How To Make A Wedding Fascinator (Video 1 to 6)

DIY Wedding Hat

This epic How To blog post which will teach you How To Make A Wedding Fascinator. Broken down into 6 videos, Janie Lawson of Glam Hatters will teach you with step-by-step video instructions and links in the text to where to buy the materials needed.

How To Make A Wedding Hat


Video 1 of 6. How To Make A Wedding Fascinator

How To Make A Wedding Fascinator (Part 1)

1. How To Tie A Milliner’s Knot 

Hi Guys, I’m Janie from Glam Hatters and today I’m going to teach how to make a wedding fascinator but first you need to learn to tie a milliner’s knot. When I’m teaching at Glam Hatters I’m always asked how to tie a milliner’s knot! So, what I would say with your thread is that you really don’t want it too long. I know it’s tempting to make your thread really long. Because you think you’re not going to be able to thread it up and you don’t want to keep having to thread it up but….YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO THREAD IT UP A LOT!!! Milliners say, Long thread, lazy girl!!!

Wedding Fascinator Tutorial

You want your thread to be one arm, two arms, and cut it here. And then you’re going to thread one piece through your needle. Once you’ve cut it with your sharp scissors, take one end of the thread, and pop it through the needle. Then pull it down so you’ve got two threads, making a double thread. Pull the ends together and now this is the clever bit…

This is the milliner’s knot.

  1. Pinch the thread between your fingers.
  2. Wrap it around your index finger and then take it with the other hand between your index finger and your thumb.
  3. Then stir it, imagine you are stirring a cup of coffee. The more you stir the bigger the knot.
  4. Take the two short ends and thread them through (the loop). You will end up with a nice big knot….You need a nice big knot for millinery because if you’re using things like sinamay, which happens a lot, you can see it’s very holy and you don’t want the knot to just pop straight through. So, nice big knot, trim off the ends and you’re ready to make some fabulous hats.

    Video 2 of 6 How To Make A Wedding Fascinator 

How To Make A Wedding Fascinator (Part 2)

2. How To Attach The Base To The Headband 

Today what I really want to teach you is How To Make A Wedding Fascinator, but what I don’t want to do is give you a really long video that you don’t want to watch and is going to get a bit boring! So I’ve split it up into 5 6 videos!! In this video I’m going to show you how to attach a fascinator base to a head band. You can get both of these on Amazon, Ebay and places like that. You don’t have to buy them in bulk, you can buy them in ones. If you want to make a really nice hat for Ascot or for The Kentucky Derby these are the kind of things you want.

How To Attach A Fascinator Base

  1. To attach it look for the seam at the back. I use that to show myself where the back point is. Now I’ve already threaded up my needle with a milliners knot (see above video!)
  2. When I start sewing these on, I always start sewing from underneath and I always start from the thick piece. I’m going to go through, do a little stitch on top. You don’t want big stitches on top.
  3. Keep going along the band. Now there’s two ways of doing this, you can either do a whole load of stitches at each end or you can work your way along. I think it’s better to work your way along. You’re now going to see me doing that and we’re going to speed it up for you so you don’t get bored!
  4. Wow ladies! Once you’ve got all of your stitches in you are going to need to do a little tie off stitch. You’re going to go back through, and then you’re going to hold on to this stitch. You don’t want to pull it all the way through. So I’m going to grab it here, then do a small stitch on the other side and go back through the middle of this knot. It’s not a knot, it’s a loop!!! I’m going to go through the middle of the loop. I’m going to do that twice so it’s nice and secure. So I hold onto my stitch, little stitch at the top, through the middle and then pull it nice and tight.
  5. Trim it off and have a good look. Cool!

The great thing about these bands is that you can move it along. With different hair styles you can wear it different ways. I’ve got my parting on this side today so if I was wearing this hat – which would have lots of feathers and quills and flowers and veiling on, I’d put it on this side here. But if it was a different way I could move it around.

And that’s how you start your hat, that’s how you attach your first bit. I always put the band on first because that way you can just work around the band. If you try and put the band on at the end you’re working in between all the feathers and quills and you might pull them down and crush them. So that’s my advice guys, fascinator on to a band, first job, done, tick!!!

