Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Old Dusty Cowboy Hat Makeover

I stumbled upon the niftiest idea the other day on! What'cha think of our new future steampunk hat? It cost us about $2.50, since I bought two felt hats for $5 at a flea market.

The other day, I came across inspiration in a video of this guy making a felt cowboy hat into a "Buster Keaton" hat. (Yes, he says the name "Buster Keaton" an annoying number of times, at least 34 times, I think, during the tutorial) But, the idea is a fabulous way to revamp an old felt hat to give it new life.

BTW, don't ask me how I found this tutorial that inspired me. I frequently get sidetracked at that site spending time that I should be doing other things watching video after video about anything that pops up in the right sidebar. :)

This one started out as a sad looking dusty old typical cowboy hat made with beaver felt. An expensive hat in it's day, it was looking pretty pitiful. Living in Texas, we see these Stetson-style hats everywhere. (I wish I'd taken before pics.)

I had to remove the lining and sweatband, trim off the edging on the brim and clean it like the dickens. After that, we essentially made what is referred to as a "porkpie" hat, which got it's name from the top of the crown resembling (what else but) a pork pie, by soaking an existing hat in a sink and reforming it. If you rework a hat, you really don't need to fold the crown in like the pork pie as we did. Though, cowboy hats tend to be very tall on top making it a nice way to change the look. If we find other bargain felt hats, we may try some different style crowns.

I should mention that there was a tiny hole in the top of this one that I had to plug with a small piece of felt scrap I cut off of the brim. I basically needle-felted the hole until it was filled in adequately. Can't even tell there was a hole there! Gotta love felt. :)

How about a porkpie pirate hat?! Yeah, that's what the other ended up. It was a softer and floppier women's wool hat. We intended to starch it with the Keaton's sugar recipe. But after playing around, we rather liked the piratey look. Bet no one else at faire will have a pirate hat like this one. ;)

There's a little more info about the original recipe to remake a hat at the Buster Keaton Society page. It was really a quite simple and rewarding experience. If you try this, I'd love to see/hear your results.

When I get the chance, I'll be posting yet another hat, this time made with paper mache on cardboard. Until then, take care!


Unknown said...

Ah :D

I was looking for something like that, thanks to share it! I will make a steampunk costume to myself .


MissingWillow said...

How cute are you??!!

mieljolie said...

Thanks! :)

I was just pondering whether I needed to add some strings hanging down like those Spanish hats or just use a hat pin to hold it on. Any thoughts? There is an internal rim that I could conceal the holes for the string, if I did choose to go that route. Did I mention that hat pins scare me? :)

Good luck on the steampunk costume, raioX!


Unknown said...

lol... I can understand why hat pins scare you..
I don't know the name in english but, I saw a top hat that had a stuff , I suppose is called fastening belt , it was glued or sewing in the hat.. is more than a hat pin, I guess.

:D kissy

mieljolie said...

Hmmm... I'll have to look into that, riaoX. Not sure if a band would keep this one on my head, though. It is very shallow and barely sits down on my head. But, I'm for anything that isn't sharp and pointy! :)