Stop by the craft store, pick up some leather pieces and leather sinew, along with a few other supplies, and you’ll be on your way to making Native American headbands. Headbands can be made in various styles, some being extremely simple to make. Some can have beads, others can simply be painted. All are fun to make and are unique, one-of-a-kind creations.
One way to make the headbands is to cut a strip that’s slightly smaller than your head circumference and use sinew strips to tie the ends together. A more modern way to make them is to use a piece of velcro. Decide on which design you will make beforehand since you’ll need to cut one design much smaller than the other.
For headbands that will tie together, cut a 3″ wide strip of leather that is about 4″ smaller than your head circumference. Use a hole puncher or a sharp tool to poke two holes, evenly spaced, at each end of the headband. Thread a piece of 12″ sinew through each set of holes to use for tying. For the velcro headband cut the leather 3″ wide and 2″ longer than your head circumference. Cut a velcro piece in a square, about an inch and a half squared. Stitch the velcro to the ends of the headband so that one will overlap onto the other end.
Decorating the headband is a lot of fun because there are so many different designs you can do. A simple way is to use permanent markers and a stencil to make Native American designs on the headband. Instead of markers you can also draw the designs on then fill and outline with fabric paints.
A unique way to decorate the headbands is to cut pieces of printed fabric and sew them onto the leather. Sewing departments have lots of Native American designs that can be cut out and put on the headband. If you have no way to sew them on, use fabric glue to adhere them to the leather.
A more authentic-looking design is done by string beads with fishing twine. When you have enough beads on one string tack it, here and there, on the headband. String another set and tack it just below the first set. Continue this until the entire band is covered with beads. Make sure the ends are well secured.
A quicker way to bead the headband is to use glue. Either spread fabric glue onto the headband, placing it flat on a table, and aligning the beads across the band, or use hot glue to quickly attach the beads. The hot glue is quick but not suitable for rainy weather.
Another option for decorating the headbands is to use rub-on appliques. The appliques are very easy to do since you just use a flat object, like a popsicle stick, and rub the image onto the leather. Or, you can purchase metallic studs and insert them on the headbands. Rubber stamps with ink is yet another way to enhance the look of the headbands. And don’t forget about turquoise stones, found at craft stores, which can be attached to the leather.
You can also combine techniques, such as metallic studs with painted-on images, or some beads and some fabric images. Native American headbands are easy enough for the entire family to make. It’s a good project to do just for fun or to enhance a costume.