Hat Decorating Tips (when decorating hats at a tea party)
1) A low temp glue gun is almost a necessity. A hotter glue gun could melt the hat or the enhancements. And tacky glue will take too long to dry.
Sticky backed Velcro and/or puffy glue dots can also be used. You will find that these two methods will be less permanent than low temp glue but may be preferred if young girls are doing the decorating.
Gather the tools you will be needing, glue gun, low temp glue sticks, scissors, wire cutters (optional), hand held hair dryer (optional but helpful if you make a mistake), hat band material, embellishments, and ribbons. And don't forget a mirror; ladies of all ages will like to see how good they look in their new creation!
2) If the crown of the hat slopes in towards the top, applying a hat band will take a little more planning. Wired ribbon is helpful because you can use the top wire to “gather” the ribbon to make it fit better. Tulle, available in 6 inch wide rolls, can be made to fit snugly against the crown. Plan on using at least three thicknesses of tulle for maximum effect. We have also used leaves that compliment the flower as a hat band.
3) For a big, bold effect, cut a portion of a feather boa and glue the core of the boa to the hat with a low temp glue gun. This look is dramatic and few other enhancements will be necessary. This author ascribes to the theory “Too much of a good thing is wonderful” so I would not stop with feathers, but you certainly can!
4) Whether you purchase for your hat from the selection of flowers at Garden Party Teas or use flowers from another source, most likely they will have a bit of a stem on the back. You may need to snip the stem in order for the flower to sit closer to the hat. Use caution, cutting the stem too close may result in the plastic backing coming off and the flower falling apart. All is not lost if this happens, but you will need to glue back together the center of each layer of the flower….good as new!
5) Start by marking the front of the hat with a piece of painters tape, a safety pin, what every works for you. Then decide where you want to wear the focal point of the hat, front, right side, or back. Apply the hat band with a few dots of glue starting and ending in the center of your focal point. That way the ends of your hatband (ribbon) will not be visible when the hat is completed.
6) We sometimes add the largest piece of our embellishment first and then tuck behind and around this loops of ribbon, filler flowers, leaves, feathers, whatever else you may have chosen. The completed hat should not have places where glue is visible.
7) Mesh Ribbon can be used to add loops of color to your hat. Mix it with along with loops of wire edged ribbons and your hat is elevated to a professional looking level. Poly mesh ribbon by the yard is available at Garden Party Teas in a wide variety of colors and very easy to work with.
Determine how big you want the ribbon loop to be and cut ribbon appropriately. Shorter loops will take 4 to 6 inches of ribbon and larger ones 7 to 10 inches. On our hats the loops vary in length for a more aesthetic look.
To make a loop, cut your length of ribbon, apply low temp glue to the back side of one end of the ribbon, fold over the opposite end and press together. Apply another thread of glue to the end of the ribbon and form a tuck. Move quickly during these steps because the glue hardens quickly. A FEW SAFETY TIPS: You must use a low temp glue gun; any other will burn your fingers. This is an adult project.
8) If using grosgrain ribbon streamers on a child’s hat you can keep the ends from fraying by running them over a burning candle. It singes the fibers and keeps them from unraveling. Practice this technique on a scrap and when you’ve got it, singe your ribbons before applying to the hat.
9) A hair dryer can be used to remove anything you have applied with your glue gun. Make a mistake or want to change something? Use the heat from the hair dryer. Just remember that the heat will loosen other items you may have applied to your hat. Just press them back into place and you are good to go. It is an essential tool in my workshop!