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How To Make a Leather Feather

How To Make a Leather Feather

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Tandy Leather, in cooperation with our Veteran partners, is sponsoring an event across all of our US stores during the month of May. We invite our customers and associates to show their support for Veterans, military families, and caretakers by making a leather feather to be collected and hung in a collaborative art installation in Columbus, Ohio, during Suicide Prevention Month in September.


Learn how to make a leather feather with our free pattern and step-by-step guide. Please bring your completed leather feather back to your local store by July 31st for it to be donated as a part of this special art installation at the Greater Columbus Art Gallery.


Our stores are hosting free Leather Feather classes during Mental Health Awareness Month. Find your local store today to sign-up for the class.


  1. Trace the pattern onto the smooth side of your leather. We recommend using 3 to 4 oz (1.2 to 1.6 mm) veg-tanned leather, but any weight will work. Note: Heavier weight leather will require more skiving in step 6 below.

  1. Using a swivel knife, cut the outline of the feather and the quill.

  1. Using a bevel of your choice, bevel the cut lines from step 2. Bevel the outline of the feather a little harder than you might normally.

  1. Using a hair blade pencil, texture the feather. Make sure your texturing strokes are long strokes running from the edge of the quilt, entirely off the edge of the outline, on a single upward diagonal (toward the tip of the feather) with a slight curve.

  1. Cut the entire feather using a scalpel or a sharp craft knife. If you hold the blade underhanded and work slowly, you should be able to undercut the feather slightly. If this proves too difficult, disregard the undercutting and cut it straight down. Do NOT undercut the tip of the quill.

  1. Flip your feather over so the rough side is facing up. Skive the outside 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch, tapering to a paper-thin edge (the thinner this edge, the better).

  1. Dampen (do not wet) the edges of the feather and randomly pinch and twist the edges to give the feather a more life-like appearance.

  1. Paint your feather to represent your favorite bird. These feathers will be hanging, so paint the front, back, and edges.

  1. Once the paint is thoroughly dried, apply a liberal coat of clear acrylic finish to the back of the project to give it some stiffness.

  1. Return your finished feather to your local Tandy store no later than July 31st to be included in the national art exhibit in Columbus, Ohio, in September.


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