Project : Mad Hatter Easter Bonnet by Magdalena Franco

Dailylike No Sew Mad Hatter Easter Bonnet by Craft Revival

So your kid’s annual Easter Bonnet Parade is coming up and you can’t sew?  Don’t panic!  We’ve got it sorted with this quirky no-sew Mad Hatter Easter Bonnet brought to you by the crafty Magdalena of The Craft Revival.  You can even let the kiddies help out with the decorating.  We think you’ll love it!

You’ll need:
1 x Collecting Paper – Childhood 
1 x Fabric Buttons – Alley
1 x Lace Trim
Cardboard (poster board or empty cereal boxes)
Newspaper / scrap paper (for paper mache)
Scissors
Bone folder / scorer
Craft glue / hot glue gun / glue stick
Sticky tape

Skill level:
Intermediate

And here are the instructions…

Draw a rectangle on a piece of cardboard with the following measurements: length (head circumference) x height (40cm) and cut it out.

Draw a horizontal line parallel and 5cm from the top of your rectangle. Repeat with another line 5cm and parallel from the bottom of your rectangle. Repeat again with another line parallel and halfway between the top and bottom lines. Now using your ruler as a guide, draw lines vertically down the rectangle starting from the left and spacing the lines about 4-5 cm apart. See the diagram below.

Dailylike Mad Hatters Easter Bonnet Diagram A

Score along the horizontal top and bottom lines with a bone folder or an old pen. This will create indentations which you’re going to fold along later.

Cut along the vertical lines between the top of the rectangle and the horizontal halfway line, and also the vertical lines between the bottom of the rectangle and the score line along the bottom. See the diagram below.

Dailylike Mad Hatters Easter Bonnet Diagram B

mad hatter easter bonnet - cutting

Then tape the two short ends of your piece of cardboard together so that they join up making a cylinder.

On another piece of cardboard you’re going to draw two circles, one larger than the other to form a ring-shape which will become the brim of your hat. Work out the diameter of the inner circle using the circumference measurement you took earlier (use an online calculator to help you do this).

The larger circle should be 5-10cm bigger than the smaller circle, depending on how small or big your subject’s head is. Using a protractor, or if you don’t have one a small plate or a saucepan lid, draw the larger circle onto a piece of cardboard, then centre the smaller circle within it. Repeat another small and large circle onto another piece of cardboard as you will need matching cardboard rings for your brim. Cut them both out so that you’re left with two rings.

Take one of your brim pieces and slip it over the body of the hat (the cylinder) so that it’s sitting just above the bottom score line of tabs. Bend all of your scored tabs up and using a hot glue gun or a glue stick, you’re going to attach the tabs to the ring one by one until they’re all attached. When the glue has set, you need to glue the other piece of brim to the bottom so that your tabs are sandwiched between the two brim pieces. This will give you a cleaner finish.

At this point you should try the hat onto your subject to make sure that it fits. You can manipulate the brim a little to curl it up at the sides while it’s on.

Draw a circle that’s larger than the smaller circle you used (for the inside of the brim) on another piece of cardboard and cut it out. Repeat to give you another matching sized circle. This is going to form the top of the hat. Bend the tabs at the top of the body of the hat in towards the centre. Insert one of the circles which you’ve just cut under the tabs and using a hot glue gun or a glue stick, attach the tabs one by one to the circle top. Once glue has set, attach the second circle to the top, sandwiching (and hiding) the tabs between the two circles. Set aside until glue has set.

mad hatter easter bonnet - body of hat and tabs

Now you can begin to apply paper mache to the hat by mixing craft glue with water at a ratio of 2:1 and applying strips of newspaper or other scrap paper to the hat to cover up the gaps between the tabs and ensure a sturdier base to work with. Make sure to let the hat dry between applying layers of paper mache. Depending on the type of paper you use, you should only need to apply a couple of layers.

mad hatter easter bonnet - paper mache

Once dry, you’re ready to start decorating your hat with the final layer, for this hat I have used the Collecting Paper set in the Childhood design. I chose to create a scrap quilt look by cutting squares in varying sizes from different patterned paper. Start at the base of the body near the brim and apply your paper squares by brushing on glue and ensuring you slightly overlap each square. Continue doing this until you reach the top of the hat. Any squares of paper which are going to wrap up and over the top of the hat, should have slits cut into the top side of the paper so that when they’re glued down they will hug the body of the hat rather than warping and bubbling.

Continue attaching squares until you have covered the entire outside of the hat as well as the under-side of the brim. Trim any excess paper neatly around the inside of the brim.

Use two strips of contrasting patterned paper glued end to end to create a ribbon around the base of the hat.

mad hatter easter bonnet - paper ribbon

Then using the lace, attach it to the top and bottom of your paper ribbon with a hot glue gun. This will hide any imperfections in the paper ribbon and add another interesting element.

mad hatter easter bonnet - lace

Attach the buttons using hot glue. You can also add any other embellishments such as fake flowers, origami ribbons or anything else.

mad hatter easter bonnet close-up

And ta-da! You’re done!

Dailylike mad hatter easter bonnet - main

This project was created by Dailylike Design Team member Magdalena Franco of The Craft Revival.

6 thoughts on “Project : Mad Hatter Easter Bonnet by Magdalena Franco

  1. Can you please tell me if this would also work by starting out with a black plastic top hat. Trying to cut down on some time and would like to do this idea at my daughter’s birthday party. thanks for any assistance!

  2. Hi Christy,
    Yes definitely, what a great idea! That’s a fantastic short-cut if you are short on time. Here’s what I would do to create the quirky over-size top:
    (1) Cut some strips of cardboard and fold them all at the one-third point.
    (2) Take one strip and attach the longer two-thirds end to the vertical side of your plastic top hat, then whilst allowing the fold-line on your strip to stick out further than the edge of your plastic top hat, attach the shorter one-third end to the top of your plastic top hat.
    (3) Repeat this with the cardboard strips until you have made your way all around the plastic top hat, keeping the strips as close together as possible. Keep in mind that the fold-lines of your strips will form the over-size quirky edge so try to keep them in line as much as possible.
    (4) To finish off, just trace and cut out a circle of cardboard to attach to the top and cover all of the strips and get the hat ready for paper mache.
    Your hat will now be ready for paper mache and to continue the rest of Magdalena’s tutorial :)
    Have fun making your Mad Hatter bonnet! I am sure your daughter will love it!!
    Sarah xx

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