The Potter fun continued in Tucson today as nearly 50 children, teens and parents came to Columbus Branch Library to make "magic quills." OK, they're not really quills, they're feather pens.
I *did* bring a real feather quill and a modern calligrapher's pen and a bottle of ink so kids could try them out. The feather quill was a big hit because of the scratchy noise it made.
I also bought novelty paper that looked like a scroll, printed J.K.'s address at the top and encouraged the kids (and parents) to use their new pens to write a note to J.K. Rowling.
HOW TO MAKE A MAGIC QUILL
Feathers, the sparklier the better (I used trimmed peacock feathers)
Pilot (TM) pens, caps and casings removed
Wide straws, preferably clear
Glittery yarn or iridescent detailing tape
Optional: 4" pieces of wire and iridescent beads
1) Stick the feather down the top of the straw until it comes out the other end.
2) Insert the pen innards into the bottom until the end of the feather rests on the flaired ledge of the bottom of the pen.
3) Slide the straw down until it meets the flaired ledge of the pen. It should be snug so that the feather doesn't slip out.
4) Take the detailing tape and use it to cover the straw from one end to the other. Spiral up it like a candy cane. Or, if you are using the yarn, anchor it with a knot at one end and either spiral up the straw or make half-hitch knots. Anchor it on the other end with half-hitch knots or glue.
You're done! If you want to have a jewelled quill, make a loop at one end of a 4" piece of wire, string beads on it, bend the wire after the last bead, and stick the free end of the wire down into the straw.
Big thanks to Shannon and Jen, who were a huge help!
I was able to find all of the supplies at a large craft store here in town. The only thing that was a little pricy was the detailing tape. The trimmed peacock feathers (no eye, but still lovely) came in a 10-pack.