DIY peacock feather fascinator

I’m getting married later this year, and pretty much the only wedding thing I am interested in, besides marrying my SO and visiting with my best friend/maid of honor, is what I’m going to wear.  I am so not a wedding person.  If I had my way, we’d be eloping, but I hear this funny thing about “compromise” in marriage.  (I agreed to do a courthouse wedding, and I expect him to agree to get me a unicorn.)

One of the other ways I’m compromising is by NOT wearing a turquoise dress — my SO has requested that I wear something in the general vicinity of white.   He didn’t say anything about my accessories, though, so I am sneaking turquoise and cobalt in wherever I can.   Since I’ve always loved peacock feathers, a fascinator was a no-brainer.   I may choose to use this with a birdcage veil later (I am going early-60’s-retro), but it stands boldly on its own.

Pinterest and Etsy have an excess of inspiration — by browsing through both, I decided I wanted to do a fascinator with long, curving sword feathers, the classic tail feathers, and a vintage-style earring or button for the base point.  But how?  Why?  How do you curl the feathers?  How are the fascinators constructed?  How do they hang on to your hair?  Can I have some more cheese?

I’m no expert (for that, please visit my talented and wonderful friend at Made in the Haight) but here’s what I did after much arranging/rearranging/agonizing.

Time estimate: 1-2 hours, including planning

What you will need:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Several peacock tail feathers
  • Several peacock sword feathers
  • Felt in a coordinating color (I used dark green)
  • A center piece (I used a retro-styled earring from Forever 21)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Bobby pin(s) or alligator clip or small hair comb

How many of each feather you will need will depend on your design and how many feathers you can curl and/or trim without mangling them. I used four tail feathers and three sword feathers total (including mishaps/design changes), but your mileage may vary.  For me, it made sense to buy in “bulk” because I intend to use the remaining feathers in other crafts and wedding crapola.

I also chose to use two bobby pins to hold my fascinator in place, because my hair is straight as a board and very slippery.  A comb might be study enough to hold it in an updo, but then I’m pretty limited to wearing it one way. (I might want to go to the Kentucky Derby, you know!)  One bobby pin isn’t quite enough to not slide out of my hair, so I used two, spacing them a quarter inch apart.  This gave me the traction I needed, while also remaining easily hidden.

Finally, I’m happy with this design because it looks nice in several different positions — up, down, sideways, on either side of my head or in the back, it’s versatile.

Here’s a great tutorial on making a different fascinator — but also how to cut and curl feathers.  It’s basically like curling ribbon, but you do it gently and repeatedly.

Now, the back, with bobby pins attached — I glued all of the feathers to the felt, which was about an inch across, then glued the earring/button on top of the felt and feathers.  After everything was glued and I could evaluate what showed and what didn’t, I trimmed the felt so that it remains completely hidden.  (I have no idea how to make this look pretty and professional, but no one will see it.  Except for the whole internet.)

The curly feathers on the top and middle are the long, skinny feathers on the bottom of a peacock tail feather.  I curled them while they were still attached, then snipped at the base.

And finally, here is the fascinator pinned in my (quite messy) updo!

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