Beginner’s guide to gluing feathers to paper

Photo of author

Feathers are beautiful creations of nature that have been used as decorative elements for centuries. Gluing feathers to paper is a fun and creative project that can add a unique touch to your artwork, cards, or scrapbooks. However, if you’re a beginner, it might seem perplexing to stick feathers to paper without making a mess. Fear not, with the right materials and techniques, the process can be simple and enjoyable. In this guide, we’ll take you through each step of the process, from preparing the feathers to drying and finishing your project. Let’s get started!


When it comes to creating a feather masterpiece on paper, the right materials can make all the difference. You will need to gather a few supplies to prepare your feathers and glue them onto your desired surface. Here are the essential materials you need to glue feathers to paper like a pro.

Feathers are the stars of the show and come in a broad range of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can buy feathers from any craft store, but you can also collect them from flowers, birds, or any object that drops them.

Paper is the base of your art piece. You can select from different types of paper, such as cardstock, construction paper or watercolor paper.

Glue is the most crucial element of this project, as it will bond the feathers to the paper. There are different types of glue, and you should choose the right one based on your project requirements. If you’re wondering what other materials glue works with, check out our article on what is fabric glue? to find out.


When it comes to choosing feathers to glue onto paper, there are a few things to consider. First, it is important to decide what type of feathers to use. There are different types of feathers that can be used in various arts and crafts projects, ranging in size and texture. In this case, we want to choose feathers that are relatively small so they can easily be attached to the paper without overpowering the artwork.

Here is a table to provide some examples of feathers that are commonly used in arts and crafts:

Type of Feather Description
Goose Feathers These feathers are large and fluffy, perfect for creating a bohemian or dreamcatcher-style project.
Peacock Feathers These feathers have a beautiful iridescent quality and add a touch of elegance to any project. They are great for creating a feather bouquet or adding to a journal page.
Ostrich Feathers These feathers are larger than most and are known for their fluffy appearance. They are great for centerpieces or adding to costumes and clothing.
Guinea Feathers These feathers have a spotted pattern and are great for creating a whimsical or woodland-themed project. They are also often used in fly tying for fishing.

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples of the many types of feathers available. When choosing feathers for a project, it is important to consider the overall aesthetic and purpose of the project.

Once you have chosen your feathers, you may need to trim them to size or shape them as desired. For example, if you are creating a feather bouquet, you may want to trim the feathers so they are all the same length. How to do this will be explained in the later section. However, for some projects, leaving the feather in their natural shape may be preferred.



When it comes to choosing the right paper for your feather project, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you will want a sturdy paper that can hold the weight of the feathers without tearing. A thick cardstock or watercolor paper would work well. Additionally, consider the color and texture of the paper. Do you want a bright, contrasting color to make the feathers pop? Or would a neutral color provide a more subtle background?

Another important factor to consider is the type of glue you will be using with the paper. If you plan on using a wet glue, such as white glue or clear-drying glue, you will want to use a heavier paper to prevent warping or wrinkling. If you opt for a dry adhesive, like double-sided tape or glue dots, you can use a lighter weight paper.

Remember that the texture of the paper can also affect how the feathers adhere. Smooth paper may not provide enough grip for the feathers, whereas a slightly textured paper can help them stay in place better. Experiment with different papers and glues to find the best combination for your project.

If you want to learn more about gluing different materials together, check out our article on what glue sticks to fabric or our tutorial on how to cover a book with fabric and glue.


When it comes to gluing feathers to paper, choosing the right glue is paramount. Not all glues are created equal, and some may not be effective in adhering feathers to paper. Craft glue is one of the most common glues. It is a versatile glue that can bond both porous and non-porous surfaces, dries clear, and is relatively inexpensive. Another popular glue for this project is fabric glue , which is perfect for those who want a clear and glossy finish.

For those who want to explore other options, mod podge and white glue are two other viable options. Mod podge, a type of decoupage glue, has a thicker consistency that is ideal for smaller, intricate projects. On the other hand, white glue, which is also known as school glue or PVA glue, dries clear and is perfect for larger surfaces and crafting projects.

It is important to note that not all glues are suitable for every surface. While fabric glue is ideal for feathers, it may not be the best option for adhesive on paper. It’s also important to note that too much glue can make the paper soggy, and the feathers may not adhere properly. A good technique is to apply glue in small amounts, as needed.

