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The ABC Beginner Guide: How to make Ostrich Fans – Part 3

December 1, 2015

The ABC Beginner Guide: How to make Ostrich Fans – Part 3

Welcome back to our exclusive mini-series, on how to make your own set of ostrich plume fans. So far, we’ve gone through materials and tools needed, preparing your staves and feathers and mounting the feathers onto the staves.
You might think that’s you finished, but the final touches and some extra embellishments can make all the difference in perfecting your fans. At the end of last week’s blog, we had affixed our feathers onto the staves and left them to dry.

Step 4: Check Your Feathers
Before you move on to adding the finishing touches to your fans, you’ll want to check all of the feathers are firmly attached and also that there aren’t any strands caught in the glue.

To check that the plumes have glued well, take each stave / feather one at a time and very gently try to wiggle the spine of the feather where it meets the stave. It should be nice and secure and not have any movement. If it is a bit loose, use a micro glue brush to apply a tiny bit of extra glue, fix with hair clip and leave to dry again, as in step 3 in last week’s blog.

To check that there aren’t any stray strands of feather caught in the glue or across the staves, starting at one side of the fan, take the first feather and stave and gently grasp it down at the stave and run your hand down the length of the feather. Don’t squeeze too hard or you’ll crush the feather. This will identify any little strands which might have gotten caught between staves and stuck in the glue. Carefully pick any such bits free and let them fall back into place where they should lay.

Step 5: Finishing Touches
One of my absolute musts, when it comes to finishing a set of fans, is to cover the little bit of spine at the bottom of the feather which is glued to the stave (unless you’ve trimmed your spine in line with the bottom of the feathers, in which case you can skip this step). I always think it looks a little messy when just left, so I use a short length of narrow ribbon to bind round the base of the feather, which just makes everything a little neater, and also adds a bit more strength to hold the feathers on. Use hair grips to hold each piece of ribbon in place until the glue has dried.

This black feather fan has been finished with silver ribbon, to contrast the feathers & staves.

This black feather fan has been finished with silver ribbon, to contrast the feathers & staves.

*Optional Extra Step*
If you want to finish off with a little sparkle, you can add crystals down the spine of each feather. These can be applied using tweezers and a micro glue brush. Again, I don’t recommend using a hot glue gun, particularly for this step, as you’ll often find yourself left with a blob of glue surrounding the crystal, which doesn’t look very neat when dried.

This navy blue fan has been finished with a matching shade of ribbon & swarovski crystals for added sparkle.

This navy blue fan has been finished with a matching shade of ribbon & swarovski crystals for added sparkle.

And so folks, that brings us to the end of our series on how to make your own feather fans. If you have any questions about particular steps or general questions, please do ask in the comments section.

We hope that this blog has been useful and wish you luck in your crafty endeavours!

If you’ve missed any of the earlier blogs in the series, catch up below.

The ABC Beginner Guide to Feather Fans

The ABC Beginner Guide: How to make Ostrich Fans – Part 1

The ABC Beginner Guide: How to make Ostrich Fans – Part 2

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