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How to Make a Snake Charmer's Turban

Updated April 11, 2017

Snake charmers originally were used to lure snakes out of private homes with the sound of their flutes and to treat snakebites. Today snake charmers are more commonly found at birthday and Halloween parties, or as characters in movies. The snake charmer's turban is one of the distinctive elements of the snake charmer's attire. It is a tall, wrapped headdress that completely covers the back of the head. The snake charmer's turban can be purchased at costume supply stores or it can be made by hand at home.

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  1. Pin your hair to the top of your head with hair clips. None of your hair should be visible outside of the turban.

  2. Cut a square of cloth with scissors. The cloth should be the same colour material as the rest of the turban you are making. It should be long enough to extend from the hairline at your forehead to the hairline on the back of your neck, but should not extend down over your ears.

  3. Lay the cloth on top of your head.

  4. Wrap your first layer of the turban. Use three yards of cloth, about 4 inches wide. Place one end of the cloth on the left side of your head above your ear and wrap the rest of the cloth around the back of your head, coming around to the front of your head and overlapping the end. Cross the end piece with the wrapping cloth and continue again to wrap around the back of your head following your hairline and pulling the cloth up over your forehead again. Wrap behind your ears. Wrap the cloth around your head in this manner, building the base of your turban, using about half of the cloth.

  5. Pull the cloth from the back of your head and over one ear. Wrap the cloth around the back of your head again and cover the other ear. Now continue wrapping the cloth around your head and over your ears. As you pull the cloth up toward the top of your head from your ear, begin creating an upside down V with the cloth on your forehead. Continue wrapping until all of the cloth is used.

  6. Tuck the end piece of the first layer under the cloth on your head.

  7. Hold the end of the cloth on one side of the front of the turban, above the centre upside-down V. The second piece of cloth should be about 4-½ yards long and 4 inches wide.

  8. Wrap the cloth behind your head above the ear and bring it forward to cross the end piece on the front. Continue wrapping behind your head and across the top of the upside-down V in the centre front as you build height in the turban.

  9. Tuck the end of the cloth into the turban when you have used all of the material.

  10. Hold a piece of thin cloth about 3 yards long and 4 inches wide on the side of the turban, toward the top. The thin cloth should be the same colour as the rest of the turban, but of a lighter fabric.

  11. Wrap the cloth behind your head and back toward the front, covering the end piece and wrapping behind your head again. Fold the top edges of the cloth over, toward the centre of your head, as you work to make the turban have a more structured appearance.

  12. Wrap the thin cloth over the entire turban, tucking in the end when all of the cloth is used.

  13. Attach an ornamental pin or brooch to the turban, just above the upside-down V above your forehead.

  14. Tip

    As you wrap each layer of the turban, flatten out the fabric so that it does not bunch up.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hair clips
  • Cloth
  • Scissors
  • Brooch

About the Author

Patrice Lesco

Patrice Lesco has been a writer since 2001. Also a certified teacher, she writes for newspapers, magazines, books, theater and film. Lesco holds a Master of Fine Arts in theater from Michigan State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in education and theater from Methodist College.

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