Thursday, July 5, 2012

#32 Whimsical Hats

Sorry it's been so long between posts. I meant to get more on top of things but stuff keeps coming up and getting in the way.  Also I am a bit scatter brains so forgive any typos..

So anyway...Hats!

I wanted more whimsical shapes than I saw at the store.
I saw some online but they were quite expensive!

 So as usual I decided to make my own.

So I had some ideas in my head but I always do an internet search first to see if anyone has tried this and what they did. 

I found a few tutorials right away. 

The one I liked best was by Thread Bangers on youtube. 
Here are the links

This one is for the oversized mad hatter hat

This is for the mini hat.

I used both here and only made a couple modifications.

The red silk hat.
  • poster board
  • piece of cardboard big enough for about 12" round circle  ( could use cardboard cake rounds they sell at craft stores)
  • fabric a yard or so, or just scraps if making a mini hat
  • wire 14 guage
  • sash, ribbon, flowers, feathers... whatever accessories you want
  • bias tape and or trimmings

 Other stuff... 
  • hot glue gun
  • fabric glue
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • needle, thread, and pins 
  • circle compass

So first I did the Mad Hatter Hat.
Starting with a piece of poster board rolled into a cylinder I did mine 10" high but the height is optional. Use masking tape to secure it.

 Make the sure it fits around your head with a little room for hair.

Find a sturdy piece of cardboard. Make sure it's is pretty strong.. don't want an old piece that the fibers are broken down that bends too easy.

Out of this cut a circle I did mine about 12" round. 
These don't have to be exact measurements though. 
I used a circle compass to trace it out first.

Hot Glue the poster board cylinder in the center of cardboard the circle. 

Now the next part is different than the videos.

I found it hard to get the fabric to look right just doing it loosely like they show. I am also a little anal about these kind of things. 
So I measured and cut a piece of fabric first to fit.

 I did this by rolling the cardboard piece on the fabric, following and marking the natural curve as it rolled

This is just some fabric I found at goodwill by the way.

Keep gradually tracing as you roll it. You should end up with curved shape something like below.
Make sure you get enough fabric to go around by marking a spot on the cardboard, rolling it until you get back to that same mark again.

You can make a pattern on craft paper first, like I did here with my red hat. Make sure to give a inch or so extra fabric all around.

After I cut out this piece I pinned it all around the top edge with as well as the bottom inside to make sure it was all even. 
For pinning the top I stuck the pins directly into the cardboard itself right around the edge (see in the picture of my black hat below). Pull the fabric very tautly as you go around. 

The poster board doesn't like being pinned, so I only used a couple just to hold it in place roughly. I hurt my finger a lot on those stupid pins. Any puckers or wrinkles can be worked out at this point by removing and reposition pins until you get it just right. I would say focus on getting the top more perfect.. because the bottom you can eventually cover with the sash, or a flower, a feather or something.

This next step would have been good to have a pic of. Unfortunately I just spaced out. Basically this is the same as in the video... you are just hot gluing the top on and then the bottom. 

Starting on top...I glued the fabric just near the edge. go slow don't use to much glue, don't want lumps on top when it's dry. 

Next glue on the bottom fabric inside really pulling it taut.

Looks like a lamp shade. I wonder if you could use an old lamp shade for this hmmmm?

I was kind of anal about how the back was looking as (where the needs met up). I tried gluing it but it didn't work so I decided to just sew it together real quick with a needle and thread. This helped pull it together much better, fixed a few wrinkles too.

On another piece of fabric trace a circle piece to fit on the top of the hat and just glue it on. 
Trim the excess off... just like in the video.

                              ^ Bottom

Now the Brim pretty much exact as in the video.
 I used 14 gauge wire can be found at any home improvement store.
You need a string wire for this. Coat hanger wire would probably work fine.

