Halloween is always a great holiday. Its the one day where you can dress up and be something or someone you’re not. I vowed to make my own costume after showing up at a party with a store-bought costume only to find that at least 2 other people were wearing the same thing. In addition, I find that Halloween costume shops tend to have generic and uncreative costumes. I might also add the hefty price tag for a cheap costume you probably won’t want to wear again.
For Halloween my friend and I wanted to be Yogi Bear and Boo Boo Bear. It was our nicknames to each other, and we thought that it would be fun to have a pair costume. We made bear suits for each other (which I will cover later). We also wanted to make the hat too, since the hat is unique and wasn’t something we could really purchase.
-Thick bendable cardboard (I got mine from a shipment at work)- you should be able to get this at your local craft store
–Crafer’s Pick Incredibly Tacky Glue— remember to let it set for about 2 minutes.
–Mod Podge Glue, Outdoor (BTW, this stuff is MAGICAL!)
-A buddy (not required, but preferred)
-Bright green fabric
-black felt or fabric
To create the hat, a composite sketch was taken using images I found on the internet. I conceptualized a hat that is similar to a fedora with an added outer flap. It was a bit hard to find what the back of the hat should look like so I used a little bit of imagination.
I had found this excellent cardboard from work: it was a single layer, bendable, semi thick and durable. Here at World of Wu, I like to be as resourceful as possible.
I first constructed the inner ring of the hat: i measured using my friend’s (Yogi Bear’s) head. Be sure to leave some room for you to work with later and you can cover the extra room with fabric to make it a sung fit. We left only about an inch, but should have used 2-4 inches. The inner rings was glued using tacky glue and held together by paperclips (you can use binder clips) until the glue was set (about 2 minutes). We made this mistake of shaping it ASAP and had to add more cardboard later to make the inner circle taller so that the head would fit. I would wait until you have the rim constructed to shape the inner ring so you know how tall to make it.
To make the rim, we used the inner circle of the to create the inner hole, then we cut it a bit smaller (about 1 inch) so that the inner flap could connect to the inside of the inner ring. Remember: measure twice, cut once. Then we cut the outer rim shape liberally, so that you can cut more later.
To attach the hat rim to the inner circle of the hat, slits were cut like pedals and attached to the inner ring. Working in sections, glue the pedals onto the inside of the inner rim with tacky glue. This is where your buddy comes in.
The outer flaps of the hat was a bit of a challenge. Not only are the curved, but they are also angled. In addition, you have to fit it onto the rim that you have created (don’t worry if you have access on the rim, you can always cut and shape that afterwards. I positioned them about 3 inches from the inner rim and angled it out from there (about 45 degrees) To make the cardboard have a curve, I cut a V-shape. It eliminated the “bends” in the cardboard and allowed it to curve and create one smooth piece. The same was done to the back flap, but it was smaller than the front flap.
Next was the shaping of the cardboard. The inner ring is taller than the outer ring. You can always shape to a certian limiation before you put the hat together, but always leave plenty of room for adjustments. This is a good time to shape the inner ring, the followed by the outer flaps.
Next, the top of hat to seal it off was created: I simply cut cardboard that would fit: I even used pieces to create a flat area, gluing some leftover pieces to create a smooth surface. Feel free to great creative here.
Here is a picture of the final hat, uncovered:
The entire hat was covered with the bright green fabric. Working in sections overlay the fabric to each part of the hat and cut. Feel free to overcut and fold the other part over or trim off with an exacto knife. To glue it on I simply dipped a crafting sponge in Mod Podge, spread it on the cardboard attached the fabric, pushing out the air bubbles. Because mod podge is very tacky and not so forgiving, I found that it was easier to match up the peak of each flap and work my way outwards. I cut any extra pieces off after i glued it. Remember to do the underside of the hat as well as the inner rim for added comfort (this is where those extra inches count). If you need to add more fabric to allow it to stay on the person’s head, then please do: but add fabric a little bit at a time and check as you go.
A black strip of felt was added to make the black stripe on the hat. I used felt because its what I had, and also because of its thickness it was a lot easier to use in general.
When the hat was constructed, I diluted some Mod Podge and ran it over. It helped seal all of the edges together and stiffen up the fabric.
Have any tips or tricks when making something customized and shaping it? Feel free to share!