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DIY: BIG Feather Tree Centerpieces

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feather tree centerpieces

There were 2 main types of centerpieces at last month’s French Circus Baby Shower – “feather trees” and an “eclectic groupings”, and today I’m going to cover the DIY details for the feather trees. These are actually one of my favorite types of centerpieces to make – and they’re surprisingly quick & easy! I used a smaller version of these at the Hip Hostess New York event last year, but since this party was outdoors in a bigger space, we opted for a larger feather plumes & taller vases this time so that they’d still make a strong visual impact within the setting.

In the centerpieces pictured here, we used 19-23″ ostrich plumes and 28″ eiffel tower vases, then embellished the centerpieces with ribbon and cool acrylic strands pulled from a “Hoops Beaded Curtain“, which was also used to decorate the cabana area. (only $19.99 per curtain – and one goes a long way!)

feather tree centerpieces

To help combat the surprisingly strong wind factor in the backyard setting, we used “earthquake gum” to secure each feather tree to a decorative “base” made from an acrylic silver charger plate with translucent aqua vase gems hot-glued all the way around the edge. The vase gems matched the party’s color palette and added a substantial amount of weight to the plate.

feather tree centerpieces

Here are all the DIY details for the feather trees:

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You’ll Need:
19″-23″ Ostrich Plumes (approx 20 – 25 per tree *see note)
Straight Stem Bouquet Holder
Eiffel Tower Vase – (24″ or 28″ height)
glue dots, earthquake gum, or similar other type of adhesive

Optional Embellishments:
Ribbon
Hoops Beaded Curtain (or similar)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Insert the feather quills into the foam bouquet holder to create a “palm tree like” look, starting at the bottom of the holder and working your way up to the top.  (You may need to trim some of the quills if they seem to be a little long and start to run into each other when inserted.) The best thing about this centerpiece is that it’s so easy to adjust. If it looks too full/empty in one particular area, just keep moving things around until you’re happy with the look. When you’re done, give the holder a little shake to make sure all of the feathers are secure and to help fluff them up.

2. Decorate the vase with ribbon (optional).  Wrapping ribbon in a diagonal direction from the bottom to the top of the vase gives it a fun “candy stripe” look that’s perfect for circus themes (or holiday!).

3. Insert the stem of the bouquet holder into the Eiffel Tower Vase so that the feathers sit on top to form the “tree”. Use glue dots, earthquake gum, or another gummy adhesive to help secure the bouquet holder to the vase. This is especially important on this size of a centerpiece, because the top can get pretty heavy due to the large size of the feathers.  If your party is outside, I definitely recommend using a strong adhesive to help combat any wind that might pick up!

4. Embellishments (optional): Pull a piece of the Hoops Beaded Curtain or a similar decorative element to hang from the feathers. The Hoops strands are so light , they can easily hang from one of the individual feathers, so we were able to hang them a few inches away from the vase so that they were more visible. (If you’re using a heavier element like a crystal ornament, you may need to hang it directly from the top edge of the vase.)

*Note: It’s MUCH more cost effective to purchase the large ostrich plumes by the pound. You’ll get approx 110 pieces for $190, which is enough feather for 5 centerpieces, as opposed to paying $80-$94 for 20-25 individual feathers for just one centerpiece. These centerpieces aren’t exactly inexpensive, but when you compare them to the cost of a traditional flower arrangement or large-scale event or wedding centerpiece, they still come in well under the standard price, especially when done in bulk! PLUS, you can re-use the feathers over & over… or lend to friends, etc. =)

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feather tree centerpieces

Some of the feather trees at the party were grouped with additional decor – such as small framed signs & the candlestick arrangement pictured above.  (The white candleholder is from Z Gallerie, and it’s topped with a funky melamine zebra salad plate from Social Couture and a fish-shaped Mini GurglePot from Delight.com.)

DIY details on centerpiece #2 coming soon!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

50 responses to “DIY: BIG Feather Tree Centerpieces”

  1. becki says:

    Do these feathers last after use – or are they a one time use? Thanks.

  2. jenn s. says:

    Hi Becki –
    You can definitely re-use them over and over! Forgot to mention that above. I actually used the smaller feathers from the Hip Hostess NY event again here in some of the other party decor, and have had several friends borrow these feathers for their own parties!