Just like the Thread Banger video, place the hat on another piece of your fabric, bottom side down. 
Trace a circle to match the opening. Cut out a small circle at center of that. 
Then cut flaps up to the edge of the larger circle 

Decide on how big you want your brim to be. I just eyeballed it. 
Mine ended up being about 15 inches round. 
Tape the wire to hold the circle shape. I used duct tape.

Cut out the fabric in a wider circle with plenty of over hang 

 Match up the opening of this piece with the opening of the hat and glue this piece inside.

Flip the hat over the wire circle.

Start pulling the fabric around the wire and pinning it. 

It can take a few minutes to get the hang of this. But it starts to make since as it gets tighter. 
Just have to keep messing with it as you go. 
I removed and replaced the pins several times until I got it right.

Here is the red hat pinned up

Now either hand sew or use a machine to sew it on.

Trim off the extra fabric underneath.

I spray painted it with some green paint I had lying around

Here is another view of my red hat. I used fabric glue to add some  gold trim to this one and covered the seam at the back with red ribbon.

The smaller hat is almost the same except on a smaller scale.
 Also you don't need to worry about it fitting over your head so the brim is a little different.

Instead of cutting a hole out for your head, just glue fabric around the wire rim.

Trim off the excess fabric

Lay it on another piece of fabric and mark and cut a circle to match. Glue it on the rough side

Cut a couple slits in the middle and feed a piece of ribbon through. 
Make sure it's long enough so it can be tied around your head. Glue it in place so it doesn't slide out.

                                                      Glue on the top.

I applied bias tape with some fabric glue around the edges to clean it up 
and some sparkly ribbon I found.

Just tie it around either under your chin, or around the back (like I did here).
I pinned the ribbon to may hair to hold it better too.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I have been a long time admirer of your blog. Being an avid Halloween/all thinks creepy fan, I have followed(stalked?)your blog posts for a long time. I think I may have left a comment here or there.I usually intend on doing so, but then I get distracted or someone in my my house cannot survived a few minute without my assistance(sigh). I just wanted to stop by and just tell you how awesome I think you are!

    1. Thank you so much! That is so sweet! I know exactly what you mean about the house falling apart without you. I'm sometimes afraid to start projects just because I know I will have to stop in a few seconds for the latest catastrophe. School starts early here thank goodness.

  2. Gorgeous hats! Thanks for sharing those tutorials they were very instructive. I have trying to figure out how to do top hats like these and it was easier than I thought.

  3. Cool ...a Lot better than having to pay $100.oo for a hat for my "Dr. Theda".... Thanks.... the Doctor

  4. I came upon your spell book eerie, on this morning dark and dreary...

    Sorry, you've gotten me in a Poe twist of mind. Lol. I've really enjoyed my browse thru your work and wanted to let you know how much you rock.

  5. I do not if this is the place to leave this comment, but you must go on with this amazing list of DIY projects. I have just stumbled upon your blog from seeing your scarecrow on Pin interest...And it makes me thrilled to see someone who LOVES Halloween as well. I have book marked this blog to my bar. Pretty pretty please with sugar on top finish this 102 wicked thing to do - Halloween Decor Blog!!!

    1. Thank you so much I am so glad you like it. I am definitely going to finish the blog. I actually collect a lot of my tutorial photos this time of year. Getting time to post them is always the trick. I have a couple commissions working on right now, but I am aching to get out my Halloween stuff and start going nuts!

  6. God only knows what you are capable of. Again you awe us all!

  7. I recently started working on a top hat in the same manner and your right the rim is a bit tricky! Love the werewolf and the effect the fabric gives to the snout!

  8. Are you done blogging? The silence is deafening and disappointing.

  9. It reminds me when I had to make a costume hat for the art class in high school. It was not that sophisticated and I must admit I suck at sewing. Good job!

  10. You should really have provided some contact information. People would pay you a lot of money for some of these items - including myself. But since there is no email address or website, there's no way to offer you money.

  11. You have informed us through your best writing. Nose rings.