Internal Link: For those who are interested in gluing lace to glass, check out our article on how to glue lace to glass.

Preparing the Feathers

Preparing The Feathers
Before diving into the gluing process, it’s important to prepare your feathers properly to achieve the best results. The preparation process may seem tedious, but it is essential for ensuring that your feathers adhere correctly to the paper. Let’s take a look at the steps on how to prepare feathers for gluing.

First, we will cover cleaning. It’s important to start with clean feathers to ensure that the glue adheres correctly. Any dirt, dust, or oil on the feathers can affect the final result.

Then, we’ll go over cutting. Feathers come in various shapes and sizes, and you may need to trim them to fit your desired design. We will explore the best way to cut feathers without damaging them.

Lastly, we will discuss arranging. Feathers can be arranged in countless ways, and the arrangement of the feathers can make your artwork stand out. We will give you tips on how to arrange feathers in a visually appealing manner.

To glue feathers to paper successfully, follow the preparation steps mentioned above for the best results. Let’s dive into each of these preparation steps in more detail.

If you want to learn how to glue fabric to other surfaces, check out how to glue cloth to wood.


Cleaning the feathers before gluing them to paper is an essential step that should not be overlooked. Feathers are delicate and can be covered in natural oils and dust, which can affect their adhesion to the paper and the final outcome of your project.

To clean the feathers, start by laying them flat on a table or any other flat surface. Then, take a soft-bristled brush and gently brush away any dirt, dust, or debris that may be on them. You can also use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the feathers clean. However, before doing so, make sure that the feathers are not too fragile and can handle the moisture from the cloth.

Note: It is essential to handle feathers with care, as they can easily break or get damaged if not treated gently.

If you are dealing with particularly dirty or oily feathers, you can use a small amount of gentle soap to clean them. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly with water and blot them dry with a clean towel. Avoid wringing or twisting the feathers, as this can cause them to lose their shape or get damaged.

Pro-tip: If you are using colored feathers, it is essential to test a small area first before cleaning the entire feather. Some feathers can be delicate and may bleed or lose their color if exposed to water.

Now that your feathers are clean and dry, they are ready to be cut and arranged for your project.

Internal link: How to stiffen fabric with glue


After you have cleaned your feathers, it’s time to move on to cutting them down to the right size for your project. Use a pair of sharp scissors or a craft knife to trim any excess parts of the feathers, focusing on creating a uniform shape. You can also cut the feathers into different shapes, such as triangles or circles, to add variety to your design.

Be careful not to cut too far down the feather shaft or the feather will lose its integrity and start to fall apart. It’s important to make sure that you don’t trim the feathers too short either, as this can make them more difficult to attach to the paper.

Take your time while cutting the feathers and remember that you can always trim more, but can’t add more material back once it has been cut. Once you are happy with the size and shape of your feathers, you can move on to arranging them on your paper.

If you are working with latex feathers, be sure to check out our article on how to glue latex for some helpful tips.


Once you have cleaned and cut your feathers, it is time to arrange them on your paper. This step is important in achieving the desired outcome of your project. Take your time and experiment with different layouts until you find the one that looks best.

Tip: Before arranging, lay out your paper and decide where you want to place your feathers. You may want to lightly sketch or mark the desired placement with a pencil.

You can arrange the feathers in a particular pattern or simply scatter them randomly for a more organic look. Either way, make sure you have enough feathers to cover the area you want to decorate. You can also mix and match different types of feathers to create a unique and interesting design.

Tip: To achieve a more three-dimensional effect, place larger feathers towards the back and smaller feathers towards the front.

Once you have a layout that you are happy with, take a photo or make a quick sketch to use as a reference when it comes time to glue the feathers down.

Tip: If you are worried about the feathers moving during the gluing process, you can use a small amount of double-sided tape to hold them in place until the glue dries.

Now that your feathers are arranged, it is time to move on to the next step in the process: gluing them to the paper.

Click here for tips on how to make fabric glue dry faster, if you are using a slow-drying glue.

Here you can find a tutorial on how to glue vinyl to foam, which may be helpful if you are working on a project that involves these materials.

Gluing Feathers to Paper

Gluing Feathers To Paper
In this section, we’ll dive into the exciting process of attaching feathers to paper. While feathers may seem delicate and difficult to work with, with the right tools and techniques, you can create stunning artwork or crafts. The key to success is choosing the right glue, applying it properly, and placing the feathers strategically. So, let’s get started and see how you can bring feathered creations to life through the power of glue.

