Friday, May 6, 2011


D.I.Y. Kentucky Derby Hats

Hey do you like crafts? And parties? And looking pretty?

Of course you do!
You know what you should do this weekend? You should make a hat to match your favorite sundress and come Saturday at 6:24EST you should put both on in honor of the 137th Run for the Roses!

What you’ll need:
- Your favorite sundress
- A straw hat
- Embroidery scissors
- A hot glue gun
- Wire ribbon
- Fabric flowers, flat-backed beads, faux fruit, etc etc etc
- A bottle of wine (optional)
- Your creative spirit

What you’ll do:
Buy an inexpensive straw hat that fits your head. Disregard any adornment that comes with it — you can take that all right off with embroidery scissors. Places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Target, WalMart, etc. are great sources for cheap straw hats that can be tampered with.

Put your favorite sundress in a tote bag and hit the craft store!

Select a spool of wire ribbon and fabric flowers and/or flat-backed beads, faux fruit, etc. etc. etc. that coordinates with your favorite sundress.

Buy a bottle of wine. (Optional)

Come home and pour a glass of wine. (Optional, but who are we trying to kid here?)

Lay out your hat, ribbon, and adornments, and plug in your hot glue gun. Put a sheet of paper under the glue gun to catch any drips that may leak out while it’s heating.

Remove any extraneous items from your hat, leaving a blank canvas on which to work your magic. The embroidery scissors will be helpful here, in that you can snip snip fine stitching without running too much risk of cutting through the hat.

Now that you have a naked hat on your hands, it’s time to conjure your creative spirit! (Light some incense, maybe? Put on some Stevie Nicks?) The first thing you’ll need to do is to run your ribbon ‘round the circumference of the hat to measure how much you’ll need; at this point you’ll also need to decide if you want your ribbon to end in a bow and tendrils. (You do. Yes, you do.) Cut the appropriate length of ribbon and drape it in place. We're not yet ready for gluing, so hold off on that.

Next you’ll get your various adornments out and start playing around with placement. This is the funnest, most creativist part! If you’re using fabric flowers, pull the flowers off the plastic stems, which you can discard. Some fabric flowers come with leaves that you can also remove and might be pretty to tuck in and about the flowers. Up to you, totally!

Once you’ve decided on a design, you can go ahead and begin gluing things into place, starting with the ribbon. Be careful to only secure sections of the ribbon that will be covered by other items, otherwise the glue will come through the fabric and no one needs to see your glue showing. Once your ribbon is in place, start attaching the flowers or faux fruit or flat-backed beads or whatever you’re using to the hat. (Feel free to go a little wild with the glue here.) Let the whole shebang dry for about 15 minutes et voila! You’re a milliner now! Princess Beatrice is sure to be banging down your door any day.

Jolie Kerr has never met a crafting project or thematic event she didn’t love.

15 Comments / Post A Comment

Hyperbolic Heather

Oh oh oh!! I already did this! Yessss. And I even included the wine (of course I did).

Jolie Kerr

@Hyperbolic Heather I wanna see a picture!! cleaning @ thehairpin dot com!

Hyperbolic Heather

@Jolie Kerr I will send it the moment I get home!


I'm really sad I'm going to miss the Derby Day party at Floyd this year. Pour out a little mint julep for me.


Lily Bart would be so proud.


I went to a Derby party last year at this highfalutin cocktail place, and there was a hat contest. My roommate's girlfriend wound up winning (the prize was some swag and a bottle of Eagle Rare. Yay!) with a hat made pretty much this exact way. It was a fine hat, but it also didn't hurt that we had 15 people in our group stuffing the ballot box.

The secret that I haven't told her is that I actually used my first place vote on another girl's hat, because I wanted to be able to flirt with her later and lead off with "You know, I voted for your hat." As a firm believer in honesty and forthrightness, I couldn't ethically do that without actually voting for her. Long story short, I'm a bad friend.


@boyofdestiny Did you still use the line though? Because it still would have worked. Possibly even better. "I think YOU should have won.."


@punkahontas I wasn't going to stab my pal in the back and then not use the line. Of course, what I should have done is looked around a little harder to see if this woman had a huge, fearsome looking boyfriend. Which she did.


Yeah, see...I'd say the wine is the only non-optional part of this whole endeavor.


Ooooh. Maybe my standard beach straw hat needs a ribbon around it this year.

(I will not be able to watch the Derby this year, and hence, the hat would make no sense. Sadness.)


"Buy a bottle of wine. (Optional)"

NOT OPTIONAL! Though one could choose to buy a box of wine and that'd be a sufficient substitute.


My grandmother was obsessed with Minnie Pearl and used to get drunk (wine not optional) around Easter or holidays like this, buy a bunch of stuff at Michael's and make hats with price tags hanging off. She'd put these hats on me, drag me to her bridge club, and would make me parade around for her friends for their drunken amusement. I only wish I still had those hats for occasions just like tomorrow.


Wine? This is the Kentucky Derby. Bourbon.


YESSSSSSSSS!!! If I didn't already have my hat for tomorrow, I would be all over this!!!


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