Monday, September 23, 2013

Tiny Top Hat DIY

Hello out there! Yes, I'm still alive. :) With Halloween coming up there are lots of wonderful goodies out in the craft stores, and many of them have discounts on fall decor and accessories. It's the time of year every goth loves, when we can walk up and down the street waving at all the skeletons and jack-o-lanterns that are there to greet us at every doorway. With all this spooky wonderfulness out and about, its the perfect time for crafts! So I thought I'd share some of my decoration ideas for tiny top hats.

You Will Need

  • 1 miniature top hat. These can be found in the doll making isle of most craft stores. 
  • 2 "pterodactyl clips" I don't know their proper name, see pictures below if you have no clue what I'm talking about. :P
  • Either Hot Glue or Tacky Glue 
  • Scissors
  • Trinkets to decorate your hat with (feathers, safety pins, ribbon, beads, scraps of fabric, buttons, fabric/puff paint, the possibilities are endless!) 

To begin your top hat, first establish a general theme. A hat can be decorated to suit any gothic style! Do you want to strive for elegance with fluffy feathers and delicate beaded trim? Or perhaps you'd like a grungier top hat with Tim Burton stripes and safety pins stuck through the brim. Look at your supplies, and decide what you want your hat to say about you.

When looking at a top hat to decorate, I usually see three main areas of emphasis: the top, the brim, and That is, the bit between the brim and the top! The body of the hat is the best place for decoration because it is the most easily seen when the hat is worn. Unless someone is looking down at you, they probably won't see the top of the hat when it is perched atop your fabulous gothy head, the same generally goes for the brim (although the brim is a good place to hang dangly little charms off of). So when decorating your hat, focus your ideas on the body. Also remember that a top hat is a 3-D object, so it will be viewed from all sides when worn. Don't put all your wonderful decorations in the front and leave the back bare!

Layers are the key to making a crafty object (those top hats are very conniving) look like it was really hard to make! So consider how you want things to overlap and maybe sketch it out before you glue if you're really ambitious (or have more patience than I do).

First, I glued a decorative ribbon all the way around my hat as a "hat band"
A hat band is a good start for a top hat design because it goes all the way
around, and is easy to build layers on top of.
 Remember not to use Elmer's glue for this project because it will
probably just soak through the fabric of the hat without attaching anything.
Elmer's glue also creates wrinkles in ribbon because it's so liqidy. 
My little piece of ribbon wasn't long enough to go all the way around,
but I was going to put a large decoration for a focal point anyway,
so I could easily cover up the bare patch. 
Layers! This white ribbon looks pretty and served the
dual purpose of finishing the gold ribbon's edge. :) Note that where the edges
of the ribbon hang off the hat is directly across from the bare patch
where my fancy decorations are going to go. Now I have a front
and a back of my circular hat! 
Cross the ribbon in back...
And add a pretty bead to finish off the ribbon
For the perfect ribbon edge, fold the end of your ribbon and cut diagonally from the corner
I have cat hair on my glove...
Flipping the hat back to the front, I add even more layers!
Just know...feathers look awesome, especially on hats. But they are a PAIN to glue because the little wisps get stuck in the glue and then they turn into a little gluey feather clot which is impossible to fluff back up. I would recommend using hot glue to apply feathers, or at least make sure your hands are really clean when you go to glue feathers.
Finishing touch on the front, a lovely skeleton cameo!

Then for a little extra sparkle and so the sides of the hat would
have a bit of detail, I added some sequins along the white ribbon.
Don't forget to add the clips so your hat is wearable! I call them Pterodactyl clips because, come on, that's what they look like! You can get these at craft stores, or if you don't want to spend the extra money, you could just bobby pin your hat on your head.
Glue the flat side of these clips on the bottom of your
hat so you can easily pin it in your hair.
And there you have it! I think I'll add some more ribbon hanging down the back of mine. 

Song of the Day:
I love cello music...


  1. oh my goodness that's such a pretty hat! <3 Lovely tutorial, I think I might try it sometime :)

  2. Thanks! I'm going to try selling some once I get my Etsy up and running. :D

  3. This looks great! You did such a nice job.

  4. Very good tutorial! :) Well, but I was quite shocked when I came here again, because I was expecting a lot of new posts. At least I'm not the only one with no time or something else. :D

    1. Haha yes...I've been neglecting my blog. Not much inspiration I guess. Or time because the place I worked shut down so I'm back on the job hunt!