TUTORIAL: Spaghetti Box Feathers

by Dana on November 14, 2012

Last week Owen and I brainstormed ideas for the construction paper feather he was asked to decorate for the class turkey.  I mentioned how cool spaghetti noodles would look glued on top, like individual feather strands.  But after staring at his green paper for a minute, he said “Mom. It needs to be a watermelon” (which I loved, and which looked awesome).  But I couldn’t get that spaghetti out of my head.

So while he was at school, I made my own turkey feathers!
And I have to be honest, they turned out even cooler than I imagined.  Kinda classy.
Plus they’re made from only 4 ingredients.
Gotta love a simple, recycled project!

Here’s what you need:

• Cereal boxes work best because they’re long
• Look in the organic aisle of the grocery store for interesting colored pastas, like black bean spaghetti, sweet potato, etc.
• Use metallic acrylic paint (found at most craft stores for about $1/bottle).  I like the Folk Art brand because they have a good range of colors.

Then start feathering.

• Draw a turkey feather shape….kind of like a corn dog.  Leave a slight tail at the end, and if you plan to add a metal grommet (info below), make the tail wide enough for your grommet size.
• Cut small diagonal cuts in the sides of the feather
• Paint using acrylic paint (the feather might curl up after painting but will relax as it dries)
• Let them dry (if you’re antsy, use a blowdryer but don’t let them blow around in the air!)

Now you can just enjoy the feathers as-is; they already look pretty fun.  But let’s add some dimension.

• Glue a single spaghetti noodle down the middle of the feather, using standard Elmer’s type glue.
• Glue small spaghetti strands to the sides, in a diagonal.  The best way to do this is squeeze a little glue around, then hold the noodle in place with one finger and snap the end with the other finger.  It’s quick and easy.  Don’t worry if some noodles hang over the feather edge.  Messy and uneven is cool here.  And remember…it’s always fun to peel that dried glue off your fingertips, right?

Allow the glue to dry fully (it will turn clear), then enjoy the feathers as they are or go back over the top with any paint color you like.  Add gold accents here and there or do an ombre of reds and oranges.

And you’ve got pretty little feathers!

I love how they shine in the sunlight.

To hang the feathers, you can simply tie a piece of twine or string to the end.  But a fun option is to punch a hole in the ends of a few feathers, and hammer a metal grommet through the bunch (follow instructions in the grommet– or “eyelet”—box, found at most craft stores for about $4).

Now decorate!

Here are a few ideas:
• Hang them on the front door
• Hang them on artwork, window corners, on the wall
• String and tie them into a garland
• Decorate a lampshade
• Scatter them around the Thanksgiving dinner table
• Hang one from your belt.

Gobble Gobble.

Check out other FALL tutorials here:

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kellie November 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

these are so fun!!!


2 Jess November 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Dana these are so adorable! And definitely classy! Theyd be fun to use in a thanksgiving centerpiece somehow! Love them. :)


3 Eva November 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Love this idea! Very fun..and pretty snazzy.


4 Jodi November 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

This is an awesome, awesome craft idea!! Thanks for sharing. I think they would even look good as christmas ornaments – you could add a bit of glitter to the tips!


5 mandie November 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

These are beautiful!


6 Theo-Ann Johnson November 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I absolutely love these….but when I got to the end of your post, I was left wondering, “What did Owen think of the feathers when he got home from school?” I’d love to know if he used these for his project, or came up with his own. :)


7 Jenna@CallHerHappy November 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Beautiful! I would love to see the watermelon too :)


8 rachael November 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I love these! I’ll definitely be making some with our kiddies before Thanksgiving. Thanks, Dana!!!


9 Jackie November 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm

You are one clever lady. Keeping mental notes for next year, I’m quickly running out of time for anything this year.


10 CitricSugar November 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Oh, wow! That kid is a visionary! These turned out great and have sparked a few ideas in my head…. Thanks.


