This little project all started when I saw a post from one of my
sweet nieces that she was looking for ideas to decorate her
fireplace mantel for Christmas.
Someone shared a photo of their mantel with two
whimsical Santa hats they purchased at Cracker Barrel
one year but they were no longer available.
That post inspired me to try and create a couple of hats for her
and hoping they will look something like this when I'm done!
I'm planning on making them about 24" tall but narrow
enough to fit on a mantel.
I stopped at Lowe's and bought a roll of aluminum window screen
48" x 84" for $10 and a roll of duct tape. I wasn't exactly sure of my process
at this point but thought I may need duct tape for it!
I stopped by Hobby Lobby looking for red fabric and found a
beautiful stretchy red velvet 50% off and bought 1 yard.
I also found great curly white fur that I thought would look
great for the hat trim. I bought 1/8 yard for under $2.
I drew a circle on scrap plywood and cut out with jigsaw.
I used a gallon paint can as my template so they are about 8" diameter.
I used a staple gun to attach the screen to the wood circle.
Use the smooth machine edge of the screen at the bottom, no need to cut the
screen at this point, just start stapling around the wood circle.
Since I was stapling into plywood, I tried to place my staples
on an angle so they will be less likely to wiggle out.
You will end up with a 48" tall tube of wire on a wood circle base.
These next instructions are really just me winging it since
I shaped and molded and figured out the design as I went.
I realized the aluminum wire was not quite as substantial
as I envisioned so I used pieces of newspaper end rolls
to beef it up. I glued the first bit down with the glue gun,
probably not necessary but it's what I did!
I get these newspaper end rolls from my local newspaper
office for $1 each and use them for shipping my Etsy items.
To secure the screen together, I wove small pieces of 20 gauge
wire through both screen pieces and folded the ends of
the wire back into the hat shape using needle nose pliers.
This is what I used, I happened to have it on hand.
As you go along, stuffing paper, and "sewing" your screen together with the
wire pieces, you will want to keep standing it up to make sure you are liking
the shape it is taking and that it is standing straight.
As you get closer to the top, you have to put your hand inside the cone
shape to really start twisting it tighter and smaller.
I ended up cutting some of the bulk of the screen off when I was
getting to the end to be able to make it small enough.
I saved this chunk of screen I cut from each hat to create the
pom pom ball for the tip of the hat.
In addition to "sewing" the screen with the wire pieces, I also used duct tape
as I got closer to the top to help get that pointy shape.
I used duct tape on a couple of other areas that were kind of "pokey"
from the cut edges of the aluminum . Just use it as necessary and you
may could use duct tape for the whole piece without the wire "sewing" part.
At this point I was thinking of using spray adhesive to adhere the fabric
but it was dark and cold out and I was working in the studio and
didn't want to spray or smell that adhesive inside.
I decided to use more of the newspaper end rolls and Mod Podge
to decoupage a final layer on the hat forms.
And then I remembered that I really dislike decoupaging
but I had already started so I kept going.
I only used one layer of paper. I left them to dry in my heated room
for about an hour and they were dry and ready to go.
I used hot glue to secure the red fabric at the base and worked my
way around the form. I only used the glue at the bottom, the very top
point of the hat and at the seam I created.
The glue did seep through and leave a mark on my fabric at
the bottom but it will be covered with the white fur trim.
I made a seam using hot glue along the side of the hat to secure the ends together.
I know I took a photo of the ball making process but they weren't in
my photos...not sure what happened!
I shaped the scrap screen pieces into a ball shape, "sewed" the ball
top closed with wire and left the end of the wire exposed. They looked
like metal lollipops.
I used hot clue to cover the balls with the white trim and stuck the
exposed wire into the hat tip and secured with a little hot glue.
I think they turned out pretty cute and will get these in the mail to her.
They are about 27" tall, 8" diameter and are lightweight but stand sturdily.
I spend under $20 to make 2 hats and it took just a few hours.
Thanks for reading about my Santa hats!
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