Video 3 of 6 How To Make A Wedding Fascinator

How To Make A Wedding Fascinator (Part 3)

 3. How To Make Fabric Roses 

This video is all about How To Make A Wedding Fascinator Using Fabric Roses. I absolutely love these, I think they look so vintage. Once you’ve got your sinamay rose done you can add tulle and sinamay. Wrap it around and play around with the sculptural stretch shape of it. You will then add it to your base that you would have sewn to a head band in the last video.

We are going to start out focusing on the sinamay roses. Sinamay is a really lovely material, us milliners use it a lot.

How To Make Fabric Roses

  1. To start your rose take your pins, these are from Tiger. We have Tiger in London, not sure what you have in America, probably Hobbycraft or something like that. Nice big pins are really useful. I’ve already cut my strip from sinamay which I have folded on to the bias and cut (see next video!) Then tuck it in on each side.
  2. Now fold one end, and I’m just going to start turning it. These look really complicated but they are actually really simple.
  3. Once I’ve got the beginning I’m going to flip it over, and I’m carrying on around. And flip over again, and carry on around. Now we are going to go onto time-lapse so you don’t get bored watching me flip this around but you get the idea! I’m pulling, I’m turning, I’m squiggling and I’m basically getting it to go around in a circle.
  4. Once I’ve got almost to the end, I’m still hanging onto it so it doesn’t flip up. I’ve got my long pin and I’m going to push it through and go all the way up to the middle. You need to do this 3 times to hold everything in place. It looks quite tight at the moment compared to my sample rose, but that’s because once I start to sew it, it all loosens out. But you need it tight to begin with.
  5. Leave this end for the moment and you’re going to tuck that up once you’ve finished your sewing. So there is the beginning of my little rose.
  6. Now I’m going to take my double thread. I’ve got a double thread with a milliners knot at the end. I’m going to start sewing from underneath and I’m going to push it up all the way through. It’s quite difficult getting all the way through these layers. Take the pins out as you go. If you find it really hard on your fingers just push it into the table, and then pull it through the top. You’re literally getting this through any way you can! So just keep going with it.
  7. What you’re really being careful of is these pins because you don’t want to get blood on your fascinator! So just try and work your way around them. Ok guys (phew!) so I’ve got all my stitches in and I’ve taken my pins out.
  8. I’ve got my little rose and I’ve got this bit here. This is quite handy because it’s quite messy under here so I’m just going to tuck it under. Put a pin in it, and then tidy up the underneath bit by doing a few more stitches under here. Take my pin out as I go and finish with a little double stitch. See how I’m going through the loop? That keeps everything nice and secure. Trim the end off and there you have your sinamay rose!

Three of these on a hat in a row look absolutely lovely. And that is how you make decorations for your Ascot hat!

*Top Tip 1 – If the strength in your hands is not so brilliant, use pliers to pull the needle through. That’s the best way and you can use a thimble too. I’m just a bit hardcore because I do this a lot, it doesn’t necessarily mean I know what I’m doing but I have done it before!

*Top Tip 2 – Take your pins out as you go so you know where you’ve been and you won’t panic about whether it is going to come undone.

Video 4 of 6 How To Make A Wedding Fascinator

How To Make A Wedding Fascinator (Part 4)

How To Make A Wedding Hat

4. How To Decorate a Wedding Hat With Quills 

Hi Guys, this is part of my How To Make A Wedding Fascinator series of videos. We’ve done a few, we’ve done one about how to tie a milliner’s knot, how to make sinamay roses, how to attach a fascinator to a fascinator band. This one is super fun and I’m going to show you what to do with these quills. At the moment they look like,oh yeah, wow, they’d be amazing on a hat but they’re quite big and quite spikey, what’s she going to do with those?!!”

