If you saw the gold feathered headband in our new “Everyday Exotic” stylebook and thought, “Wowzas! Where can I get one of those?”, look no further than this blog post!
Equipped with some common tools, jewelry parts, and the savvy of a ‘DIY-va’ (one whose crafting skills are equivalent to that of Beyoncé’s career), you’ll find that making your own boho-inspired feather headband is easy.
Now, let’s take flight!
“Everyday Exotic” Gilded Feather Headband
An Exclusive ModCloth DIY
3 sheets of sandpaper
Scissors (any old pair will do!)
1 brass metal sheet (.005 thickness, 4″ x 10″ sheet)
5-7 jump rings (the number needed will depend on how many feathers you choose to make)
3 buckles for end-of-rope fasteners
1 hook clasp
10 crimp beads
3 yards of various cord/rope
First, we’ll make the feathers, and then tackle crafting the headpiece!
1. Grab your brass sheet metal and scissors, and start cutting an array of feather shapes. The sheet metal should feel flexible, but not too flimsy. (Be careful when cutting the metal; sharp edges can form very easily.)
These are the shapes I cut. For the headpiece worn by the model in our “Everyday Exotic” stylebook, I made seven feathers in graduated lengths.
2. Next, use your scissors to create the feather’s slits. Cut in from the edges, towards the center of the sheet. Some of the thinner slivers will curl at the ends as you do this. If they curl, flatten them back out by pressing them down with something flat (I used the flat end of my nearby X-Acto knife). Make sure to leave some room in the center, so that your feather stays sturdy!
3. Use sandpaper to smooth out any sharp edges and corners. Stroke the sandpaper in one direction carefully, as to not bend or break any pieces off.
4. Using the tip of your X-Acto knife, cut into the brass with long strokes from the center towards the edge to create thin, smooth lines along the surface. This will give the feather more dimension. Don’t worry about cutting through the brass, the X-Acto knife will only penetrate enough to make light lines.
5. With your X-Acto knife still in hand, round out the edges similar to how you would curl a ribbon with scissors.
6. You’re almost done with your first feather! To finish, take your pliers, and fasten the ends of the a small foldover connector around the skinny tip of the feather. Now that you’ve finished one — make as many as your heart desires! I found that 6 or 7 is generally the magic number for this particular style.
7. Onto the headband! Using the color(s) of your choice — my favorite combination is two terracotta-hued strands with one medium brown strand — measure out three pieces of rope at an arm’s length.
9. Time to braid! To stabilize your strands while you weave, tape the fastened end to the edge of a surface. Add flecks of gold into the braid by periodically sliding your gold crimp beads onto the strands. Not sure how to make a braid? For shame! JK, but if you didn’t learn this handy skill in the third grade, then check out this helpful tutorial.
10. Braid to your desired length. It’s helpful to take a piece of yarn, and trim it to the circumference of a headform, which can be found at a beauty store such as Sally’s Beauty Supply. If you don’t have a mannequin to work with, your own or a friend’s noggin will work just fine. When measuring, I found 21.75″ to be a good standard length that fits most!
11. Once you complete your braid, add a large foldover connector to secure the other end. Attach a hook or lobster clasp with a jump ring to the loop on the connector. Use the clasp to connect to any opening on the other end of the braid, and your headband is easily adjustable!
12. Using your pliers, open up a jump ring, and pull it through a gap in the braid. Slide the connector on the end of the feather through the jump ring, and close it shut. Repeat this step for the number of feathers that you have. I spaced mine about an inch or so apart from each other, and positioned the feathers so the curled edges were facing away from the head — which will help prevent them from catching a hold of your hair! If you want, add loops of metal chains to your headband.
13. Voila! Project complete! If desired, to smooth out the edges even more, you can coat the ends of the finished feathers with clear nail polish.