This year for Comic-Con, the girls decided that we didn’t have the time and resources for full cosplays, so instead we opted to do a themed headpiece. Since the Justice League movie is coming up later on this year, it seemed ideal to do some fun and fancy pieces dedicated to those six DC superheroes. And I don’t know about you, but when I think of fancy headpieces, I immediately think of a mini top hat. It mixes two of my favorite things: super fancy articles of clothing and making normal-sized items really small. Luckily for me, making this is ridiculously fast and easy. So let’s start!
- Cardstock paper (light cardboard or posterboard would work too. It needs to be stiff enough to hold shape but malleable enough to roll without much difficulty.)
- Hot glue
- Spray adhesive (optional – I like clean lines)
- Fabric material for your hat (I prefer stretchy material because it’s easier to make a clean line over curves)
- Things to decorate your hat with
Step 1: Find a Pattern
You won’t really need a pattern if you like the flue (the “wall” part of your hat that attaches the top to the brim) to be the same size all around. For that you’d just cut a rectangle long enough to give you the width you’d like your hat to be. But I wanted my hat to taper down, creating a more dramatic look. For that you need to cut your flue in an arc. This is where I went desperately wrong.
Folks. Don’t be like me. I did this the hard way. I did math. I measured radiuses (radii?) and figured out circumferences.
Did you know that if you google top hat pattern you get literally hundreds of results saving you a lot of math? I do. Now.
A good place to start is here.
Step 2: Cut Pattern on Cardstock
Step 3: Glue Felt to Pattern Pieces & Cut Out
I used spray adhesive to glue my cardstock to felt, then cut out the pieces.The felt was to give my cardstock a little more sturdiness while keeping the flexibility. If you used a thicker material you can probably skip this step.
Step 4: Glue Pattern Pieces to Fabric & Cut Out
Depending on the material you chose, you may or may not be able to use spray adhesive for this step. My material was slightly slippery, and I knew spray adhesive wouldn’t hold too well, so I used hot glue around the edges to ensure a stronger bond. I also glued the felt side to my fabric to give it a more finished look.
When cutting out the pieces, don’t forget to leave a small border around the edges so you can fold them over the sides.
Step 5: Fold Over & Glue
Tip: It’s much easier to fold over the curves of your pattern if you cut out notches. I used hot glue for this part, all of this won’t be seen in the final product so it’s fine to be a little messy.
Step 6: Glue It All Together!
I glued the flue closed first, then glued the top to the flue and the flue to the brim. I knew I’d be putting decor around the seams, so I didn’t mind if they showed. If you want a cleaner look, instead of gluing the flue closed glue it around the top piece so that the top ends up inside the flue instead of sitting on top of it. That should eliminate the top seam.
Step 7: Decorate!
I needed my top hat to be flashy. I needed it to look like it could be entered as an accessory at a kid’s beauty pageant. I needed glitter, tulle, feathers, and lots and lots of ribbon.
I used the ribbon to make a trim around the top seam and used a feather to hide the side seam. The glittery tulle was used to make a band and I left some extra on the ends for flair.
Last, but not least – the Superman emblem. I cut this out of a gold cardstock I found at the craft store and glued it on.
The finished top hat got a “very cool” from my husband – the biggest Superman fan I know – so I’m pretty sure I nailed it.
Step 8: Attaching It to Your Head
I personally like the feel of a headband so I decided to affix mine to a plain black headband using some hot glue. Another option would be to glue some alligator clips to the hat, in which case I would recommend using at least two for stability.
And you’re done! Comic-Con, here I come with my new fancy top hat!