Choosing the Right Glue

When it comes to choosing the right glue for gluing feathers to paper, it can be a bit overwhelming with all the different options available. However, it’s important to choose a glue that will create a strong bond without damaging the feathers or paper.

Here is a list of common glue options and their pros and cons:

Glue Type Pros Cons
White Glue Easy to find, dries clear Can be too thick, may cause paper to wrinkle
Spray Adhesive Quick and even application, won’t wrinkle paper Can be messy, difficult to control
Double-Sided Tape Easy to use, won’t damage feathers or paper May not create a strong enough bond, can be visible
Hot Glue Creates a strong bond, dries quickly Can damage feathers or paper, can be messy
Epoxy Creates a strong and permanent bond Can be difficult to use, can be messy, may not dry clear

Consider the following factors when choosing your glue:

– The size and weight of the feathers
– The type of paper you are using
– The desired level of adhesion
– Whether or not the glue will show through the feathers or paper

Take the time to choose the right glue for your project to ensure that your feathers stay securely attached to your paper creation.

Applying the Glue

Before applying the glue, make sure that the feathers are arranged in the desired pattern on the paper. This will help minimize the risk of the feathers moving around while the glue is being applied. Here are the steps to follow when applying glue to your feathers:

  1. Work in a well-ventilated area. Some adhesives can produce fumes and cause eye or respiratory irritation. It is always important to ensure that there is sufficient air flow in the room while applying glue.
  2. Use a small brush or toothpick. This will help apply the glue precisely and avoid over-saturating the feathers or paper.
  3. Apply glue on the bottom third of the feather shaft. Placing glue on the bottom third of the feather will allow it to adhere to the paper without impeding the natural movement of the feather.
  4. Spread the glue evenly. Make sure that the glue is spread evenly over the bottom third of the feather shaft, without getting glue on the feather fibers or the top part of the feather.
  5. Hold the feather in place for a few seconds. After placing the feather on the paper, press it down lightly for a few seconds, so that the glue can adhere the feather to the paper securely before moving to the next one.
  6. Repeat the process for all feathers. Continue applying glue and placing feathers on the paper until all desired feathers have been attached.

Remember, you do not need to rush through the gluing process to avoid making mistakes. Take your time and ensure that each feather is placed precisely where you want it to be. With these steps in mind, your feathers should be securely attached to your paper.

Placing the Feathers

Once you have applied the glue, it’s time to place the feathers onto the paper. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start with the largest feathers first: Arrange them in the position you want them to be on the paper. This will give you an idea of how you want to space out the smaller feathers.
  2. Work from the center: It’s best to start applying feathers from the center and work your way outward. This will help you maintain symmetry and balance in your design.
  3. Apply pressure: Once you have placed a feather on the glue, gently press down on it to ensure it adheres well. You can use your fingers or a clean brush for this.
  4. Overlap: For a more dynamic look, try overlapping the feathers. You can alternate the direction of the feathers or overlap them diagonally. This will create a sense of movement and texture.
  5. Fill in the gaps: Once you have placed the larger feathers, start filling in the gaps with the smaller feathers. Make sure that they are spaced evenly and that there are no bare spots.
  6. Step back and assess: Once you have placed all the feathers, step back and take a look at your design. Make any necessary adjustments or add more feathers to balance everything out.

Remember to work slowly and deliberately when placing the feathers to avoid any mistakes. With some patience and practice, you’ll soon be able to create beautiful feather designs on paper.

Drying and Finishing

As you finish gluing the feathers onto your paper, it’s important to let the glue dry completely. This final step of the process is crucial to ensuring that your feather art stays intact for a long time. In this section, we’ll discuss the drying process in detail, as well as some other finishing touches you can add to make your artwork even more special. Let’s dive in and explore how to bring your feather and paper masterpiece to life!

Drying the Glue

After you have finished applying the glue and positioning the feathers on the paper, the next step is to let the glue dry. Remember, patience is key here – you should avoid touching or moving the feathers until the glue has completely dried.

