Belly dance face veils and headdresses are not strictly necessary to put on a fine performance, but they help to add an element of mystery and mystique. Some belly dancers also believe that wearing a face veil lets them show their true beauty and expressions through their eyes, since the face is concealed. The fabrics you choose for your face veils and headdresses should complement the colors of your dancing ensemble; you might end up making more than one face veil or headdress to go with different dance costumes.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring Tape
- 1/2-Inch Elastic
- Rigid Headband
- Needle And Thread
Making the Face Veil
Measure your forehead from temple to temple by laying a flexible tape measure across your forehead.
Cut a square of chiffon or other lightweight fabric, 2 inches wider than the measurement you made. So, if your forehead is 8 inches from temple to temple, your fabric piece should be 10 inches wide by 10 inches high.
Hem the fabric square with a 1-inch hem on all sides.
Wrap the measuring tape around your head, at the same level you want the upper edge of the veil to sit, and note the measurement.
Cut a piece of 1/2-inch or narrower elastic that is 2 inches shorter than the measurement you just took. In other words if your head measures 25 inches around, you should cut the elastic to 23 inches long.
Stitch one end of the elastic to the upper right corner of your veil. Stitch the other end of the elastic to the upper left corner of your veil. Now you're ready to slip the veil over your face and secure it by placing the elastic loop behind your head.
Select a rigid headband that fits your head. This will be the base of your headdress.
Measure across the top of your head, from the top of one ear to the top of the other ear, with a flexible measuring tape.
Cut a piece of chiffon or other lightweight fabric that is as wide as your head measurement plus 2 inches, and 3 inches longer than you want the headdress to be. In other words if your head measured 15 inches across from the top of one ear to the top of the other ear, the fabric should be 17 inches wide, and if you want it to be 24 inches long when finished, the fabric you cut should be 27 inches long.
Hem the fabric with a 1-inch hem on all sides.
Wrap the front edge of the fabric around the headband and stitch it to the rest of the fabric, creating a fabric tube around the headband.
Secure a strip of elastic to each end of the headband, if you so desire, to help hold it in place on your head. Depending on what the headband is made of, you can either stitch the elastic into place or hot glue it to the outside edges of the headband.
Belly dance veils can be made of see-through fabric, to allow a dancer to still use facial expressions as part of the dance, or they can be made of solid fabric to add an element of mystery.
Lisa Maloney is a travel and outdoors writer based in Anchorage, Alaska. She's written four outdoors and travel guidebooks, including the award-winning "Moon Alaska," and regularly contributes to local and national publications. She also has a background in personal training, with more than 6,000 hours of hands-on experience.