Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mini Steampunk Top Hat

Thank goodness I am back in my craft room for a bit before the big move! I have always loved mini top hats and feathers so I decided I needed to try to make one. Here it is!
(It is sitting on a candlestick because I wanted it to? Haha!)

I have been on the look out for an awesome top hat template but everything I looked at just wasn't jiving with me. Some were shaped weird, or too tall. Some were made out of a dixie cup, some were even already made and just had to be embellished but I wanted an interesting shape and made from scratch. Finally about 3 weeks ago I stumbled upon Lost Wax! And my new mini top hat journey began!

THE PROCESS: Oh boy! This took awhile to finish but I started by purchasing a template from Lost Wax HERE (awesome guy and he has a tutorial!) and then used my crafters foam to cut out the template. Cutting takes the longest and precision is key! 
All my pieces cut out. 

Contact cement is the only glue that works for this. The white glue you see in the picture was my first attempt on the brim of the hat and I had to start over and use Contact Cement. Lesson learned.

This picture is everything glued in place and ready for paint. I learned that it does matter where you accidentally drop the contact cement because it shows through the paint but, for my first hat, I am okay with the oopsy parts. :)

Now the fun part! I used Metallic Copper paint but you can use any paint you would like. After the hat was dry I added Gold Metallic paint to some pieces. Then cut some brown leather cord to fit around the bottom of the hat. The "rivets" were glued on with Glossy Accents (I believe these "rivets" are made  for fabric and you iron them onto the fabric). I also added my compass with a brad and some more Glossy Accents. TIP-drink plenty of coffee before and during this process! :)

Next I tackled the other side of the hat with some feathers! Aaahhhhh feathers. I have accumulated many feathers from friends (human and animal alike) and my junk drawer is overflowing, so I figured that now would be the perfect time to make some room. Glueing feathers requires some finesse, because glue gets everywhere and makes your feathers look like a clump of blah real quick. Lol! I had to use the 13/11 because my lucky numbers are 13 and 11! Boo yeah! 

I added some pheasant, peacock (he is a close friend and very loud so I don't feel bad using his feathers), and small feathers to the side of the hat with Glossy Accents. I cut some copper wiring I found in another stash/junk drawer and wrapped it around my paintbrush to curl it and added that as well. Of course there has to be a gear in there! 


The small green feathers sure do shine in the sunlight! 

The following pictures are just taken in different angles and lighting. It is amazing how different a picture will be by changing the light, background, setting, etc. 






What a journey! I have loved making this little hat and plan on making many, many more (and I have plenty of feathers!). Now that the first is done, I do believe that the next one will be a lot smoother! Carpe Diem!

Thanks for stopping by my little part of the art world and I do love reading your comments because it is just so nice and sweet! Happy Crafting! ~Niki

This mini Steampunk top hat will be shared with the following:

A Vintage Journey-Special Numbers HERE My special numbers are 13 and 11.

Rhedds Creative Spirit-Altered Art/Mixed Media Only HERE

Our Creative Corner-Junk in Your Trunk HERE I used my art junk drawer that is overflowing with feathers ad other tidbits like the copper wiring and the leather piece.

Altered Eclectics-Altered Art/Mixed Media Only HERE

That Craft Place-Mother's Day/Anything Goes HERE 





54 comments:

  1. Holy cow Doc, I just fell off my chair!! I'm literally drooling everywhere, it's so messy! Seriously, this is just amazing! I cannot believe you made this from foam board! I'm so glad you showed us your process because I', not sure I would have believed it, if it wasn't for the photos, WOW!! Your use of the paints to create a realistic texture is just amazing. and those feather, oh those feathers! LOVE IT!!

    I am so impressed! Big hugs my friend! Bubbles :)

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    1. Well Bubbles, I do have some tissues and a slobber rag if you need it. Lol! I am blown away by your very sweet comments! The hardest part about making this is cutting out the crafters foam from the template and having good glue! So very happy you like it! Hugzzz to you muffin!

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  2. WOW!!! Niki, this tophat is absolutely stunning!!! What an amazing project this is! I am blown away!

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    1. Hehe! Thank you very much Samra! I have to give credit to Lost Wax for the amazing template and his tutorial. Such a fun video to watch!