    Jenn :)

  3. Laura says:

    Thank you, thank you for this post! I saw the feather center pieces for the baby shower in your earlier post and fell in love!!!! I am planning to do deep red ones for our Halloween murder mystery party which will have a speakeasy theme, so I going with an old Hollywood glam look and these centerpieces are perfect!!! Now it will be easier knowing exactly how to make them!!!

  4. jenn s. says:

    Hi Laura –

    You’re very welcome! :) These pics from a red, black, & white Old Hollywood Glam event I did in February might be of interest to you too:
    http://www.facebook.com/hwtmfan#/album.php?aid=64334&id=17887528943

    I did smaller versions of the feather “trees” using just 6-8 feathers in each vase (without a bouquet holder) for this party. You could do a mix of both if you want to stretch your feathers/dollars further :) They still have a nice “flapper look” to them. Good luck with the party!

  5. Betrice says:

    Jenn, How did you created the table display that has the white fleur de lis? It’s picture 62 on your facebook page at Tisha’s shower.

  6. I LOVE feather trees! I just made red ones for a Soprano theme party. The look fabulous, make a huge impact, and a EASY! Yeah!

  7. I LOVE everything that you do!!! Absolutely adore these…

  8. I mentioned you on my blog with a link to this page.

  9. Danica says:

    I remember when I went to the event in LA and loved them when you had them there. As usual, thanks for the great ideas :) They make everything look fab.

  10. Rachel says:

    These are GORGEOUS! Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  11. Angie says:

    These are so pretty and fun! I could see green ones being made to look like palm trees at a beach wedding.

  12. BERYL says:

    Just had a look at your site and would be willing to learn some new pointers. The stuff you is fantastic.

    Please contact us as soon as you can.

    Beryl…

  13. Katie Dillon says:

    I had a quetion as to where you got your feathers? I’ve been looking at buying them online and I haven’t seen too many decent prices on them (even in bulk). I just was wondering where you might have got yours? Thanks so much for your help! I love love this idea and can’t wait to do it for my wedding!

    Thanks

  14. jenn s. says:

    Hi Katie –

    I usually buy my feathers at fabulousfeathers.net – see the “Note” under Step #4 in this post) for more info on buying feathers in bulk.

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding!

    Jenn :)

  15. Candace Ballard says:

    Love the cirus theme!! How would you do this shower in november. We don’t think it would be warm enough to do outside?? Any suggestions??

  16. jenn s. says:

    Hi Candace –
    You could easily do this shower indoors too! I honestly don’t think you’d need to alter the decor at all, but if you wanted to tie it into fall somehow, you could always incorporate fall-inspired colors :)

    And you might actually have less to worry about indoors – the wind proved to be a pain for us at this shower because the feather centerpieces kept catching it and trying to tip over until we weighted them down significantly! At least you wouldn’t even have to think about that indoors ;)

  17. eKuzko says:

    What color plumes did you order? Was it orange and royal blue?? gold yellow and Turquoise? i love it love it love!! exactly the way you did it is amazing!!

  18. jenn s. says:

    eKuzko –
    I ordered Aqua and Gold Yellow feathers, but I called first to get a better description of the colors and they described the aqua over the phone as an “electric blue”. :)

  19. Melissa W. says:

    I love the red & black party theme- am planning a speakeasy event for a public school fundraisier. I especially love the little feathers around the wine glass stems. Did you make them or can they be purchased? Thanks!

  20. jenn s. says:

    Hi Melissa –
    The feathers around the wine glass stems area actually just marabou boa trim that you can purchase at any craft store like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc. or even online: http://www.createforless.com/Zucker+Feather+Boa+Marabou+2+yd+Medium+Weight+Red/pid54377.aspx?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=cse

    Just tie a small piece around the stem of the glass and you’re done! :)

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Love, love, love this fantastic shower!! I plan on using the feathers at my own shower, my biggest concern is the height. I am getting the 22″ centerpieces and I am hoping it doesn’t disrupt my guests from having conversations. Do you think it’s worth it to get the 40″?
    Thanks for being super rad!
    Liz

  22. jenn s. says:

    Elizabeth –
    Does the 22″ height include the feather portion? If so, I’d go for the taller size when using these as centerpieces. Guests were able to easily talk across the tables at this shower, but the vases were 28″ tall on their own, and then the feathers extended up and out from there.

    Here’s a source for the 28 vases ($9.98 each):
    http://www.wholesaleflowersandsupplies.com/store/p/803-28-Glass-Eiffel-Tower-Vase.html

    Good luck with your shower! :)

  23. Erin says:

    from where would I order the feathers in bulk? love these centerpieces. a friend posted them on facebook a while back!

