“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.
Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.
And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be.
And what it wouldn’t be, it would.
- The Mad Hatter
So, this is several weeks late…our tea party was going to be themed, however due to ridiculous amounts of junk that had to be sorted, nothing was made. But I’d bought the things to make this and I wasn’t going to let them go to waste, what will I do with a Mad Hatters Hat? No idea, but I’m pretty pleased with myself for making it!
This is a long process by the way, I’ve been doing this for two weeks now, off and on. (It’s still not finished, but it should be all done by publication of this post!)
Things you’ll need:
-Cardboard. Lots of cardboard. Consider Pizza bases…
-Glue. PVA and something stronger too maybe
- Some form of green fabric
-some kind of peachy coloured strip of fabric
- Plyers/wire cutters for the hangers
-Large Beads with big holes
-Ruler, pencils, measuring tape etc
( – Stripy other fabric scrap
First things first, you need to measure the size of your head/the head of the person you’re making the hat for. Then you want to cut out a piece of cardboard that is about 3 inches bigger than this and about a minimum of 6 inches longer than you want the hat to be tall. Then you need to glue the cardboard into a tube using the extra 3 inches added onto the measurement of your head as an overlap. I used some heavy tubs of deep conditioner to weigh down the tube as it dried to keep it stuck. I used cosmic shimmer glue for this because it needs to be structurally sound. It’s a strong crafters glue so I believe.
next, I decided which side would be the top and I marked out half of the extra measurement I’d added to the length so I’d know where to bend the top, I also marked out where I wanted the hat to start getting wider (remember to add on the other half of the extra measurement to this, you’re going to cut that and use it to stick the brim on with.) then I cut the longer part of the hat into strips and bent on the line I’l previously marked. The strips don’t need to be even unless you really want them to be.Then you need a circle of cardboard (or similar) larger than the circle of the other end of the tube you’ve made. (I’m sure there are technical hat terms I don’t know that I could be using…) I had a pizza base that worked, though I had originally thought of a bigger circle, I decided not to make extra work and went with it.
The pizza base ended up looking pretty good! I could only stick two or three tabs down at once and I used my old friends the deep conditioner tubs to hold them down till they dried. (Still using cosmic shimmer). Once they’re all stuck, hey presto! Your very own oversized chefs hat!
Yeah I didn’t like it either…
I’d recommend sizing and cutting out your brim at this point. I didn’t need to do this step, my local Sainsburys supermarket has a pizza counter with really large pizzas and their bases just to happen to male the prefect brim for my hat! It’s three inches (give or take) bigger than my hat around. Once you have your brim piece, find the centre and then draw around the bottom of our hat so you know what size to cut out the middle. I…didn’t do this, I went onto the next step first, then I had to waste time working out how to work out how to cut the right size hole. I didn’t want to compromise my cardboard so I ended up measuring and drawing. (As my tube wasn’t quite stick straight this was actually quite a good thing!) Then you need to mark your extra measurement off and cut it into strips and fold them out to get the bend, then fold them back up to slide the brim on.
You’ll need to do a similar thing with the brim as to the top. Sticking a few tabs at a time, turning the hat right way up and setting heavy things on the glued area to make sure it sticks. Once it’s completely dry, you’ll need to bend up each side of the brim to give it a curve, this is best done now so that it doesn’t compromise the fabric once you’ve stuck it down. For my next trick I used a double layer skirt. I couldn’t find the type of fabric I wanted anywhere then I found this skirt, the double layer gave me the base and top I wanted so it seemed like a great idea. Took forever to cover the hat though as I was essentially doing it twice. I used PVA glue for this, mine is thick so I watered it down to make it easier to use. I stuck a small bit first and let it dry to make sure it worked with this fabric. I cut a piece big enough to do the rim then I cut a slit in the middle and cut some of the middle fabric out so that it slipped over the hat. I had to cut the gap a little longer to get it to fit but still cover the brim. Then I covered the brim in glue and stuck it down.
