Black witch hat made on a frame of chicken wire and cardboard, covered with deco poly mesh, Deco Poly Flex Tubing and a couple of RAZ Spiders.
The great thing about this hat is that it didn't require a bunch of expensive craft materials. You will need 2 rolls of deco poly mesh. One roll just isn't quite enough, but you'll have enough left over to do several thing with. I opened 2 packs of black pipe cleaners or Fuzzy Sticks as they were called at Wal Mart. Again, it didn't take both packs, but one wasn't enough. The rest of the items I already had.
A roll of chicken wire at Lowe's is around $8-9 and one roll will see you through several craft projects. I've made two witch hats with this roll and two large ball forms......still have a lot of chicken wire left.
You'll need a tap measure, wire cutters, wide tape, cardboard and I like to wear some old leather dress gloves when working with the wire. Saves some scratches and punctured fingers! It's easier to work in old dress gloves than garden gloves.
First thing you want to do is cut a square out of the wire. And please forgive my surroundings in the photos. I don't have a cute craft room or anything. I do my work on a packing table in the shop.....not pretty but serves the purpose.
The chicken wire is about 24" wide, so I measured 24" and cut out a square. Roll the wire off from the top and it won't curl up so bad. After you cut it, just flatten it down with your hands.
Roll the wire into a cone shape. You may have to practice this a bit to get it the shape you want, or the width of the cone you want.
The base of my cone was about 12 inches. I'll be making another one of these cone soon to try out an ice cream cone decoration.
Now just shape the cone with more of a witch hat look. Don't worry, it won't be perfect and won't matter. If you don't like the shape, just keep working on it. Scrunch the top together pretty good to make a longer dangling tip.
The first witch hat I made was done with a cone wired to a circle frame. I didn't have another one so I had to improvise and this one didn't cost a bit. I took an old shipping box, flattened it out and cut a circle. The width of the circle was around 18". A pizza box would be great to cut a circle out of.
Then I cut an inner circle out that was just about the size of the bottom of the cone. Once this was done, the circle was covered in chicken wire. Just lay the chicken wire over the circle and cut a square. Press the wire all around the edges and the clip the center, folding those edges inward.
Once the circle is covered with wire, turn it over to the underneath side and just cover the raw edges of the wire with wide clear tape. In hindsight.....I would have taken the wire frame and the cardboard and spray painted black. Course the underneath side isn't going to show, but it could look better and if I was making this witch hat for anything other than personal use I would have covered the base in felt, black material or gone back and spray painted.
Ready now to attach the crown of the hat to the brim. I used black pipe cleaners and cut them in half to make them go farther. If you haven't played with deco poly mesh much, you might want to leave them full length.
Secure the two pieces together about every 3" or so with the pipe cleaners and leave the twists sticking up as you'll use this later for the mesh.
At this point, I went ahead and put the twists all around the hat, spacing about 2 1/2" to 3". Try to position the pipe cleaners through the wire so they won't be slipping around. Again, the measurements won't work out perfect, but it's very easy to go back and fill in any gaps anywhere. I started at the base of the crown and worked up with the pipe cleaners and this is also how I started with the mesh.
I thought that one row of pipe cleaners around the outside edge of the brim would be enough, but I had gaps in the mesh, so I went back and added a row of twists about midway of the brim. (Extra row was added after this photo.)
Ready to start with the mesh at this point. Just unroll the mesh and grasp and handful, secure in one of
the twists at the base of the crown. Tuck the raw edge inside under the wires.
I made my poufs or handfuls a little tighter than I do when making wreaths or garlands. But remember, you can always untie, loosen, tighten or fill in gaps when you're done.
Just continue working around the crown, going upward and finishing at the tip of the hat and cut your mesh there.
Start back over now doing the brim. This is the point that I realized I needed an extra round of twists.
I added an extra row of twists about mid way between the outside edge and where the crown had started. Start with a handful, secure with a couple of twists and tuck in the raw edge. Continue around the hat until complete, cut and tuck in the raw edge.
Once you've gone around all the twists, back off and look at it. You'll have some gaps and holes that you need to fill. I used 2 1/2" mesh loops to fill in the gaps.
Just tuck your loop in and secure with pipe cleaner from the inside. Be careful when running your hat up inside the hat unless you've been very careful with the wire edges. Sometimes you can just tuck a loop in without using a pipe cleaner to fasten. It just depends on who you're making the hat for. I wouldn't want to sell one to anybody without everything being secure, but for myself to set around as a table decoration.....I tucked in most of my loops.
Again, back off and look at the hat, turn it around, you made have to reshape it a bit.
To help cover up the chicken wire and to help from being able to see through it, I crumpled up some mesh and stuffed inside the hat.
Now you're ready to embellish the hat. One of the great things about making something like this is, you can put as much money or not, into that you want. I like the idea of reusing items and I'll always try this instead of buying something.
The first thing I did was add in some Deco Flex Tubing in orange and green just to give a little color and add a different texture. The black, is really black and needed brightening up. I just took the Deco Flex Tubing and started at one of the twists, let it loop and fall without trying to really place it in any particular manner, same with the other color.
Pulled out some old black feather picks that had been used last year in a Halloween wreath and used them for the tip of the hat. Tied an orange band of mesh around the brim and attached a couple of RAZ spiders. These were the only "new" things I used on the hat. I tried an old skull, but it was too large. Also had a nice fuzzy black bat.....but it got lost in all the black. I'll have to try it on a purple hat or something.
The finished measurements are about 22" in ht and 24" in width.