Derby Hats 101: Tutorial

Derby Hat Tutorial

It seems that my previous post about making a hat was popular, but it was lacking a step-by-step tutorial. So I thought I’d share how I made this years hat.

You can easily make a hat that looks like you spent a fortune or had it made. This year I found my hat at Target! $14.99 for a cute black and white stripe hat. It fit well and had a good shape.

I then went to Hobby Lobby, 40% discount coupon in hand, and wandered the store.Go with an open mind. You never know where you will find inspiration. I honestly went thinking I wanted to do big flowers. Then I found feathers. RED feathers. I gathered some that went together, knowing that if I needed more I could always go back. Since I already had red ribbon at home, as well as hot glue, thread, and extra decor, the total I spent at Hobby Lobby was no more than $10.

$24.99 for a Derby hat? You can’t get those prices at Kroger! I know for sure; My aunt sent me this picture while she was shopping:

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The Fit

First get comfy in front of a mirror and position and reposition your hat to find the most flattering style. If it has a wire brim you can play with the curves of the brim. I love the dip over one eye. Some prefer to have it sit back away from their face.

If your hat is a solid style with out a noticeable front or back, although they usually do, rotate your hat around to see if one side fits better. Once you’ve decided, if the front you are using is different from the true front you might mark it with a safety-pin. So you remember where you plan to put your decoration.

Styling Step-By-Step

I have the black and white stripe hat, a few large bunches of red feathers, several small bunches of black and white feathers, red ribbon, and a peacock feather that has also been dyed red.

**If you are making a fascinator, all of the same methods apply,however, you may want to use smaller feathers. If you are using a headband, cut two circles from felt and hot glue two sides so you can slide the headband through the circle, one felt piece on top to hold your decoration and one on the bottom that sits against your hair.

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I also have at the ready, a hot glue gun, needle and thread, tape, and scissors.

Also, find something you can set your hat on as a stand so you can really work on it with the brim as you need it. I used an upside down clay pot that is in the process of being made into a cake stand.

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OK, this is the fun part. Just remember that you can always redo, change, alter, or even start over. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just let the creativity flow.

If you want to put a band of ribbon around the crown do this first. You can tack it on with thread if you plan to remove it or hot glue it for a permanent solution. I like to pin/safety-pin it to the hat to hold it in place as I go. After much debate, I decided to do without this year.
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However, I decided that I wanted to make my decoration removable because I liked the hat so much. Super great for a summer hat! If you are going to do this you can follow what I did and make a ribbon base (see below) for all that you will glue to it or cut a small piece of felt in the same color as your primary decor or hat color.

This is my base: I looped my ribbon around a few times and then attached the loops with thread. Once I had that together I used hot glue to attach a few more loops with single strands of ribbon.

Next, I took apart the feathers to separate the long feathers from the short and to remove the long wire stem.

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Once I decided the angle on my hat I wanted for the long red feathers I hot glued them to my ribbon base. I then attached a few single sprigs of red, white, and black feathers around that with hot glue.
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A few times I would group together single strands of feathers and hot glue ribbon around the base to keep them together and to keep my fingers from getting singed…again. I also used the end of a plastic fork to lightly press down on the feathers as the glue dried.
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You want to keep following this process until you are happy with the spray of feathers or flowers. It doesn’t have to be even or symmetrical. My final addition was the peacock feather for my boost of luck!
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I then added the half-moon of black feathers to the bottom of the ribbon so they would rest on the brim of the hat.

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I was really liking my finished product, but something about the ribbon just wasn’t sitting well with me. It just needed something more. I think if the ribbon was wider or had pattern I would have liked it more.

So I dug through all my brooches and hair clips and brought several to the table. One worked out to give it the WOW factor. It also had a pin on the back as well as a hair elastic.
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I pinned it on the center of the ribbon and voila! GORGEOUS! How to add the entire decoration to the hat? A safety-pin of course. I just have one holding it in place right now and may add another before May 7th, but it seems secure enough.
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So what do you think?

It’s Derby y’all!

GO BABY GO!!

Click below for more Kentucky Derby fun:

DIY Derby Trophy Centerpiece

Etiquette and StyleMaking a HatDerby party coverDerby printables and coloring pagesDerby Wreath DIYWindow Glass Art

Derby Hat 101: Etiquette & Style

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The question is as classic as, which came first the chicken or the egg? That question is which do you choose first, the dress or the hat?

Personally, I like to make my hat first. It’s easier to find a dress that will work. Although, if you are having your hat made, then it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Here are some tips from MAGGIE HEELY in an article for Louisville.com.

Etiquette

First things first, lets talk etiquette. Yes ladies, there is a proper way to wear your Derby hat. This is from the Louisville.com article:

-Women’s hats should be worn on the top of the head, not tilted back, but shadowing over one eye, preferably with the embellishments showing towards the tilt.

-Embellishments go directly to the front center or just off center in the front of the hat.

-The bigger the better.

-Your hair should be worn completely off your face, either pulled back, or if worn down it should be behind your ears…some people even poo poo bangs showing.

Men, this goes for you too! Here are tips for the gentlemen from The Art of Manliness (you can also find some great styles there too):

-Wear your hat pushed back to seem more open and accessible
-Tilt your hat over your eyes to seem mysterious and intimidating
-Tilt your hat up 1 inch from completely straight to project an all-business attitude

-Promptly remove your hat upon entering an elevator, restaurant, or someone’s        home. Never wear your hat during a meal.
-Touch the brim of your hat lightly when greeting a friend.
-Raise the hat by the crown when meeting a female friend in public.
-Remove your hat during the national anthem and place it over your heart.

Style

Now that we have that out-of-the-way. Here is a link to my Pinterest board of Derby Hat Ideas. There are so many different styles you can choose from. Popular now are fascinators. They are headbands or hair combs with a beautiful “mini hat” style and are great for those that don’t feel comfortable wearing a hat or feel like hats are flattering on them.

 

No matter what your choice, you can go simple or crazy with both. However, if you are attending the Derby, you want to keep in mind where you will be sitting. Sarah Schmalbruch, in an article for Business Insider, explains that if you are in the Infield, it’s a much more relaxed, shorts and T-shirt atmosphere. Heading into the grandstand and all the way up to Millionaires Row, your level of seating should dictate how formally you are dressed.

My favorite quote from that article is that “[s]he advises wearing something that’s going to make you and the people around you smile.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Your hat should make you feel beautiful…and lucky! On that note, the superstition is that the bigger the hat the luckier you’ll be.

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The struggle is real…to find a Derby hat winner.

The above photo is courtesy of a slideshow from Daily News of crazy Derby hats. You’ll need to look. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Get Crafty!

You can start here to get an idea and then follow-up on my next post for more how to’s from me!

Let’s talk about making your own hat or fascinator. I have done both in the past and they are both easy to complete. P.S. – I made this… has a great how-to for making a fascinator with a hair comb as a base.hat5

Also check out Making a Hat, Derby Party DIY, and my Step-by-Step Tutorial for making a hat!