I had to cut more out of the middle, but I waited till the glue was dry where possible so that I could get it as close as possible. Then I turned the hat over and cut the excess into strips so that I could cover the inside of the brim. This needed extra glue as I was sticking fabric to fabric for the overlaps. Anything more than half a cm and I tried to cut it off. I left that to dry completely then I moved onto the body of the hat. I tried to line up the bottom of the fabric with the bottom of the hat but quickly discovered that wouldn’t work. I simply made sure the fabric lay flat and smooth as I went round. I had to do this in small sections because if I manipulated the whole thing too much while the glue was wet on any given section the weight of the rest of the fabric pulled it off which was thoroughly annoying. Once it was dry I cut off the excess, leaving enough to cut strips and cover the top, what I couldn’t get close enough to cut off around the brim I snipped and stuck down, it’s going to be covered by another layer.
Once that was completely dry it was time to start with the lace! I tried to be clever and I cut a rough circle shape big enough to go over and under the brim. Then I measured in, the width of the brim twice (Inside, outside) then the width of the inside of the hat. I started to measuring in from the outside and cut out the middle accordingly, then I remembered that it was only a ROUGH circle shape of approximately the right size so I quickly stopped that business and moved onto the body.
I was trying to be very careful with the join of the fabric and even had vague notions of making sure there was extra at the join so I could stick a fake sewn join. Then I discovered that this green lace is so fantastically forgiving and I just stuck it down, doing with the excess as I did with the first layer. I thankfully hadn’t messed up the piece for the brim and was able to go around the brim with it, making sure it was flat on the brim and not worrying about the overlap -that can be cut off later/hidden with the peach hatband. I wrapped i around the inside of the brim the same way as the first layer. This fabric is so forgiving that the join on the brim was done the same as the body and I didn’t end up cutting a circle out to hide the top of the hat, which I covered the same way as the bottom layer yet again.
That’s the hat done! Next it’s time for the hat pins. Which is where the wire hangers come in. Mine were covered in plastic and quite thick, my beads didn’t fit, even with clever wire and glue skills. so I resorted to sticking on some buttons. We have some Actual hatpins somewhere which, when located, I’ll swap in…To make the hatpins, cut the long part of the wire off the hanger, cut the wire to size (strip of any plastic CAREFULLY with a craft knife, if you are young or in anyway clumsy, get an adult/more steady handed person to help!) and then glue the beads in place. Or maybe a costume broach or something, I’ve seen various types going on. Alternatively, if you’re willing, splash out on some fancy hat pins – they will be easier to stab into the cardboard. (there are very relevantly themed ones on amazon!)
I put a piece of paper on the back of the buttons just to make sure they stayed and then I let them dry. I got a piece of white card and I cut out the rough shape I wanted and being lazy, I burnt the edges around, instead of tearing or wiggly cutting and colouring the edge. I tied my peach ‘silk’ scarf around the hat and slotted the card into place. Then I jabbed the ‘hat pins’ in as well as I could (through the lace because they had no point to go in any further…)
I chickened out when it came to the gold paint in the end, but the idea is to lightly brush t onto parts of the lace to emphasise them. It wasn’t until I was researching pictures for the god that I realised that I was working from the memory of only one side of the hat, so I’ve not (yet) decorated the other side, but the other side is quite simple, it seems to have a stripy patch over the top on the front and a peacock feather in the band. I added the picture to the top and the extra items to the items list.
Man, look at that hat! Have you made one too? Looking at it in the picture, I think that a wider top would have looked better, and I definitely thing that I’ll be swapping actual hat pins. hopefully they get found before I spend too much money one new ones…
I think I will practice the gold and perhaps eventually accent the hat with it and I’m definitely going to have to get myself a peacock feather and a patch for the other side!
This is possibly one of the best thing’s I’ve made, so I’m going to do these little edits to make sure it’s perfect.
Is this something you’d try to make? do you have any tips? Please share below!