11 Haley @ EverNeverAgain November 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

This made me smile because I am also the kind of person that thinks of an cool kid craft only to have to try it out by myself because my precious child does not want to do it…until he sees how awesome it turns out. ; ) Thanks for sharing your fun idea!


12 Leigh Anne November 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

What a fun project! Thanks for a great kid-friendly idea. I love the one hanging from your belt. You could totally pull that off!
PS. I still LOVE your boots….I know, got them from Target….no longer there……I’m still so bummed! I don’t love any of the ones they have this year as much ;)


13 Crystalyn November 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I saw these on your instagram and had to come check them out. Spaghetti!! Brilliant!


14 Delia November 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm

This is so artistic and clever yet a fun thing I can do with the kids. LOVE it! I had no idea there was a black bean spaghetti. I need some! :)


15 Mia November 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

That is such an EXCELLENT idea! We are totally doing this over Thanksgiving break to make a garland :)


16 KatieP November 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Please tell me you got that white top recently?!? I NEED it!


17 Max November 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm

So rad! I want to see the watermelon one too!


18 Jeanette from Fig&Sparrow November 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm

cute. . . and it’s hard to find truly simple crafts that kids can do that are truly “cute”. So good job! YOu’ve done it again.
-also, there’s a great giveaway running at the Fig in case you’re interested. pop on over!


19 Bethany November 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Cute Idea!


20 amanda (simplemittens) November 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm

well, aren’t you awesome. great job at creating a fun project for the kids that actually looks good! haha


21 Sarah K. November 15, 2012 at 1:49 am

My daughter would love this…we may need to break out some paghetti his weekend!


22 Kimara November 15, 2012 at 8:17 am

These are beautiful! I can think of a handful of ways to used the finished feathers. I’ll be linking to these on weefolkart.com’s Facebook page. Thanks so much for sharing your talents : )


23 bdaiss November 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

How fun! I’d have to do this project by myself though…my kids love to munch on uncooked spaghetti noodles. Little goofballs.


24 anna November 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

these are so fun! natalie and emily would love making these. :)))


25 Katie H. November 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I love your boots! Where did you get them? Cute craft too!


26 katie Evans November 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm

These are darling. What a great idea! And I love your brown boots. very cute.


27 Danita Courtney November 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I love this! Easy to make and wear! How much funis that! You Go Boy!!!!


28 LeeAnn November 16, 2012 at 8:08 am

That’s the best pasta craft I’ve seen in a long time. :) They really turned out great!


29 Emily November 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

Love these! My daughter is Ten Wolves in a Johnny Appleseed play for 2nd grade next week. These would be the perfect addition to her simple costume. Did you paint the backs also?


30 Dana November 16, 2012 at 10:56 am

I didn’t paint the backs but you easily can. Just paint them in the very first step, let them dry, then paint the fronts


31 Kelli November 16, 2012 at 10:10 am

So last week we had to decorate a feather for Oren’s 1st grade class and I told him to go through my craft supplies and he picked neon colored pompoms. And now I see this…gah!!!! I love these and soooo wish we’d done this instead. I guess we’ll just have to make some for the house instead.


32 Danielle November 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

These are really cute and clever, and a much more doable (for me, anyways) version of these (http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2012/05/handmade-feather-tutorial.html) which I lovelovelove but know would end in a starched patch of carpet and a pile of crunchy, tangled yarn, lol.


33 tina November 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

VERY CUTE IDEA!… Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


34 Jeanine November 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

OK, these are seriously BRILLIANT!!!
Thank you so much for sharing the inspiration!
Gotta get crafting!


35 anne chadwick November 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm

I am trying this only I am using food color and plain spaghetti. add rubbing alcohol to a baggie several drops of food color to the desired brightness. let sit about 3 hours. remove and let dry on wax paper or parchment paper. will let you know if it works or not. Thanks for the initial idea.


36 Allie Hoopes November 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm

The feathers had a starring role in our Halloween costumes! Thanks much.


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