How to Make Brazilian Headpieces

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Make a Brazilian headpiece inspired by Mardi Gras Carnival.
Make a Brazilian headpiece inspired by Mardi Gras Carnival. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The Brazilian headpiece originated from the ancient Aztecs' large feathered headdress representing wealth and nobility. Such headgear is famous for broad fans of tall bejeweled feathers and garlands of beads. The Brazilian headpiece is an iconic part of the costumes worn during the annual Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The components to make a this type of headpiece are available at local crafts stores and online. Contact a beauty supply store to purchase a model wig head stand. This will hold the headpiece steady while you add the decorations.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Model wig head
  • Full hard jewelry wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Masking tape
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Epoxy
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Marabou feathers
  • Peacock feathers
  • Ostrich feathers
  • Flat-back rhinestones
  • Ribbon

Prepare the Headpiece Frame

Measure for the amount of wire needed to make the headband, starting from the top of one ear, across the top of your head and down to the top of the opposite ear. Double the measurement, and add 4 inches.

Cut a piece of wire to the measurement.

Bend the wire into a circle with the chain-nose pliers, overlapping the tips by 2 inches.

Twist the tips of the wires together to make a closed circle. Wrap the twisted ends with masking tape.

Press and bend the wire circle downward into a narrow banana shape. This is the frame for the headband.

Measure the length and width of the headband frame. Add 2 inches to the measurement.

Cut a piece of felt according to the measurement.

Cut a 12-inch piece of wire.

Slide the wire under the center headband frame until it is centered evenly under the frame.

Bend both tips of the wire up and twist together once at the bottom to form two spikes protruding above the headband frame.

Center the piece of felt over the frame, and cut a small hole at the position of the two spikes.

Drape the piece of felt down over the headband frame, and slide the two spikes through the hole.

Wrap the felt around the headband frame, and glue the edges underneath with the epoxy.

Bend the headband frame into a slight arch, and drape it onto the wig head.

Press the Styrofoam ball onto the two spikes at the top of the headband frame.

Bend the tip of each spike over the Styrofoam ball to hold it in place.

Decorating the Headpiece

Dab the back of one of the marabou feathers with the epoxy, and place it on the Styrofoam ball just above the headband.

Repeat step 1 to cover around the sides of the Styrofoam ball with feathers.

Gather the ostrich and peacock feathers together in a fan shape.

Push the tips of the ostrich and peacock feathers into the top of the Styrofoam ball.

Affix the rhinestones by placing a dab of epoxy on random spots on the feathers and headband. Hold the rhinestones in place to adhere, and let them dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

Measure around the base of the feathered Styrofoam ball, and add 1 inch to the measurement.

Cut a piece of ribbon to the measurement.

Wrap the ribbon around the base of the feathered Styrofoam ball. Overlap the ends by 1 inch, and secure with a dab of epoxy.

Measure and cut two pieces of ribbon in 12-inch lengths.

Cut a small slit in the felt at one end of the headband next to the ear.

Slide one end of the ribbon pieces through the felt, and tie a knot to secure it.

Repeat steps 10 and 11 on the other side of the headband.

Place the headband on your head, and adjust it to fit snugly. Tie the ribbons under your chin to secure the headpiece.

References

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