Happy October everyone! I am thoroughly enjoying sipping some hot tea while looking at the beautiful fall leaves outside my window. It may seem early in October, but I’m starting to get ready for Halloween. I really want to get a head start this year; so I can enjoy time with my family. Costumes may be the most time consuming of my Halloween preparations. I’m not into scary or creepy stuff, but I do love my tea as much as any Victorian. So I decided to embrace my inner Mad Hatter and create an adorable mini top hat as part of my costume this year.
One of the many things that I love about this mini top hat is that it doesn’t take much fabric or trim to make. It turned out so well. So I just had to share it with you. Because who doesn’t need a mini top hat this Halloween? 😀
To make an absolutely adorable mini top hat for yourself, you will need:
- Thin cardboard or very sturdy cardstock (I used a cereal box, and it worked really well)
- Sheet of felt
- Piece of fabric (the size of a sheet of paper or more)
- Various kinds of glue (hot glue, fabric glue, and heavy duty glue)
- Masking tape or Duct tape
- Scissors or Utility knife
- Assortment of ribbons, trims, and other bobbles to decorate your hat
- Mini top hat template (click here for pattern)
Download, print, and cut out the mini top hat pattern. Then gather the rest of your materials, and it’s time to begin!
If you are using a cereal box, break open the box at the glued seams and lay the box on a flat surface. Place the cut out top hat patterns on the box and trace around them with a pencil.
You will need to trace and cut out:
- 1 Top
- 1 Side panel
- 1 Brim with the hole in the center
- 1 Brim without the hole in the center
Once you have all your cardboard pieces cutout it’s time to trace and cut the pieces out of felt.
Once you have all the pieces cut out of felt, you need to glue the top, side, and brim (with hole in the middle) to their cardboard counterparts. The felt gives your mini top hat a softer, smoother look.
Do NOT glue the brim felt and cardboard pieces (without the hole in the middle) together yet. You will do that later when you are attaching the headband.
Next it’s time to cut out the fabric for your mini top hat.
Lay your fabric right side down on a flat surface. Place the top, side, and brim glued pieces on the fabric: felt side to wrong side of fabric. Cut around the pieces leaving about a 1/4 inch of extra fabric around the pieces.
Use a hot glue gun to glue the extra fabric over all the edges. It’s a little time consuming but it’s worth it. No glue marks on the fabric, and no felt or cardboard shows. Only the fabric will be visible when the mini top hat is assembled.
Once all the glue is dried and your pieces are ready, start assembling your hat. First roll the side piece to join the ends and secure together with tape. (Pictured below) I used pieces of masking tape to assemble my hat together, but you can use a heavier tape like duct tape. If you use duct tape, you won’t be able to reposition it like masking tape.
Next fit the top piece into the top of side piece (the non-wavy end). Place the hat top down on a flat surface and push the top of the hat from the inside. You want side edge to be flush with the top of the hat. Rip off pieces of tape and press them inside the hat to attach the pieces together. I used four generous pieces to secure the top to the sides. (Pictured above)
Then place the rim on top and secure it to the sides. You want the wavy sides to be the long sides of the hat. While the top and bottom of the oval should line up with the front and back seam of the hat. I used the tape to force the circular sides into the oval shape. Start the tape on the inside of the hat and pull taut over the inner edge of the brim.
Set the mini top hat aside. Now it’s time for the headband and that other brim piece (without the hole in the middle). First find where you want the headband to be on the brim piece. You can place it in the center if you want. You will be able to slide the hat around on the band once it is done. I wanted mine to be a bit more flirty. So I positioned the band so the mini top hat would be further forward and off to one side on my head.
Mark the position of the headband with a pencil on both sides of the band. (Remember that there is a brim so be careful where you place the band.) Cutout two openings to thread the headband through. Leave enough space in between the openings so the headband won’t rip through the cardboard.
Glue the felt piece onto the cardboard piece. Once dried, cut the felt out where you made the holes for the headband. Then using heavy duty glue, glue the solid brim piece to the open brim on the rest of the mini top hat.
I recommend using some mini clamps, clothespins, or alligator clips along the brim while the glue dries. It will give the glue a chance to set right where you want it. Wait at least a couple of hours before you try on your new mini top hat.
Pretty isn’t it? But we aren’t done yet! It still needs some frills and bling.
This is the most fun part. You can decorate the hat any way you want. I do recommend glueing trim to the edge of the top hat brim to cover that seam.
For my mini top hat, I glued trim along the brim’s edge starting at the back of the hat. I used some heavy duty glue since that part will be getting the most wear and tear. Using clothespins, I let the bottom trim dry before I added anything else.
Lace is very Victorian, so I used some lace trim along the top and bottom. The feathers suited it perfectly, and I couldn’t resist adding some gears. I’m a big fan of the Steampunk genre. 🙂
And there you go! Now you have a mini top hat that will be the envy of any tea party or Halloween party. Even the Hatter will want to snatch your adorable hat.
If the Mad Hatter does try to steal your lovely creation, I’d recommend bribing him with some hot tea. Right now Heartland America has a great kettle to keep any tea fanatic happy.
This cordless Brentwood Electric Glass Tea Kettle heats nearly 2 liters of water in about 3 minutes. The auto shutoff and boil-dry protection will really help your kettle last. Supplies are limited so get yours while they last.
Next week, I will be bringing you a devilishly decadent dessert to have at your Halloween bash. Until then make mini top hats, drink tea, enjoy fall, and remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.