With four colours of craft paint, some hemp cord and matching pony beads, I made a northern lights scene on this black tipped feather. I figured the techniques used were simple enough that my grade sixes could handle it and they are now in the middle of creating feathers for Mother's Day gifts. We'll make cards to go with it that say a related quote such as "I love you to the moon and back!"
Step One: With a small flat or angled paint brush, gently apply the bright green paint to one side of the feather, following its natural direction or "grain."
Step Two: Add some blue to mix in, then add more green for a smoother blend of colour. Some feathers will split more than others. I was very careful and gentle and mine barely split, but it happens easily and will still look fine if it splits all over.
Step Six: After all the paint is dry, apply a thin layer of white glue to the quill (or "calamus" as I learned from a google search) and make a nice tight coil wrap with hemp. I wrapped the hemp around the cut end so it stayed in place without having to tie it on.
Step Seven: At the end of the quill, tie a few knots in the hemp cord, add some beads, and tie it off again. Keep the hemp cord as long as you like if you want to hang it up in a window or as part of a mobile. I think this part would look better with a braided hemp, but I didn't get that far today.