Fall Hair Decor Tutorial - Making feather pads for fascinators

So I thought I'd share a little tutorial for anyone out there who wants to try their hand at making a hair accessory lovingly referred to as a "Fascinator."  This easy project is perfect for DIY weddings - make hair pieces for your bridesmaids to wear!  They're certainly cute enough to wear again!

It's very easy, and about as time consuming as a trip to the craft store.  The total cost of materials, assuming you don't have any of these items on hand at home, would be around $10-15, with the biggest cost being the glue, which you can use again and again and again!  You'll also have materials left over, so you could ideally make at least 4 of these.

Materials needed:

  • Scrap of wool felt (felt with actual wool content works the best for me.  I like National Nonwoven's, with at least 30% wool fiber content)
  • 20-30 pheasant ringneck feathers (or whatever feathers you like.  Black and white dot guinea fowl also looks fantastic!  Tons of feathers for sale on Etsy - do a search under "supplies")
  • small metal alligator clip
  • A strong, flexible glue - hot glue works pretty good, but you might consider E6000 for long term use

The first step is to cut an oval of felt.  Really, more of an egg shape.  I usually cut mine around 2" wide and 3" inches in length.

Next, strip the feathers.  All you do is simply hold the spine of the feather in one hand, and grab the downy feathers and pull them down the spine toward the bottom.   Be somewhat gentle, or the spine might break!

Clip the spine to the desired length, and voila.  I usually start at the top of the felt egg and leave the spines a bit longer, and as I get closer to the bottom, I trim them up to where the pretty, smooth feather starts.  The feathers will vary at bit in size, and I generally start with the larger feathers at the top and graduate the size with the smallest at the bottom.  Because I do a million of these a day, I organize by feather pattern (some are more circular, some are more narrow with vertical lines) and size so I can work fast.

When you're ready, take up your glue and draw a line across the larger end of the felt egg.  Place your feathers across the top like so:

Continue layering like this, and sort of "round out the edges" - place the outside feathers at a slight angle and work toward the center and down, graduating the number of feathers in the row as you reach the bottom.  Sorry I didn't take a picture of this, but you'll get the idea from the picture of the finished product below.

When your glue dries a bit, flip it over and this is what you'll see:

So now you want to attach your small metal alligator clip.  I like the kind with two little prongs (like I always imagine there might be in an old school beauty shop when someone is having their hair done up in curls.)  You can cover the clip with a nice bit of ribbon first, or not.  Whatever you prefer.

Simply place and glue!

Oooooh, zebra surprise!

 When you're finished, you can embellish with cute buttons, vintage findings, silk flowers, or just about anything you can think of!  Here's a couple I did this afternoon:

Get creative and try different types of feathers.  You can also attach the feather pad to a headband.

If you like this tutorial, please follow my blog!  There will be more tutorials to come, including DIY wedding projects, restoring vintage hats, crafting handmade flowers, etc.

Happy crafting!


  1. This is gorgeous! I'd love it if you'd link up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's!

  2. Thanks Ashlee, I will! And your cake this week is gorgeous! :)


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