How to Make a Wet Felted Top Hat on a Cheap Black Plastic Party Supplies Hat
Boys Top Hat
Girls Top Hat
Keeping the Cost Down!
Creativity does come at a price! Sometimes we have to think outside the box in order to keep these costs to a minimum. This tutorial has been designed to do just that.
Waste wool was purchased in bulk from World of World. The same product can however, be purchased from a third party seller on Amazon in much smaller amounts but at a slightly higher price!
World of wool ship worldwide so this should not be a problem if you live elsewhere in the world.
- 1 Black Plastic HatTopper
- Assorted Ends/Waste from Wool Top/Roving (Alternatively use Wool Batts which can be purchased ready-made from several places including Etsy or Amazon.
- Decorative fibers for creating texture on the surface of the hat
- A hat template cut from a sheet of thick plastic
- A heavy duty bamboo blind
- A tumble dryer
- A sharp pair of scissors
- Hot soapy water, dishwashing liquid or olive oil soap grated and diluted in hot water
- Hand carders to blend the waste wool to make a thick batt (Alternatively use a drum carder to make thick wool batts for this project.
Assorted Ends/Waste from Wool Tops/Roving
54 Cm Party Hat Circumference
Black Plastic Party Supplies Hat and the Plastic Template
The Interior of the Cheap Party Supplies Hat
Step 1—Cut out the Template
Cut out a template using underfloor laminate or bubblewrap.
If using the template above, cut it 4 inches shorter than the measurement shown as this was originally designed to fit an adult.
Any excess felt left over at the bottom of the hat can be used to create a matching hat band if desired.
Hat Template Cut from Plastic Sheeting
Step 2—Cover the Template with a Thick Layer of Wool Roving
- Add a top layer of embellishment merino wool or decorative fibers to the surface of the hat.
Wet the Layers with Hot Soapy Water
Step 3—Cover the Roving with a Sheet of Bubblewrap
- Wet the surface of the wool roving with hot soapy water/
- Cover with bubblewrap.
- Add a little soapy water to the surface of bubblewrap to facilitate easy rubbing.
- Press downwards, push the water out towards the edges and then rub well.
Remove the Bubblewrap
Step 4—Turn the Project Over
- Fold the excess fibers around the edge of the template.
- Use a little hot soapy water to smooth out the fibers.
The Roving Folded Over the Edge of the Template
Step 5— Cover the 2nd Side of the Hat in a Layer of Wool Fibers
Step 6—Wet the Fibers
- Add a layer of embellishment fibers to the surface.
- Wet the fibers with hot soapy water.
- Cover with bubblewrap and wet the surface.
- Rub well.
Wetting the Surface of the Project
Cover with Bubblewrap
The Wet Fibers
Step 7—Fold Over the Loose Edges
- Fold in the loose fibers at the edges.
- Wet them with hot soapy water and press down.
- Rub well.
Both Sides of theTemplate Completely Covered in Wool Roving
Step 8—Roll in a Heavy Duty Bamboo Blind
- Place the template down on top of the surface of a bamboo blind.
- A towel should be placed between the bamboo and the table to catch any excess water.
- Roll the project inside the bamboo blind
- Start rolling gently until the fibers begin to firm up inside the blind.
- Keep on alternating the direction in which you roll the project.
The Project on the Bamboo Blind
Roll up the Project
Alternate the Direction in Which you Roll the Project
Step 9— Perform a Pinch Test!
- Pinch the fibers between your fingers.
- If they no longer move the project is ready for the next step.
Pinching the Fibers
Step 10—Tumble Dry the Project for 5 Minutes
- Put the project with the template still inside into a hot tumble dryer.
- Tumble for 5 minutes at a time.
- Keep on checking the shrinkage of the template.
- The more shrinkage that takes place at this stage, the less rubbing that will be required when moulding the hat.
Step 11—Remove the Template
- Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut open the hat and remove the template.
The Templage Being Removed
Cut the Hat Open
Step 12—Shrink the Hat Down
- Insert the Black Plastic Party Hat into the opening and take the project to the kitchen sink.
Insert the Plastic Hat
The Project Inside the Kitchen Sink
Shrink the Hat Down
- Rub with hot soapy water using a folded piece of folded bubblewrap.
- As the hat starts to shrink to the size of the party hat use hot and cold running water to speed up the process.
- You can even take the hat off and pummel and squeeze hard.
- Put the hat back on the plastic hat and shape it.
- Finally, cut off any excess felt and rinse the hat well.
- Give the hat a final rinse in diluted vinegar and water.
Squeeze and Pummel the Hat in the Kitchen Sink
The Brim Trimmed
Hat with Matching Brim Trim
An Alternative Brim Trim
Add Felt Flowers for a More Girly Look
Future Felting Projects!
Which of the suggested felting projects are of more interest to you?
How to Make a Hat on a Ball
Questions & Answers
© 2016 Sally Gulbrandsen