DIY fascinators for the racing season 16



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Are you sick of paying too much for a fascinator or headpiece in spring racing season? Christine Millier wrote in to show us what she created easily at home for nothing!

I decided to be creative and made a head piece for my mother to wear out to a local Melbourne cup function on Tuesday.


I always like to recycle so I pressed together and cut some toilet rolls into strips to create sails. I had another piece that I used as the base.

  • I used black texta pen to blacken the outside and left the insides white.
  • I then used double sided tape to secure the sails together and onto the base.
  • I cut out two horse pictures that I printed from the internet and secured them to front and back of my creation with tape.
  • I threaded hat elastic through the base and tied off for the head band and then added a couple of strips of ribbon.


And for my own fascinator, I recycled a costume pirate hat.

  • I drew a trophy cup template
  • From that I cut out two pieces of gold frosted card and secured them together with double sided tape
  • Then with double sided tape I secured it to the hat, covering the skull and crossbones.
  • I printed 2014 onto the front of the cup.


Do you make inexpensive fashion items at home? We’d love to hear about how you created them! Send through to [email protected]

Guest Contributor

  1. Some of them are just so beautiful…my mother loved them and wore them so well, but not for the races…I wore one once last year, and was amazed at how much it suited me…much better than a hat for me!!!

  2. I miss the days of June Millinery in Sydney – you could go into the basement of Canns Bridal opposite David Jones and buy anything you required to make any type of hat plus the decorations, flowers, stiffening and ribbons. We bought the wire frame for my bridal headpiece and the serving lady showed us how to properly decorate it and sold us all the bits and pieces needed. $25.00 instead of $125

    2 REPLY
    • How true Helen! I couldn’t count the number of hats, my mother made both for herself, and me, and I then made myself from June Millinery. When I became involved in theatre, I was able to make period headpieces/hats for stage wear. Small world, my Mother in law was apprenticed to June Millinery when she left school.

    • I would love to wave a magic wand and walk into June millinery today and buy some of the silk flowers and French ribbons that you can’t buy today

      1 REPLY
      • Hi there
        I too remember that fantastic shop. I lived in King street ( between Pitt and Castlereigh ) in the early 1960’s.When her shop was closing down ( maybe in about 1964 ish)
        I shopped there every day during that last week . I purchased some amazing things…… fantastic feather birds, ostrich feather motifs, felt flowers and as well a few of those ghastly pink painted hat blocks _ as well as some beautiful complex wooden blocks.
        Being a serious textile and epherema collector , most of these items I still own!
        Also of the Saturday ritual of ladies waiting for a place to start creating their hats.
        This was such a hands on and inexpensive way to be well ‘hatted’

        Great memories

        Diane Groenewegen.

        Back then I was Diane Uebel or maybe first married and therefore Diane Hanly ?

  3. The closest I came to wearing a fascinator was when I married, I wore a veiled cocktail hat rather than a veil. I’m more a hat person and like my Mother before me, I have decorated many a hat. One hat of Mum’s I remember was a rather battered outsize sun hat which she covered in black chiffon, then added highlights in the fabric of her outfit, which was a black and white geometric print.

  4. Its easy to make one as well. This was my first attempt – my gardening hat. Bought a can of spray and feathers then away I went. It had only just dried enough just before I left for a Race Day. I was rather happy with my 1st attempt. I love wearing hats and do all year round.

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