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How To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece


Glitter, it's what's for dinner.

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

How To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding

As someone in the room when we create how-to projects, I always feel a responsibility to tell you when you MUST DO A PROJECT NOW, since sometimes the camera doesn’t do a thing justice (projects you must do now: ombre honeycomb balls, carnation backdrop, spray panted pumpkins). Blessedly, the camera makes the glitter feather centerpiece look super super awesome, but it still doesn’t make it look AS awesome as it looks in person. You should do this project yesterday. Tweak it to fit your wedding style as needed, but do it yesterday.

Other pluses: this project costs somewhere in the realm of stupid cheap, is crazy easy, can be made in advance, can be broken down to transport to your venue, and can be modified a million ways to fit your decorations. (I’ve listed a ton of modification ideas below.)

How To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding

Your materials are:

Lemmie break this down for you.

  •  A 4X4 piece of lumber (actually ours was a 3.5X3.5, but that sounds less catchy), which you’ll have home depot cut down for you. We made these centerpieces 16 inches long, which means a 12 foot piece of lumber would give you nine centerpieces. (Maths!) (Approximate Cost for 9 centerpieces: $20)
  • Feathers, about 20 per centerpiece. We used guinea feathers from Michaels which I can’t source online but should be easy to find (or maybe you know a chicken), but you can use hot pink feathers or fluffy feathers or whatever strikes your fancy. (Approximate Cost for 9 centerpieces: $100)
  • Glitter (Approximate Cost for 9 centerpieces: $14)
  • Spray adhesive (Approximate Cost for 9 centerpieces: $11)

Which brings the grand total of your nine high impact centerpieces (assuming you can borrow a drill to make them with) to $145. That, my friends, is going to be a hard price to beat.

In terms of number of centerpieces, if you’re using long tables, you might want to do two per table—or better yet, one huge long centerpiece per table. (How awesome would that look? So. Awesome.) You can get away with enormous on this one, and still stay sane, because the lumber can be transported separately from the feathers. For round tables, one of these suckers will probably suffice.

How To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical WeddingHow To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical WeddingHow To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical WeddingHow To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical WeddingHow To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical WeddingHow To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding

Lets walk through how you make these suckers (potential modifications to follow):

Step Minus One: Get your lumber pre-cut at Home Depot. It’s step minus one, because you’re getting someone else to do your work for you. (#LazyGirlCrafts FTW.)

Step One: Cover up the base of your feathers with paper, and apply spray adhesive on the tips. Then, flip it and reverse it.

Step Two: Sprinkle glitter (we used three colors: hot pink, light pink, and gold) on both sides of your feather tips, shake off, and let dry.

Step Three: Drill holes in the top of your 4X4(ish) piece of lumber.

Step Four: Put feathers in said holes.

And that, my friends, is it. You can prep the feathers in advance, carefully bag them up, and assemble the centerpieces on site. And did I mention they look amazing in person? THEY LOOK AMAZING YOU SHOULD MAKE THEM NOW.

How To: Glitter Feather Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding

Possible Modifications

The best part of this particular project are that there are about a billion modifications you can do to make it fit into your  particular style. Let’s discuss a few of my favorites.

Paint the base: If you want a less boho look, you can paint the bases to make it a bit more polished (or a lot more polished—I’m looking at you, metallic paint). I highly recommend spray paint for a project like this, because, easy.

Paint the ends (only): This is for sure my favorite modification idea. Here, you just paint the ends of the 4X4. I’d go for a bright color (say, hot pink), a metallic, or cover it in glitter like a crazy person.

Change the size of the lumber: As previously discussed, it would be easy and practical to make these centerpieces tremendously long, since the lumber and feathers can be transported separately. In fact, if you want to make them super duper long, you could cut the lumber into transportable segments, and duck tape or super glue them together on site. You can also use a much flatter board for a totally different look (much like this).

