Tweens (10-12)




Young Adult





Make a Fascinator

In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Coronation, Make a Fascinator is a craft program where attendees learn how to create a simple (yet fancy!) fascinator hat.

Advanced Planning

The program was planned for the week before the Kentucky Derby and the coronation of King Charles III. I found instructions online on making a simple fascinator out of inexpensive materials and adapted them for group use. We purchased the materials needed through Amazon several weeks before the program.

Our teen volunteers prepared the materials in advance, including cutting two slits in the plates for the headbands to pass through and cutting up the loofahs and tulle. We made sample fascinators in advance to get an idea of how long it would take someone to make one and have examples to show participants.


We promoted the program in our monthly printed activities guide, on our online calendar and through social media. The program sign-up sheet was full by the day of the event and every person who signed up attended. 


We bought 6" white paper plates, thin one-size-fits-all headbands and decorations like small fake flowers, satin ribbon and colorful feathers from Amazon.

We also bought loofahs in bulk and a long rainbow tulle ballet skirt which we cut into pieces in advance. It's much cheaper to do it this way than buy yards of tulle fabric in lots of different colors. The website I found the instructions on also suggests purchasing materials at the dollar store.

Day-of-event Activity

We planned for two library staff since there was some setup beforehand such as plugging in the glue guns and setting out materials. We had advance signups due to limited equipment and room space. We did not have enough hot glue guns for every participant, so they ended up sharing.

We set out one paper plate and one headband per seat. At the front of the room, we had a table with boxes of ribbon spools, precut tulle, fake flowers for them to choose from and an extra pair of scissors for cutting the ribbon.

Program Execution

Participants came in and chose a seat. We did have a mom bring her two children who were too young to use the hot glue guns safely so they sat off to one side. Once everyone was seated, I showed the two example fascinators we'd made and told everyone first to slip their headband through the two slits in the plate, get the plate at the angle they preferred and glue it in place.

Once that was done, they could select their decorative materials to cover the rest of the plate and glue them down in any way they chose.

24 people made fascinators in total. We'd allotted an hour and that was just about enough time for everyone to finish even with sharing glue guns. Many participants came up and thanked us once they were done and enjoyed taking selfies in their new hats. Several told us they had Kentucky Derby or coronation watch parties they were attending that they planned to wear the fascinators to, and one other mentioned playing dress-up with her granddaughter. It was fun to see participants unleash their creativity in making a custom hat, which was our goal.

This was one of the best-attended programs we've had in some time, in terms of everyone who signed up did attend. That rarely happens, which I think speaks to how excited people were to try this craft. Several participants came early or stayed afterward to check out library materials and shop at the Friends of the Library sale.


This craft can easily be scaled up or down in terms of cost depending on how many participants you expect. You can also try out different materials that we did not use such as sequins, fake gems or other kinds of fabric. It helped to have examples and/or images of fascinators to give participants ideas.

If you wanted to attach an educational component, you could talk about the history of fashion, the Kentucky Derby or the British Royal family as participants work. I would recommend either limiting this program to ages 10 and older (those who can safely use a hot glue gun) or having adults help little ones with gluing if you want to make this a family program.

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