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DIY Hat Stand

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As friends and family members (as well as IG followers) know, I’ve been making tiny top hats! I’m making some for personal use as photo props, but others I’m planning to list in my Etsy store. I didn’t want to take product photos without a hat stand, though, so I made a DIY vintage-inspired hat stand for the tiny top hats! It was super quick and easy to make, and the materials only cost about $10, so I thought I’d share a tutorial.

DIY Vintage-Inspired Hat Stand (from a cheap lamp!)

I made my hat stand from…a $7 lamp! Yep, a lamp. A decorative candlestick would work well, too. If you can find something suitable at a thrift store, your project may cost even less. The only other supplies you need for your DIY hat stand are:

  • A foam ball (I used a 4″ ball. A 3″ would have been better for my purposes, but I couldn’t find one locally)
  • Hot glue/gun. I used both high temp and low temp. A glue gun tips & tricks!
  • Scrap fabric (less than 1/4 of a yard)
  • Cutting mat & rotary cutter or scissors
  • Tools for taking apart the lamp, if necessary (I only needed pliers)
supplies for making your own hat stand

How to make a DIY hat stand

1. Evaluate your lamp. If you found a candlestick – good for you! Skip this step. Check out your lamp and see how to get the upper portion, where you’d screw in the light bulb, and the cord off. I cut the cord with some sturdy scissors to make things easier:

cut lamp's cord

Peeled off the felt bottom, and then used a pair of pliers to remove the nut holding everything in place. After that, everything just came apart. Literally everything, including the base weight that I needed!

unscrew lamp lamp taken apart

2. Glue anything necessary back in place. I used plenty of high temp hot glue for the weight:

glue weight back in lamp base

Then a dab of glue to hold the felt on.

glue felt back on lamp base

3. Grab your foam ball and see how it fits on top of your lamp base/candlestick. You may need to press down to flatten the foam a bit for a nice fit.

press down on foam ball

4. Iron your fabric then start cutting! You’ll need to cut strips that are 1″ wide and at least as long as the ball’s diameter. You can always trim off excess, so don’t worry if your strips are a little long. The exact number you’ll need will depend on your ball, but I only used about 8 strips.

fabric strips for covering ball

5. Use your hot glue to attach one end of a strip to the “bottom” of your ball (if you flattened it. If you didn’t flatten, then just pick a spot and start!). Smooth the glue out with your thumb to avoid lumps and hold it in place for a few seconds. Please be careful with this – hot glue really is hot!

attach fabric strip to ball

6. Once the glue has cooled slightly, wrap the fabric strip firmly around the ball, gluing in place with a dab of hot glue at the “top,” opposite the initial attachment point, and then glue in place back at the bottom, overlapping the original point slightly. Make sure to smooth the still-warm glue with your thumb to avoid unsightly lumps. Trim the fabric once the glue has set. You should now have a ring of fabric all the way around your ball!

form an X with the fabric

7. Repeat with a second  strip, making an X shape across the top and bottom of your ball, as shown.

form an X shape with the fabric

8. Keep adding fabric strips until your ball is covered! It seems to work best if you add fabric evenly across the ball instead of trying to work around in a circle…if that makes sense. Here’s a drawing that demonstrates what I mean:

how to cover ball with fabric

Just follow the same scheme around until you’ve covered everything! If you have a larger ball, it may take a few more strips.

cover ball with fabric strips

9. Use a generous amount of hot glue to attach the covered ball to your stand. I recommend firmly holding it in place until the glue has fully set to ensure a tight bond.
attach fabric covered ball to lamp

10. Enjoy your awesome new DIY vintage-inspired hat stand!

DIY hat stand for tiny top hats

Trying to explain covering the ball with fabric using only words and still photos was tricky! I’m thinking I may do a quick video on it some day. Fabric covered foam balls would be really cute for simple ornaments or wreath decorations, so I may have just found my next Skillshare project. =)

People seem to be very love it or hate it when it comes to hats and fascinators. How do you feel about decorative headwear?


{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Julie October 16, 2016, 22:05

    I love fascinators! The more elaborate, the better! Now, I just need an occasion to sport one!!

    • Natashalh October 17, 2016, 07:11

      That’s a big part of why I take photos – it gives me an excuse to wear all the cool things I couldn’t wear otherwise!

  • Pamela October 15, 2016, 12:21

    What a great idea! For my other Shop I photograph a lot of hats I made. Many would look much better on a stand! I have the perfect (not working) lamp just waiting to become a hat stand!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Natashalh October 15, 2016, 12:32

      Cool! Hope you enjoy the project and can put your non-functioning lamp to a new use. =) I love upcycling!

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