off with a bow if you like.
It’s just that easy!
Not only do these make original ornaments for your own tree, they’re also handy gifts to share with friends and family.
On her homestead Angie has a menagerie of animals. Her favourites are the cows. Angie likes to work with her #1 cow, Stella, who, at times, is capable of helping with chores by pulling sleds around. Since she is a cow, there are other times Stella is less than helpful though.