Art Deco Headdress DIY Tutorial


She is now christened Lady Chrysler on the Half Shell
She is now christened Lady Chrysler on the Half Shell

Last weekend, I participated in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and made my own Art Deco headdress!

A few notes: This is my first ever tutorial.  I based it off of Sharon ShareAlike’s video tutorial on headdresses, but made it specific to my project.  I recommend also checking out hers, as she was very detailed on how to create the cap part of the headdress, which may be helpful to you to watch if you try this.

Another helpful hint: I did not mention in the video that there are two foamcore layers to the building: the back piece, and the front layering pieces. Visually, this is depicted in the video but I thought it was worth mentioning in the blog post as well. We created a rosin paper model for each of the layers and cut those out of foamcore separately. I used a LOT of Scotch Super 77 Multi-Purpose Adhesive and reinforced it with hot glue in order to get the layers to stick to the back piece.

There is an alternative to freehand drawing the building and its layers: Using an overhead projector, you could also tape a piece of paper to the wall and trace the image onto it.

My video tutorial is here:

List of supplies for the Art Deco headdress is below.  All supplies were available at Michaels, except the rosin paper which I got at a local hardware store:

  • Tin foil
  • Duct tape (colorful if you want to recreate the Art Deco look)
  • Thin wire (florist or soldering or any thin wire will do)
  • Hot glue sticks and hot glue gun
  • Spray adhesive (I used 3M)
  • Painter’s tape
  • 2 pieces of foamcore (if you want a backing for the headdress get two pieces)
  • Rosin paper (available at hardware stores)
  • Pencil for tracing
  • Bag of seashells
  • Trim of choice (mine were in the sale bin at Michaels!)
  • Silver and white glitter to make the “beachy” look on the cap
  • Silver seaweed (I got these at Gracious Home, but you can probably get at a specialty floral supply store or Michaels)
  • Assorted blue and silver gems
  • A paintbrush or two (use old ones for this project, no need for fancy stuff)
  • Silver spray paint (I used Liquitex)
  • Dark blue thick acrylic paint (I used Liquitex)

I would love to hear your thoughts about the tutorial in the comments! What could I do that would make this project easier for you? What would you like to see in the future? Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any extra assistance in creating your own headdress!

About The Paper Pinup

Hello, I'm Laurel! I live in upstate Manhattan with my boyfriend Charles. I'm passionate about papercrafts, art journaling and sewing as "craft therapy" and bring a fresh and irreverent approach to my projects. I'm also a swing dancer and love vintage style from the 1920s through the 1950s.

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