How to Make a Birthday Hat and other Crafty Mom Musings

DIY cone hat for my daughter’s 1st Birthday Party

In theory, I love to DIY. In reality, I don’t have the patience for reading long how-tos. Consequently, I wing-it, often times making the crafting process much harder. Now, I’m very artist – a gift I acquired from my late father. He could draw anything. (Side note: Let’s just say my elementary school projects were legendary.) But, I digress.

When my daughter was born, I had all these lofty ideas of what to make for her room, what to make for memories sake, what to make for the grandparents, etc. Many suggestions were shot down by my non-DIY loving husband. Many ideas never materialized because I didn’t allocate the time needed to properly create something, anything. This was going to change with Ilana Rose’s birthday approaching April 4th. I was determined to make a 1st Birthday Party Hat.
I spend about $300 on supplies because I couldn’t make up mind mind, and 
I needed basic crafting supplies. Don’t worry, $250 of it is going back. 

With a vague idea of what I might need (see above about winging it), I heading to Michaels. The results are documented below. The memories are emblazoned in my heart. This wasn’t just about crafting, it really was about slowing down for two hours, Friday morning, and thinking about the past year as a new mom. I savored every minute of the cutting, folding, and gluing … and then Ilana woke up for her morning nap. Friday night, after dinner, I spent another thirty minutes wrapping up the project.

SUPPLIES
  • Foam paper
  • Craft paper
  • Ribbons, pompoms, stickers, anything else that catches your eye at the craft store that might work as décor accents (a good return policy is essential, if you like to play with options!!)
  • Faux flowers
  • Glue stick, scissors, staple gun
  • Downloadable cone shape


DIRECTIONS
  • Download a cone hat shape. Print and cut out the shape.
  • Decide on color scheme or theme. Mine was soft yellow, blush pink and Champaign (because I couldn’t find rose gold products). In keeping with our English garden, Tea Party theme, I wanted everything to feel romantic and elegant.
  • Trace the cone shape on the foam and cut out the shape. I used foam as my base for the hat.* You can use it as the main hat and skip additional layering and gluing. (* Next time I’ll use thicker stock paper, as foam is a bit trick and way too thick when you glue one end of the cone to the other.)
  • Trace the cone shape onto the back of your craft paper, but don’t cut it out.
  • Make slip cuts along the curved edge of the cone shape, on your craft paper. This helps make the final look neater.
  • Glue the craft paper to the foam. Press and hold as you go, to get a permanent stick.
  • If you are planning to have pompoms, feathers or other items at the tip of the cone, cut out a small bit from the top of your (still flat) cone hat.
  • I used faux flowers as my ‘cherry on top’. Simply cut off the stem, leaving about an inch to wrap with strong tape and a rubber band.** (**I loved the look of the flowers, but next time I need something lighter. The weight was too much for my daughter’s precious little head. I’ll explain in an upcoming post about the dos/don’ts of baby photo shoots! You live and learn.) 
  • Because my hat was rather thick and the flower ‘cherry on top’ was a pinch heavy, it was easier to warp and glue the cone with the ‘cherry on top’ flowers already being held inside vs. sticking them in after the cone was all glued. (However, I may try that the next time. Much like motherhood, I’m learning as I go.)
  • I couldn’t find a pre-made number 1 that matched my color scheme, so I cut it out (using stencils – which isn’t winging-it, but I could heard my husband’s voice in my head and I knew stencils were the way to go).
  • Decorate away. I purchased beautiful stickers from the Martha Stewart Crafts collection, to make life easier.
  • To make her name stand out, I cut a strip of thick, yellow paper and made a band around the hat. The paper needs to be cut in the same degree as the cone, otherwise you will not get an even strip look. Math hasn’t been my strong suit in years, so eyeballing it/winging it meant this step took longer than necessary.
  • In order to hide the tiny gap created on the back of my really thick hat, I added a bird slip. J Birds = garden = tea party. It makes thematic sense.
  • Rather than use wire, which would have held the hat on my daughter’s head a heck of lot better during our photo shoot (more on that later), I opted for pretty yellow lace. Cut two equal pieces long enough to tie a bow around the neck. Attach one on each end with staples. Hide the staples with décor. I used flower stickers.
  • Marvel in your glory. 

Faux flowers = My version of the “cherry on top” pompom for a birthday hat.
I knew the bird clips would come in handy!! Also, note to other
wanna-be DIYers: any “error” can be craftly corrected.
 
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