How to Make a Flapper Wedding Cap

Updated on March 20, 2018
sallybea profile image

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials & techniques are as individual as she is — unique, experimental and always interesting.

Keep a vision of what you want to achieve in your head.
Keep a vision of what you want to achieve in your head. | Source

Recycle With Purpose in Mind

Beautiful doesn't always have to be expensive! This unique 1920’s flapper-style hat was created using only recycled fabrics:

  • I sourced vintage lace from local thrift stores and car boot sales.
  • The little '‘skull cap’ is made from a piece of recycled curtain netting that was soaked in PVA craft glue and molded around a wooden hat block. The little cap became the base for this stunning 1920's flapper wedding hat.

Vintage crochet, lace, and wooden hats can also be sourced online. Finding a bargain is getting a lot more difficult these days, but eBay is still one of my favorite places to find items like these.

Here is a 1920's flapper wedding hat. Keep the end result fixed in your mind
Here is a 1920's flapper wedding hat. Keep the end result fixed in your mind | Source
Wooden Hat Block
Wooden Hat Block | Source

A Note on Hat Blocks

Vintage hat blocks can be simple or complex. Wooden blocks are tactile and beautiful, as one can't help but be drawn to stroke the smooth wood beneath your fingers. Behind the layers of varnish lay many hours of work by a skilled craftsman. They have become very collectible and expensive. Choose your hat blocks with care and treat them kindly so they last for many years. Cover them with cling wrap or tin foil when using wet wool. This will help protect the wood.

What You'll Need

  • A hat block, either wooden or polystyrene
  • Cling wrap
  • Heavy-duty curtain netting
  • PVA craft or hobby glue
  • A small piece of fabric lining in a complementary color
  • Vintage cotton lace doilies (tatted or crochet) in neutral shades
  • Bits and pieces of vintage lace ribbons and lace
  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Pins and a long sewing needle
  • Rubber bands
  • Cling wrap
  • A glue gun with glue sticks

Hat block covered in cling wrap
Hat block covered in cling wrap | Source

1. Cover the Hat Block

Begin by covering a wooden hat block with cling wrap as shown above. This will prevent any glue from sticking to or from damaging the hat block below.

Draping the Curtain Netting
Draping the Curtain Netting | Source

2. Prepare the Hat Block

Drape a thickly woven piece of curtain net over the cling-wrapped hat block.

Gather in the loose fabric using the rubber band to good effect.
Gather in the loose fabric using the rubber band to good effect. | Source

3. Adjust the Folds

Use elastic bands to gather in the fabric. The folds in the curtain netting should be adjusted to give a pleasing effect.

Curtain Netting With PVA Craft Glue
Curtain Netting With PVA Craft Glue | Source

4. Spread the Glue

Spread a thick layer of glue on the curtain netting. Work it well into the fabric above the eyes and the forehead. Spread it around the sides and back of the head until you reach the elastic band area on the neck. Make sure the pleats in the fabric are well glued so that they do not move when the glue is dry.

  • You may wish to use your hands or a paintbrush to do this.
  • Remember that the glue is water solvent, so you won't have a problem rinsing off your hands or paintbrush in the water.

Leave the glue to dry properly, preferably overnight.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Front ViewBack ViewSide View
Front View
Front View | Source
Back View
Back View | Source
Side View
Side View | Source

5. Trim the Net Cap

Once it's dry, trim the net cap with a pair of sharp scissors. The cap should maintain its shape perfectly once it's removed from the block. This small surprisingly flexible ‘skull cap’ is about to become the base for your 1920s lace flapper hat.

Trimming the Lining
Trimming the Lining | Source

6. Line the Hat

Remove the cap carefully from the hat block. Turn the cap inside out and place it back onto a hat block. You may use either a wooden block or a polystyrene hat block as shown here. The latter makes it easy to envision what the finished hat might look like on a human head.

Drape a piece of silk lining over the skull cap and secure the fabric to it with tightly-stretched elastic bands. Arrange the folds in a pleasing way. Then, either glue the fabric onto the cap with a glue gun or sew it securely with a long needle.

