When I clean my birds' cages, I'm usually delighted to discover at least a few beautiful molted feathers in their cage trays. It seems like such a waste to just throw them out with the garbage, that I usually save them for use in fun arts and crafts projects. If you look at any craft supply store, you'll no doubt find packages of colorful feathers for sale -- why not use your own bird's feathers for a project instead? Look below for a few of my favorite project ideas that use molted feathers. You might even be able to come up with a couple of cool ideas of your very own!
Donate them to charity.
One of the best things that you can do with your pet bird's molted feathers
is to donate them to charity. Check out the Feather Distribution Project on Wingwise.com
for more details. The Feather Distribution Project, founded in 1982, is an initiative that aims to provide beautiful feathers to southwestern Native Americans for use in their religious ceremonies. They gladly accept donations from private bird owners, and will work to make sure that your bird's feathers are put to the best possible use.
Make a preening toy.
Of the many fun and easy bird toys you can make at home
, preening toys are one of the simplest, and it's likely that you already have all the materials that you need at your disposal. To make a preening toy for your bird, simply gather several of your pet's molted feathers into a bundle. Using cotton twine or a strip of leather, bind the feathers together by the ends of the feather shafts. What you end up with will likely resemble a small feather duster. Hang the finished toy in your bird's cage and watch -- your bird will likely have a ball preening the toy and cuddling against it.
Make a collage.
Colorful parrot feathers
lend themselves to art projects very easily. One of the simplest and most beautiful projects that you can get into is to arrange your bird's feathers into a collage, using a piece of paper or canvas as a base. Use a glue stick to place glue onto your base material, and press the feathers into the glue in a pretty pattern. Once your creation is dry, you could even have it framed to create a piece of original wall art to hang in your home.
Make a costume.
The feathers of Macaws and other large parrots
, particularly their molted tailfeathers, flight feathers, and wing coverts, can be used in decorating beautiful costume pieces for Halloween, costume parties, or other special occasions. Check your local arts and crafts supply stores for blank masks that can be decorated with feathers, beads, and sequins. Use a hot glue gun to attach molted feathers and other decorations to your mask base. You could create a Mardi Gras themed mask, a mask that actually resembles your own bird, or use your imagination to create a totally original theme. The sky is the limit!
Create feather jewelry or hair clips.
The molted feathers of very brightly colored birds such as Sun Conures
can be put to wonderful use in the making of jewelry and fashionable hair clips. Feathered accessories are all the rage in current fashion trends, and can also be very fun to make at home! Your local hobby shop should have a wide array of clip, pin, and jewelry bases that you can use to build your own feathered creation, and many times you can purchase packs of these for less than one dollar. Depending on the amount of molted feathers that you have saved up, you may even be able to make multiple creations that you can use as birthday or Christmas gifts to give to your friends and loved ones.