Friday night was the 5th anniversary/blizzard recovery fundraiser for Chicago Underground Library (not sure this URL will work – it was down yesterday). Back in February CUL’s facility sustained some damage during Chicago’s big blizzard for 2011. Held at Beauty Bar, the event featured a cake walk, drinks, DJs and a PAPER HAT CONTEST. I’m a Librarian by day, so I was absolutely going to attend the event no matter what. When I read about the hat contest on Facebook, I got really excited. Here’s my entry and how I made it:
needle & thread
Create the base for your hat by cutting a circle out of a piece of paper as large as you’d like. Mine’s about 5″ in diameter. Cut a line in your hat base along the circle’s radius, as shown. Tape your hat in to a wide cone shape.
Then, cut yourself some paper feathers. To do this, you can cut a piece of paper in to long strips and taper the ends to points. Then fringe the edges. I originally tried cutting out the silhouette of a feather shape, spine and all. For the purposes of this hat, I found making a double-ended feather, sans spine, looked better.
Attach the feathers to your hat base by sewing them, carefully, as if you were hemming a piece of fabric. The key here is to punch a hole through all layers of paper with your sewing needle. Don’t put too much pressure on the paper like you might with fabric. It could tear if you do that.
Once all of the feathers are attached, tie off your thread and secure the loose end with tape on the underside of the hat. Then decorate the front of your hat as you please. I taped a paper feather and a thin ring of paper (folded in half and snipped once) for some added plumage on the front, but there was still something missing. I considered incorporating a brooch or hair clip, but then I remembered I was going to a benefit for a library. The final touch on my hat was making a tiny book out of paper, binding it with thread, and sewing it to the front of my hat to cover the added plumage. I was the first runner-up at the benefit and made friends with the woman who won the whole shebang. She’s also a Librarian.