Glue only the edges of the crochet work to the edges of the net cap.
Glue only the edges of the crochet work to the edges of the net cap. | Source

7. Add the Lace

Put the hat back on the block. The lining will now be on the inside. Cover the cap with a piece of lace. In this case, I used a piece of a crochet tablecloth. Glue the edges of the lace to the surface of the net cap so the lace fits snugly against the curtain netting cap. This lace layer will now become the first layer of the flapper hat.

If you miss this step, it is possible that the curtain netting layer will show through the layers of lace.

Tuck in excess fabric and neaten off the edges inside the cap.
Tuck in excess fabric and neaten off the edges inside the cap. | Source

8. Tuck in Excess Lace

Tuck in any excess lace. Retain any which you may wish to drape at the back of the hat. Finish off the inside of the hat with either bias tape or glue on some trim or ribbon on the inside of the hat. You want the inside of the hat to look as nice at the completed flapper hat.

I decided to retain some of the length but I could have equally tucked in all the excess lace.
I decided to retain some of the length but I could have equally tucked in all the excess lace. | Source
Experiment with the lace placement before you pick up the glue gun!
Experiment with the lace placement before you pick up the glue gun! | Source

9. Create the Design

Experiment with different pieces of crochet and lace before you pick up the glue gun. Get it right at this stage and avoid costly mistakes later.

The Completed Hat

The completed flapper wedding hat.
The completed flapper wedding hat. | Source

A 1920s Flapper Wedding Cap

The completed 1920's flapper wedding cap.
The completed 1920's flapper wedding cap. | Source

Recycling

Are you interested in recycling vintage lace for creative projects such as this one?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen

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      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        You are welcome June, thank you.

      • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

        June Parker 

        9 months ago from New York

        Thanks, Sally! You're the best.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Thank you, here is the link you requested https://www.pinterest.co.uk/feltingfun/

      • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

        June Parker 

        9 months ago from New York

        I pinned your felt fairy shoes on a costume board too. Would you mind posting the link to your Pinterest account so I can follow you there too?

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Hello June,

        I guess I am a visual person who began my writing career on HubPages because it was an extension of my photographic journey. If this hub encourages others to upcycle some of the gorgeous vintage doilies which have gone out of fashion I will be grateful. Thanks for the pin. I absolutely love Pinterest where I have my own pages.

      • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

        June Parker 

        9 months ago from New York

        A fabulous idea for upcycling lace and doilies and your step by step tutorial makes it simple to follow. Great photos too. The visuals are always a big help to me when trying to create a similar project from the tutorial.

        Pinning to my DIY Lace & Doily Projects at https://www.pinterest.com/konagirl/diy-lace-doily-...

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        11 months ago from Norfolk

        Glad you like it Ann, always a pleasure to have you grace one of my pages, thank you.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        11 months ago from SW England

        This is absolutely beautiful, Sally. I haven't got the patience to do things like this but my daughter has; she makes loads of things and whatever she turns her hand to comes out so well. I can spend hours drawing or painting but not doing the felts or this kind of thing.

        Great tutorial! I can see many, many people doing this all over the world - how great is that to feel that your talents are spread around the globe. Well done!

        Ann

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        20 months ago from Norfolk

        You are much too kind Audrey. I always have in my mind the thought that it took someone else many hours to create what I already think is a piece of art. I always feel I have to justify my desire to make it into something different. Sometimes I just cannot bring myself to do it:)

        I appreciate your taking the time to comment Audrey. Enjoy your knitting, that is something I wish I could do better.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        20 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        This is both elegant and unique! You are beyond talented. I like to collect vintage pieces of lace and swatches of crochet. I'm teaching myself to knit and hoping I can add a touch of these pieces to my project. I'm not too good at this sort of thing but I keep trying. :)

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        AudreyHowitt

        So glad you loved it. I had a lot of fun creating it though I felt a certain responsibility to those who had created the beautiful lace and tatting to enhance their work, with the end, result. I think it turned out pretty good so I hope they will look at it that way. I appreciate your stopping by to comment, thank you so much.

        Sally

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        2 years ago from California

        Loved, loved this! I am a big lace fan and crochet a fair amount of it--this was right up my alley and your instructions were so clear and easy to follow!

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Helga Silva

        I appreciate the visit and the feedback. I do have several felting hubs which are suitable for both adults and children. I hope you and the children will return sometime to discover the art of making felt.

