Step by Step DIY Juju Hat Tutorial (one Hour Project)

3 Materials
1 Hour

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

I am showing you exactly how to create this lovely feather wall art. I love these African Juju hat knockoffs so very much. They were super simple to make and I have used them over and over in my decorating. Follow this easy guide and create your own faux Juju hat wall decor, you’ll be amazed how easy it is.

I love this DIY feather wall hanging so much! I have had these feather wreaths for years now, I have schlepped them all over the place and I don’t think I have lost a single feather. And even now they are still very much part of my decor, even after a move to a new home. The brown ones now live in my new attic craft room, and the white one is in a prime position in my coastal bedroom.

You need feathers that are sewn onto a ribbon. Loose feathers or a feather boa will not work. For a lush effect you will need at least 6 meters (circa 6 yards), for one hat, but the more the better. The large white one is about half a meter in diameter (about 1.5 feet). The feathers are about 20 cm (10 inch) long. Back in the day these were very hard to find. But now you can buy all these feather trim on Amazon.

I have added the precise feathers and where they can be sourced to the original post on my blog (link at bottom).

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

I used cardboard for the backing and hot glue because it is cheap and super fast. I have also seen people use round placemats and needle and thread to put them together. My method is just as good and it is so much faster and easier.

I used a dinner plate as my template for the two larger wreaths, and a breakfast plate for the smaller ones.

DIY Juju hat outer rim feathers facing upward

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.

Work your way around hot gluing them to the cardboard.

DIY Juju hat second row feathers facing downward

I cut separate rows instead of using one long string and spiraling inwards because that just worked better. With these fluffy feathers getting some volume was easy, it just required adding lots of rows.

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

Getting the volume was a lot harder with the white feathers. When I glued the first row to the outer edge it fell completely flat. These feathers were straight and stiff and didn’t have that natural flow of the more expensive coque tail feathers.

So for the second row, I made pleats. I glued an inch down, backed up an inch gluing it down, and again glued 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 the tip of my scissors (some popsicle sticks would have been great too) to really push down the bottom of the feathers into the cardboard 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.

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.

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 bundles 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.

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

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

They looked so good together that I had my own Juju feather wall above my bed for a long time.

All together my DIY Juju Hats looked so wonderful on my wall.

Suggested materials:
  • Feathers   (amazon)
  • Cardboard   (trash)
  • Hot glue   (craft store)
Marianne Songbird
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Hannah Hannah on Feb 17, 2022

    Love the hats but can we talk about that headboard?? Where can I get it??

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