September marks the beginning of many things: school, crisp autumn weather, and pumpkin spice everything. It’s also the start to what’s soon-to-be a busy fall social calendar, full of dinner parties and holiday celebrations. While some affairs may be low-key, it doesn’t hurt to start stockpiling a few pieces of decor for those special occasions. That’s where this paper feather garland comes in.

Handmade from paper and string, this garland can be easily customized for any event just by switching up the colours. Read on to get the full how-to, and show us your version by tagging us on Instagram @demetres.


What you’ll need:

template and craft materials for painted paper feathers

  • Watercolour paper (or some sort of thick card stock)
  • Watercolour or gouache paint
  • Big paintbrush with soft bristles
  • Thin twine
  • Scissors
  • Large-eyed needle
  • Feather template (right click and save, then print to a page of 8.5″ x 11″)
  • Masking tape
  • Water


Step 1:

Wet-in-wet gouache painting for paper feather garland

Wet-in-wet gouache painting for paper feather garland

To create a soft fluid look, we used the wet-in-wet watercolour technique. This means painting the paper first with water, and then going in with the paint. You’ll need to work quickly (or keep a separate clean brush on hand to re-wet the drying paper), so make your colour choices first and place all the paint on your palette beforehand.


Step 2:

Gouache painting for paper feather garland

Once the paper is dry, go in with a little metallic paint and add a few speckles of shine… this is meant for a party after all 😉 If you’re feeling ambitious, give the back of the paper a coat of paint as well. This will be especially helpful if your garland is not going to hang against a wall, and will give it a more finished look.


Step 3:

Cutting out feathers for paper garland

Let the paint dry once more, and cut out the feathers from the template in the mean time. Once ready, decide how many of each feather size you would like for your garland, and lay them out. Then start cutting.


Step 4:

Cutting out feathers for paper garland

Once all the outlines are cut out, it’s time feather them. Fold each feather in half, then start cutting diagonally towards the fold, creating thin snips. Make sure to not cut all the way to the fold. Unfold them once complete.


Step 5:

Threading paper feathers with a wide eyed needle and twine into a garland

Thread your twine onto a needle, and carefully poke a hole through the bottom of the feather. Since we want this garland to last, make sure to leave about a centimetre from the bottom to avoid potential ripping. Cut the twine so there’s about 5 cm (2″) sticking out of the feather, and tie it into a loop.

The whole paper feather garland strung together

With all of the feathers done, it’s time to string them up together into a garland. How much twine you’ll need depends on how long you want the garland to be. For the one we made, we used about 1 metre (3 feet). Thread this longer piece of twine onto a needle, and pull it through all of the feather loops that you just made. To finish, tie the ends of your twine into little hanging loops. Tada!

Watercolor painted paper feather garland for an ice cream party

Make sure to check this blog for more party decor ideas coming this fall, and if you’re looking for some swanky party supplies like the gold straws we used or the ice cream topper, head on over to our Cherry Market to pick them up.

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