With the prohibition-era Al Capone Charade coming up in less than a month, we thought it was a great time to do a blog post about a fun do-it-yourself project: Flapper Headband!
These headbands are so much fun and easy to make, and way nicer than most cheap-o headbands purchased from costume shops. A lot of store-bought costume flapper headbands are only made of 2 materials: stretch sequin band and a single big feather. (see example on the left). The biggest problem with these headbands is that over time, the elastic of the sequin band wears down and loses the sequins. The single feather also isn’t very interesting. So we’d like to show you an easy and fun way to make your own flapper headband! These are so easy, it’s fun to make a bunch at one time, so you have a mini collection with options to mix it up, or simply extra options for friends to wear!
Materials you will need:
- hot glue gun + glue sticks
- ribbons with classic/art deco/vintage designs & style (I choose ribbons that have geometric patterns or velvet ribbons, as these look older)
- feathers of your choice (we use a combination of loose feathers and feathers that are connected by a ribbon, which you can buy by the yard at your local fabric store)
- other items you may want to use as decor: rhinestones, buttons, broken costume jewelry, beads, etc.
Step 1 – cut the ribbons
These headbands are not going to wrap entirely around your head. You’ll want to cut them so that they would fit about halfway around your head, from about ear to ear, going across your forehead, like seen in this vintage picture to the left. The ends are going to be looped around so that you can bobby pin the ends under/in your hair, so the band doesn’t need to go completely around your head, and you can still showcase your beautiful pincurls in the back of your hairdo!
After you have cut the ribbons into strips, you’ll want to cut your fringe and (if you have them) your strips of feathers. We cut our fringe in strips of about 1 inch. The feathers, probably in strips of about 3 inches.
Step 2 – Glue (or sew) loops onto the ends of the ribbon
The first real step (in assembling your headband) is to create two loops at the ends of the ribbon. These little loops are where you will hook your bobby pins, which you’ll then use to hook your headband into your hairdo for the flapper look! You’ll want to fold over the ends of the ribbon, and then you can either CAREFULLY hot glue the ends together, OR, you can sew them together (which I have done in the past, but I was lazy today and decided to just glue).
Step 3 – Glue the feather ribbon into a fan shape
You’ll next want to prep the feather ribbons to be placed onto the headbands. Start by making little “fans” with these feather strips, by accordian-folding the ribbon base. Start by just practicing how the ribbon will lay before applying any hot glue. This will give you a good idea of how the feathers will fan and will give you some time to play with the shape of the mini feather fan.
When you are comfortable with the shape the feathers have folded in to, you can begin to apply the hot glue. I start with a little dot of hot glue on the far left end, and then fold a little bit over. Then add another little dot of hot glue, and fold. Continue this pattern until you have made your little half fan, and add any additional drops of hot glue (as needed) to completely flatten out your your little feather design. See the photo on the right for what the finished product should look like. As you can see, it should resemble a little opened mini fan.
Step 4 – Lay out your ribbon strip and place any larger feathers down first
For our example, we are using a white strip of ribbon and starting off by putting down larger loose white feathers first. Hot glue these together in a little cluster. Add as many or as few as you like.
Next, add the little black fan on top of the white ones, adding layer to the headband. Feel free to play with types of feathers, colors, and shapes.
Step 5 – Add your fringe on top, and top off with any additional jewels/accessories
Finally, hot glue down your fringe strip down across the layers of feather bases, so that it covers up the random feather ends and it hangs down from the base of the ribbon. You
can top it off with rhinestones, etc. In the past, I have put a large button on top and hot glued little fake gems inside the button rim, making a little sparkly accessory.
Here is the set we made today, which you’ll be able to see during the Al Capone Charade, coming up on Saturday, November 3rd!
The perfect finishing for the headband is definitely a nice flapper bob wig! That, or some beautiful 1920s fingerwaves, if you feel the challenge!
Here are some other pictures of flapper headbands that you can make yourself, just for a little inspiration!