DIY: Feather Headdresses


Room & Board San Francisco recently hosted a festive family affair with Tea Collection and Mother magazine. Children enjoyed a prop-filled photo booth and a feather headdress craft project led by Janette Crawford of Sun + Dotter.

Since the fashionable headpieces were such a hit among attendees, we asked Janette to share the following tutorial so you won’t ruffle your own feathers attempting to create one at home!


DIY: Feather Headdress Tutorial by Janette Crawford 

Before you begin, you will need the following supplies. I recommend buying from a local fabric/craft shop, where you can play with the materials and style before you buy.


Step 1: Size and Trim

First, figure out what size headdress you’re making. Child, adult, flashy, subtle? In general, I make my headdresses sized for my 2-year-old, but large enough that they still look OK on me. A tie-back means they can fit most any head size.

Leather band: The height must be tall enough to fully cover the ribbon edging on your feather trim, a half-inch to an inch, but how tall is up to you. The width should be about the measurement from one temple to the other. To cut the leather, you can mark it and use scissors, though I prefer to trim more precisely with a rotary cutter and straight-edge on a cutting mat. This is especially useful if you’re making multiples.


Suede lace: The suede lace should be long enough to fit around your head and tie a bow.

Feather trim: To figure out how long you want your feather strip, hold the feathers up to your forehead in the mirror, and trim to the size you like.


Step 2: Glue Feathers to Leather Band

Lay out your leather band and feather trim together. Decide which sides of each you want to be the front of your headdress. (Here, I used smooth leather but wanted the suede side to be the front. As for the feather trim, it almost always has a curve to it, and I prefer to let the feathers curve outward.) Apply glue, center the feathers on the band, and press the two pieces together.


Step 3: Glue Lace

Find the center of your suede lace, and mark it with a pen if needed. Apply a line of glue across the full width of the band, center the lace on it, and press the pieces together.


Step 4: Line It

Lining your headdress isn’t required, but it’s an easy step that makes the final product look and feel super pro. To line the back of the band, I use thin leather scraps, trimmed to size. Felt would work as well. Apply glue and use a brush or a toothpick to spread the glue to the edges. Place it across the band and press down, using your fingers to shape it against the suede lace.



Finally, add accessories (if you like) and enjoy! Get inspired with the following creations. See more here.

Headdresses with white feathers and bright beads

Janette and two attendees displaying headdresses with white feathers and bright gems

Headdress with brown feathers and bright beads

Headdress with brown feathers and bright gems

Tutorial photos by YBowyer Photography; event photos by Josh Tetreault

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