She’s Crafty {Juju Hat Tuturial}

Thanks so much for the great response to the guest room I revamped for Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge! I had such a blast putting this room together and creating several DIY projects that I plan to share with you. I had quite a few requests for a tutorial on the juju hat so it’s the first one up!



African juju hat tutorial

A couple of months ago I introduced you to my obsession with love for African juju hats.  These traditional tribal hats can bring amazing texture and visual interest to a room.  But… there were a couple things holding me back on joining in the juju fun: 1) the price and 2) the staying power. Jujus can be seriously pricey – like this one from Horchow and this one from Tonic Table. Plus, as much as I wanted a Cameroonian feather hat on my wall, I didn’t know that it would always be True Love Always (just like my deep abiding love for Tommy Porter that didn’t survive eighth grade). All the same I wanted my juju so instead of buying one I took the DIY route.

juju hat - guest room ~ Suburban Bitches


There are two excellent juju hat tutorials on the web and I was inspired by both Love, Maegan and Vintage Farm Furniture when I was looking to make my own juju hat.

The juju hat is a fairly straight forward DIY but be forewarned, even the make-it-yourself juju is not inexpensive.  I purchased my strung rooster coque feathers for this project from the Feather Place.  Both Maegan and Hollie both used the 6-8″ length feathers the price of which seems to vary but tends to run about $40 a strand.  I wanted to use the bleach/natural feathers for my juju too but the 6-8″ feathers were sold out & with just six weeks to do my room I didn’t have time to wait for them to be restocked. I had my heart set on including a juju hat in my One Room Challenge so I sprung for the 12-14″ feathers instead at $57.38 for 1/4lb. Because the feathers are based on weight and not the length of the strand my strands were shorter. Whereas Maegan and Hollie got away with using three strands of feathers, because my feathers were longer & the stands shorter, I went with four strands.  Ouch, huh? I probably could have gotten away with just three but I didn’t have time to reorder if I needed one more.  But, on the plus side, my finished juju hat measured 32″ in diameter rather than just 24″.  Go big or go home.  Right?


A minimum of 3 rooster coque strung feathers strands // scissors // rug pad // backing material // hot glue gun & glue sticks  // large circular item

Step One // Determine the size of your juju hat-to-be & very carefully lay the strands out (the sewn together strands can easily become tangled and twisted). I’m so glad I didn’t skip this because initially I thought the amount of feathers I had would go much further than they did. I and my $200 of feathers would have been screwed if I hadn’t bothered with this step.  Once you’ve figured out the size you want use a large circular object (like a plate or bowl) to trace the base and cut it out.  The base is just going to be the area that’s covered by the ends of the feather – mine was 15″.

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

Step Two // Place a backing material behind the rug pad to help support the juju as it hangs on the wall.  Maegan suggested using a sheet of foam packing material.  I gave it a try and with the first drop of hot glue this is what happened –

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

Yeah, I gave up on that.  I was stranded at home with a little napper and didn’t have any other recommended material. Then I got creative and remembered the duct tape-like properties of canvas drop cloth – you can use it for anything. That’s what I did – just cut out a section and plopped it on the table.  I love the versatility of drop cloth so much that I’ll be posting another drop cloth tutorial soon.

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

Place your backing material behind the rug pad and as you glue your feathers down the glue will adhere to the base layer as well locking it in place.

Step Three // Lock and load those guns; it’s time to start slinging the glue.  

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

Start by gluing your feathers around the outer edge of your base with the feathers tips arched downwards.  Once you have one complete circle of feathers – stop and cut off the excess.  Don’t continue to spiral the feathers around.  As you glue around too make sure you really work the feathers tips into the glue.  Sort of push the feathers down and back towards the outer side of the base.  This will help give your juju hat added height.

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

Step Four // Begin your next circle of feathers this time with the feathers angled upwards  to create more dimension.  Alternating each round of feathers upwards and downwards until you reach the center of your circle will make your juju nice and fluffy.

