1. Procrastinate the making of your Halloween costume. You have plenty of time to put something together and your favorite TV show is on tonight. But you’ll definitely start working on it tomorrow. You promise yourself.
2. Initiate panic sequence the day of your Halloween party. You’ve dug through your closet and were able to throw a costume together, but realize you need a cute mini top hat to top off the outfit.
3. Hoard multiple empty cereal boxes in your basement. If you’ve actually done this, you were either featured on Hoarders or you were using them to make mini top hats and then decided you would make loads of them to sell. Later you did the math and realized you would have to make one an hour to be profitable. Sadly you were averaging one a weekend.
At least it’s not Lucky Charms..
4. Stockpile yards and scraps of tulle and fabric, along with baubles, buttons, and faux flowers because if there is a zombie apocalypse you know you’ll be able to sell them for a huge mark up.
One day this will be organized. Likely after I fold the laundry and finish my novel…
(If you realize you weren’t proactive enough to have completed steps three and four, your hat making experience will require a trip to the grocery store and/or the craft store. This will add to the stress created by steps number one and two.)
5. Rummage through your supplies to find a color combo that works. It’s best if the materials are spread all over the floor so your cats can roll on, bite and bat all your precious materials. It will also annoy your husband.
6. Use the power of suggestion so that your husband decides he should go to the coffee shop and bring back your favorite beverage.
7. Pick suitable background noise. Music is okay. But I find a showing of The Hunger Games or Vampire Diaries works best. A word of caution though, the background noise should not compete for your full attention. This could lead to hours of watching and no crafting. I’ve seen it happen before. It’s not pretty.
8. Begin construction. Because you’ve waited until the last minute, there is no time for patterns or measurements. You just use objects around the house that “look” like they’re the right size.
I used a water glass to trace the top of the hat.
I follow my traced line when cutting out the top, but actually cut a centimeter or two outside of the line. Then I make these little cuts to create a fringe. Then I fold them in so they can be tucked into the body of the hat.
Then I use a bowl to trace the base of the hat and cut along the traced line.
The strip of cardboard (see below) that makes up the body of the hat will have to be cut a little longer than the circumference of the top of the hat, after the fringes have been folded in.
This will make it so that the body of the hat ends up being the same width as the top of the hat, but will allow some overlap to glue the ends of the body together. The width (or short part) of your body piece will determine how tall the hat is.
To make it easier to form the body of the hat I sprinkle it with water and then rub it in a bit. You can now form it into a tube and glue the ends together. If you want your hat to narrow at the base of the body it will have to be cut into an arc to allow for this. It is a pain but I just keep eyeballing it and trimming it until it is right.
For the base of the hat, you will cut a round hole in the middle of the base that is a little smaller than the circumference of the body. I center the glued body in the middle of the base piece and trace around it. Then when cutting, I follow the line, but cut about a centimeter or two on the inside of the line. Then I cut the little fringes to the traced line (as done with the top of the hat above) and fold the fringes in, so that they can be tucked into the body of the hat (see below).
The outer line here is where I traced the body, and the inner line is where I would cut to leave myself space to make the fringes.
9. Pause to reheat coffee and discuss how unrealistic a certain vampire character is.
10. I forgot to tell you your husband is also working on a hat. His is a store bought top hat that he is embellishing. After about 20 minutes of work he shows you what he has done. Be careful here. If you are not sensitive in your critique you will end up working on two hats.
11. Begin working on husband’s hat. He has become frustrated, whiny and defeated. But first, pause to go to the bathroom.
12. Once you’ve finished with your husband’s hat, listen to him gloat about how he knew if he whined enough you would just do it for him.
13. Realize that a couple of your cardboard pieces are cut too big, or perhaps the others are too small. Since you can’t make the smaller ones bigger, you trim the larger ones trying not to make things worse. You likely make things worse and now your hat is about half the size you originally planned. Pause to go the bathroom again.
You will then insert the fringes of the base into the body of the hat and glue them in place.
And insert the fringes of the of the top into the body and glue in place. Of course my top was a little big so I had to jam it in there.
Then I cut fabric to size (I just eyeballed it). You could have traced the fabric earlier using your cut box pieces, but I like to do things the hard way.
14. Add the finishing touches and repeatedly tell yourself that no one is going to look that closely at it anyway. Curse the earlier cup of coffee because you have to pee again.
You’ll want to add trim around the top, the base and brim.
15. Attempt to remove the glue strands that are now on the couch, coffee table, cat, your hair and of course clinging to all parts of your hat.
16. Revel in your masterpiece and then realize you’ve been crafting almost all day. You will surely be at least an hour late to the party. Thumb through a magazine and surf the internet for a few minutes.
17. Scramble to get ready and then head to the party. About 10 minutes into the drive you’ll realize the hat is still sitting on your dining room table. Turn back and arrive at the party 45 minutes late.
18. Revel in the fact that you are only 45 minutes late. And you have an amazing top hat! And there you go. I hope you enjoyed my mini top hat tutorial. With the proper amount of hoarding, procrastination, spousal manipulation and caffeine you too can have a top hat just like this!
And then embellish and attach to a headband or alligator clips. I have no idea how most people attach the hat to the headband, I just glue gun the heck out of it 🙂