Below are a few tips for properly drying the glue:

  • Avoid heat sources: Try to keep your project away from direct sunlight or heat sources, as this could cause the glue to heat up and change consistency, or even melt the feathers.
  • Give it time: Depending on the type of glue you used, the drying time will vary. It’s best to refer to the glue bottle for specific drying times, but generally speaking, it’s a good idea to give the glue at least 24 hours to dry completely.
  • Check for tackiness: Before moving on to finishing touches, gently touch the feathers and paper to make sure the glue is dry and tack-free. If it feels tacky or sticky, give it more time to dry before continuing.

By following these tips, your feathers will stay securely attached to the paper without any issues.

Now that the glue is dry, you can move on to the final steps of the project, which include cleaning up any excess glue and adding any finishing touches or details to your artwork.


Once you’ve finished gluing your feathers to paper, it’s time to clean up any mess or excess glue that might have been left behind. This is an important step to ensure that your final product looks neat and professional.

Here are some tips for cleaning up after gluing feathers to paper:

  • Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe away any excess glue on the feathers or paper.
  • Be careful not to smudge or damage the feathers while cleaning.
  • If the glue has stuck to your fingers or other surfaces, use soap and warm water to wash it off.
  • Dispose of any leftover glue and materials properly to avoid any accidents or spills.

Cleaning up after any craft project can be tedious, but it’s worth the effort to make sure your finished product looks its best. By following these simple cleanup steps, you’ll be able to display your glued feather creation with pride and satisfaction.

Adding Detail

Once you have let the glue dry completely, it is time to add some final touches to your feather piece. Adding details is an important step that can make your project stand out and look even more attractive. Here are some ideas for adding detail to your feather art:

  • Painting: You can use watercolors or acrylics to paint the feathers. This will add a pop of color and bring the piece to life.
  • Embellishments: You can add sequins, beads, or any other small embellishments to the feathers, paper, or both. This will add texture and make your project look more interesting.
  • Background: You can experiment with different backgrounds for your feather piece. Try using different colored or patterned papers, or even a canvas board.
  • Shadowbox: If you want to display your feather art, consider framing it in a shadowbox. This will protect it from dust and add a professional touch to your piece.

Remember, the possibilities for adding detail to your feather art are endless. Get creative and have fun!


After following this beginner’s guide on how to glue feathers to paper, you should have a beautifully crafted piece of art that showcases your creativity and attention to detail. By preparing your feathers properly, choosing the right glue, and adding your personal touch, you can create a stunning artwork that can be hung on display or given as a thoughtful gift.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different feather arrangements and paper types. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating unique and beautiful feather art. Remember to take your time to ensure that each feather is securely glued to the paper and that the glue has dried completely before handling the finished product.

Additionally, it’s important to clean your workspace and any tools used during the process to ensure that they are ready for the next project. You may also want to consider adding any additional details such as glitter, paint, or other embellishments to make your artwork pop.

In conclusion, by following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can create stunning feather art that is both beautiful and personal. Let your creativity shine and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Enjoy the process and have fun with it!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right feathers for my project?

Consider the size, color, and texture of the feathers you need. Also ensure that the feathers are clean and not damaged before using them.

What type of paper works best for gluing feathers?

Cardstock or any heavy-duty paper works best as it can support the weight of the feathers without tearing or wrinkling.

Can I use any type of glue to attach feathers to paper?

No. It’s best to use a strong adhesive like craft glue, tacky glue, or hot glue to ensure that the feathers stay in place.

Is it necessary to clean feathers before starting the project?

Yes, it’s important to clean feathers before using them to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. This will ensure that the glue adheres well.

Can I cut feathers to different sizes and shapes?

Yes, you can cut feathers to different sizes and shapes using scissors or a craft knife. This will help you achieve the desired effect on your project.

How should I arrange the feathers on the paper?

Experiment with different arrangements to find the best look. Try to place the feathers in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and follows the design you have in mind.

How long should I wait for the glue to dry?

The drying time will depend on the type of glue you are using. Generally, it should take around 10-15 minutes for the glue to dry completely.

What should I do if excess glue seeps out from under the feathers?

Clean the excess glue using a cotton swab or a damp cloth. Be careful not to damage the feathers.

How can I add detail to my feather project?

You can add detail by using other materials such as beads, sequins, or paint to embellish your project.

Can I use this technique to add feathers to clothing or other items?

Yes, you can use this technique to add feathers to clothing, accessories, or other items. Be sure to choose a suitable adhesive for the material you are attaching the feathers to.


Leave a Comment