Step Five // When you reach the center of the juju you should have some short clusters of remnant feathers from your cuttings at the end of each loop.  You’ll want to add these – a few feathers at a time – to the center of your juju. Glue the feather bunches in at various angles to create more height and to conceal any remaining little openings.

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

Once you have all your feathers glued on carefully determine which direction you want your juju to hang on the wall.  Which way do the feathers fall best?  Next flip it over and trim the excess from your base material. I left a couple extra inches on the top side of the juju and folded that material over for extra support. To hang it I just drove a nail through the two layers of the base. I was a little nervous at first to not have anything more substantial supporting the juju. It’s been up for over a week now and I’m not seeing any noticeable stress on the drop cloth base. That’s it – you are done!  Time to enjoy that feathery goodness!

juju hat - guest room ~ Suburban Bitches

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

Juju hat tutorial ~ Suburban Bitches

I’ve now moved the cream juju to my bedroom that I redid as another One Room Challenge 


And created a new magenta juju for the guest room!


If you create your own juju, please share.  We’d love to see it!  Also, if there are any other tutorials or DIYs you’d like to see us tackle, let us know.  We’re always game for new things!


Related posts:

What little girl dreams are made of {Tricia's little girl room}
My Valentine's Day Secret
Pretty little books {decorating with design books}
Changing the way I eat- and giving you the low down on macros
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17 Responses to She’s Crafty {Juju Hat Tuturial}

  1. I LOVE you, you just made my day with this!! I want one so badly and the prices are out of control on these, I’m adding this to my to do list!!! it is gorgeous- bravo!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! I too love them, but agree that their staying power does not justify the price. Pinning this for future stealing! 🙂

  3. Absolutely looove this! Ive been wanting one for so long. This is absolutely gorgeous. Totally doing this! Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Julie@jamnjilly says:

    love this! Where did you purchase your feathers? How many did you purchase? And did they really cost $200? Thanks for the help:)

    • Thanks Julie! 🙂 I purchased them from The Feather Place. I bought 4 strands of the 10-12″ strung rooster coque feathers. They are $54.93 a bunch. It’s definitely not an inexpensive DIY but a lot less than buying a pre-made one.

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  6. Vianney says:

    love love love…in my do to list now, just remodeled my living room and looking for modern ideas….I need three for a big wall so buying them already made are out of my set budget. thanks!

    • They’ll look great Vianney! It’s actually a super easy project and you’ll be so happy you didn’t spend all that money when you could do it yourself! I’d love to see how they turn out!!! 🙂

  7. Debra says:

    Hi! I’m getting ready to make a juju hat for my daughters bedroom. Just wondering why you didn’t cone shape your base by overlapping and stapling prior to gluing? I’ve seen all the tutorials and yours seems the easiest but wanted to know why you opted to glue on a flat surface vs the case shaped base?

    • Thanks for the question Debra. Definitely more authentic if you create a 3D surface to work with but I was just interested in creating a fun piece of art. I feel like it also worked better as it doesn’t stick out so far from the wall. Good luck with yours! I’ve made a second one – they really bring life to a room!

  8. Debra says:

    Thanks Tricia! I too am going to make the overall 32″ big juju hat. Could I get away with 3 strands of the 12-14″ feathers? Or will I need some feathers off of a 4th strand? Also, did you mix feather sizes at all on the big juju or just use all 12-14″ feathers?


    • It would be tight with the 3 but you might be able to get away with it. Just be sure to lay it all out in a practice run before doing any glueing! Also, on the second one I did I used small feathers in the center which created a really fun look. Maybe I need to update the post and show that one too!

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  10. I love your DIY project!!!! I’m featuring it on my blog post today! I’m including great globally inspired projects with red, white, and blue.

  11. Pingback: Juju Hat DIY - Gina Sims Designs

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