Use a different kind of feathers: This one is pretty obvious, but changing the feathers is going to really change the look of the project. Also, let’s talk about using the word “feathers” loosely, since craft stores carry a lot of bright colored fake feather fluff that is madness.

Dip Dye the Feathers: We glittered these feathers up, but white feathers dip-dyed would be magical (and might look something like this). Slightly harder prep, but magical.

Don’t Use Feathers: There are about a million items you could use here instead of feathers (crowd sourcing ideas in the comments) but my initial suggestions include silk flowers (um, covered in glitter?), candles (if your venue doesn’t have an open flame policy), or small balloons a-la-water-ballons tied to sticks (covered in glitter?).

In short: glitter, it’s what’s for dinner. (But not actually for dinner, because this project blessedly doesn’t shed.) Now go listen to this and get your craft on.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.


The Info:

Photography: Allison Andres for A Practical Wedding | Styling: Michelle Edgemont

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  • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

    This is awesome and I love all the suggestions for other ways you could do it! But I really just came here to say that photo #4 is my favorite thing ever. The huge drill, the nails, the ring, the watch…if that image doesn’t say “a practical wedding,” I don’t know what does.

    • Meg Keene

      That’s our jam. Heavy machinery mixed with good nailpolish and jewelry.

  • Sarah E

    I’m glad you included the link for Missy Elliot, because that’s exactly what popped into my head when reading “flip it and reverse it.” #samepage

  • Lindsey d.

    Falling right there among “things my fiance taught me,” along with how to roast a chicken, is that all lumber is actually a half inch smaller than its dimensions. So all 4x4s are 3.5×3.5. All 2x4s are 1.5×3.5, etc.

    • Jess

      This was my thought!

    • Meg Keene

      I know right? It’s just so much less catchy.

      • Lindsey d.

        And a bit of ripoff…

  • Meigh McPants

    I WANT TO DO THIS NOW. NOOOOOOW. ::: sends this to all her clients with a sad puppy gif ::: Non-floral centerpiece articles are often super boring, but this is elegant and modern and awesome and I WANT it.

    • Meg Keene

      You just like my subtitle and Missy Elliot link. Don’t lie to me.

  • MisterEHolmes

    I feel like even cheaper and possibly easier would be those half-ball styrofoam things instead of wood and a drill–maybe you could literally just jam the ends of the feathers in, like you do with flower foam. Or other shapes! There seem to be a million styrofoam shapes out there.

    • Laura

      This appeals to the #lazygirl in me. However, the street cred of saying “I made my wedding centerpieces with a drill” is almost too good to pass up.

      • Meg Keene

        Also, the real fact of the matter is styrofoam isn’t going to look anywhere near as good, and it’s actually going to be way more expensive. Styrofoam for crafts isn’t any kinda cheap.

        Plus. Drilling is seriously about as easy as it gets. I mean, I’m all for lazy, but for sure I can drill some holes.

        • Laura

          Yes. Drill and staple gun = two favorite household appliances.

  • KC

    What would you think of:

    1. giant swirly lollipops (potentially with the sticks trimmed to different heights)

    2. a forest of these kinds of things ( http://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Flying-Dragonfly-Toys-Pack/dp/B001998HLU ) to make the reception *highly* entertaining and only mildly hazardous

    3. short branches (potentially glittered or spray-painted) if the wedding is during pruning season…

    4. flags of the world

    5. cake pops (would not count as lazy-girl if homemade)

    • KC

      (also, for a potentially lazier-than-spray-paint way of making it not bare wood, you can wrap this sort of thing in [decently-high-quality] wrapping paper. No sanding, no drying, and just poke whatever it is through the paper at the top, rubbing gently to see where the holes are underneath the paper.)

      • Meg Keene

        As someone who crafts these things, I have to say that spray painting something and getting it to look awesome is WAY easier than using wrapping paper to get something to look awesome. Making wrapping paper look awesome will… make you tear your hair out. So, WAY easier. Also, there is no sanding in spray paint… unless you want there to be, I suppose.

