How to Make American Indian Hair Ties

Written by jeanne dober
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How to Make American Indian Hair Ties
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

American Indian hair ties are delicate hair accessories that Native Americans use to pull back hair out of their faces or add decoration to an outfit. Hair ties made by Native Americans usually contain elements found in nature, such as feathers, seashells, bone, semi-precious stones and beautiful beadwork. Creating an American Indian hair tie will give you a chance to display your creativity as well as work with natural resources just like the Native Americans did years ago.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Glue
  • 4 turkey feathers
  • 2 beaded rosettes with barrettes on the back
  • 10-inch-long leather string
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Place the end of the quills of two turkey feathers together and glue them so that they stay together. Hold the feathers in your hands until the glue sets, pressing the two feathers together. This should take around five to ten minutes, depending on the glue you use.

  2. 2

    Place a second set of two feathers together and glue the quills together. Hold this set together until the glue dries, or around five to ten minutes.

  3. 3

    Cut a 5-inch piece of leather cording with the scissors.

  4. 4

    Apply glue to the feather quill, starting at the base of the quill.

  5. 5

    Fold the length of leather cording in half and, leaving a 1 1/2-inch loop at the quill's tip, wrap the piece of leather around the gluey feather quill, starting at the base of the quill. This loop will be used to attach the feathers to the beaded rosette.

  6. 6

    Glue a 5-inch piece of leather cording to the second set of turkey feathers in the same manner as the first. Leave a loop of leather at the end of the feather so that you can attach the feathers to the beaded rosette.

  7. 7

    Glue one 1 1/2-inch leather loop section to the underside of a rosette. On the back of the rosette, there will be a barrette to attach the piece to the hair. Place glue around the edges of the leather loop and place the loop around the barrette. Press the loop firmly into place on the back of the rosette and allow it to dry. Repeat for the second rosette and set of feathers.

  8. 8

    Unclasp the barrette section of the rosette and place the barrette in your hair. Place the second rosette in your hair also. The feathers will dangle down from the rosettes and add colour and texture to your hair.

Tips and warnings

  • It is recommended that children younger than 8 years of age be supervised while wearing Native American hair ties because they contain tiny pieces that could come off and become choking hazards.

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