This is an activity inspired by our son.  He would find feathers and trace them on our sidewalk in chalk.  We have extended his idea.

This idea was featured on The Crafty Crow.  Looking for creative activities to do with your children or class?  Check them out!


It was also featured on Crafty Connections on their summer post for activities for kids 2-6:

Take a peek at it on We Heart It:


Traced Feather Bookmark: Supplies

  • Feathers (found or you may want to use those purchased for cleanliness reasons)
  • Pencil
  • White art eraser
  • Watercolour Paper or cardstock
  • Watercolours (can be a variety of forms, we have recently tried liquid watercolours and are hooked!)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pastels (we used metallic ones, but you could also use wax crayons)
  • Single hole punch
  • Ribbon, twine
  • Scissors
  • Smock
  • Contact Paper or Laminator and laminating pockets (Optional)

  • We always find a smock and a craft tray handy too!


  • Don a smock.
  • Take a feather (you may want to use ones purchased in a craft store for cleanliness reasons) and place it on top of watercolour paper.

Traced Feather Bookmark: Trace

  • Trace it gently with a pencil.  Make a shaft (the line down the middle of the feather) and barbs (the lines going to the edge of the feather from the shaft).  Trace over your pencil lines with pastel.

Traced Feather Bookmark: Add details

  • Use watercolour paints to bring your feather to life.  We diluted liquid watercolour.  Allow to dry overnight.

Traced Feather Bookmark: Watercolour Wash

Traced Feather Bookmark: Painting

  • Cut out your feather carefully, leaving a bit of a border.

Traced Feather Bookmark: Cutting Out

  • Punch a hole at either end.

Traced Feather Bookmark: Punch Hole

  • For longevity and to protect your book from pastel smudges, laminate your feather or sandwich it between two pieces of clear contact paper (sticky sides facing in on each other).  Cut out the feather again, leaving a border and punch the hole through the plastic.
  • Fold your ribbon or twine in half and put the folded end through the hole.  Loop the ends through your fold (see photo) and pull taut.

Traced Feather Bookmark: Putting in Twine

Traced Feather Bookmark: Looping Twine

  • Trim the ends of the ribbon if necessary.



  • Taking the basic shape of an object and enhancing it.
  • Encouraging reading.
  • Using a variety of materials to experiment with painting techniques (pastel resist)

Safety Notes

  • As mentioned, you may want to use feathers purchased at a craft store for cleanliness reasons.
  • Laminators should be used by an adult only.
  • Be sure to use scissors with supervision.
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