Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How we Made our Fascinators for the Fourth

First of all, let me start this post by saying that there are lots of tutorials available online on how to make a fascinator...

Everything from professional millinery tutorials if you plan to make one for a wedding to the most basic craft tutorial using a plastic container lid and a bit of elastic.

I didn't use any one method but combined a number of ideas.

I wanted the hats to be wearable and more durable than a simple, crafty version using a plastic lid or heavy paper plate.


That being said, I also knew I was working with kids and couldn't afford to use real millinery ribbons and materials. So I went with a more professional sewn base and then used supplies from the craft store...

We used tulle, fabric, trim, wire, card stock, pipe cleaners, craft feathers, tinsel, christmas ornaments, drink stirrers, mardi gras beads...whatever we could find!


At first I thought I would buy the fascinator bases but they ran almost $5/piece and I couldn't afford that when needing to make 20. I looked at some pics on Etsy and decided to make my own using buckram.

Buckram is a very stiff, heavily-sized, open weave fabric that can be steamed and molded and sewn through.

I cut out 4" circles of buckram (a few 3" circles for the littlest ones) and then steamed them to give them a cupped shape that would fit nicely on the head. I thought I could use a bowl in the kitchen but that didn't work...I found I needed a round mold so I used a globe for the 4" circles...


And a big glass Christmas ornament for the 3" circles. The hair dryer was to speed the drying process since I was in a big hurry...


I did need to use a little elbow grease to mold the buckram over the globes. Once completely dry, the circles release very easily from both smooth surfaces. Letting them dry overnight would be ideal.

I sewed bias tape around the circumference to cover the raw edges. Then our little sewing circle attached hair combs to the underside of the bases and I sewed felt to the topside using my sewing machine.


Voila! Our fascinator bases were complete.


We also bought hair bands from the dollar store and hot-glued them to the underside next to the comb to give some of the hats extra stability.

We tried to use elastic head bands but they didn't work as well. And some of the simpler hats stayed in beautifully with just the comb we attached to the underside.


Everyone took their bases and had a free-for-all decorating.

Over the years, I have found that the creative process is best when they don't have a time limit (some of these guys took all day) and when they have a nice big open space to spread out (we use the big open porch area outside all the second floor condos).

I know I create best when I have very few constraints and the same goes for kids.


I don't really worry about the mess while we are in the middle of the creative storm...we clean up later.

And this is my absolute favorite part...


It gets very quiet while everyone works.

And I'm always surprised at the attention to detail. Here's one of my nieces hand-pinking the edges of the American flag for her hat...


This year, there was a great deal of problem-solving involved for some of the older kids who created more complicated and/or heavy designs. It definitely took some pre-planning and thought.

Here my niece Moe made a stiff inner circle that she attached to her fascinator base. She then was able to attach all of her embellishments to that circle. Smart.


I think they learned a lot about construction and the Dads were involved too for structural engineering advice.


All in all, we used a combination of hand sewing, wiring, and hot glueing to make the hat structures.

And I highly recommend the activity, especially middle school and high school girls. I can just see them done in school colors...or birthday fascinators for sweet 16...or Christmas fascinators for Christmas or Halloween or...whatever...you get the idea!


Well folks, that's a wrap for this year's Fourth of July.


Until next year...

21 comments:

Linda H said...

WOW!! What fun, Susan. You definitely take the "Best Aunt of All Time" prize... Every one is a work of art and how great for you to watch the "creative process"...

black bear cabin said...

what fun! i totally want to steal your idea :) cant wait to give it a try...i know jordyn would love it!
p.s. its nice to see a photo of you once in a while :) as the photographer in my family, i know how rare that can be...so its nice to see your face!

MosaicMagpie said...

Not only great fascinators were created, more importantly the great memories! As an Aunt and craft supervisor....YOU ROCK!
Deb

bubbygigi said...

Susan,what a great activity! I could see how much fun everyone was having by the smiles on their faces. I will definitely use this idea in the future as a grandmother to two young granddaughters. In a few years, this will make a great party activity for Adina and Eva and their friends.
As I've said before, I want to come and play also.
Gita

Wendy said...

Looks like loads of fun.....Christmas for my family would be a great time to try this out....thanks for the idea and thanks for sharing family time with us....

Gerry Krueger said...

Hats off to you Miss Susan and all your creative crew... You'll have to go some to find a "topper" for these "chapeaus".. What a way to "cap" off the festivities..

Hugs Ger

Rachel said...

There's a lot of engineering in fashion, isn't there! It looks like a wonderful time was had by all!

Marty52 said...

That must have been a blast... how very, very cool.

verobirdie said...

The making of is just... Fascinating

Barbara C said...

Great photos! You have earned your place as Best Aunt in the World.

Rosa Robichaud said...

Everyone's created Fascinating Fascinators..... but you've created Fantastic Family Memories....

You're probably the Auntest with the Mostest!

Kudos!

Rosa

Catherine said...

Wow!! The pics of your parade and construction of the hats are wonderful! These are memories that will last those kids a lifetime!!

Sheila said...

When are you going to submit some of these ideas to Martha Stewart Living or Family Fun? No pressure or anything, but seriously they are *that* good. Susan, you are SO talented at coming up with these ideas! What a great solution to the $5 hat base. The buckram shaping was really neat. And ditto to what everyone else said about creating memories. I've so enjoyed seeing what you come up with each year. These are priceless experiences.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Thanks for sharing your fourth of July, it was fun to read about the preparation and then the actual day. It's great to see so much creativity.

Cathy K said...

What a great annual activity. Lucky nieces (and Jack) to have Aunt Susan to help develop their creative bones! I loved this post and also learning how to mold the buckram (of which I have lots). Now, visions of fascinators are dancing in my head! Creativity is contagious, and you are definitely a carrier. Hugs, Cathy

Allison Ann Aller said...

The most darling shot of all is the last one.... xoxoxox

73mw said...

Such a huge amount of creative fun - I love seeing everyone engrossed in their embellishments. I bet a kitchen sieve would make a great mould for the bases.

Elizabeth said...

You Are absolutely the very best Aunt Ever!!!!! Your neices are such beautiful girls and so very lucky to ahve you in their lives!!! What a blast!! how in the wolrd did you come up with 20???? All family???? you are like the Pied Piper of Crafty ladies!!! You Rock Girl!!

Judy S. said...

That has got to be the most unique use of a globe yet! What a fun project, Susan. I sure wish you'd have been around when I was doing Girl Scouts! You continually amaze me with your creativity, but I think you're going to have to work hard to beat this one!

biddie1031 said...

SPLENDID! Hats ... err, fascinators ... off to you!! What a lucky family!!! And, what lifetime memories this wonderfully creative event has created for your family members, young and old. There's nothing like 4th of July family gatherings for good old-fashioned fun! Thank you VERY much for sharing the photographs and details.

underatopazsky said...

There is such joy and genuine heart-warming love for your family and for doing such great stuff with them in all your posts about this activity; they have been a delight to read!
Also, you may have solved a headgear problem for an upcoming show that I'm costuming, so thank you!

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