How to Make a Mardi Gras Headdress

Written by christine wheatley | 13/05/2017
How to Make a Mardi Gras Headdress
People traditionally wear colourful hats, headdresses and beads during Mardi Gras celebrations. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Mardi Gras, the French term for "Fat Tuesday," is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of the Catholic season of Lent. It is traditionally thought of as the feasting day before the Lenten fasting begins. In many U.S. cities, Mardi Gras is celebrated in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday with extravagant parades and parties. To celebrate Mardi Gras, people wear costumes, masks and headdresses with the traditional Mardi Gras colours: purple, green and yellow. Get into the Mardi Gras spirit by making your own headdress with a few basic items.

Plug in the glue gun so it is heated up by the time you're ready to use it.

Measure the circumference of the person's head who will wear the headdress. Measure the head at the widest part. Make a note of the measurement to use as you continue constructing the headdress.

Cut the craft foam into strips that are about 3 inches wide to make the headband of your headdress. Glue the craft foam strips together lengthwise and trim any excess until their total length is a couple inches larger than your head circumference. For example, if your head circumference is 24 inches, make the headband 26 inches long. Make a second headband that is exactly the same length.

Lay the headband out flat and let the glue dry. Glue the feathers along 10 inches of the headband with the glue gun. Start at the middle of the headband with the largest feathers sticking straight up. As you move out to the sides, position and glue the feathers more diagonally. Use any feathers that are a little shorter on the sides. When finished, your feathers should form an arch.

Glue the other foam headband over the feathers on the first foam headband to protect your forehead. Let the glue dry.

Flip the headdress over to decorate the front of the headband. Cut your bead necklaces into short, medium or long lengths.

Place glue across the headband and stick a string of beads on it. Make designs with straight lines of beads or curve them into patterns. Fill up the headband entirely with beads or leave spaces to glue bells or other decorations. Leave a few inches on both ends of the headband undecorated. Let the glue dry.

Place the headdress on your head, holding the back together with your fingers. Pull it just tight enough to stay on your head. Still holding the back, take the headdress off. Mark the headband with a pencil where one side overlaps the other; glue it in that spot. Let the glue dry before wearing.


Purchase the above craft items at most artist or craft supply stores.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase the above craft items at most artist or craft supply stores.

Things you need

  • Glue gun
  • Sewing tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Green, yellow or purple craft foam
  • Scissors
  • 1 large package of yellow, purple or green quill feathers, 8 to 10 inches in length
  • Yellow, purple or green plastic bead necklaces
  • Bells or other decorations

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