This tutorial shows how to create a floral headdress with vintage charm for your ball-jointed doll. To produce an antiqued look, we dye the simple materials in coffee. Your base materials can have a variety of tones at the outset – the dyeing process will unify those tones with gentle variations. Putting this headdress together is a quick easy project that only requires basic sewing skills.
You can click the images to see larger versions of them.
- 1/2 yard/meter ribbon, 1/4″ to 3/4″ wide, depending on the size of the doll. (We used 1/2 inch silk dupioni ribbon)
- 1 downy feather (duck or goose)
- 6 four-petaled artificial flowers (We used a sprig of artificial hydrangea)
- 3 color-coordinated bead pearls.
- Matching sewing thread
- Instant coffee (3 to 5 tablespoons depending on the depth of color desired)
Dye the Materials
Gather your materials. (flowers, ribbon, feather)
Pour 3 to 5 tablespoons instant coffee in the saucepan with water.
Put your materials in the bath.
Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. To achieve a deeper tone, let the material sit in the bath for a few hours after turning off the flame.
Rinse THOROUGHLY. When you’re done, the water should be absolutely clear, with no trace of coffee.
Lay flat to dry.
Put the Materials Together
Select thread and pearl beads that match the color of your materials.
Trim off the flat end of the feather, keeping the downy base.
Lay the feather on the ribbon.
Sewing, bind the rachis (spine) of the feather to the ribbon.
Using scissors, remove the quill (pointy base) of the feather.
Stack two flowers and align the petals.
Fold the stacked flowers so the petals are aligned.
And fold again, so the petals are aligned.
As you complete each set of folded petals, place it over the center of the feather, and sew it to the ribbon (through the feather).
Repeat this for each set of petals (3 sets), arranging them in a three-leaf clover pattern.
Sew 3 beads, one at a time, to the center of the “flower”.
Place the headdress on the dolls head and tie a bow at the base of the neck.
Trim any downy barbs that are too long. Separate any downy barbs that are too dense. Trim excess ribbon.