      • Helga Silva profile image

        Helga Silva 

        2 years ago from USA

        This cap is so gorgeous! I am glad I found your hubs because I love crafts and you are giving such detailed instructions with so many pictures. Thank you! These tutorial are great to get the kids involved as well.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Hi Dave,

        Your continued support is valued and appreciated Dave even though I am sure you will never make a 1920's wedding hat out of crochet doilies. Thank you for the visit and the very kind comment.

        Sally

      • D.A.L. profile image

        Dave 

        2 years ago from Lancashire north west England

        Hi Sally, what a wonderful tutor you are an your imaginative designs are always a pleasure to see. The way you lay out your tutorials make it easy for people to follow inspiring them to have a go. I can imagine many young girls trying this beautiful idea out. Best of luck with all your future tutorials.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        FlourishAnyway

        Definitely doable, the hard part was figuring out how to achieve the end result. Thanks for stopping by to comment, you continued support is valued and appreciated.

        Sally

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        This is so pretty, and the instructions you provide certainly make it seem doable.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Larry Rankin

        Thank you, glad you found it so. I appreciate your stopping by to comment.

        Sally

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        2 years ago from Oklahoma

        Very interesting.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        DDE

        Hi Devika

        Glad you enjoyed this tutorial. I have been dreaming about doing this for a long time but was never quite sure how to achieve the end result without messing up my beautiful doilies. I am glad I eventually took the plunge and put my thoughts into action. I feel it was definitely worth it.

        Best wishes,

        Sally.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Amazing work here! I like the idea, you brilliantly explained and showed me something I never had in mind.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Genna East

        It makes me very happy to receive such a lovely compliment, I am delighted that you thought the end result of this project stunning, I very much appreciate your taking the time to comment, thank you so much.

        Best wishes,

        Sally.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

        What beautiful ideas and construction; the flapper's wedding cap is both delicate and stunning.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Rota

        Glad you like the flapper hat and the use of doilies for it. The love and skill which went into some of the doilies deserved a project such as this one. I appreciate the visit and your feedback. Thank you.

        Sally

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Hi Donna,

        Glad you liked this project and found the process interesting. I as always appreciate the visit and the feedback.

        Best wishes,

        Sally

      • Rota profile image

        Rota 

        2 years ago

        This is super cute. What a great and creative use for doilies!

      • purl3agony profile image

        Donna Herron 

        2 years ago from USA

        This flapper headdress is so pretty and would be stunning with the right dress. Your process for creating this piece is so interesting. Thanks so much for including your step-by-step photos. Love it!

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Hi Billy

        Glad you liked it and hope the relatives like it too:)

        You have a great weekend Billy

        Sally

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 years ago from Olympia, WA

        What a really cool idea. I'm not going to do it, of course, but it is still very creative. I'll pass it along to relatives.

        Have a wonderful weekend, Sally!

        bill

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Victoria Lynn

        I love lace too and it is always with some reluctance that I use it. I have debated with myself for a long about using some of these treasures of but finally I succumbed to the idea, just so long as I could enhance the beauty of it in my work. I hope I succeeded.

        Thanks for stopping by and for commenting on this hub. It is much appreciated.

        Best wishes,

        Sally

      • Victoria Lynn profile image

        Victoria Lynn 

        2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        Oh, I love this. I love old lace, and I love wearing hats. I just got rid of a bunch of old doilies. I'll have to start looking for more now. And lace!

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        MsDora

        So glad you enjoyed this hub as much as I enjoyed creating it. Sometimes it can be a challenge as one never knows quite how a project will turn out. I am happy to say that I am delighted with the result and know that with a little more experimentation I will get it perfect.

        Thank you for the comment and the welcome Applause.

        Best wishes,

        Sally.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        I'm thinking "exquisite" and "gorgeous" as the picture of the wedding cap comes up. You're an expert and so generous in sharing your skills. Applause! Applause!

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        I love recycling too, especially when it gives me the freedom to do things like this. I much appreciate your stopping by to comment.

        Thank you very much.

        Sally.

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        2 years ago from Fresno CA

        Lovely project. I love recycling. Sweet.

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