Instructions for a Hanging Beaded Headdress

Updated February 21, 2017

Top off your Cleopatra outfit or your belly dance costume with a hanging beaded headdress. A beaded headdress is quite simple to make and will really add a touch of dazzle to your costume. By making your own, you can ensure the right fit, as well as more solid construction than many of the types commercially available. A homemade headdress should also cost you less than a store-bought one, so it is really worth the effort.

Measure the circumference of your head and decide how long you want the fringe at the front to be, as well as the longer fringe at the back. Also, measure the distance from the top of your head to where you want the hanging beaded fringe to start.

Cut a length of beaded thread to 4 inches, and remove 2 inches worth of beads, placing the beads in a plastic container for use on other projects. Form the string into a loop, and tie the ends together right where the beads begin and end, so that you have a 2-inch-circumference circle of beads. Trim the ends of the thread.

Place the circle of beads on top of the dummy head and pin it in place. This is the middle of the headdress, which will be an anchor for the rest of the headdress.

Cut a length of beaded thread 2-inches longer than the measurement you took for the circumference of your head. Remove an inch worth of beads from each end. Tie the thread around the dummy head at the distance you chose from the top of your head to where the hanging beads will start. Tie the threads together where the beads start, and cut off the tails of thread.

Cut as many pieces of beaded thread as there are inches in the head circumference, all as long as the distance between the anchor and the circumference thread, plus 2-inches. For example, if the circumference is 23 inches and there are 6 inches between the anchor and circumference thread, cut 23 lengths of thread 8-inches long.

Remove an inch of beads from each end of these pieces and store them in the plastic container. Tie one end of each piece of beaded thread to the circumference thread and one to the anchor, each spaced an inch apart around the circumference. Trim off the thread tails.

Cut as many lengths of beaded thread as will go every quarter inch around half the circumference to an inch longer than the desired length of the front fringe. For example, if the circumference is 23 inches and you want a 4 inch front fringe, cut 46 lengths of thread to 5-inches long.

Tie a very sturdy knot in one end of each thread, then remove an inch of beads from the other end and tie the pieces to the front of the circumference thread every quarter inch, right where the beads start on the thread. Trim off thread tails.

Repeat the process for making the front fringe, only this time cutting the beaded thread to the length of the back fringe, plus an inch.

Unpin the hanging beaded headdress from the dummy head and gently fit it over your head.


Beaded thread is available in most craft stores. If you can't find beaded thread, you can thread beads on regular waxed cotton; however this will be work-intensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Beaded thread
  • Scissors
  • Plastic container
  • Styrofoam dummy head
  • Pins
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About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.