How to Make Burlap Indian Headbands

Indian Headbands are a perfect craft this time of year, not only to celebrate our Native American friends on Thanksgiving, but also because kids naturally gravitate towards playing “Indians” in make-believe play. These Indian headbands are very similar to the basic paper versions, but are much more durable and excellent for playing dress up on Thanksgiving or any other day. So, let’s get crafting! *Note: This project requires a couple of hours of dry time right in the middle.

Burlap Indian Headbands - a durable craft, perfect for Thanksgiving, celebrating Native Americans, or for everyday dress-up fun

Ingredients for Burlap Indian Headbands:

  • Burlap (I used a “table runner” strip of burlap for my headbands, because I like the tighter weave)
  • Mod Podge (Matte)
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Measuring tape and ruler
  • Markers
  • Foam sheets in different colors (for the feathers)
  • Velcro squares or circles

Burlap Indian Headbands - a durable craft, perfect for Thanksgiving, celebrating Native Americans, or for everyday dress-up fun

Step 1: Measure your kids’ heads.

Step 2: Measure and mark out rectangles onto your burlap. The rectangles will be 2 inches wide by 23 to 25 inches long for most kids, but shorter or longer if your kids’ heads are smaller or bigger. There should be a couple extra inches so that the headband can overlap to secure it. Mark your lines onto the burlap with a marker.

Step 3: Cover your crafting area with scrap paper to protect your work surface. Place the burlap on the scrap paper and paint over the headband lines with the Mod Podge. This step keeps the burlap from unraveling when you cut it, and it also adds a little “stiffness” to the burlap. The Mod Podge will look white when you paint it on, but it will dry clear within a couple of hours. Lift the burlap after you paint it to ensure that the burlap is not adhering to your scrap paper.

Step 4: Let the burlap dry a couple of hours or overnight.

Step 5: Cut out the burlap strips.

Step 6: Allow kids to decorate the burlap strip headbands as desired with markers. You may notice that we used fabric markers, but any type of marker will work.

Burlap Indian Headbands: A fun craft to celebrate Thanksgiving and Native Americans

Step 7: Give the kids rectangles of the foam (approximately 6 inches by 3 inches) in different colors and allow them to cut out feathers. (Younger children may need help with this.) The edges of the feathers can be trimmed with little inward cuts to make them look like feathers, or the kids may decorate the feathers with the markers.

Indian Burlap Headbands

Indian Burlap Headbands

Step 8: (Adults only!) Glue the feathers onto the headband with the hot glue gun. Also glue the velcro into place, making sure that one velcro square is placed on the inside of the headband and the other velcro square is placed on the outside of the headband on the other side so that the head band will overlap on itself and fit around the child’s head.


Step 9: Let the glue dry thoroughly (a couple of minutes). Prepare yourself for some “Whooping” and racing around which will start as soon as the child places the Indian headband on his or her head.

Burlap Indian Headbands - a durable craft, perfect for Thanksgiving, celebrating Native Americans, or for everyday dress-up fun

When I first told my kids that we were going to make this craft, my eight year old girls were uninterested. When they saw their brother and cousin having fun making these, however, they suddenly wanted “in”. The girls came up with their own ideas, wanting to add more elaborate designs and cascading feathers. This could have been done with foam, as well, but they did it with cardstock paper on their own. This craft lends itself well to the creativity of older kids as well as younger kids.

Burlap Indian Headbands - a durable craft, perfect for Thanksgiving, celebrating Native Americans, or for everyday dress-up fun

More Posts from Path Through the Narrow Gate:

Classic Paper Bag Owls - These simple to make, super cute owls make a perfect pairing with Beverly Cleary's Ramona the Brave.  Are you looking for an inexpensive, fun way to dress up your Thanksgiving table? How about an adorable Thanksgiving craft for kids? Look no further than these adorable Turkey Napkin Holders.  Spelling pin 2



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2 thoughts on “How to Make Burlap Indian Headbands

  1. Unfortunately this is a project which perpetuates racist stereotypes. I think there’s much to be said for living in gratitude, so Thanksgiving is a meaningful Holiday for me. If you would like to explore this, I would recommend checking out Debbie Reese’s blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature. It is a kind and respectful site and those of us who are not Native American can learn a bit. Thanks for reading.

    • Thanks, Karen. I just checked out Debbie’s blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature, and it looks great. Thanks for recommending it. I have wondered, though, is it possible to celebrate another culture without stereotypes? God made each one of us individual, unique, and also sharing many characteristics with all of our fellow human beings. God created us all equal, but all cultures are different, too. I think that God is glorified by our differences, and that our cultures should be celebrated and respected. Are the stereotypes accurate? No. But then, people from around the world may think that all Americans wear jeans, watch football, speak loudly, drive cars, eat hamburgers, and are slightly overweight. Stereotype? Yes. But then, how else would they describe our culture?