How to make a fascinator

Written by gigi starr
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How to make a fascinator
(2006 motodraconis / Creative Commons)

A fascinator is a ladies' headpiece that acts as an accent piece in the hair. According to British milliner Anuccia, the feather and flower accessories because popular in the 18th century as an eye-catching topper for the elaborate hairstyles of the day. As retro fashion and hats have come back into style, so have fascinators.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • One plastic or metal comb
  • Feathers (be creative...try feathers with beads, or pre-made sprays and fans)
  • A silk flower
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread (heavy duty or button-weight is best)
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue

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  1. 1

    Take all of the feathers and make a bouquet with them. Fluff them out and arrange them in a pleasing way. Keep in mind that the stems will be bound to the upper edge of the comb, so keep things as tubular as possible.

  2. 2

    Double-thread the needle. Gripping the end of the thread in your fingers, wrap the thread tightly around the base of the feathers until about 1/2" of the base is covered. There should be about 6 to 7 inches of thread left free.

  3. 3

    Apply some glue to the flat top edge of the comb. Lay the feather bouquet on the glued surface, then wind the needle and thread through the teeth and around the edge. This will further bind the feathers to the comb. Knot off the thread and clip.

  4. 4

    Use the scissors to clip the plastic stem from the flower as close to the base as possible. Remove the plastic base so that there's only a fabric flower left. Re-thread the needle.

  5. 5

    Take a few stitches in the base of the flower to secure it; do not clip the thread. Add a drop of glue over the thread wrap on the feathers and set the flower base in it. Holding it steady, take some stitches through the base and wind the thread around the comb top. Take a finishing stitch and knot off to complete. Allow the fascinator 12 hours to dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • To add sparkle to your fascinator, add beads or sparkling floral accents to your feather spray.
  • Ribbons also look great on fascinators. Try a large velvet bow at the root of the feathers, or one made of netting.

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