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  3. Your hat is fabulous!! Amazing how it looks like leather, who would know! Have a grand day!

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    1. Thank you Maura! I use a lot of metallic paints for my Steampunk pieces. Love the stuff! Have a wonderful day as well!

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  4. Firstly Thank you for your gobsmacking entry in the Junk in your Trunk challenge at Our creative Corner. Secondly wow, wow, wow - I cant beleieve that you just did what you did. This is sooooooo incredibly cooooooool - what an amazing project. So pleased that you have decided to play with the theme for us. hugs. Candice

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    1. Thanks Candice! I have a lot of junk in my trunk (that's why my DH married me, well one of the reasons! Lol) and needed to destash, so your challenge was perfect for me. Thanks for an awesome challenge theme! Hugz! ~Niki

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  5. What a brilliant project and so worth the time it took you. Stunning results, love this and must check out link. TFS and joining in the challenge at A Vintage Journey. Good luck.
    Julie x

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    1. Thanks Julie! Definitely check out the link and have some fun making a hat! The first one is the hardest. Hehe!

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  6. WOW the transformation is incredible! Absolutely gloriously Steampunk! Love!!! tfs and inspiring! Hugs, Kristina

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    1. Thanks Kristina! It was fun and I learned so much through making this. And craft foam is easy to work with. Hugz!

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  7. Absolutely BRILLIANT Niki! I love everything about it especially the behind the scenes! Super wonderful, very much in awe of your wonderful talent. Super super art!
    ~kim

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    1. Awww! Thanks so very much Kim, that means a lot to me. I love that blog land has brought me (and my art) to many like minded artists. Hugz!

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  8. Very cool, love the shape of that top hat and your embellishments are wonderful! The Mad Hatter would wear it with pride :O)

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    1. Thanks Deb! Love the Mad Hatter!!! Lost Wax did an awesome job creating this hat template. I just made it look pretty. Lol! Hugz!

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  9. In a word: stunning! If you hadn't shared that fascinating process with us, I would have sworn your top hat was metallic all the way! I say, again, stunning!! Brilliant even! Good for you for sticking with it until you found the template that worked for you like a charm with feathers on it! You rocked this, Niki!! Hugs, Darnell

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    1. Ohhh thank you Darnell! I guess this is where perseverance pays off huh? It was a really fun process and one that I have already started to repeat. You will definitely see more mini top hats from me. Hugz! ~Niki

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  10. Wow!! Like the others I LOVE your hat :-). Totally amazing and I love the fabulous details/feathers.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us at AVJ Special numbers challenge

    Best wishes
    Annie x

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    1. Thank you Annie! You know there are some days that I can't think of anything I want to make, and there are other times where I have an idea in my head and just have to get it out this was one of those ideas. So happy you love it!

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  11. OhMyGoodness! Love how you made this from scratch! I decorate small steampunk hats too but have never tried to make one from the begin. Wow!!! truly fantastic! Thank you for entering it in our challenge at the OCC! xxx Laurie

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    1. Thanks bunches Laurie! I am going to have to see your hat creations. It really is fun to make it from the ground up, or should I say from the brim up? Lol! Hugz! ~Niki

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  12. This is just Brilliant. For a moment I thought this was a leather hat you had altered until I saw the step by step. This is just mind blowing and I could just go on! Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Rhedd's Creative Spirit this month. Good Luck, Rupa

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    1. Thanks Rupa! I am so glad I took a lot of pictures for this piece because it was such an interesting transformation from crafters foam to a metallic leather looking hat. It looks even better in real life. Hehe!

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  13. I love this hat, it's absolutely gorgeous! In answer to your question about the folded book....I followed a pattern that I got from CraftyHana, if you are on Facebook or Etsy you will find her, have fun.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Rocky and thanks for the info about the book! Happy crafting! ~Niki

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  14. What a spectacular creation Niki! This looks perfectly store bought and authentically leather. Genius texture transformation. Love the brilliant feathers and metal elements. Fantastic make! Nicola x

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    1. Oh, why thank you Nicola! The hat looks heavy but be careful when picking it up because it really is as light as a feather. Lol. It blew away a couple of times when I was taking pictures. :)

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  15. Wow, what an amazing project and such a labour of love, but so well worth all the time and effort. I love the design, the finished outcome and your amazing ideas in bringing this together. Thanks for linking it to A Vintage Journey.
    hugs Brenda xxx

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    1. You make me blush Brenda! Thank you kindly for the sweet words. It took a bit of doing but it was a fun piece to complete. Hugz muffin! ~Niki

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  16. This is just the cutest steampunk hat design. Very clever.

