Make your own fedora feather & shot gun cartridge hatband.

feather fedora

Glue guns at the ready…..things are about to get crafty!

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I love an up-cycle project of any kind so when I spotted these gorgeous feather fedoras from Hicks & Brown (and then checked my available bank balance, and wept!) I decided that I could do something similar to tart up my own tatty old felt fedora. I bought my hat from Badminton a few years back and this is what it looked like originally.

It was moss green, but since then has faded a little to a browny green colour (I might have left it on the parcel shelf of my car in the sun, Ooops!) but that all adds to the charm I think. I like things to look a little lived in, rather than too polished. This is what it looks like now! TA DAH!!!   20180127_162118 (1)

Make a feather & shotgun cartridge hatband.

Here’s how you can make your own fedora flair… Screenshot_20180213-150600 1/ Get a spent shot gun cartridge, I scrounged some from my Daddyo. I used a 12 bore shell as the metal part was about 1cm deep.  Screenshot_20180213-150551 2/ File/cut off the plastic casing so that only the metal end remains 20180127_160231 3/ Drill/puncture a small hole into the side, this is where you will poke the feather ends in. Get your feathers of choice ready. I had some nice clean Pheasant feathers left over from my Christmas craft project this wreath for my front door…..

In addition to the Pheasant feather I put in a Crow feather and really wanted to add a Pidgeon too so that I had a plume from all the common Wiltshire bird-life I see, but couldn’t find one just floating about in the wilds, and didn’t fancy my chances of catching a pigeon to pluck one out so…maybe next time.


4/ Poke the ends of the feathers into the hole in the cartridge end and work out how long you want them to be. Cut them off to the appropriate length and tear off any loose feather quills at the bottom where you have cut it, to create a pointed end



5/ Place all your feathers into position and tweak until you are happy with the arrangement, hold it up to the hat at this point to check the look.


6/ Once happy with the composition get some chord about 30cms long (I had some gold chord from Christmas wrapping left over so used that) and poke it into the cartridge shell.


7/ Glue gun into the cartridge shell and with the pokey end of something (I used scissors) smush the chord into the cartridge so that it is secure. You have to move fast as glue gun glue dries really quickly

8/ Cut a felt/fabric circle to use on the back of the cartridge in prep for when it is all done, have this at hand


9/ Place all the feathers back through the hole and in the arrangement you previously decided on, and fill the remaining space in the cartridge shell with glue gun glue and whilst still warm squish your felt circle on top to seal it all in. Again you need to be quick to do all this before the glue cools


10/ Leave it for a little while to set, and cool and then attach to your hat band. Mine can be unbuckled so I undid it and tied the feathers on, then trimmed the chord and buckled it back up



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…and VOILA!

Equipment you will need for this crafty little creation is:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Feathers of your choice
  • Shotgun cartridge end
  • Hack saw/sand paper to cut the cartridge down and smooth
  • Drill to make a hole in the cartridge
  • Material to cover the back of the cartridge
  • Chord/thread to tie it on

Feathers for craft can easily be found on eBay so if you wanted to go for some more exotic plumes or had a specific colour scheme in mind then that’s the best place to find some real gems. I’m thinking that my straw Panama might get a Guinea Fowl and Pidgeon feather make over for the summer!

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