"The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily:
then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again:
but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark,
'It was the best butter, you know.'"
-Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
This week, for Top Ten Tuesday, I wanted to feature my surprising craftiness. Last week SC was invited to an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party birthday party that required a "tea party" hat. Not having anything on hand that would specifically do, we set out first to Target to find a hat, and then Hobby Lobby to get some supplies, and with input from SC, I crafted a grand tea party hat.
So, in ten steps, here is how to make an awesome tea party hat:
(1) Purchase a plain, floppy-brimmed hat. We got this one here, in black. It was on clearance for $4 at our local Target store.
(2) Purchase/gather any supplies you want to affix to the hat. Also, if you do not like the original hat color, purchase spray paint. SC wanted everything on her hat (including the hat itself) to be purple, her favorite color.
- purple glitter spray paint (like Krylon 4-Ounce Glitter Aerosol Spray)
- tulle (we got two shades initially, but I only used one)
- wide ribbon
- floral garland
- large flower with detachable stem
- hot glue gun & glue
(3) Spray paint the hat (outdoors or in another well-ventilated area) so it is the color you want. We wanted the purple glitter look, so used the glitter paint, but you could use any color or finish (solid, translucent, glossy, matte) that you wish.
*The paint will make the brim much stiffer than it was originally, so if you wish for a super-floppy brim, you may want to just paint the crown and use a darker/less translucent tulle to add the color.
(4) Start pulling tulle off the first roll you want to use. Fold one side upon itself in an accordion fashion, leaving the other end free. Affix the folds together with a stapler. Make sure the stapled side is more tightly scrunched than the open side, which will create a somewhat circular "skirt" result with the tulle.
You can do this without measuring up against the crown of the hat for a while, but eventually will need to wrap it around the outside edge to make sure you only use as much tulle as you need. Cut the tulle off the roll when the "skirt" is complete.
(5) Using the glue gun, apply hot glue to the circumference of the crown. CAREFULLY attach the tulle "skirt" to the crown with the staples up above the brim (so they will be hidden by the ribbon). Again, be careful! The tulle is sheer and the glue will seep through, causing burt fingers.
*At this point, if you wish to use a second layer of tulle, repeat steps (4) and (5). We left it with just one so that the glitter paint showed through. However, you could use multiple colors or even different widths of tulle to create a neat look.
(6) Measure out the length of ribbon needed to wrap around the crown of the hat, plus about 2 inches to fold over neatly. Apply hot glue carefully to the bottom portion of the crown, directly over the staples, and up about an inch (or more if you have chosen a very wide ribbon) all the way around the hat.
CAREFULLY press the ribbon to the glued area of the hat starting on one end, going around. Keep in mind that your ribbon probably will not lay flat. If you chose not to attach floral garland, feathers or other items on top of the ribbon, you might want to choose a ribbon that isn't as shiny as the one I have chosen, which really shows all the wrinkles.
(7) When you have wrapped most of the ribbon around, fold the last inch under itself with a dab of hot glue. Then affix the rest of the ribbon, adding a bit of glue on top of the already pressed ribbon to hold the folded-over end.
(8) Measure the appropriate length of floral garland (or you could use a feather boa!) around the circumference of the crown. Decide how you want the end to look and cut to the appropriate length. Place the garland up against the edge of the crown and, starting with the end, carefully pick up sections of the stem to apply hot glue underneath.
If your garland has larger flowers, you may want to add some extra glue under each of them to make sure they stay put. Also make sure all leaves are pointing the direction you wish (so you don't see the backs) and add a dot of glue as needed.
(9) De-stem (with scissors, or some will just pop off) the large flower that will be the focal point of the hat. Decide where you wish the focal point to be, but you can also use the flower to cover any oops spots or if you have a giant buckle (like I did) that sticks out even after everything else is on there. Apply quite a bit of hot glue to the base of the large flower and press into place, making sure to angle it toward the front of the hat. Hold the flower in place for a few minutes, because the weight of the larger flower might make it move before the glue cools and hardens.
*This would also be the time to add on large plumes or any other items you wish to tuck into the garland.
(10) Try the hat on the wearer! Keep in mind the more stuff you add to the hat (including spray paint), the heavier it will be.