Making Polymer Clay Jewelry – Feather Tassel Using Wire Cord Ends

Feather Charm “I’m inspired by the purse charms… and would be delighted to see how it’s all put together.” ~Lisa-W

The other day I posted about a Louis Vuitton inspired, purse charm design… made up of a several different types of polymer clay beads, cording and also some wire components. There was even real bird feathers in the piece, and a sassy tassel.

Lisa-W was quick out of the gate in the comments section of that post, to request that I show a more detail about how that purse charm was put together. So today, I’ll spend a bit of time discussing how I used the wire cord ends to make the unique looking feather tassel.

I Love This!!! It’s so unique, so interesting… I’m inspired by the purse charms and I wish the picture was even more closeup/detailed. I would be delighted to see how it’s all put together. Cindy – you never cease to amaze me! Thanks for the inspiration – I think I’ll be working on some new beads today. ~Lisa-W

Instead of using the handmade wire cord ends as you might normally use them, I slipped the quill tips of 3 feathers into the end of one of them, and clamped it down. Just like you would do with regular cording or ribbon.

This simple little feather charm is perfect for any bohemian styled jewelry that you may feel inspired to make. Unexpected and delightful.

If you think outside of the box, I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with all sorts of things to use with your handmade wire cord ends. Share your ideas below. I’d love to hear what you come up with.

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  1. Jocelyn, 10 January, 2010

    Like the feathers, and can see a way to exhaust some of the turkey tail feather supply here. All fluffed together they make great tassle endings.

  2. carolyn, 10 January, 2010

    Now I know why I went around my yard and gathered bird feathers when my great community of birds were molting. I have a whole big coffee can full! Now I can make use of them.

  3. aims, 10 January, 2010

    Drats! I wonder if the birds at my feeder will hold still long enough for me to grab a few feathers…..

  4. Cindy Lietz, 10 January, 2010

    Hehehe aims!

    You all could clip some feathers from the feather boas you wear around the house all the time! :-)

  5. Lisa Whitham, 10 January, 2010

    Ah, very clever! I just happen to have feathers I’ve picked up from the yard… Thanks for the tip Cindy!

    ~Lisa :)

  6. Peggy, 11 January, 2010

    Oh shucky dern I gave all my feathered boas away when I quit eating chocolate bom boms and watching soaps all day. Thank goodness for the feathers in my grandaughter’s craft box. I think she will let me have a few.
    By the way I just got a new purse the other day and I can’t wait to put the charms on it. The purse is even equipped with the chain with 2 leather circles at the bottom I can add the charms on it.
    Thanks for another super idea Cindy
    Love and Uuuuugggggggggggggs, Peggy

  7. Jackie, 11 January, 2010

    Absolutely loved your purse charm..What a way to dress up a purse. So I made one with my first attempt at the tribal cane..need to watch the video Not quite right..ok no where near right.. But I used the cane and made some beads and made me a purse charm. Showed to a friend on face book. She said what a great idea. Gave you the credit for the inspiration. Thanks for giving us that inspiration.


  8. Jocelyn, 11 January, 2010

    Feathers galore:

    Used them for years, and their little feathered birds are gorgeous.

  9. Jocelyn, 11 January, 2010

    Umm, the cute little birds are here:

  10. Nilo Garcia, 16 January, 2010

    I do wire jewelry but I’m interested to start with clay. What are the basics tools? What are the beginners videos. Do I need molds? Is it baked in the oven or microwave? How much do I need to start? Thank you.