  24. terry says:

    I love the feather centerpieces. I want to use them for my granddaughters first communion. I will have 18 tables. Did you ever see them done in all white? Thanks so much

  25. jenn s. says:

    Hi Erin –
    You can buy the feathers in bulk at fabulousfeathers.net. Here’s a direct link to the ostrich feathers section:
    http://fabulousfeathers.net/c-5-ostrich-plumes.aspx

  26. Shelby says:

    I love your blog and somehow missed this post. I just did a google search for turquoise ostrich feathers and found this link and I’m so glad I did! Thanks so much for the instructions and the links to where you got everything, it’s so very helpful! These are beautiful!

  27. Heather says:

    I am planning a Dr. Seuss themed birthday party for my 2 year old and these just SCREAM Dr. Seuss to me! Really, in several of his books feather trees just like these can be seen in the illustrations! Thanks for the great ideas…keep them coming!

  28. Dana says:

    Do you know how dangerous is to have those feather centerpieces plus candles??? I love the idea but I LOVE candle light… and i think it might get dangerous… but maybe you have a solution?

  29. jenn s. says:

    Dana –
    As long as the feathers are at a safe height/distance from the candles – and the candles are in a container like a tea light or votive holder – you should be fine.

    Here’s an example of how we mixed candlelight with feather centerpieces at another party:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=64334&id=17887528943

    Also – as a super-safe alternative you could always use battery-operated LED candles instead of traditional flames.

    Good luck!

  30. Rosy says:

    Hi,

    Your blog is AMAZING!!!!! I can’t stop looking at it – and this baby shower is just beautiful. I am planning my best friend’s baby shower and I really want to do this theme – it’s gorgeous! I just had one question….we are going to have long tables instead of round ones and we are also working with a small budget. Do you think it would be better to have smaller vases and feathers for these types of tables and for smaller budgets? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks a lot and please keep posting wonderful ideas!!!!

  31. Jenn @ HWTM says:

    Hi Rosy –

    I actually just did another baby shower where I only used 4 large feathers per vase and the centerpieces still looked great!

    Unfortunately I don’t have images of them from the photographer yet – and she’s out of the country right now so I probably won’t have them for a few weeks still, but essentially they looked similar to the feather arrangements from this party: http://bit.ly/dbSNDs

    And the ones in this pic specifically: http://bit.ly/91G6wc

    And you can always do even smaller arrangements – Here’s another idea utilizing a really inexpensive vase from Ikea with just a few smaller feathers: http://bit.ly/djb2mr

    If you go with smaller vases/arrangements for the tables (which is perfectly fine!) – then it would definitely look great to feature 2-3 per table and maybe add some other inexpensive details in between – like toy animal figurines spray-painted all one color or some framed prints.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers,
    Jenn :)

  32. Pam says:

    How far in advance of the event can I assemble the feather trees.How do you put the lights in on the top? Thanks!!!

  33. Jenn says:

    Hi Pam –
    You can really make these as far in advance as you want – they can easily be “fluffed up” again before usage with light shaking or a hair dryer.

    For the lights – I actually didn’t use any here (although the sunlight might be giving that impression) – but you can use battery operated LED lights to light up the interior of the vase or the top feather portion. Here are some examples:

    http://www.save-on-crafts.com/floralytes5.html

    http://www.save-on-crafts.com/floralytes4.html

    Cheers,
    Jenn :)

  34. Huma says:

    I love these feather trees! Do you think smaller feathers would work better for tree centerpieces to go on cocktail tables? Also what should be the height of the vases for these trees?

    What was the size of the feathers you used for the feather trees you made for your Hip Hostess New York party? Can I find directions on how to make these trees anywhere on your website?

  35. Jenn @ HWTM says:

    Hi Huma –
    Yes – I’d go a little smaller with the feather size for cocktail table arrangements – but definitely keep the vases tall. I used the 12-16″ ostrich drab size for the New York event with 20″ and 24″ vases.

    Find more details here: http://bit.ly/aUhzeY

    Cheers,
    Jenn :)

  36. Keyda says:

    I love your sense of style. I ordered the aqua feathers from fabulous feathers. They appear a lot lighter (like a turqouise to baby blue) than the ones featured on your site which appear darker, almost like a light to royal blue.