Friday, October 3, 2014


Making a Crooked Witch Hat

This is a re-post, but last year it was my most read article, and with Halloween in less than a month, I thought you all might want to take a second look.

I've always wanted a witches hat that was crooked and grungy looking. All of the hats that you find at the costume stores are usually satin or velvet or something fancy like that. I wanted something that a real "old hag" would have worn out in the woods, stirring her cauldron full of swamp mud and toad warts.

We started with some old burlap, and cut the peak of the hat in a triangle.

Then sewed up the side.

Then we traced out the brim.

And cut it out.

Then we cut out the center hole. Leaving about 1/2 inch for seam allowance.

I put the peak of the hat in through the center and pinned it, right sides together.

Then I sewed this seam using a tight stitch because burlap likes to fray.

Then we made it look kind of ragged, by loosening the burlap around the edges and snipping little holes in it here and there and tattering out the frayed ends.
Then I used a big upholstery needle and some twine to sew big messy stitches all around the peak to make it look like it had been hand stitched.

Some patches too.

Then we took an old bucket and mixed about 2 cups of white glue with 2 cups of water. We submerged the hat and soaked it through.

We squeezed out the majority of the moisture, then stuffed the center peak with old plastic grocery bags. We used plastic because newspaper would just stick to the glue like paper mache.

Then we layed it out on the tarp and smoothed the brim.
While it was wet we arranged all the wrinkles and pleats and crookedness to the brim and peak. I tried to give it a face like the sorting hat in Harry Potter, but it didn't work our so well. Then we let it dry overnight. You can speed the process up with a hair dryer.

When it was dry, we took out all the plastic bags and it was stiff. All the crookedness was now permanent and the brim stood out.

Then we painted it with flat black spray paint. We didn't coat it completely because the dull brown of the burlap showing through gives it a sort of old look. I put the paint on thicker where the wrinkles creased in and it dramatized the dimensions.

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