Making a fascinator headband

On Tuesday, I attended the Crowns, the Gospel Musical with my friends, and with the theme being hats, we decided to adorn our heads as well.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Since I tend to have trouble finding hats (they’re always to big on me), I opted for a fascinator  instead.

A vintage store told me fascinators are “a modern, British Royal Family thing,” but my instinct proved right that they’ve been around for ages: Some fascinating facts and historical notes about the Fascinator.

“During the reign of Louis XVI, some women of the French court embellished their elaborate, sky-high coiffures with plumes and sprays of flowers, while others drew stares of amazement at their poufs au sentiment, a display of cherished memorabilia nestled in their bouffant hair.”

~ Debra Mancoff and Michal Raz-Russo in Fascinating Fascinators: What’s in a Name?

Even Marjorie Goodman wore a ‘fascinator’ bow in a 1918 photograph. She is the daughter of Kenneth Sawyer Goodman, after whom the Goodman Theatre is named.


My initial visual came from a long-ago fascinator post by Princess Lasertron. Having made her headband, I felt confident to take on a fascinator headband project of my own. I searched for some tutorials online, and liked this feather fascinator, but I could not find any bagged white feathers in local craft stores last week. Michaels had some fun flowers I wanted to play with, Vogue Fabrics had bins of lace appliques and bridal pins, and I also got the birdcage tulle and a fascinator piece from there.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

I looked up birdcage veils, and took cues from this tutorial for my veil on the headband. Since I want the headband to be versatile, I decided to wire-wrap the veil to the headband instead of gluing it on.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

This will allow me to recycle the veil for something else.

photo and project copyright Maike's Marvels

I sewed and hot-glued the flowers and a butterfly from a Charming Charlie’s necklace to the fascinator piece.

photo and project copyright Maike's Marvels

I then glued this piece to the headband.

photo and project copyright Maike's Marvels

The pearl necklace was a vintage find Crystal Neubauer gifted me with, and adds a touch of festiveness. I wire-wrapped this with the bridal flowers as well. It’s secure enough for the night, but again I can remove this for a dressed-down version.

photo and project copyright Maike's Marvels

I’m really happy with the result.

photo and project copyright Maike's Marvels

At the pre-show dinner, even my risotto had a fascinator.

The Musical itself was wonderful. The hats become reference points for reflections and observations about life by five women, who try to reach out to a struggling teenager with these stories. As the title hints at, there is Gospel singing, but it is steeped in the vast history of African music, with nods to modern hip-hop as well.

The hats are fabulous, of course, as is the set, the costuming, and the flow of the play, produced and directed by Regina Taylor, whom I met at the Black History Month Dinner. It was universal, had heart, and also taught me a bit about culture and history. If you’re in Chicago, I highly recommend getting tickets while the show is still on through the beginning of August.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

After the show, we flaunted our hats a bit more, now having learned how to wear them and what not to do when greeting someone in a hat.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Do you think I should wear it to Bug Fest Friday evening? It does have a lepidoptera on it…

1 thoughts on “Making a fascinator headband

  1. Crystal Neubauer says:

    I’m fascinated with your fascinator! You did a great job and I’m absolutely loving that you found something so suitable to do with the necklace! The musical sounds like it would be right up my ally. Great post Maike!

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