This is what I’m going to do…

  1. The reason you need 2 pairs of scissors is you need your sharp pair for cutting your thread and your blunt pair for cracking your quills.
  2. This is a quill and this is how I’m going to crack it. Open up your scissors and crack. You’re wondering what I’m doing aren’t you?! What I’m doing is stopping it being so spikey. And just having a little bit more movement in here which means I can put it on a hat and you can still get through the door way! You can see it’s already starting to take on a different shape. You have to be quite tough and just crack it like that. The more you crack the more curve you have.
  3. On places you’ve cracked before you’re then going to go in between those lines and do some more. Because what I want to start seeing is more of a curve. So I’m just going to keep going and going and going! You can see it’s starting to work it’s way up and you start to manipulate the shape to get what you want and what will work with your hat. You just take your time with this because it is quite a sculptural process so you can just keep going and going.
  4. Now personally I don’t really like these really big bits at the end so I tend to just snip them off. Give it a bit of a wiggle, the thing about that is you’re then left with this white thing. Now here’s a secret, these are all painted. When you buy these someone’s already painted them. You don’t actually get them in this colour in the wild!
  5. So, felt tips, you can get them from anywhere. You can get them from Sainsbury’s, you can get them from Tiger. You just colour the end because you want it to have a nice finish when it’s on your hat. Then once you’ve done a bit of colouring put your glasses on and then do some more!
  6. OK now I’m going to have a trial of it on my hat. That’s starting to look pretty fun. I can have it coming up like this and I can make another one to swirl around beside it.
  7. I take the second one and again I’m cracking with my scissors.
  8. A trick with this is, you can see how thick this is, how much trouble I had cutting it. To try and sew through that is really tricky. I make an artificial button hole so that I can then sew through. I get my big pin, lay it down and I push the pin through, wiggle it around and I start to have a button hole. Then I take it a little bit further down, The same thing again and one more time. (So three times you do that.) That allows you to stitch in.
  9. I’ve got my thread, I’ve got my quill and I’ve got my 3 holes in the quill ready to stitch.
  10. Before I do that I will have a little play around and work out where I want things to be. I think that’s quite nice!
  11. I’m starting with my thread from underneath and I’m going easily thought the hole and down. I’m pulling that in and I continue to work that and I go onto the next one and down. We are going to time lapse this so you don’t get bored. Because it does take a little while!

Ladies here it is, I’ve done my two quills, I’ve shaped them by cracking them. I’ve made my button hole thingy…to stitch through. I don’t know if there’s a technical word for that because I made it up and it means you don’t have to use a thimble! But there you go, I think it’s quite nice. I think what would really look nice with this is a birdcage veil and if you’d like to know how to make one of those click on to the next video! And here is almost a hat for Ascot or The Kentucky Derby, where ever you are in the world there will be somewhere to wear it!

*Top Tip – It’s surprising the things we use in millinery, for example I have taken to using ostrich feathers quite a lot on my hats. But what I find with the feathers is that because they are quite white and stark they can look a little bit show girl. Which is great but not really the look that I was going for. So I put them in a pot of Earl Grey Tea and just left them in there for about 10 minutes. Then took them out, dried them with a paper towel and put them on the radiator. They took on a really lovely vintagey colour! So when you start out with something like this, use your imagination or get onto You Tube and follow my channel and I can show you all sorts of things that completely change how you see millinery materials.

hen party ideas

Add feathers to your Earl Grey Tea for a Vintage look!

Video 5 of 6 How To Make A Wedding Fascinator

How To Make A Wedding Fascinator (Part 5)

5. How To Sculpt With Sinamay.

Hi Guys, In my last video we made fabric roses and attached them to a base to show you how to make a wedding fascinator. Here is one I made earlier and you can see it looks really pretty when you have a sinamay swirl next to it. I kind of thought actually let’s just show you how to do that. Because although it looks simple and it is simple it’s always good to have a tutorial about that too. This is my hat so far and all of these are in the tutorials above.

How To Use Sinamay

  1. I’ve got my sinamay which is cut on the bias and I show you how to cut that in the fabric roses tutorial (above). The lovely thing about sinamay is that you can pretty much just play around with it. Something as simple as that popped onto a hat just makes everything look really sculptural and gives it a nice bit of height at the back.
  2. For this one (I’ll do that again) I’ve swirled it around, curled it all together and pin. These lovely big pins are from Tiger. Another pin and then I’m going to pin it on just behind my quills and my sinamay roses. There’s quite a lot of layers there to pin through but just uuurrrggg – shove it in! 
  3. A few stitches through that and your hat has really started to come to life. In the next video I’m going to show you how to add a birdcage veil to this hat.

Top Tip* When Choosing A Hat –

Whether you’re tall or short it doesn’t really matter. Quite often people that are a petite say “Oh I need a bit of height” or people that are tall think they can’t wear tall things. Just wear what you want guys and you’ll look lovely! If you feel conFident in it, just wear it! 

