HAIR ACCESSORY TUTORIAL: Beaded Applique Fascinator

While I was digging through my millinery supply box, I remembered I had this beaded applique. I bought it year ago to create a fascinator. Since this was easy to make, I figured it would be a great project to write a tutorial for. This requires some basic hand sewing skills. I never use glue for these type of accessories, as stitching is cleaner and more secure.

  • 1 Large beaded and sequined applique - I bought this one on Etsy several years ago. For scale, this one is about the size of my hand. You could go bigger or smaller. That's your choice. There are many great choices available. I love black, but you could do this with any color. Mine has a matching black mesh base and a row of beading around the edge. This combo is perfect for sewing through, and hiding the stitches in the applique
  • 1 Piece of felt that matches the applique - I used black felt. This fabric doesn't fray because the fibers are matted down...aka felted. It's perfect for these projects because it's thick, doesn't fray, easy to sew through, and forgiving
  • 1 Spool of matching thread - I use regular black cotton sewing thread. The thread needs to match the applique and felt color, so you can hide the stitches a bit
  • 1 Hand sewing needle - I use a long thin one from my multi-pack of needles, so I can push through the layers easily
  • Long straight pin with ball heads - These are great for getting through the layers of fabric easily and securing them together. You need the long ball ones, not the short style or the flat ones
  • Alligator clips - I used 3 medium sized black ones. Alligator clips come in black and silver, and in many sizes. I buy mine on Etsy from various Asian countries. I have seen them in Hobby Lobby
  • Light colored chalk - For tracing the applique onto the felt. If you are using a light colored combination, use a pen or pencil to trace your applique on the felt
  • Small scissors - For cutting the felt, trimming excess applique mesh, and cutting thread


1) Place the back of your applique onto the felt, so the beading and sequins are facing up. Trace around the applique with the chalk. This line was larger than the applique when I drew it, because chalk is too chunky to get a straight line. A little chalk got on my beading, but I was able to easily dust it away.

If you are using a light colored applique and felt, use a pen or pencil for tracing, but be careful not to get any on your applique.

2) Remove the applique from the felt. Using the small scissors, cut out your traced shape from the felt. Since my line was bigger than my felt, I cut a little inside my line.

3) Line up the felt shape onto the back of your applique. Use the long straight pens to secure it in place.

4) Thread your needle with a long length of thread you are comfortable working with. Double the thread over and match the ends. Tie a knot near the ends of the thread. Tie another knot on top of the 1st. This is how you thread a needle for this kind of sewing. Remember this for when you run low on thread while sewing, and repeat as needed.

5) Starting anywhere on the back of the felt along the edge, insert your need through the felt and applique. Your needle should be along the inside edge of the boarder beading, so you can easily hide your stitches on the top.

6) Pull your needle and thread up till the knot stops when it reaches the felt. About 1/8 inch away from where the thread came up, insert your needle through the applique and felt. Pull the needle and thread through the layers till the thread stops and is even. This completes your 1st stitch. Continue to make stitches going up and down through the layers around the boarder.

7) If your thread gets to be about 3-4 inches long, it's time to knot it off on the back of the felt and re-thread your needle. To knot the thread on the back, you need to have completed a stitch and have your thread and needle already pulled to the back. Insert your needle under the last stitch you made on the back, and pull. Insert your needle through that stitch again, and pull until there is a little loop of thread left (not all the way). Insert your needle through that loop and pull until there is another little loop of thread. This time you will pull that 2nd loop until the 1st closes tight. Insert your needle through the 2nd loop and pull until it's closed. This will create a nice secure double knot on the back. You can do this same type of knot in the same area a 2nd time if desired. When you are done making your knot (2nd if you want another one), use the small scissors to cut the remaining thread close to the knot. Pull that remaining thread off your needle and re-thread your needle if needed. When you restart your stitching, start where you left off.

REPEAT STEPS 4-7 around your applique and felt until you've completed stitching the edge. Make a final knot off and cut your thread close to the knot.

8) Time to add the clips. Decide how you want to place them. I put my clips at an angle, so they will securely hold my hair no matter where on my head I place them. Keep this in mind when choosing where to place yours. Do you want to wear your applique in different positions, or just one?

9) Place your 1st clip (I started with an side one) on the felt, with the teeth pointed up. With a threaded needle, insert the needle under the clip and felt between the hinge and where the teeth start. Pull the thread until the knot stops it.

10) While holding the clip still, insert your needle through the clip, between the hinge and teeth. Pull  the needle until the thread stops. Insert your needle under the clip and felt, between the hinge and teeth. Pull the needle until the thread stops. This completes one stitch. Make several stitches this way until the clip barely wiggles.

11) Insert the needle under the felt, along the side of the clip until the last 2 teeth. Pull the needle until the thread stops.

12) Open the clip. Lay the thread in the valley before the last 2 teeth. Insert the needle under the clip and felt where that valley is. Pull the needle until the thread stops. Repeat this a few times until the clip doesn't wiggle or barely wiggles.

13) Time to tie off the thread. Insert your needle under the cluster of stitches you just made, in the felt. Pull till the needle stops. Make the same type of double knot that you did in step 7.

REPEAT STEPS 9-13 with your other clips.

This completes this tutorial. It seems a bit complicated, but I went into detail to better explain the stitches. If you have more hand sewing experience, you won't need so much detail. This is a great way of making something fancy with some basic stitches. Happy makery!


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