African juju hat knock-off. Come see my step-by-step tutorial to DIY your own African juju hat in an hour. You will love this feather wreath in your decor for years to come.
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.
This is one of my most popular posts and questions keep coming in so I decided to update it and answer all the questions that readers have asked.
My project of the day is not a designer or brand knockoff. I knocked off a beautiful African tribal feather headdress called Juju hat, otherwise known as Tyn hats.
Update 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. In my old home, they hung on my bedroom wall for a while, and the white one is featured in this Christmas vignette. 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.
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A really long time ago I pinned this:
It didn’t take long and I saw these feather wall decorations popping up all over the place at some point, I found out that those wall decorations were in fact headdresses. These Juju hats are originally from Cameroon and are worn by royal dancers during ceremonial dances for their tribal chiefs and royal families. They are created with feathers from wild birds feathers and feathers from chickens and fowl. Often the feathers are dyed in beautiful colors. These headdresses are still being made and you can buy a real one for a price between $80 to $500+.
These are beautiful African headdresses, and the original feather beauties are way out of my price range.
And then the thought occurred to me, what if…..
What if I try to make a knockoff……
DIY African Juju hat: the supplies
The most difficult thing about this whole project was finding the feathers. I wanted feathers in earthly natural color tones, and I wanted them strung, as in already sewn onto a ribbon.
Update: 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 inches) long. Back in the day, these were very hard to find. But now you can buy all these feather trims on Amazon.
Best Feathers for a DIY Juju Hat
For the big white 24″ Juju hat
- 5 yards of stitched duck goose feather trim
For one beige medium 16″ Juju hat
- 3 yards of stitched rooster coque tail feathers
For the one small 10″ Juju hat (the center of my multicolored wreaths)
- 2 yards of stitched chinchilla rooster saddle feathers
Truth be told when I made these I had no idea how much I would need so I bought way more than I needed for one Juju hat. That’s why I ended up with five. Lucky me!
✅ These Rooster Tail Feathers are easy to work with and they give you the best-looking wreath!
✅ These Rooster Hackle Feathers are a good alternative and come in many colors.
✅ These Duck Goose Feathers in white are the same ones I used for my big white Juju wreath.
Rooster tail feathers (like my beige ones) are the most beautiful, but ordinary stiff goose feathers work very well too, and are much cheaper. You can use all types of feathers, just look for strung feathers that are sewn into a long strip, that works easiest. Little pieces strung together will work too though.
Since I had so many different feathers I just went for it and made a whole bunch of DIY African juju hat knockoffs. The making-off was very easy. And by the last one, I had it down to a T. I can easily make them in an hour or less now.
I am so in love with these feather wreaths. I think they are a perfect example of how easy DIY bohemian decor can be (click this link for 50+ ideas for DIY bohemian decor ).
More Easy Craft Wall Decor Projects you will like
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<<<< Boho wall hanging DIY >>>
DIY African juju hat: the step by step guide
So here are the steps. You will need feathers that are strung. The rooster coque feathers are by far the most beautiful and easiest to use. But as you can see I have also used ‘regular’ straight feathers that are much easier to find and cheaper too. And my very white feather wall decoration might resemble the original juju hat a bit less but I think it is still very pretty.
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.
Update: I used a dinner plate as my template for the two larger wreaths, and a breakfast plate for the smaller ones. With the feathers sticking out that gives you a base size of about half a meter (1.5 feet). The feathers were about 10-20 cm (5-10 inches) tall.
I covered my cardboard with some fabric to hide the color and make it the perfect base. Spray paint would have worked too. But in hindsight, this step is not truly necessary.
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.
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. As you can see 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.
I recently made a modern Boho Feather and Shells Wall Decoration in a similar fashion. You might like that one too.
If you like creating your own wall decor, how about some fall decorating with an easy-to-make DIY Pumpkin wall art project?
Have a great day! And let me know if you are going to DIY a Juju hat!
Marianne Songbird is the founder of Songbird, where she hopes to inspire everyone to create a home they love, one DIY project at a time. She shares anything from craft ideas to home decor inspiration and from DIY projects to decorating hacks. Originally from the Netherlands Marianne and her husband Lex are currently renovating a 250-year-old farmhouse in Germany.