Feb 8, 2024 - Things to Do

We tried it: A Mardi Gras headdress-making class

Two women, wearing multicolored headdresses, smile in a selfie.

The author and her mom, Katie Brasted, after their headdress-making class. Photo: Chelsea Brasted/Axios

I'm not the best Mardi Gras crafter, but a recent headdress-making class from New Orleans artist Ellen Macomber gave me new confidence.

Driving the news: Macomber's work includes mixed media works and wearable textiles and headdresses, now on view at the Martine Chaisson Gallery through March 31.

What happened: Earlier in the season, Macomber offered classes to pass along what she's learned about making Mardi Gras headdresses.

  • I bought two tickets ($110 each) so my mom and I could learn a thing or two to up our game this season, and we walked away with new headdresses to boot.

The setup included a foam head, a glue gun, a 2-inch headband and a room full of fabric, found objects, baubles, beads, feathers and other scraps.

  • For about two hours, a group of about 10 of us experimented with attaching all of it to the headbands, pausing for views in a giant mirror.

Lessons learned: Macomber swears by the 2-inch headband.

  • It's big enough to serve as a sturdy, comfortable base, but small enough to hide under all the accoutrements we stuck on top.
  • The class was helpful to see how creative other people could be, and it was fun digging through Macomber's collection of craft supplies.

Yes, but: Now that I've taken the class, I feel confident I could host this kind of party too, and maybe ask friends to bring along scraps from their own craft supplies.

The bottom line: It was a fun night out with my mom, and a good reminder that a glue gun can work wonders.


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