Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DIY Derby Hat

"Make plans and God laughs."

I bought tickets to go to a Derby Party/Fundraiser for MS at a local country club. . . I bought a dress and a hat. . . but now I'm not going.  Instead I'll be celebrating my grandfather's life in MI with my family.  Do you think my Derby Hat is funeral appropriate?!

I figured I would share my hat anyways in case you are going to a party and want to make a last minute Derby Hat!  The only problem is I'm bad about DIY photo taking and once I get into my project I forget to take photos of each step but you'll get the idea.

I bought this black floppy hat at the Loft Outlet (one of my favorite stores) and it came with the black and white polka dot sash on it.  Fortunately it came off easily and could even be glued back on if I wanted to.

I went to Michael's and bought silk flowers and some other swag for my hat (don't forget to use their coupon that is on the website every week)!  I bought two flowers because I wasn't sure the direction I was going in and wanted options. . .

I bought this hot pink ribbon to use on the base of my hat.  I actually only applied hot glue to the spot where the two ends meet. That way you can't see hot glue marks along the ribbon and I'll be able to pop it off after very easily (to use for something else or to make a different Derby Hat next year).

I actually wasn't impressed with Michael's "swag" selection so I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics too.  I was able to find a roll of hot pink tulle in the dollar bin and this flower/leave thingy in the wreath section.

Then my mom and I got to work (yes I needed help).  We looped the tulle and hot glued that to the hot pink ribbon.  There is not really any right or wrong way to do it.  I just googled "Derby Hats" and used a few that I liked for my inspiration.

I decided on the big flower (go big or go home) and had to cut the long stem off of it.  Once the back of it was flat I just applied hot glue to it and stuck it on (again to the tulle and ribbon). 

Then I cut the little flowers and leaves off and glued each in the spot I wanted them.  Everything is glued to the ribbon and/or each other.  Nothing but the hot pink ribbon is glued right onto the hat.  My mom did end up putting a couple of stitches through the center of the flower into the hat to secure it.  This will be easy to cut to remove after. 

Here is a close up.  I think it looks really pretty.  I had also bought some feathers but didn't like the ones I bought once I opened the package.  I returned them and bought some black and hot pink feathers but didn't get a chance to attach them and then found out I wouldn't be going to the Derby party so I left it as is. . .

This is my dress.  I got it at Banana Republic and I LOVE it.  I love the detail with the stitching at the waist and at the hem.  I'm still wearing it on Saturday - just not for the Derby! 

Some other tips for making a Derby Hat:

-Buy extra "swag" while at the local craft store.  Better to have more than you need and return then to not have what you want when you sit down to make it.

-Go big!  Have fun with it.  How often do you get to wear a big floppy hat covered in tulle and flowers?!  Might as well get out of your comfort zone a bit.

-Be careful with the hot glue gun.  I almost burnt my fingers quite a few times!

-Recruit a "crafty" partner to help you.  My mom is very good with these kind of projects and I liked having her opinion while doing it.  It helps me to get confirmation that it looks cute and not ridiculous!  Plus it is helpful to have an extra set of hands while gluing!

-Wear it around the house a few days before to become comfortable in it.  Take a lot of selfies.  Feel fabulous!

Are you going to a Derby party this year?

Or maybe you are even lucky enough to be going to the actual event!

P.S.  When I went to the Banana website to link to my dress I realized it is called "Navy" and it TOTALLY looks black to me.  Hence why I have a black hat.  I'm surprised by this and glad I didn't have a fashion faux pas!  Ha!

P.P.S  Emily posted about her DIY Derby Hat last year and I love it (plus she is hilarious) so you should check out her post too!



  1. Your hat looks great! I'm sorry you won't be able to wear it though.

  2. Wonderful hat and dress! No party for me.

  3. Your hat came out great, there is always next year.

  4. I LOVE the way it turned out!!! Looks so cool!! I really want to go to a Derby party now!

  5. You killed it! Keep it for a fancy hat thing in the future. I am afraid of hot glue guns.

  6. The hat looks great!

    I agree with the quote about God laughing when you make plans. Sorry for your loss!