Introduction: DIY Molded Leather Fascinator Hat (Millinery Technique)

About: Artist. Creator/Owner at DESVIADO.

I've wanted to design my own hats since I was just a tiny little DIY and art loving preschool girl. I started to get very serious about it not too long ago but was stunned by how many tools and materials were needed to make a, what seemed simple fascinator hat using professional techniques.

I had quite a bit of leather at home and looked around for something that I could test leather molding with. It just so happened that I had lots of things that I could mold leather with, specifically when it came to forming leather into what would become a fascinator hat. It's fairly simple. For the main shape of your fascinator hat, think of using oval or round hard surfaces, such as:

  • Doll Heads
  • Balls
  • Your Halloween Skull Decorations
  • Pottery
  • Bowls

You may need help stabilizing your object while you are pressing down against it with your hands, while forming and stretching the leather. Think of a workbench vise, a hard box, sandbags to place around the object, weights, or perhaps placing the object between your legs will work.

Aside from a surface to shape your leather with, you may also want to prepare having the following items on hand:

  • A bowl of Warm Water
  • Scissors
  • Leather or Fabric Glue
  • Needle and Thread
  • Leather
  • Jeweler's or Millinery Wire
  • Plastic Wrap (to protect the surface of the object you are molding with)
  • Fabric (to line the inside of your hat. I used craft felt)
  • Trim (such as ribbon to add to the edge of the hat)
  • Embellishments (such as feathers, lace, rhinestones, ect.)
  • Hair Clips or Combs

I filmed a Part 1 and Part 2 for this tutorial. Part 1 is the meat and bones on how to build your hat. Part 2 is what comes after the fact, including adding embellishments, trims and final touches. I'd love to see what you came up with. Please share!

Tandy Leather Contest 2016

Participated in the
Tandy Leather Contest 2016