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Monday, October 3, 2011

Go Goth: Tutorial for a Funky Halloween Hair Fascinator

This one is a tutorial I have published in the past, but I thought I'd dig it up for the start of the Halloween season and print it here for a permanent home. Enjoy!

The finished fascinator in all its gothy glory.

Simply Fascinating
A fascinator is a hair clip with flair. Traditionally, a fascinator contains feathers and other decorative items like jewels or buttons. Make your own feathered fascinator hair clip to add a major fashion statement to any outfit. Pair this fascinator with an evening gown or a pair of jeans and it's destined to make your wardrobe more interesting.

Materials Needed
Gather the following materials to make your feathered hair fascinator:

Supplies at the ready!

  1. Hair clip. I used the large snap-style clip for mine, but any hair clip or barette that has some substance to it will work. A bobbi pin will not be suitable for this project.
  2. Felt. One standard sized sheet of felt is more than enough to make a few of these.
  3. Craft glue. This is good for a no-sew option, or to help you hold things together. You could also use hot glue, or you can skip the glue altogether.
  4. Feathers. One package of feathers was enough for me to make two fascinators and have plenty left over.
  5. Needle and thread. You could probably skip this and use glue to do the whole project; I just prefer the sewn option myself.
  6. Cameo, button, or other glue-on or sew-on embellishments. You could use several smaller pieces or one large one, depending on your taste. I used a small scrap of sparkly fabric to accent my fascinator.
  7. Scissors. You could also use a rotary cutting tool if you wanted, but plain old craft scissors work just fine.
Step by Step Instructions
Ok, after all that, let's make a feathered hair fascinator, shall we?
  • Start by cutting a rectangle of felt that is long enough and wide enough to cover your hair clip with a little extra space. 
My hair clip and the felt I cut for size comparison.

  • Place a line of glue on the felt strip, then lay out your feathers onto this rectangle. Fan them out with all the tips at the bottom short end of the felt and let the tops spread out over the felt piece. The feathers should cover the felt piece entirely on the top, so you may need to layer them well. If they hang over the sides then you've done your job.
Glue the felt strip and add the feathers.

The feathers on top of the first felt piece.

  • Cut a smaller rectangle of felt. This one needs to be the same width as the first rectangle or slightly wider, and it needs to be just tall enough to cover the tips of the feathers. You will glue your centerpiece or embellishments onto this piece of felt, so make sure it is large enough for that purpose as well.
The new piece of felt, cut to size.

  • Layer the new piece of felt on top of the feathers and sew through all three layers - felt, feathers, felt. If you want to use craft glue, glue the feathers onto the larger piece of felt and then glue the smaller piece of felt on top of the feathers. Add stitches to supplement this or leave the glue alone to do its job. For my first fascinator, I used glue and stitching; for the second I used stitching alone. 
The second piece of felt in position, with feathers sandwiched between the two pieces of felt.

  • Sew the felt and feathers together. I made running horizontal lines across the bottom felt piece, sewing a backstitch through all three layers. I made approximately four lines across the fascinator, enough so that when I tugged on the feathers they stayed in place.
  • Glue a gothic cameo onto the felt, and add sequins around the corners. For the second option, I took a small swatch of fabric and gathered it with a running stitch, then sewed a button on top of that to attach the whole thing together. You could also glue or sew several smaller sequins, jewels or buttons to the top felt piece.
The finished fascinator, ready to be sewn onto the hair clip.

  • Sew the fascinator onto the hair clip. I used a needle and thread to sew through the bottom layer of felt only, and I sewed near the top and bottom of the hair clip. You could also sew the bottom piece of felt first before doing the other steps, but it might be harder to sew the three layers together if the hair clip was already attached.
Allow your fascinator to dry if you have used glue, and it will be ready to wear.

You can also use other, less gothy, embellishments for your fascinator. Try a flower, a button or a brooch!

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