Friday, March 9, 2012

Fabric Party Hat Tutorial

Fabric party hats added a sweet touch of celebration to Emma's recent birthday party.

I made all the hats with Tanya Whelan's Sugar Hill Rose Trellis fabric in pink from QuiltHome, but varied trims made each one unique. Directions follow for crafting this special keepsake.

Fabric Party Hat Tutorial

(1) First, you need a pattern for making the party hat cone. A friend suggested using a pre-made party hat, but I had a simple pattern saved from the Summer 2010 issue of life:beautiful. I found several free printable templates online, including here and here.

(2) Trace your template lightly onto the back side of the paper you want to use. You can use scrapbook paper for an interesting accent inside the party hat, or card stock for more strength. I opted for poster board, and one sheet yielded the six sturdy party hats I needed. I used white poster board since my fabric has a white background, but if you could pair colored poster board with brighter fabrics. Trace and cut all the party hats you will need.

(3) Iron your fabric, and lay out your cut-out party hats to get an idea how much of the fabric you will need to cover the hats. Set the party hats aside, and follow package directions to iron lightweight fusible web (like Heat'n'Bond) to the wrong side of the fabric. Before removing the paper backing, reposition your cut-out party hats and lightly trace them onto the paper. Cut out the fabric, just inside the line you traced.

(4) Peel the paper backing from the fused fabric, and place it glue-side down onto the wrong side of the paper party hat. Iron to fuse, according to package directions.

(5) Allow the party hats to cool before twisting them into cones and securing with hot glue.

(6) Use hot glue to add trims to the brim of each hat. For our party, I used pleated ribbon trim for a couple of hats and gathered fabric ruffles for the others. I bought the pleated ribbon trim at a local sewing shop. I made the ruffles by tearing 3-inch wide strips of fabric, pressing them in half, sewing gathering stitches, and drawing up the fabric. Each party hat has a seam on the back, so I used this seam as my starting point for attaching the trims to the bottom. I hot glued the trims to the bottom edge of the hat. When I worked around the circumference, I overlapped the starting point of the trim, turned the raw edge under and glued it down. The frayed gathered edges of the ruffles were so charming, I considered leaving them for a shabby chic effect, but ultimately I decided to cover the raw edges by hot gluing gathered ribbons on the top edges of the ruffles.

(7) Gathered ruffle roses finished these party hats off with sweet detail. I used scraps of ruffles left from the party hats and the pajamas I made for the party. These were basically made by gathering the fabric strips and gluing the bottom edge as I rolled the ruffle into a rose shape. Before I started rolling, I glued the corner down on the end that would form the center of the rose. I ran a bead of hot glue along the bottom edge of the first little bit of the strip and rolled this into the bud. I continued gluing and rolling along the length of the ruffle until I neared the end. Then I glued the underside of the ruffled rose and positioned it on the point of the party hat. I glued the last bit of ruffle to the hat instead of to the ruffled rose to keep it more stable. Then I turned under the outside corner of the rose and secured it with hot glue. Finally, I tied a bit of trim around the point of the hat to cover the raw edge of the ruffle roses and used my fingers to fluff the rose. The picture below shows more detail of the ruffle rose.

(8) If you want to add ties, cut two lengths of grosgrain ribbon or rickrack and glue one to the inside edge of each side.

Nothing says "celebrate" quite like a party hat, and guests at Emma's slumber party gasped with delight when they saw these. I hope they will keep them as a memento of our time together.

I will be back next week to share our easy sleepover menu, so stop in for some late-night munchies!

Congratulations to Brenda, who won the giveaway for a copy of the March/April 2012 issue of Christian Woman. Brenda, I look forward to hearing from you! All of us can benefit from the encouragement and practical advice offered in the pages of CW. Get your subscription here.
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