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How to make a carnival headdress

Carnival is the Caribbean festival of wild costumes and extravagant headdresses. It has its beginnings in Egypt as a Pagan festival, according to the website, carnivalineducation.com. The Roman Catholic Church adopted the practice as Carne Vale, which means farewell to the flesh and it marks the beginning of Lent and fasting. Natives of African descent in the Caribbean used Carnival as a celebration of the end of slavery, as they were once banned from celebrating it. To make your own Carnival headdress, download and print out a template from a website.

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  1. Print out a paper Carnival headdress template from your computer's printer with regular paper. A free template is available from the Brooklyn Children's Museum website, brooklynkids.org, or check out East Riding of Yorkshire Council, eriding.net, which has a Carnival headdress craft idea.

  2. Draw a larger headdress template onto 280 mm by 430 mm (11 by 17 inch) card stock , which is thicker than regular paper, with a pencil. Use the printed template as a guide. Be sure it is large enough to wrap around your head--if not, enlarge the template.

  3. Cut it out the template with scissors. Paint the paper headdress with any colour paint with a paintbrush. Typically Carnival headdresses use vibrant colours.

  4. Glue on sequins, feathers, raffia, ribbon or tissue paper to decorate as you wish. Let the entire headdress dry.

  5. Cut a horizontal slit one inch from the bottom of the headdress while leaving one inch from each side intact. Slide the crown of your head into the slit to wear the finished headdress.

  6. Tip

    You can copy the template using a copier machine onto the larger card stock, rather than drawing it. Make certain it fits your head. You can also use string or yarn to hold the headdress in place.


    Adult supervision is needed for this craft.

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Things You'll Need

  • Printer
  • 8 x 12 mm by 280 mm (1/2 by 11 inch) paper
  • 280 mm by 430 mm (11 by 17 inch) card stock
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Sequins
  • Feathers
  • Raffia
  • Ribbon
  • Tissue paper

About the Author

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.

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