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Have you seen this interview with Bunji Garlin?

Check it out! Click to watch now...

Making a Carnival Headpiece for Your Child!

Make your own carnival headpiece

With Carnival happening all over the world, from Trinidad to Toronto, there are many opportunities throughout the year to introduce your children to one of the most recognizable and entertaining facets of Caribbean culture.

Here is a fun craft project to get you and your child involved in the festivities.  Anyone who has taken kids to a Disney theme park knows how important the “ears” are.  Kids and parents stand on the sidewalks during the parades with their ears on, waving to the characters as they dance by.  Those ears make them feel like they are part of the show they are watching.

These fun, easy, and inexpensive Carnival headpieces will make your child feel like part of the pageantry, even if she isn’t in full costume.

Time: 20-60 minutes

Cost per headpiece: $10 to $15


  • Glue gun and sticks
  • Pipe cleaners – 15
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic jewels/plastic gems
  • Feathers


  1. Take 2 pipe cleaners and twist together the end of one to the end of the other.
  2. Make a loop in each end.
  3. Take a 3rd pipe cleaner, put it through the loop of one end, and make a loop with the end of the third pipe cleaner around the joined pipe cleaner. This is the adjustable headband that will encircle the head
  4. Make the adjustable headband it’s smallest, and attach a pipe cleaner by twisting to the front of the headband, and then to the back.
  5. You can keep connecting pipe cleaners until it has the appearance of a cap.
  6. Once you have the cap “frame”, you can add pipe cleaners to the front and sides in order to attach feathers, and jewels with the hot glue.

Making the adjustable headband - see images

Make your own carnival headpiece

Make your own carnival headpiece

Make your own carnival headpiece



If you do not want to cover all of the pipe cleaners with gems, you can use metallic pipe cleaners.

You can add more pipe cleaners to make the cap larger in the back, or add an elastic chin strap for smaller children.


Pipe cleaners tend to have sharp edges.  If you encounter a sharp edge that may scratch you or your child, you can cover it with a bead of hot glue.

Only adults should handle the hot glue gun.  To get the kids involved, let them draw the design they want, search online to find examples to give them ideas, and let them pick out the colors of feathers and gems they would like to use.

If your child is allergic to feathers, try making your feathers out of construction paper.

Make your own carnival headpiece

Did you try it yourself?  If so, leave a comment and let us know how it went, and share photos! Here is a video tutorial on how to make the from a project we did with Disney Parks...

Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

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