DIY African Feather Juju Hat Knockoff

diy juju hat mantel decoration via Songbirdblog


Oh I am so excited about this one! I am so happy to be sharing this project with you… I did my very own DIY African juju hat knockoff, and I am showing you how to do it yourself too.

But first things first let me welcome everybody that is stopping over from Lindsay’s Knocktoberfest and all the visitors from Alaska that are hopping over from Ana White in particular. You now have arrived all the way over in the Netherlands at my little nest where I like to show my adventures in DIY, decorating, crafting and everything else that makes life fun and interesting. 


African  juju hat white feathers DIY tutorial songbirdblog


My project of the day is not a designer or brand knockoff. I knocked off a beautiful African tribal feather headdress called juju hat. 

A couple of months ago Lindsay asked if I wanted to participate in her Knocktoberfest blog hop. Well with such a cute name, how could I ever say no, so of course I jumped and said yes . 

But that posed a bit of a problem too. As I said I am not US based and I don’t receive the catalogs of say a Pottery Barn, or Ballard. And we don’t have those stores here either, nor can I walk into an Anthropologie and look for something to copy. What is a girl to do…..

Then it hit me. 

A really long time ago I pinned this:

 white juju hat bedroom inspiration pic


It didn’t take long and I saw these feather wall decorations popping up all over the place and at some point I found out that those wall decorations were in fact headdresses.


Beautiful African headdresses. Sadly at that very same time I learned that those original feather beauties were way out of my price range. 

And then the thought occurred to me, what if…..

What if I try to make a knockoff……

And then came Lindsay with her Knocktober fest. And a plan was born. 


African juju feather hat DIY tutorial songbirdblog


The most difficult thing about this whole project was finding the feathers. I wanted feathers in earthly natural color tones, and I wanted them strung, as in already sewn onto a ribbon. 


African white feathers juju hat DIY tutorial mantel wall decor songbirdblog


I found some not too expensive ones on AliExpress (it is a kind of Ebay but populated with mostly little shops from China), and was happily surprised about how fast they got here. I bought the all white and the dark brown ones there. I think I bought three packets of the white and one of the brown. There are several shops on AliExpress that sell strung feathers, just shop around till you find ones that look good.


feather wreaths juju hat diy tutorial from songbirdblog


And I also splurged on some really beautiful feathers in just the perfect beige/neutral color from Featherplace (I bought three packages of these. Two were used in the big Juju hat and the third one in the small Juju hat). All in all this still wasn’t a cheap project. But oh so worth it. 


diy juju feather hat tutorial songbirdblog


Since I had so many different feathers I just went for  it and made a whole bunch of DIY African juju hat knockoffs. The making off was very easy. And by the last one I had it down to a T. 


neutral colored juju hats mantel decoration via Songbirdblog

Unexpected but real sunlight photo effect, too good to correct.



make your own juju hat with these feathers via songbirdblog


So here are the steps. You will need feathers that are strung. The rooster coque feathers are by far the most beautiful and easiest to use. But as you can see I have also used ‘regular’ straight feathers that are much easier to find and cheaper too. And my very white feather wall decoration might resemble the original juju hat a bit less but I think it is still very pretty. 


make your own juju hat with these supplies via songbirdblog


You will also need cardboard and something to use as a template for your circles, scissors and a glue gun with lots and lots of glue sticks.


how to make a juju hat with feathers step by step tutorial via songbirdblog


And then it basically comes down to adding rows of feathers. I made the first juju hat with the pretty feathers. They have a definite curve. I alternated letting the curve fall up or down between the rows.

make a juju hat with feathers with this step by step tutorial via songbirdblog


I made separate rows instead of spiraling inwards because that just worked better. With these fluffy feathers getting some volume was easy, it just required adding lots of rows.


diy juju feather hat wreath tutorial songbirdblog


And finishing the center off with a little tuft of feathers. 


juju hat feather wreath tutorial how to diy songbirdblog


Getting the volume was a lot harder with the white feathers. As you can see the first row fell completely flat. These feathers were straight and stiff and didn’t have that natural flow of the more expensive coque tail feathers. 


juju hat feather wreath tutorial how to diy step songbirdblog


So for the second row I made a sort of pleats. I glued an inch down, backed up an inch glueing it down and again glueing while I moved back forward. I hope you can see but it resulted in  ‘stacks’ of three rows of feather pleats an inch wide all around. I used some scissors to really push down the bottom of the feathers and this made the top pop up a bit, giving me some nice volume. The next row lay on top of this little ‘wall’ of feathers all by itself, so with just a little nod from the scissors it would pop up and out. 


African white feathers juju hat DIY tutorial songbirdblog


I made the smaller hats last and by then I just squished and squashed and pleated and ruffled the feathers as much as possible on each row until it all looked nice and full.


feather wreaths diy tutorial from songbirdblog


One final tip that I think made all the difference is that I didn’t use all of the feathers right away. I kept some and made little tufts that I randomly stuck into the hats wherever I felt it needed a bit extra. This made the rows less obvious and definitely gave them all a little extra oomph. 


how to hang a homemade juju hat via songbirdblog


These are all just as light as feathers so I just used those drawing hanging thingies I remember from Kindergarten to hang them. 


diy juju feather hat tutorial mantel decoration from songbirdblog


And there you have it. My DIY African Juju hat  knockoff tutorial. 

Hope you like it. 

If you are still in the mood for some more DIY knockoff gorgeousness I suggest you high tail yourself over to KariAnne at Whistlewood Farm. I have it on good authority that she will wow you with her knock off project too.


Knocktoberfest Banner


And you can find all the knockoffs that are being shared this week at Lindsay’s Knocktoberfest page

how to make a juju hat knockoff via songbirdblog


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  1. says

    These are STUNNING! I never imagined they could be so easy to make. You were so smart to look for strung feathers. Thank you for sharing the how to!

  2. Jennifer says

    Love them all! I have been wanting one for several years and just haven’t done it because of the cost. Can you tell me how much you ordered for the largest hat? I have not idea how much to purchase.

  3. Leslie says

    These are so pretty. How many feathers would I have to order to make the tan-coloured one? I’m so excited to give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. says

    I am so excited to make a few of my own now! Can I ask how large the large tan one you made is? It would be great to know the size circle you cut for the cardboard and how many pounds of feathers it took. Thank you!!!

  5. monique says

    can you please post what feathers you used and the quantity for one… really beautiful.. i have been looking to buy one but there are too expensive

  6. Debra says

    I absolutely love the exotic touch of this decor piece. I’d like to make one as well, but when I went to AliExpress and read their terms of membership agreement (I read everything LOL), it seems that only businesses can order from the company as most of the membership ‘lawyereeze’ seems pointed at best procurement practices for businesses. Am I right in this, or is the site opened to ‘consumers’ as well? Thanks for any information you are able to provide.

  7. says

    I am dying to make one and seeing your post has solidified that. Oddly, my favourite is the white one (with the less expensive feathers!!!). It does look different but I love the look. Another blogger mentioned the cost of this DIY, and it is a little intimidating but I really want to try it. How much do you think yours ended up costing you?

    • says

      The white one was actually pretty cheap. As I wrote I got the feathers at Aliexpress shipped direct from China. Really not expensive that way. Just search for string feathers or the like (shops change there and I don’t have a direct link anymore).
      Good luck with making your own.

  8. angie says

    Could you please tell me how long your feathers were? I am referring to the length of the feathers. Thanks. Beautiful project.