How to make a medieval headdress

Written by jessica sharpe
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How to make a medieval headdress
The veil and circlet was a popular fashion for medieval headdresses. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

No medieval ladies' costume is complete without a headdress. An easy-to-make headdress is the veil and circlet, which adds an elegant touch of sophistication to any medieval costume. The veil and circlet is a versatile piece because it can be made to be as casual or fancy as needed and doesn't require many materials to construct it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Hair clips
  • Thread
  • Tape
  • Cotton muslin or silk fabric
  • 2 strips cotton fabric about 1 inch wide and 30 inches long
  • Metallic shiny Bristol board

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  1. 1

    Measure the circumference of your head, the length from your forehead to the back of your head under your crown. Mark down the total length in inches. Measure the length from under your chin around to the top middle of your head and write it down.

  2. 2

    Make two bands out of the two strips of cotton. Cut one strip to equal the length of the circumference of your head. Sew the ends together so it makes a band that will fit around your head. Cut the other strip of cotton to the length measured from the top of your head to your chin. Sew it together and make sure it sits beneath your chin like a chin strap and fits snugly on your head.

  3. 3

    Cut the veil. Use the measuring tape to measure from your mid forehead to behind your head and down your back to the length you want the veil to be. Use the measurement as the diameter and cut a perfect circle around the length of the measuring tape.

  4. 4

    Fasten the bands to your head. Put on the chin strap so it covers your ears and sits on your head and under your chin. Hold it in place with hair clips. Put the other band around the top of your head so it rests on your forehead below the hairline and wraps to the back of your head. Use sewing pins to pin the bands together at the sides of your head where they overlap.

  5. 5

    Add the veil. Drape the veil over the centre of your head and adjust so the front sits above your brow line. Carefully pin the front of the veil to the cotton band on your forehead. Pin the veil at the intersection of the bands at the side of your head and on the band at the back of your head.

  6. 6

    Cut a strip of shiny metallic cardboard that measures the circumference of your head. Cut it into a thick or thin circlet and add small peaks to make it look like a crown. Tape or glue the ends together. Place the circlet on your head so it sits on your hairline and hits mid-forehead.

Tips and warnings

  • Glue sequins or costume jewels onto the circlet for a more royal look.

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