Anna here!  We have some time travelers visiting this week at Camp Doll Diaries!  Whether or not you have a historical doll, it is fun to learn about the past!  With us today is Marie-Grace who grew up in the 1850’s.  That was a long time ago, but the feather pen was still not new technology in Marie-Grace’s time!  In fact it was becoming something of the past in her day!  Today we will bring the past present with a feather pen and inkwell you can make for your dolls!

For centuries the feather pen was made from a flight feather off of a large bird like a goose or turkey.  The end of the feather was specially trimmed to prepare it for writing.  Dip the tip in a little jar of ink called an inkwell and write away!

Let’s make a feather pen and inkwell for dolls!  Of course you could use a mini feather for a doll sized feather pen.  If you don’t have a mini feather, make a paper version using the printable pattern I’ve included or even sketch your own!  With a little paper and a little craft foam you can make this feather pen and inkwell for a historical doll scene or play!

Let’s take a look at what we’ll need.


  • Feather Pen Printable PDF printed on regular printer paper
  • cardstock
  • craft foam
  • thin cardboard
  • scrapbook paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • craft foam glue (or hot glue)

Let’s get started!  Print off the Feather Pen Printable PDF or draw your own feather.  Cut out the pattern and cut a thin strip of cardstock.  Spread glue on the strip of cardstock and place it along the straight side of the feather.  Place glue on the top of the cardstock strip and place the remaining feather on top.  Only the section of the feathers with the cardstock between them should be glued.  The rest of each feather should not be glued together.

Cut little slits at an angle to add details to the feather.  Color the tip with a black pen to make it look like it’s been dipped in ink and you are done with the feather!


To make the inkwell, cut 2 strips of craft foam using the Feather Pen Printable PDF.  Put glue on the end of the wider strip.  Roll the strip until the two ends meet and then hold it until the glue is set up.  It will make a little cylinder.  Take the second strip and wrap it around the cylinder.  Glue the ends together the same way.

So the inkwell can hold the feather without tipping over, glue it to a base.  To make the base I layered thin cardboard, craft foam, and a piece of scrapbook paper.  Glueing the inkwell to any paper or cardboard base will keep it steady!

Here are a couple different size bases I made and attached inkwells to.

Now the feather can sit in the inkwell ready to write.  It will look cute on a dolls desk or table.

Marie-Grace is trying to decide who to write to next.  She has loved meeting the campers at Camp Doll Diaries and sharing her craft!  She wants to write a letter home to tell them all about her day!

Just for fun I’ve gathered a few feather pen history tidbits.

  • Also known as a quill pen, or feather quill pen.
  • Used for 1300 years in Western Civilization.
  • It is made from the flight feathers of any large bird.
  • Most commonly made from goose feathers.
  • Was used until the metal pen was invented and became available.
  • The metal pen was patented in 1810 and mass produced in the U.S. in 1860.

Just in case you are interested here are a few more details from today’s post!

  • Doll- Marie-Grace is an AG Historical Character
  • Scene-Wicker furniture tutorial.  Lap desk is made by Anna

Enjoy a little of the past, today!