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Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecocks (Birdies)

Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecocks Birdies

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 its 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. In a game players can get through quite a few of these feather birdies. Therefore I have bags full of old shuttlecocks in my house.
I already keep many redundant things to re-purpose and upcycle such as denim, wool and interesting packaging. Therefore I thought surely there must be something I can make with all these feather shuttlecocks.
This actually proved to be much a harder task than I initially thought and I really 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.
All the things that you can make with your upcycled badminton shuttlecocks (birdies)
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1.Fun Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecock Fridge / Pin board magnet.

shuttlecock fridge magnet white  
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 pin boards in their rooms and these shuttlecock pins are a fun quirky addition to their boards and very appropriate for a badminton mad house.
Shuttlecocks gawker lge


2. Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecock Feather Arrow Decorations

shuttlecock craft and dissection
shuttlecock painted feathers
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 can be added wrapped presents to jazz them up a bit.

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 with washi tape or coloured thread or combination of both.
  5. Cut small cardboard triangles out to make arrow head.   Use 2 triangles per feather arrow and glue together round the end of the feather stem.
  6. Either use coloured card, paint or cover arrow heads 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 cork end.  You can buy coloured led lights off ebay really cheaply and glue them to your shuttlecocks, just on top of the cork inside the feather ring.  
Perhaps combine them with your magnetic pin shuttlecocks, to light up your pin boards.

4. Make an Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecock Angel Christmas decoration.

If you click here you can see how I made these adorable angel wing decorations from old shuttlecocks.
Shuttlecock angel wings.  This adorable Christmas decoration is made by upcycling old badminton shuttlecocks.

Upcycled Badminton Shuttlecocks found on the internet

I could not find much upcycling or re crafting of feather shuttlecocks on the internet, I however did come across 2 items.
1. Using the feathers of the shuttlecocks to make a shoe clip decoration (, the same approach could be used to make a broach or earrings.
2. A couple of years ago the Hermes shop in Singapore used shuttlecocks to create some interesting sculptures for there shop display. Details of this can be found on the retaildesignblog.
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

As you are probably aware badminton is hugely popular in Asia, when we visited Bali a few years ago my husband was really 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.
Living in a house that is badminton mad my supply of redundant feather shuttlecocks is endless. If you have any ideas of things I could make from them please let me know.


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.