How to make a flapper headdress

Updated April 17, 2017

In the 1920s, women who donned stylish fashions, revolutionary for that era, were known as flappers. Feather headdresses, a form of costume jewellery, were worn when the ladies went out to jazz clubs or dance halls. Recreate an authentic flapper outfit that includes a drop waist or tank-style knee-length dress; it should be strapless or have thin shoulder straps and should preferably be beaded or have fringed edges. Style your short hair sleekly against your head or wear a short bobbed wig. Top the ensemble with your handmade feather headdress.

Wrap a piece of velveteen ribbon around your head. Position the ribbon across your forehead so that it rests right above your eyebrows. Insert your index finger behind the ribbon to add space for the feathers. Trim the ribbon so that the ends are overlapping by 2.5 cm (1 inch).

Place the ribbon stretched out on a flat surface with the velvety side facing up; if both sides are velvety, choose a side to embellish.

Use the hot glue gun to affix a row of small rhinestones across the top and bottom edges of the velvet.

Find the centre of the ribbon. Attach a vintage clip-on earring or brooch by its clip to the centre of the ribbon.

Add a row of medium-size rhinestones across the middle of the velvet band on both sides of the earring or brooch. Space these rhinestones 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart and use hot glue to secure them to the ribbon.

Turn the ribbon over. Place three to seven long, thin, coloured feathers in a bunch with the hard ends all level. Position the hard tips of the feathers on the centre of the ribbon so the feathers will be standing up when you wear the headdress; the tips should not stick out from the bottom of the ribbon.

Squeeze a substantial amount of hot glue onto the ribbon where you are attaching the feathers. Hold the tips of the feathers in place until the glue dries. Add more glue if necessary for support, especially if you are attaching up to seven feathers.

Overlap the ends of the ribbon by 2.5 cm (1 inch). Add hot glue between the ribbon and press to secure.

Place the headdress on your head with the feathers standing up from the centre or side of your head.


You can find inexpensive, vintage clip-on earrings or brooches at charity shops or car boot sales.

Things You'll Need

  • Black or navy blue velveteen ribbon -- 5 cm (2 inches) in width
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Rhinestones (small and medium size)
  • Vintage clip-on earring or pin brooch
  • 3 to 7 thin, long feathers (purple, navy blue, green or black)
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About the Author

Miranda Brumbaugh enjoys covering travel, social issues, foster care, environmental topics, crafting and interior decorating. She has written for various websites, including National Geographic Green Living and Dremel. Brumbaugh studied in Mexico before graduating with a Master of Science in sociology from Valdosta State University.