Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Right off the bat I'm going to apologize for not taking step by step pics of another project. I get a little overly enthused when I'm starting a new project and tend to get ahead of myself. And for that, I apologize.

Now, on with the post. My little sister's senior prom is this Saturday. She has a gorgeous black mermaid style gown, it has a sheer overlay with silver beading and a few subtle delicate feathers sewn onto the skirt. She wanted a feather fascinator to wear in her hair. They are all the rage these days and with the vintage look of the gown and the feather details, it is just the accessory called for. However, the one she tried on in the dress shop was........wait for it.......$120.00! No, I did not misplace the decimal there. Over a hundred dollars for a handful of feathers and a rhinestone.

She waited a bit too late to try and find one for a better value on ebay or etsy, so I offered to make one. There are tutorials all over, several on this page.  I ran to the craft store to pick up some feathers and a piece of felt, and since I thought bagged rhinestones simply hot glued on looked sort of cheap, especially for a once in a lifetime event, we met at the mall to find another piece of jewelry to hack and add to it. We scored a chunky rhinestone ring and a smaller hair accessory with silver flowers at Claire's that I thought I could go all Frankenstein on.

Here's how it came out:

black feather rhinestone fascinator

This is how I made it.

First I assembled all of my supplies:

Black felt
Black feathers
Artificial flowers (taken from existing hair clip)
Alligator clip (taken from same existing hair clip)
Rhinestone accent (I used a ring, a broach or an earring would work as well)
Glue gun
Glue sticks
First aid burn cream (trust me)

I carefully dissected the flower hair clip from Claire's.  I peeled the old glue off the clip and cut the ugly plastic stamens from the center of the flowers.

Next I cut a circle of felt.  I traced a cup using a yellow colored pencil, but you could easily free hand it.  Then I glued the alligator clip to the felt.  I cut a small oval of felt and glued that over the top portion of the alligator clip, sandwiching it between the 2 peices of fabric to make a more secure attachment.

Here is a picture of the back so you can see what I mean.

black feather rhinestone fascinator

Once I had the clip glued on I just started arranging feathers and gluing them to the other side.  This was the trickiest thing to do without getting burned because feathers don't offer much of a protective barrier between hot glue and your tender flesh.

When I was satisfied with my circle of feathers, I glued one of the flowers into the center.  When I glued the second flower, I made sure to turn it a bit so that the petals wouldn't line up and you could see both layers.

At this point I pulled apart some feathers and made a huge mess in the living room.  It looked like we had slaughtered a flock of crows.  But I managed to get a few pieces with only the fluffy bits attached and glued them over the center of the flowers.

Then I started pulling them apart with the exact opposite intention.  I stripped down 6 to nothing but a small smooth bit on the end and the middle stick shaft part. The correct term for this is the rachis, but who's ever heard of that or would know what I was talking about.  Not me that's for sure, I looked it up.  I tried to find feathers with a curve or bend to them for this part because I wanted them to curl up and away from the flower.  I played around with how to place them, and once I trimmed them down I rolled some glue around the end and just stuck them in under the flower petals.

I thought this would be the last step.  I bent the actual ring part away from the big rhinestone setting and back and forth until it broke off.  It was really inexpensive costume jewelry with an adjustable band, so this was not difficult at all.  Then I globbed on a generous amount of glue and stuck it in the middle.

I reviewed my work and the thing just looked enormous.  I decided to trim some of the feathers, but it was obvious I had cut some of them because the edges no longer looked soft, so I had to glue in some small feathers between the flower petals on top of the trimmed ones to disguise them.

The very last step was to lift up the feathers from the felt backing and add in a little glue where I could between layers to make it a bit sturdier.  The last thing I wanted was for the weight of the rhinestone and flowers to pull apart from the feathers halfway through my sister's night.  And here's one more shot of it that really shows off the bling in the middle.

black feather rhinestone fascinator

And the cost:

Feathers - $1.50
Silver Flower Hair Clip - 5.50
Costume Ring - 8.50
Black Felt - 0.47
2 glue sticks - 0.19

For a total of:  $16.16, that's a savings of $103.84.  Totally worth a few glue burns, even if you don't have an awesome little sister going to her last prom.

This post linked to:
Type A: Anything Goes Party #18
DIY by Design: Swing into Spring


  1. I absolutely love it. I hope you take some pictures of her all dressed up.

  2. Wow! Good for you! That is beautiful and at a much more reasonable price! I can't wait to see pictures of her wearing it!

  3. my god I would never have paid that price, glad you figured it out and tried it out yourself, it's so cute

  4. Awesome! That is fantastic! You could make those and sell them.

  5. Cool! Very pretty!

  6. This is so cute, I can't wait to see some pics of out on if you take any!

  7. Wow! Wow at the 120.00 price and wow at your lovely piece here! Nice job!

  8. That's incredible! Great job, and I can't wait to see pictures of her with it!