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Indian Chief Headdress War Bonnet

How to Guide with Basic Directions


Materials Needed:

30 Imitation Eagle Feathers (15 Left, 15 Right)
Soft Fluffy Feathers - Large Marabou Work Good
Strip of Thin Leather, Cloth, or Felt
Thread, String, or Dental Floss
Shoe or Other Strong Type Glue
Horse Tail Hair or Similar
Red Flannel

Eagle Feather Preparation:

2" Above Stem Bottom Place Several Small Feathers (Fluff Facing UpTowards the Top) Around Stem to Make Ruff. Wrap Thread Around Stems for a 1/2 - 1" & Tie Off. Glue if Needed.

If Possible, Cut Away 1/2 of the Eagle Quill Bottom End for 1 1/2". Bend this 1 1/2" End Up into the Hole of the Quill End to Make a Small Loop or You can Skip this Step & Instead Wrap the Quill End With a 4 x 1/8" Piece of Leather, Cloth or Felt Folded Over the End (This Will be Your Quill End Loop). Wrap the Felt With Thread for the Length of 2" & Tie Off. Again Glue if Needed.

If Desired, You Can Now Add a Few Small Feathers to Make a Fluff at the Eagle Feathers, by Gluing Them to the Underside. They Should Stick Out Enough to be Seen from the Front 1-2 Inches. Her is Where You Would Add the Thin Tuft of Horse Hair to the End of the Eagle Feather. This Should be Attached on the Mid Section of the Underneath Side of the Feather by Carefully Wraping & Tying. Try to Not Disturb the Mid Section of the Eagle Feather to Much. The Tuft can be Dyed (Try Markers) & Extend Up Above the Eagle Feather Tip at Least a Few Inches.

Repeat the Above Directions for All 30 Eagle Feathers.

Headband Directions:

Make a Strip of Leather, Heavy Cloth or Felt 23" x 2 1/2" Sizing it to Fit Around Your Head. Sew Ends Together to Make a Headband. Divide the Band into 30 Even Spaces Keeping a Focus on the Imaginary Middle Line. Mark off 2 Dots on Both Sides of the Dividing Line for Each of the 30 Spaces. Poke 60 Holes into the Headband. These Will be Used to Lace the Feathers Onto the Headband & Should not be too Close to the Edge. It's Important that You Leave a Space Below the Feather Tips for the Beaded Row to Fit.

Lay the 30 Eagle Feather in a Row, Choosing the Largest & Nicest for the Front Center. Be Sure to Lay Out the Left Feathers to the Left Side & Right Feathers to the Right. Switch Them Around Until You Have the Best Look. Remember, the Feathers Farthest Left or Right Will be in the Back of the Headdress.

Final Instructions:

Hold the Headband Strip, & Attach the Feathers in an Upside Down Hanging Fashion, if Possible While the Prepared Eagle Feathers are Strung into the Band. Begin at the Center Front by Putting the Lace or String in Through Your 1st Hole. Continue the String Through the Quill End Loop of the Feather, then Back through the Next Hole, Adding the 15 Feathers to the Left Side, & Then the 15 Feathers to the Right Being Sure to Work From the Center for the Right Side. Use the 2nd Row of Holes to Lace in a Reinforcement Line Being Sure to Line Up the Holes so The Feathers are in a Straight Position.

The Next Part is the Hardest. Each Feather Needs to be Spaced Evenly so That they Stand Nice & Tall Bowing Out Slightly Towards the Top. You Must Pass a Needle & Thread Through the Quill About Half Way Up the Length of the Eagle Feather. It Should be Done on the Inside of the War Bonnet so that it Doesn't Show on the Front. If You Pre-Poke the Quills With a Needle 1st, Fishing Line May be Used. Thread Through all Feathers & Loosely Tie at the Back. Evenly Spread the Feathers Around to form the Traditional Indian Chief Headdress Look that Should Be Not More Then a 20" Diameter.

Now Add a Beaded Band, Ribbon or Similar Type Decoration to the Front of the Headband With Thread or Glue. This Should Extend Around to the Sides but Not All the Way Around to the Back

Attach 2 Stiff Leather Circles (Ear Targets) to the Headband in Front of Where You Would See the Ears from the Front but not Over Them. Traditionally, these Circles are Larger then the Width of the Headband.

Make 2 Ear Plumes Out of Material Strips, Fake Fur, or Long Feathers Using Beads or Wraping & Lacing Over the Ends to Make a Tassel. Attach These to the Center of the Target Circles by Sewing. These Should Hang Freely.

Notes: Although Eagle Feathers are Traditional, Dyed Turkey Quill Feathers can be Used as Well. Color Combinations are Your Preference & You can Get Ideas by Doing an Image Search on Google. Also, the Indian Chief War Bonnet Below does not Show the Marabou Fluffs Included in the Instructions Above.


Indian Chief Headdress War Bonnet

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Indian Chief Headdress - War Bonnet Instructions