  11. carolyn, 16 January, 2010

    @Nilo Garcia: Hi, Nilo. I also am a wire artist but started working with polymer clay and it is a natural match. I’m so excited about all the possibilities – having beads and cabs that we make ourselves and then wire wrap is fabulous. Keep your pliers handy – you’ll use them at times with your clay work. Tools you’ll want can mostly be obtained through the Polymer Clay Superstore. You’ll want a blade (sometimes called a tissue blade); an acrylic roller; a Makin’s Ultimate Clay Extruder; and a pasta machine is great. They have one on sale right now at – not the greatest but a good starter. Of course you will need polymer Clay. Most of what Cindy uses is Premo. There are scads of colors available, but you can make your own mixes following Cindy’s recipes. These are great! For starters you’ll want white, transluscent, and your three basic colors: red, yellow and blue. You don’t need molds … in fact eventually you’ll want to make some of your own … Cindy may have a tut on this sometime. You’ll also need a good oven thermometer. The temperature of your oven is critical. If you use your household oven you’ll need to clean it all the time. I’d recommend looking for a craft oven that can be dedicated to PC. They are usually around $50, but if you get 50% off coupons, like I did, well, that’s only $25 and well worth it. Do NOT use a microwave for PC. I’m not sure what would happen. Just don’t do it. Also, fill a little container with corn starch and leave the rest in your cupboard. Turkey skewers work well for piercing beads, but there are special piercing pins that go with the Bead Baking Rack by Amaco. So, there you have it, Nilo. Now, wade through all the comments on this site … and do sign up for the Beginner’s Course … it is worth every penny! Eventually you’ll want to order all of Cindy’s back issue videos also. I’ll be anxious to see what you put together when you get your PC going with your wire art!

  12. Fiona Simpson, 16 January, 2010

    HI Cindy – very much a beginner and so disappointed with my beads after baking! Made some pretty marbelled beads and baked for 30 mins in fan oven – first at the top (disaster – all burnt!!!) and then at the bottom of the oven – (better but still burnt). Should I bake for longer at a lower temperature – please help – I really want to get into polymer clay – thank you. God bless, Fiona.

  13. carolyn, 16 January, 2010

    @Fiona Simpson: Are you using an oven thermometer? You should not bake PC higher than 275°. Cindy has recommended 265°. She also recommends an hour of baking time. I do not know what a fan oven is … so someone else might be able to address that. Anyway, your idea of lower temp and longer time is a good one. Blessings!

  14. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2010

    Thanks Gals for all the feathery conversation and information. Very fun!

    And thank you to Fiona and Nilo for your inquiries. I’m glad to hear you are wanting to learn about polymer clay bead and jewelry making. You have come to the right place.

    Fiona, what you are experiencing with your burnt beads is something that happens to pretty much everyone starting out with polymer clay. Some call it “initiation” … :-O … but I know that’s not very fun to hear when you are in the middle of it. Fortunately, the problem is easily solved with proper instruction.

    You have a couple of options. The topic of “How To Bake Polymer Clay Properly,” has been discussed many times here at the blog with articles I have published, as well as in the conversations that happen in the comments sections below the articles.

    As I write, there are currently 690 articles with 10,225 comments. That is too much to manually browse through. So you will have to use the search box at the top of the page with keywords such as, burning, burnt, temperature, oven, thermometer, bake, baking, etc… to find oodles of information that will be very helpful for you.

    Your second option, which would save you a lot of time (and money), is to go through my Polymer Clay Basics Course. It is a 39 part video series that will walk you through everything you need to know about polymer clay to make sure you experience success right out of the gate, with regards to all of the essentials stuff you will need to know about this unique and wonderful medium. The course has been instrumental in helping many of my students through challenges that would have caused them to quit polymer clay out frustration, had they gone at it alone. The link by my name will take you to where many of them have posted their stories and feedback about the course.

    @Nilo – the same message applies to you too. There is lots of free information here at the blog that you can spend time reading for free. Or you can opt to purchase the Polymer Clay Beginner Course as I suggested to Fiona.

  15. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2010

    You are a star Carolyn! Thanks for providing Fiona and Nilo with some great info.

  16. Fiona Simpson, 17 January, 2010

    Hi Cindy – stunned and absolutely delighted to have a reply to my question overnight – THANK YOU soooooooo much!!! You have really made this newcomer feel like part of the polymer clay family!!! God bless, Fiona

  17. Cindy Lietz, 17 January, 2010

    You are very Welcome Fiona. It is great to have you here as part of the Polymer Clay Family.

    And again… a special thanks to Carolyn for her wonderfully in depth responses posted just above. It is helpful support like this that makes this such friendly and supportive community.

  18. Jocelyn, 01 February, 2010

    Carolyn, that was one of the best intro instruction I’ve read….

    We ought to have a contest. Best shortest instructions per topic. It could be funny and very informative.

  19. Phaedrakat, 03 February, 2010

    Jocelyn: That’s a good idea! It might help bring out some new tips, too. It could also bring up questions we might not have considered asking. I know I’d be a big loser in that contest, though. I simply cannot write anything that’s “short.” I tend to be very long-winded…

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