Video 6 of 6 How To Make A Wedding Fascinator

How To Make A Wedding Fascinator (Part 6)

6. How To Make A Birdcage Veil.

Hi Guys, In this video I’m going to show you how to make a wedding fascinator and how to add a bird-cage veil. Now I did a video showing how to make a bird cage veil a few years ago and it was very popular (255,618 views to date!). That video was quite long because back then people used to watch long videos but now I’m hoping that this video will be about 3 minutes long!

How To Make A Birdcage Veil

  1. You need a piece of veiling, this is called Merry Widow Veiling. You can get it on line – Amazon, Ebay, those sort of places.It comes on a reel like this.
  2. Cut a length at about 60 cm.
  3. Take your fascinator base (from Ebay or Amazon). I’ve got one here that we’ve been working on in the previous videos; How To Get Your Fascinator On To A Band, How To Make The Fabric Rose, How To Shape Your Quills and your Sinamay. So let’s work on to this hat.
  4. Take your veiling and make a little concertina.
  5. You’re not going to put it right at the back of the hat. you’re going to put it just towards the back. There’s going to be about a 4cm gap between the veiling.
  6. Get your nice long pins and you will pop a pin through the veiling. Whenever I’m starting with the scrunch of the veiling I always do 2 pins and I try and do a criss cross (with them). Because then it keeps the veiling nice and secure.
  7. I pull out the other end of the veiling and wrap it around to the back. Remember they are not going to meet at the back. You are going to have a bit of a gap between them.
  8. And pin that end in, and again criss cross the pins.
  9. So it’s on each side and now I go to the top and get my finger half way along and I fold it back. You can see I’m in the centre of the central point of the hat and I’ve gone back about 5 cm. This time when I pin in I’m going to find one of these little squares of veiling. See that little square of veiling? See on here there’s lots of squares? Always pin through the square. Remember to move your thumb out of the way first!
  10. I’m half way through and I’m at the front and I’m five cm back from the front. Ooops, see how that’s come out? I’m going to pin that back in because that will change the shape if that’s not pinned in.
  11. Now I’ve got my front pin and my back ones and I’m going to go in half way between the front and the back and again I’m going to fold in. I’m going to look for a little square of veiling and I’m going to make sure the veiling goes to be about 4 cm back and I’m going to pop another pin in. You can see I’m starting to get the bird cage shape.
  12. And one more pin on the other side between the front and the back. My little sinamay rose is going to be in the way here so I’m just going to tuck it up. It doesn’t matter if it comes over the top of the rose because it just makes it look really pretty. And pin it on.
  13. And that gives  you the birdcage shape. What’s nice is that because you’ve shaped it by pinning it, it’s not going to  be flat against your eyebrows and you’re not going to blink against it! It’s just going to be out here. I’m at a wedding, I’m at Ascot, I’m at the Kentucky Derby and I will just forget that I’ve got that in front of my face!!! But if I don’t I could just do this,  and tuck it up as well.
  14. To stitch it on, double thread, as always. You’re going to do a couple of stitches here. Take your pins out as you go along. Big stitch underneath to get to the next pin and where I’ve pined through that square of veiling one stitch through that square of veiling will hold it in place. Then take your pin out, big stitch underneath to the next pin and just work your way around. (And I’ll now do that on time lapse!)

There, so you’re probably looking at about 15 minutes to do that and you have got your birdcage veil and really now I think you’ve got a hat to wear to a wedding or Ascot or The Kentucky Derby and feel really proud. Because it’s lovely, you’re going to make it to go with your outfit and you’re going to look different from everybody else. So there you go! I would love to see any comments or ideas for tutorials you have (within reason!!!) in the comments on my You Tube channel.

how to make a wedding fascinator

This has been my most epic blog ever, almost 4,000 words, 6 videos and a whole lot of love has gone into this! I hope you learn a lot from my How To Make A Wedding Fascinator series. Please subscribe to my newsletter (on the right of this post!) and then head on over to my YouTube channel and subscribe. You will then receive a notification each time I post a new video (about once every 2 months – you will not be inundated that’s for sure!)

Take a look at Glam Hatters and book one of our fabulous workshops, you’ll have such a lovely time with us! 

With Love & Laughter, Glam Hatter Girl xxx

P.S. The picture above is me and my finished wedding fascinator at my desk in my studio in Angel, London. There seems to be the ghost of a white cat on my left shoulder but I have no idea what that is!!! #millinerymadness