    Hugs diane

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    1. Thans Diane! I can picture in my head the outfit that goes with this hat but I don't sew. Lol! Hugz! ~Niki

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  17. Oh wow, this is just gorgeous! Love it! Such a great creation. Thank you for entering your project at Rhedd’s Creative Spirit. Sammy-x

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    1. Thank you Sammy! Mad props go out to Lost Wax for the template! I think the metallic paint made this piece. Hugz! ~Niki

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  18. Oh my gosh! I LOVE this top hat - you did a super job putting it together, shaping and coloring it -and the decorations - the feathers, the metal - I'm SO glad you shared this with the AVJ Special Numbers Challenge!!

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    1. Hehe! Thanks so very much Julia! I just got a small dress form the other day and plan on making a Steampunk outfit that matches the hat. :)

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  19. Amazing project from beginning to end, wow, so glad you managed to find a way to hold it together (I have no idea what that cement is you're talking about lol, but it certainly worked). Love the addition of the feathers too. Thanks so much for adding it to our numbers challenge at A Vintage Journey and OCC!

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    1. Thanks Astrid! The glue is called Contact Cement and can be found at most craft stores, as well as Home Depot and Lowes. The first try with other glue didn't work at all. Oops. Lol!

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  20. Incredibly imaginative and creative and perfectly executed - you have made such a wonderful headpiece here! Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey. Jenny x

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    1. Thanks Jenny Buttons! I have plenty more mini hat ideas in my head that are bursting to get out. Lol!

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  21. I think I may have to try this one out hun. It is stunning stunnng and more stunning. Love it. TFS over at RCS this month xx

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    1. Thanks Elaine! You really should give it s go! I can't wait to see what you create! Just remember, the first one is practice. Haha! Have fun! ~Niki

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  22. This is absolutely gorgeous - actually brilliant. Thanks so much for joining us at Altered Eclectics.

    With smiles
    Laine K
    DT Altered Eclectics

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    1. Thank you Laine! I did feel like a mad scientist in my craft room while making this hat. Hugz! ~Niki

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  23. Hi Niki - I am back again and this time to say I am so WOWED by your project. It's gorgeous. It would be really great if you would consider entering a challenge blog called Re-Cycle, Re-Invent and Re-Use. Your project would fit in beautifully and I know Chris would be blown away to see your gorgeous creation.

    I hope you give it some thought. Here's the link: http://doodleartifacts.blogspot.com/

    With smiles
    Laine K

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    1. I believe that I am at my quota for challenge entries for this piece as some challenges have a limit on total challenge entries/piece. Plus I have been in the process of moving and having my internet switched over so I have not been able to look at your friends blog yet. I will definitely look for the next challenge and see what I can create. I can't wait to unpack my art supplies tomorrow. Thanks again for the info as I love finding new places to share art. Hugz and Happy Crafting!!! ~Niki

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  24. wow! what amzing steampunk creations... I love steampunk .. so glad you popped by my blog to say hi, so now I can follow you

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    1. Thank you Kristyn! We are both each other's newbies. Lol

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  25. Hi Doc! Congrats on your win at That Craft Place!! So well deserved!! big hugs Bubbles :)

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    1. Thanks Bubbles! And congrats on your win as well!

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  26. Amazing!!!! What a fabulous creation, just love it!!!

    Thanks for playing along at Altered Eclectics.
    Lisa - Altered Eclectics Design Team.

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    1. Thank you Lisa! Now I have silver in metallic paint so who know what will happen with the next hat project. :)

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  27. Niki
    I love Steampunk and yes the Mad Hatter would be ever so proud. I am so glad I discovered your blog from our Tim Face Book page. Your work is absolutely stunning. Take care and Happy 4th. of July

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  28. Holy cow! Awesomely cool min steampunk hat! How did I miss this back in March?! Thank goodness for Pinterest. I love this and need to check out the link for the template. .....so cool!!!

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