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August 5, 2011

Attending a Cocktail Party? Make Your Own Fascinator Hat!

I’m really excited to introduce my guest today. Maddy Barone writes romance and has a love of all things paranormal. In her own words, “I’ve been writing since junior high. Werewolves, time travel and handsome princes who can wield magic and lead armies are my thing. Any damsel in distress that I write can darned well rescue herself and if the hero’s ego can’t take that, then he’s not a hero. I want strong men who can respect their ladies and treat them like partners, not dainty little dolls. Is there anything sexier than a tough man who finds that one perfect woman and is willing to do anything for her?”

Maddy is also a keen member of SCA, a non-profit education organization that studies the renaissance and middle ages. She gets to dress up, mainly in garb from the Italian Renaissance but she has Japanese, Viking and Byzantine garb too. Just quietly – she has a rather cool steampunk outfit that I have my eye on. I’m very tempted to launch a surprise attack from New Zealand to nab it for myself!

Today Maddy is taking us through the process of making our own fascinator hat. Give her a warm welcome. Over to Maddy…

How to Make a Fascinator Hat

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge (nee Kate Middleton) has made fascinators the newest rage in headwear. Appropriate for every social event from weddings to the races to cocktail parties, a fascinator can add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. But –gulp!—have you seen the prices?! Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to make it yourself? I made this one for $10.00 (USD) in 40 minutes.

Fascinator Hat


Do you think you need to be a milliner to be able to make a fascinator hat? Well, you don’t! All you need are a few things you already have around the house and a couple things from a craft store.

Fascinator Materials


A round base. This can be a ready-made sinamay base available from some millinery supply stores and Etsy.com, or a small plastic lid covered with fabric.

Veiling. About 12-15 inches (30-37 cm) This can be purchased from bridal supply stores, eBay, Etsy. But you can do without it too. Use tulle or take a veil off some old hat from the thrift store.

Feathers. I bought mine at JoAnn Fabric & Crafts. I used:
a half-pinwheel of black feathers
a 3 inch piece of black and white marabou feather boa
2 red feather clumps

A focal piece. I used a brooch from my grandmother. You might use a silk flower, a fancy button, a cute bow, a rhinestone earring or clip.

Fastener. I’m using an old black plastic headband. You could use a comb, a clip, a barret or elastic.

Needle and thread or glue. I sewed my items on so I could remove them and re-make the hat with other items and colors, but you could easily use a glue gun if you prefer.

1. If you will be using veiling, gather it to a length that will go half way around your base. Stitch or glue in place along the back edge. If it looks a little wonky that’s okay. The wearer can use hair pins to put the edges in place.

Fascinator 1

2. Begin adding your feathers, layering them in whichever fashion you like best. I sewed the pinwheel on first. See what big ugly stitches I used? I plan to take this off and remake it sometime to go with a different outfit. Big stitches are easier to remove, and who is ever going to see them?

Fasinator 2

Fascinator 2

3. When the feather layer is secured by stitching or glue, add your focal piece. I used my grandmother’s brooch. I can take it off and replace it with another one to change my color scheme.

4. Stitch or glue the fascinator to the headband or whichever fastening method you chose.

5. Try on the fascinator. Pretend your hair is perfect, your eyes are dramatically made up and your lips have that 1950s red pout. Use hair pins to arrange the veil in the most flattering way.

You’re done!! Congratulations! You have a fascinator hat to wear to your next cocktail party!

Fasinator Fascinator

Wolf's GloryWolf’s Glory

After the Crash, Book 2

When goth-girl Glory Peterson’s plane crashes she walks to find help. What she finds are people living in teepees like it’s the Old West. Wolf’s Shadow knows Glory is his mate. Glory’s happy to take a roll in the hay with him while she’s waiting for transportation back to civilization, but when she finds out she’s gone fifty years into the future and Shadow is a bossy werewolf who thinks he owns her, her attitude changes fast. Shadow is used to giving orders that are obeyed. Glory hasn’t obeyed an order since kindergarten. When two strong-willed lovers clash, who will win?

Available from Liquid Silver Books Now

Visit Maddy Barone to learn more about Maddy and her books.

CONTEST: Book one in Maddy Barone’s series, After the Crash, is actually one of the ebooks in the ebook bundle I’m giving away. The contest closes soon. Details of how to enter are on my contest page.


  1. Mary Kirkland

    That’s pretty cool and it looks easy to make.

  2. Ciara Knight

    What a fabulous hat! You made it look so easy. :)

    • Maddy Barone

      Thank you! It really is easy, Ciara. It’s just feathers and glue. Hard to go wrong with those. ;)

  3. Elizabeth Gibson

    I love it! Now, I need to someplace to go. :)

    • Maddy Barone

      Me too! The only place I go where I might possibly wear a hat is church. And this sort of hat just doesn’t quite suit that atmosophere.

  4. Shelley Munro

    Welcome, Maddy. I’m definitely going to try to make one of these. I’m off to the Melbourne Cup in Nov. It’s a big horse race down this end of the world.

    Thanks so much for the great post.

    • Maddy Barone

      Thank YOU Shelley, for hosting me. I hope you have aq terrific time at the Melbourne Cup. Post pictures of your fascinator, okay? I love looking at these.

  5. N.J. Walters

    Very cool. You make it look easy. :)

    • Maddy Barone

      Thanks, N.J. I relly love hats. But where can I wear something like this? Well, I’m hoping to go to RT next summer. Surely there will be at least one party where a hat like this will be appropriate, right?

  6. Tamsyn

    This is a really lovely hat! Thanks for showing how it can be made too. Looks easy although I suppose its going to take some time and effort to make it look good on me! :o)
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Tamsyn

    PS: Is that a cartouche I see in the final photographs? Do you sew the hat piece onto this?

    • Maddy Barone

      Hi, Tamsyn! I don’t know what a cartouche is. This is one of those plastic, U-shaped things that women wear to keep their hair off their faces. In the US we call them handbands. I just used big stitcehs to sew the hat onto it. It flops around a little bit but once it’s on the head it stays put. :)

  8. sandra cox

    Thanks for sharing your talents. Love the hat.

  9. Ju Dimello

    Hi Maddy, That’s a great hat !!! Thanks for the simple, super-duper way to make it ourselves :)

    Might have to try it one of these days.. I love all things “hand crafted”

  10. Heather

    Pretty cool, Maddy!