Monday, March 21, 2011

Renaissance Head Gear--for Pennies!

Renaissance headgear is needed for the annual conference of our church women's group, and I've been having big fun coming up with easy and inexpensive ideas--from the dollar store and thrift store, of course!

Now, I'm not claiming that any of these ideas are particularly authentic, though I did do my research--but what can you expect for 25 to 50 cents each? And after the big day they can all go straight into the costume box.

The first hat above is a ring, cut and stapled into a circle, from a roll of wired velvet ribbon I found at the thrift store for a dollar. The veil is made from a golden thrift store sheet--the sheet cost $2.00 and made a pile of veils when cut into squares. It was polyester, so I was able to avoid hemming the edges by fusing them--just pass the cut edge near a candle flame. Keep it moving to avoid potential problems! I gathered one edge of the veil and stitched it to the ribbon, but it could be stapled on just as well, and the veil could be attached at the back.

Hat #2 above is a scrap project--the brim is a scrap left over from a project involving a different gold thrift store sheet. I folded a long strip of fabric lengthwise, and stitched along the raw edges, making a 2-3/4" casing, then threaded through a piece of 2-1/2" elastic, 22" long. I sewed this strip into a circle, then cut a big circle (about 24" in diameter) from some scrap velour left over from a robe project. The circle is gathered around the edges, then seamed to the brim section right sides together. Voila!

Hat #3 was inspired by the glittery party hats shown above. I used the party hat cardboard to make a pattern and cut a base from poster board. The poster board base is covered with some brocade I had in my stash, front and back, and stapled to the metal band from the party hat. This veil is one of a pile I cut from a thrift store curtain panel, price $1.00. The edges of these veils are fused in the same manner as above.

Hat #4 is easiest of all, and pretty much a freebie. Plastic swamp cooler tubing is cut to length and joined into a circle--I used short pieces of sucker sticks, inserted in both ends, to join the tubes--somehow the sucker sticks were just the right diameter. The circle is covered with scrap ribbon, wound around and hot-glued on, and lengths of ribbon from my stash trail from the back. Curly ribbon would work just as well here.

Now for a step back in time. . .


  1. WOW -- they look incredible! I hope you'll get photos of all the ladies wearing them at the event!

  2. These are fabulous! You are so creative!

  3. I love these! Am bookmarking this for future use :)

  4. I love the ribbon crown. The sucker sticks you refer to, are they just the little white sticks you buy in the baking section? How long of a piece did you use and did you have to glue that at all? Thanks!

  5. Hi, Melanie! Sorry for the delay-- I've been away from the computer. Yes, they are the white cardboard-y sticks from the craft store! The ones I used fit so closely that I didn't glue them at all, just cut them about an inch long and pushed half into each side of the tube. The natural curve of the tube seemed to help hold them. Have fun!


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