Introduction: Leather "Eagle" Feather
My husband and I had obtained some neat looking sticks that we wanted to make into walking sticks. We both do a little leather work and decided to enhance the sticks with some of our work. He braided the area where you would grip the stick, which gave a little softer handle. I had made some feathers before and decided to use those on the stick.
At the end of the instructable, I will show some different examples of how to embellish the feathers.
I will be giving some alternative tools that can be used in place of traditional leather tools. Do your work on a firm surface.
If clarification is needed, please ask.
Tool and material list:
Paper and pattern
Piece of 3/4 ounce carving leather (The large feather needs a piece about 3 inches by 12 inches. The smaller feather needs a piece about 2 1/2 by 7 inches)
Stylis or ball point pen
Swivel knife or paring knife (not too sharp as you only want to cut about 1/2 the depth of the leather)
Beveler or small spoon with smooth and fairly thin side
Mallet and marble block ( only if using beveler)
Dremal with sand paper wheel
Craft paints Burnt Umber and sand or some other off white paint
Spray finish, clear either matte or satin
Step 2: Leather "Eagle" Feather
Draw your pattern on a piece of paper with the pen.
Dampen your leather with the sponge. Do not soak the leather. Let the leather dry for a short period of time. The leather will
return to almost its original color.
Step 3: Leather "Eagle" Feather
Place the plastic wrap on the dampened leather. Place the pattern on the plastic wrap. Using either the stylis or the ball point pen,
press firmly as you trace around the pattern. Also trace the spine of the feather. This will leave the pattern on the leather. Remove
the pattern and the plastic wrap.
Step 4: Leather "Eagle" Feather
Take either the swivel knife or the paring knife and cut around the feather and the spine of the feather. Do not cut all the way
through the leather. Cut up to half the depth of the leather.
Step 5: Leather "Eagle" Feather
If using the beveler, you will need the marble or stone and the mallet. You bevel around the feather and the spine of the feather.
To bevel essentially means to press down the leather around your design. to give some diminsion to the design. This will make it
easier to cut out.
If using the spoon edge, you follow the pattern by pushing the spoon around the pattern. I found that pushing worked better than
pulling. Use a firm touch while doing this. Do this around the spine of the feather too.
Step 6: Leather "Eagle" Feather
Take the swivel knife or the paring knife and make the striations on the feather. Start at the spine and go to the edge of the feather.
Angle the striations slightly upward. do this on both sides of the spine.
With the scapel, go under the edge of the feather and cut toward the spine. Try to go in as deeply as possible. Do this all the way
around the feather. You want to cut the feather away from the excess leather.
After the feather is cut out, you will need to thin the edges of the feather. I do not skive(thin) leather well, so I use a dremal with a
sanding wheel. You want to make the edges fairly thin and leave the center and down toward the quill a little thicker. I do this
outdoors because it is very messy with leather dust flying everywhere.
On the lower 1/2 inch or so of the feather, take the scapel and cut through the leather about 1/3 to 1/2 the distance from the quill to
the edge of the feather. Then on the main part of the feather, make 3 to 5 cuts through the leather, with some on each side,again about 1/3 to 1/2 the distance from the edge to the quill. At this point, you may want to dampen the leather again. At the bottom cuts, flip the cut edges up. On the main body cuts, twist and turn them any way that gives some interesting diminsion to the feather. Wet leather will hold it shape. Let these dry. You can speed up this step with a hair dryer.
Step 10: Leather "Eagle" Feather
After the feather is dry, it is time to paint it, and I paint both sides. The upper 2/3 is painted the burnt umber and the rest is painted
in whatever off white paint you chose. I then take a stiff brush and with some of the burnt umber slightly thinned, I flick some brown
spots on the white part of the feather.
After the paint dries, the feather is ready for the finish coat. Take it outdoors or in a well ventilated room and spray with the clear matte or satin finish. You may the embellish it in any way you like.
Step 11: Leather "Eagle" Feather
Although this seems like a lot of steps, this is a fairly easy project. Scrap leather can be found at most leather craft stores and on
ebay. Tandy is one of the stores that are found nation wide. The scraps can be a little expensive, so the best bet is if you can find a
leather worker. Let me tell you, they always have scraps.
Please feel free to ask questions or make suggestions. Also, I am entering this in the up contest and the indestructable contest, any votes would be appreciated.