Carnival Headdress

Let Carnival Go to Your Head!

Follow our easy to follow instructions – produced in partnership with our amazingly creative friends at ARK T – to make your own Carnival headdress.

Download full instructions on our worksheet here

Get Prepared

1. Choose your theme

What theme do you want to have? You could search the internet for ideas, or take a look at some of the amazing headdresses that have been made for Carnival Day.

Our theme for 2021 will be ‘Mother Earth’ but you can also check out our previous themes which include: Space is the Place and Icons of Art.

2. Size it up

  • What size do you want it to be? Think about height, and whether you will incorporate a mask.
  • Think about what will form the base of your headdress. A  hairband is a good base, or you can cut one from a loop of card or foam.
  • Consider the material that you need to decorate your headdress. What do you have in the house that you could use? You can make a headdress from anything – like paper, card, leaves, feathers, recycled containers!
  • What tools do you need to put your headdress together? For example scissors or a staple machine (get help if you are very young and need it please).

3. Design

It helps to work out your designs on paper first.

Sheets of foam
Design your headdress on paper

Make Your Base

A hairband makes a good base. If you have access to it, it’s a good idea to cover it with foam or cardboard to make it a little bit wider. You can use a glue gun or lots and lots of sellotape to make it stick:

Another good choice is to make a circle that will go all the way around your head like a crown. You can make this from any sturdy material – foam and card work well.

If you do this – do not stick it together yet. Leave it flat for now so it will be easier to add decorations.

You can change and adapt the design to make the base a bit more interesting if you like.


You can change and adapt the design to make the base a bit more interesting if you like. For example, here the artist has included spikes on the loop that represent grass: 


  • You can use all sorts of materials – paper, cardboard, material, ribbons, cut up water bottles, newspapers, anything! First decorate the base layer of the headdress. Think about colour and shape.
  • You need to secure your decorations to your base hairband or headband. For this you might use a glue gun, staples, tape, a glue stick or even sewing.
  • Then strengthen your creation with wire or tape and make sure that everything is securely in place.


If you made a loop headdress, now is the moment to glue or sellotape it into a circle. Don’t forget to measure it against your head so it fits you.

If you have are adding a mask, now is the moment to glue your mask onto your finished headdress.

Animal headdress with face mask