September 29, 2015

DIY Scottish Plume Pin

Ralph Lauren Fall 2012,
 While planning my fall wardrobe projects for this year, I new there was going to be a lot of plaid and tweed. What goes better with plaid and tweed than Scottish themed accessories? I loved the feather plume pins at Ralph Lauren from his fall 2012 show and instead of buying a similar brooch on Etsy I thought, "Well hey, I can make that!"

So after a quick trip to Michaels for some supplies, and raiding my sewing/craft room for feathers, I sat down to make a few traditional style plume pins. This is a super easy DIY...

Supplies include:

-Little metal tube findings from the bead section
-Decorative metal bead caps
-Spare beads
-Long headpins
-Various feathers
-Pin backs

I began by threading a bead, then a long bead cap, and then finally a metal cylinder onto a long headpin. Instead of turning the end of the headpin, or clipping it off, I left it to add some support for the feathers. I put some glue around the outside/bottom of the little tube so it would stay in place inside the bead cap.

For this one I simply glued a bead cap onto the end of the tube and then threaded it through the same way.

Here are my funny little "vases" for my miniature feather bouquets. Since I was using e-6000 glue I had to wait quite a while for everything to dry and stabilize before I could go any further. If you were to use a faster acting glue, or hot glue, you could just solider on!

To spend the time while the glue dries, start arranging some bouquets of feathers. Each bundle should have both longer and shorter feathers for a layered effect, and varying the textures and colors (sleek, fluffy, natural, dyed) will give the best results. I even decided to use just one large dyed feather quill for one of the pins.

When your ready, fill that little tube with some glue and start sticking the ends of your feathers into the tube. Arrange them so they all point in a similar direction and are layered how you'd like.

Here I layered two longer dyed rooster feathers (teal) in the back, a fluffy turkey(?) feather in mint green and then finished off the pin with a spotty natural guinea feather.

For this one I simple glued a bead to the bottom of the tube as a stopper and for a finished look.

Once you have your feathers glued in and arranged, lay your pin(s) aside and let dry overnight.

All that's left is too glue a pin back onto the reverse side of each pin. Allow to dry once more and voila, a finished feather plume pin!

I was trying to find more information about this style of brooch. It seems like they are sold as souvenirs in Scotland, but I don't remember seeing them in gift shops when I was there (too bad too, I would have picked up a few!). If anyone knows the true name or tradition of such brooches please let me know in the comments!

I'll be wearing one of these fun feathery brooches later this week when I don my newly finished brown and tan hounds-tooth skirt for you all!


  1. I believe they are tied to the history of scots regimental Hackles, or "Heckles" which are worn today mostly by drummers and pipers of scots military regiments and probably filtered into daily wear from there in more decorative forms.

    1. Thanks Meg! I knew there had to be some legitimate connection! That would make total sense :)

  2. Oh they are so lovely! I love feathers :)

  3. Seriously awesome work! This is such a creative, fun, elegant project. Thank you for sharing, you uber talented lady, you!

    ♥ Jessica

  4. These are beautiful, I love them!

  5. This is a great DIY and I love the Scottish connection. Being half Scottish myself, I feel like I really should make myself one to wear next winter. Plus, it's an excuse to buy cool looking feathers right? Thank you for sharing Bianca. ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. Thanks Bonita! Cool feathers are always a good thing :)

  6. Great tutorial, I would never have thought of the 'vase' idea. These look fab and will be perfect for all your tartan and tweed outfits.


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