        • KC

          That’s really interesting! I’ve had literally the exact opposite experience, since the spray paint always raises the grain of the wood for me and absorbs differentially. (maybe using the wrong spray paint?) And also you have to deal with ventilation and stuff. Pinewood derby cars: it’s a lot of sanding. And painting. And sanding. And more painting. Although if you were fine with the grain of the wood showing and the ends being a bit rough, it probably would be a lot easier, plus, as before, might have always used the wrong spray paint. :-)

          But I am a fast and clean box-wrapper (esp. with decent weight paper and with double-sided tape, bam!).

          I’m also very good at making balloon weights for table centerpieces (stack a can of tuna fish and a pile of packing peanuts on top of a square of paper, bundle it up to look like a round present with a fluff of tissue paper coming out the top and a ribbon cinched round it), though, and I have seen that project drive some people up a wall, so “present wrapping” may be variable that way?

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      Lollipops! Mostly because they could also be eaten afterwards. Lazy girl and hungry girl.

    • Sara P

      Or pinwheels on sticks?

      And I love the idea of things that could also be used as entertainment.

  • SJ

    Oh damn….and Mom and I had JUUUUUST decided on centerpieces. Maybe I’ll only put this on the sweetheart table! HA!

  • Katelyn

    I’m not a crafts expert, so possibly obvious question: Is there a particular reason to use the spray adhesive and then sprinkling glitter, or would a one-step glitter glue work well?

    Also, baby’s breath or those curly branch thingies (which I’ve seen pre-glittered) could work really well too.

    • http://www.MichelleEdgemont.com Michelle Edgemont

      Because the feathers are so delicate, the spray adhesive is the best to get the glue on there without clumping up the feather. Try it out with the glitter glue, although it might turn into a globby mess that doesn’t have the full glitter coverage you might want.

      • Katelyn

        Ah. Clumps. Makes sense. Thanks!

    • Laura

      I love the idea of pre-glittered branch thinigies!

  • vegankitchendiaries

    These are the BEST centrepieces! Let’s get some more of this ‘comment crowdsourcing’ in for the feathers alternatives, yeah? Feathers look so awesome, but sadly won’t work for a vegan wedding. What kind of silk flowers do people think would look good with this technique?

    • Laura

      Depends on the season. Right now I’m aching for spring, so I’m thinking tulips!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Oooh! Faux tulips and glitter! :D

    • Amanda

      I would put baby’s breath in there because my florist talked me out of baby’s breath for my wedding and I regret it :)

  • Amanda

    “Much like this” link goes to a clock :)

    • Laura

      A kick-ass clock, but yes.

    • Meg Keene

      Fixed. Though I really want that clock for my office.

      • Amanda

        Mhmmm, if I had an office I would too! As it is I’m trying to think where I could put it in my house…

        • Laura

          It can apply in EVERY room.

  • Nicole

    SHIT YEAH. I was looking for a way to jazz up my already-pretty-jazzy centerpieces and was thinking about adding ostrich feathers…but now Imma GLITTER BOMB my ostrich feathers, stick them in some empty St. Germain bottles, and call it a DAY. BOOM. Thanks!

    • Meg Keene

      BOOM.

  • Laura

    APW, my other half is not excited that you just fed into my current feather obsession. I, on the other hand, can’t wait for Michael’s and Home Depot to open.

  • Kayla Elida

    Not-that-fun fact: That’s actually the size of a 4×4. AND a 2×4 is actually a 1.5×3.5. Weird but true!

  • Karen

    test

  • http://www.amandadouglasevents.com/ Amanda Douglas Events

    This is fabulous! There’s nothing I love more then a great DIY…wait, there is…A DIY with glitter.

  • EmilyRose

    If you’re even more of a lazy girl, I just found these glitter-dipped feathers on etsy! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/167824115/10-dipped-feathers?ref=fp_treasury_4