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A $25 Derby Hat

So I know we've all see those derby hats that cost upwards of $150, and while they're gorgeous - who is really going to get their money's worth out of that hat?

Not me!

Now, I could've gotten away with my hat costing $3.44 + tax, but that hat was boring and I had big plans for my Gold Cup outfit. A boring hat was not in those plans. 

So Walmart had floppy hats for $3.44, and I immediately snatched up a white one, because I would never in a million years find a better deal on a hat. So the hat was exactly as advertised, a standard white paper/mesh floppy hat with no decorations, but with the help of some turquoise duct tape that matched my buttons exactly, and some super large peonies and turkey quills, I was going to turn this hat into something. The total cost for my decorations cost $21.95

Unfortunately, I stared at all of these supplies for 3 days, and then finally it was Friday and I needed to do something with this hat! So the only real plan I had was shaping the turkey quills and painting them red, so Friday morning, I trimmed the quills into this diamond shape, and recruited the boys to help me paint my 9 feathers before school. I grabbed some red acrylic crafts paint I had lying around and the 3 of us went to town painting the feathers. We were racing the clock a bit, as the boys needed to catch the school bus, but we knocked out all those feathers with plenty of time. 

I knew the weather called for rain, or at least some showers, so I hoping to make this hat stand up against the wet weather, and in that department my hat did marvelously well. It was truly a "floppy" hat by the end of the day. I was also worried about the paint running, but there was nothing to be done about that now. So an hour before I needed to get ready for work, I sat down in my kitchen with my glue gun at the ready, and starting gluing the flowers down. I placed the three flowers in a row right along the brim. 

Then I started at the hat. Looked at the clock, and then decided that I'd make bias tape out of my turquoise duct tape. Even if the flowers and feathers didn't stand up to the rain, my duct tape ribbon would! So I measured off about a yard of tape, and folded the tape in thirds lengthwise. I had planned on doing quarters and then folding that in half, but the tape didn't want to cooperate. Either way the duct tape now had the body I wanted. I was trying to go for a poor man's sinamay. 

I then decided that loops were the way to go for my duct tape. I created a couple of loops to fit between the flowers, and then I gathered up a bunch of loops and glued them at one end to lie against the brim underneath each end flower. I glued all that in place, being very generous with the glue. I didn't want any of these things moving. 

The last addition were the feathers. I had no idea how I wanted to arrange them, but in the end I decided that an arc of feathers was the way to go. So I generously glued the feathers down and positioned them how I wanted. 

In the end this hat was amazing. it withstood an all day rainstorm, umbrellas to the head, and wind gusts. I may have looked like a drowned rat, but my hat is as good as new now that it's had a week to dry. 

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