DIY Spring Racing Carnival Headpiece

It’s that time of year in Melbourne when everyone seems to be talking about only two things, hats and horses. I’m not a huge fan of racing, but growing up and working just walking distance from Flemington Racecourse for most of my life, the ‘races’ are an intrinsic part of who I am, so when Spring Carnival rolls around in Melbourne, it’s hard not to get just a little tingle of excitement.
Truth be told I don’t have much interest in the horses, to me it’s all about the hats! The bigger the better, in my opinion understatement is for wimps when it comes to racing head wear.

Recently Vinnies got in touch with me after receiving a fabulous donation of millinery items. They challenged me with creating a unique Vinnies inspired Spring Racing headpiece to showcase what can be done with a few op-shop finds. Even though I have absolutely zero millinery skills, I certainly love a DIY challenge, so with a handful of feathers, netting and ribbon I got to work.

Here are the instructions if you’d like to make a similar head piece
millinery supplies from Vinnies

You will need:

Facinator base with comb to suit the colour of your hair
Straw disk to suit the colour of your outfit
Feathers, flowers or other embellishments (I used a pink feather and vintage braid to match my dress)
Natural coloured Sinamay about 50x70cm (Sinamay is a stiff netting that is made from banana fibre and can be bent and moulded to structural shapes)
Thread and needle
Hot Glue gun and glue

How to:

Shaping Sinamay
– Create the base by folding the sinamay diagonally on the bias, roll into a long flat length and trim off excess corners.
– Tuck in raw edges and pin.
sinamay base finished
– Manipulate to form a figure 8 shape (although the design is really up to you).
– Stitch shape into place with needle and thread.
TIP: Keep trying headpiece on at each stage to see how it looks on your head, you may need to make a few tweaks so it sits well. Pin on embellishments, add more or less, move things around until you are happy.

Professional milliners wouldn’t be caught dead using a hot glue gun but I never claimed to be a pro.
Hot glue gun
Adding embelishements to facinator
– Glue (or sew) your feathers and embellishments into place. I looped my feather over to mirror the curve of the base and added some vintage trim to the front to match my dress.
DIY head piece
– Attach the facinator base taking note of the direction of the comb and how it will attach to your hairstyle.
Vintage ribbon trim on facinator head piece
Vinnies spring racing headpiece challenge
All done!

Now it was time to style that baby!
I headed over to the wonderful Candice DeVille’s new salon where she made me over with a vintage inspired look which made me feel like a 30’s Hollywood starlet.
DIY Spring Racing Carnival Facinator Headwear

DIY Spring Racing Carnival Facinator Headwear

DIY - Spring Racing Carnival Headpiece
My dress was a vintage op-shop find and just screams SPRING!
DIY Spring Racing Carnival Facinator Headwear
I’m pleased to say that my whole Spring Racing Outfit was thrifted, which goes to show that you don’t have to break the budget to look a million bucks. Not only does shopping in charity stores like Vinnies unearth some designer and vintage gems, your purchases are affordable, sustainable and your money goes to helping those in our community that are facing hardship.
Read about the Joys of Choosing Recycled Fashion, and consider shopping for your Spring Racing Carnival fashion at Vinnies this year.


Hair and Makeup – Candice DeVille


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