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Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecocks (Birdies) -The Best Ideas

Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecocks: What can you do with a feather shuttlecock besides play badminton with it?

Almost every night of the week, someone in my household plays badminton, whether it’s family nights, club nights or county level. Often they play with feather shuttlecocks. If you don’t play badminton, you may not be aware that the feather shuttlecocks don’t last long. Players can get through quite a few feather birdies in a game. Therefore I have bags full of old shuttlecocks in my house.

We call them shuttlecocks in the UK and Europe, but many Americans call them birdies!

Fun Facts About Shuttlecocks

In my search to discover find something to make with old shuttlecocks, I did find out a few facts about them:

  • Each shuttlecock has 16 feathers.
  • They are made from the feathers of Chinese geese
  • Only feathers off the left wing are used
  • The cork used in the tip comes from Portugal
  • They cant be recycled as they are made of too many different component materials.
  • The shuttlecock’s unique shape allows it to travel through the air in a way that makes it difficult for opponents to return in badminton.

 As you are probably aware, badminton is hugely popular in Asia; when we visited Bali a few years ago, my husband was impressed that in every village we visited, the local temple doubled up as a badminton court. Also, when we stopped in a sports bar for a drink one evening, badminton was the sport of choice for the wall-to-wall video screens.

Repurposed Badminton Shuttlecocks Birdie Ideas

I already keep many redundant things to repurpose and upcycle, such as denim, wool, tin cans and other household waste materials. Therefore I thought there must be something I could make with all these feather shuttlecocks.

This proved to be a much more challenging task than I initially thought, and I struggled to think of things to make with the old shuttlecocks.

Anyway, here is what I managed to come up with for my upcycled Badminton shuttlecocks.

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upcycled shuttlecock pin

1. Shuttlecock Fridge / Pinboard magnet.

It is so easy to make a magnetic pin out of old shuttlecocks. Firstly you cut a small indent out of the cork end of the shuttlecock, and then you super glue a magnet into the groove. If you want to funk up your shuttlecock magnetic pin, you can spray paint them.

My boys all have magnetic pinboards in their rooms, and these shuttlecock pins are a fun, quirky addition to their boards and very appropriate for a badminton madhouse.

shuttlecock fridge magnet white
Shuttlecocks gawker lge

2. Badminton Shuttlecock Feather Arrow Decorations

With the shuttlecocks, you can make these cute little arrows. These arrows make a great table decoration. They can be used to make greeting cards and added wrapped presents to jazz them up.

shuttlecock painted feathers

To make the feather arrows

  1. Dissect the shuttlecocks using a Stanley knife or scalpel and extract the feathers.
  2. Using the knife scrape off any excess glue from the feather stem
  3. Paint the feathers using a liquid acrylic paint or a glass/porcelain paint (as feathers are water resistant).
  4. To decorate the stems wrap them with washi tape or coloured thread, or a combination of both.
  5. Cut small cardboard triangles out to make arrowheads.   Use two triangles per feather arrow and glue them around the end of the feather stem.
  6. Use the coloured card, paint or cover arrowheads in washi tape.
Shutlecock feather arrows
Be wild feather card2
Feather arrow wrapping decoration
Follow your arrow

3. Add LED lights

Upcycled Badminton shuttlecocks can be turned into cute night lights by adding little LED lights to the cork end. You can buy coloured led lights off eBay cheaply and glue them to your shuttlecocks on top of the cork inside the feather ring.
Perhaps combine them with your magnetic pin shuttlecocks to light up your pinboards.

4. Make A Shuttlecock Angel Christmas decoration.

I made these adorable angel wing decorations by splitting open old shuttlecocks to make feather angel wings.

Shuttlecock angel wings.  This adorable Christmas decoration is made by upcycling old badminton shuttlecocks.

5. Make a shoe clip

Using the feathers of the shuttlecocks to make a shoe clip decoration (, the same approach could be used to make broach or earrings.


6. Shop Display

A few years ago, the Hermes shop in Singapore used shuttlecocks to create exciting sculptures for their shop display. Details of this can be found on the retaildesignblog.


7. Make a Gold Dipped Broach – Michelle Ng

This is a lovely handmade gift idea for any sports fan, and very simple to make. With sixteen feathers in each shuttlecock, you could make eight broaches from each one.

upcycled badmington shuttlecock ideas

8. Badmington Birdie Flowers – Handmade Charlotte

These fun flower decorations are made from colourful nylon shuttlecocks. They would make a fun decoration for any summer party.

Badminton shuttlecock flowers

9. Birdie/Shuttlecock Christmas Tree –Mythriftstoreaddiction

Stack nylon birdies or feather shuttlecocks on one another to make a unique upcycled tabletop Christmas tree.

birdie shuttlecock Christmas tree decoration

10. Birdie Light Garland

Make a string of decorative lights out of plastic or feather shuttlecocks. A fun decoration for any summer themed party.

birdie shuttlecock string lights

11. Make Pom Pom Shuttlecocks

Glue feather shuttlecocks into a ball to make giant hanging pom pom decorations. I will make a few of these for our local badminton club’s annual Christmas party.

shuttlecock pom poms

Living in a house that is badminton mad, my supply of redundant feather shuttlecocks is endless. Please let me know if you have any ideas of things I could make from them.

If you like feathers, check out these other feather craft ideas, some of which can be made using feather shuttlecocks.

If you like that other popular Aisan racket sports ping pong, then check out these upcycled ping pong bat Christmas decorations.

Harry Lance

Tuesday 11th of September 2018

My favorite is the Angel Christmas decoration and i will definitely use this to decorate my house this Christmas and hope you will be posting many more Christmas ideas.

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 11th of September 2018

Thank you, Harry. I'm starting to think about my Christmas crafts for this year and plan to post a load in October and November.


Friday 24th of November 2017

Make Christmas decorations! Shuttlecocks are easy to make into angels!

Claire Armstrong

Friday 24th of November 2017

Thank you!


Friday 2nd of June 2017

Snip the feathers of down to the top of the first horizontal holder. Clip on the ball bearing type key ring chain and you have a simple key ring. Wrap through the gaps some coloured cotton to colour it up.

Claire Armstrong

Friday 2nd of June 2017

Thank you, Paul. I will try that and make key rings for all the boys. We still have a load of shuttlecocks.


Monday 25th of July 2016

These are great ideas! Thank you!

Claire Armstrong

Monday 25th of July 2016

Thank you ! If you have any ideas yourself I would love to hear them. I'm always looking for more shuttlecock ideas.


Sunday 3rd of January 2016

I think it's the responsibility of the badminton world as a whole to come up with some sort of use for old feather shuttles. Just think how many we get through across the planet, and most of these are just disposed of. It cannot be good for the environment!

As for household uses, maybe you could try doing something with specifically just the cork (pincushion/big piece of art) or just the feathers (stuff your own pillows?). All the ideas on this blog are lovely!

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 3rd of January 2016

Thank you very much ! Yes I agree with you it's a shame the life of a feather shuttlecock is so short. I'm constantly on the look out for new ideas to reuse them.