The Devil is in the Details: Creating Your Own Fascinator at Home

Headpieces by @pinkspots
Photography by @kristisneddon
Words by Anastasiia F. and Lia G

Lia is an accidental Milliner. She works as an Art Director and Designer and the hats developed more out of necessity than any well-hatched fashion career. Her original pieces were created from paper and a glue gun and were intended to be worn only for a photo shoot to add some drama. Then she started getting orders...

We asked Lia to give us her best advice. Her answer? “Reflect your own style. You wear the hat - it should not wear you.” Trends are always in flux and the best hats we’ve seen are exquisitely unique, so take the opportunity to tell your story.


Lia says it’s best to work with a range of materials - especially unconventional ones. She defines her formula as something for texture, something for volume, something for height and a little something soulful. For this project, we stuck to items easily found close to home. You can find tulle, netting, lace, chiffon, silk at any local fabric store. Feathers can be found in the floral department of many craft stores. If you are after something a little more exotic, you can order online from millinery supply shops.

You don’t need anything complicated to make your own fascinator at home. All you need is:
- Scissors
- Light gauge floral wire
- Thread
- Wire cutters
- Glue gun + glue sticks


BASE: You can use a headband or clip, or if you prefer something larger you can order a sinimay base online.

FEATHERS: Shape or strip the feathers of your choice into more desirable shapes or combine them in small groups.

FLORAL: If creating your own silk petals is too intimidating you can pick up ready made pieces from a craft/floral shop. I tend to remove the hard plastic centres from these and reconstruct them to add my own touch when needed. If you are extra ambitious,  you can tint or dye them to complement your outfit.

EMBELLISHMENTS: Find some fun ribbons or lace in contrasting colours or texture to help make it pop! Lia loves to salvage old bits and bobs of jewelry as well.


STEP ONE >> Secure Base Feathers

Secure your largest base feathers to your headband or clip. If using large feathers like ostrich or pheasant you may want to reinforce with light floral wire for better security by twisting around the headband and security with a small spot of hot glue.

STEP TWO >>  Build Texture
With your prepared florals and feathers, layer them in and secure with the glue gun.  

STEP THREE  >> Create Contrast
Add decorative accents of a contrasting colour and/or texture to create visual interest.

STEP FOUR >> Add Volume
Your fascinator should look appealing from all angles. Make sure you try it on as you go to see how it will look when worn. At this stage, I will often add some tulle or veiling to fill out areas that may feel a bit flat.

STEP FIVE >> Embellish
This is your chance to add a little sparkle! Include any gems or jewelry you find attractive and tack them either with thread/needle, hot glue or E6000 (depending on what type of backing the embellishment has).

Lia says that there is still a lot of large dramatic brims, minimal forms, boater styles and cartwheel hats for derbies. Rose gold and floral/leaf forms are also quite trendy in the bridal world. Derbies give you a chance to play with things that are a little more fanciful and sculptural. You want to have something that feels more like wearable art.

It is impossible to learn millinery overnight. “Trust me I've tried," says Lia. It requires a lot of specialized equipment and costly materials, not to mention training. But you can certainly construct a fashionable piece of your own to wear for fun events. Here are a few tips as to how you can fake it till you make it:

- Make sure you size your head so your base will be comfortable to wear.
- Create a mood board of styles on Pinterest for reference in case you get stuck for ideas.
- Have a general plan and prepare your pieces.
- If you are building a larger sculptural piece - make sure it is well supported.
- Consider what it looks like from all angles.
- Affect the material in a personal way, hand-painting etc. don’t just glue gun the entire floral section on a headband ;)
- Try it on as you go to see how it complements your face and outfit.


  1. I make hats,hatinator and fascinator in Calgary. Check my site

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