Guess what I'll be wearing while handing out Halloween treats tonight? The FABULOUS hat pictured above, that's what!
Lately I have been cruising blogs by people who love to make things, and happened upon a "Halloween Hat Swap" hosted by Speckled Egg. Interested people were invited to sign up, and be paired by the swap host with another person with whom we would swap our own hand-made Halloween hats. I LOVE Halloween, and I had to get in on the fun. My partner was Erin of Tresors Marche, who sent me her gorgeous creation along with a ton of treats: a reproduction vintage Halloween postcard, a hand made card with my name spelled out in buttons, candy treats, and a terrific retro dancing witch! Check out this booty I got from Erin!
I can't tell you how much fun it was to open that box. The hat (and everything else) has been on display in my dining area all month. Thank you again, Erin!
Meanwhile I also had to figure out how to make a hat. It wasn't quite as easy as you might think.
First I tried fashioning a cone shaped template from newspaper.
That didn't work out too well, so I scouted the internet for directions on how to make a cone shaped hat that would fit an adult.
I finally found workable directions from--who else?--Martha Stewart! Here's what you do: Get a large piece of poster paper, a pencil and a length of string that is 15 to 18 inches long (or the desired height of the finished hat). Tie one end of the pencil to the string. This is going to be used as a compass.
Hold the other end of the string to the straight edge of the paper, (near the corner), and holding the string straight, draw a curved line that is at least as long as the finished circumference of the head the hat is designed to fit, plus another inch or so for overlap. An easy way to do this is to first take a string and measure around your head, and use that length of string (plus a little overlap) to measure the length of the curved edge you will draw with the pencil and string.
Now I see why there aren't many good directions for making hats on the internet....
So anyway now you are ready to draw your hat template:
See how easy that was? Of course you can use this paper as the hat and decorate it to your hearts content, using paper, fabric, and lovely things like flowers and buttons, feathers and crystal pendulums like Erin did on the hat she made for me.
Here's what I did: I had some black and white toile fabric I liked, so I sprayed the back of the fabric with glue and fixed it to my poster paper cone. Then I cut away the excess fabric to fit the paper.
And now we come to the hardest part (for me), which was how on earth to get the cone to stay in a cone shape. Should I glue it? Sew it? Staple it? Glue by itself didn't work, as I discovered with dismay. Perhaps the fabric made the cone too stiff. What I finally ended up doing was exposing a tiny strip of edge, masking off the hat with newspaper to protect it from glue, and spraying on a little of the adhesive along that overlap edge. This was awkward and only half worked. So then I got medieval on it and used a stapler at the edge of the hat and again as far up the interior of the cone as I could reach with the stapler.
It worked, partly because the decorative fabric made it hard to see the staples. At this point I realized that if I was going to get this hat made, the stapler was going to be my friend.
The rest of it was pretty easy. I deserve extra stars for thinking ahead to attach the ribbons (which would be used to tie under one's chin while wearing the hat.) BEFORE putting on the edge trim. I put the hat on, and drew a dot with a marker pen on the inside of the hat in the approximate location of my ears on either side of my head. This would be where I would staple the ribbon ties. Then I stapled on the ties as securely as I could.
I then stapled on a wide band of a spider theme ribbon to trim the edge of the hat. Again, the patterns on the ribbon and fabric did a fairly good job of hiding the staples. Whew!
The final touch was to attach the ribbons to the top of the cone. These were little decorated hair bands I had purchased from a craft store. I had considered fixing these inside the cone during its construction, but decided I wanted Erin to be able to remove and wear them separately, so I simply slid them over the end of the cone.
Here's a close up of the ribbon ties and edge (not really a brim):
It fit my son Evan too!
So I figured it would fit Erin too. :)
This was my first internet swap and it was a total blast. To witness an incredible display of fun and creativity, I hope you take a moment to check out all the other hats made by participants of the swap.