CRAFT Project: Vintage-Style Headband

St. Patrick’s Day is next week, and if you plan on celebrating you might be looking for something to wear that’s a bit more stylish than a green plastic bowler hat or leprechaun sweater vest. CRAFT is here to help! Here’s how to whip up a unique, vintage-style headband you can customize for any holiday.

• Fabric-covered headband (the skinny kind — Goody makes a nice one)
• Assorted millinery supplies: fabric flowers, leaves, etc.
• Felt and/or fabric scraps
• Buttons and ribbon
• Assorted jewelry supplies like charms and beads
• Needle and thread
• Fabric glue
I like to start the process by spreading out a bunch of supplies. Experimentation is key with these headbands and it’s nice to have a variety of supplies at the ready. You probably won’t use half of what you lay out for yourself, but it’s nice to have everything handy when inspiration strikes. Keep in mind that the materials used in the project are all unique, but you’ll get a general idea of how to combine these elements for maximum impact.
Since this particular headband is meant to be worn for St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to create a teeny four-leaf clover from wool felt. If you’d like to do the same, simply cut out 4 fat teardrop shapes and stitch the points together with green thread. Then grab a sparkly bead (mine is chartreuse-colored glass) and sew or glue it into the center of the clover. Set the clover aside for now.
Next you’ll want to add some floral interest to your headband. I love the fresh look of these vintage linen flowers I got at French General, so I picked out 3 and sewed the stems together about 1" from the base of the flowers. Snip off the excess stems. If your flowers have boring centers, you can gussy them up a bit by adding a small rhinestone, bead, or the like with a dab of fabric glue. I glued in some gold stamens (also from French General, available on their site under Notions and Kits and then Millinery). Once your flower bunch is ready, sew it onto the headband using coordinating thread. The nice thing about using a fabric-covered headband is that it gives you a surface to stitch decorations on to, unlike a hard plastic headband.
Next, I found some pretty chocolate-colored velvet ribbon and folded it 3 times, stitching the ends together as shown. Then I stitched the ribbon onto the headband so the raw ribbon edge and raw flower bunch edges are touching. Then I found a raffia leaf (you could also cut one from fabric or use a feather) and stitched it onto the back side of the flower/ribbon bunch.
I decided that my headband needed a bit more sparkle, so I stitched on a loop of gold embroidery floss over the velvet ribbons, and also sewed a gold button to the back of the headband, covering the raw end of the raffia leaf.
The last thing you’ll want to do is add the felt four-leaf clover you made. I stitched mine on in the spot where the flower stems and ribbon bunches meet. As you can see, this helps hide any raw edges and gives the headband a nicely finished look. That’s it! The shot above shows the front and back views, although you can of course wear the headband any way you wish.
Here are some more headbands I’ve been making. The possibilities are endless!

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Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

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