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254pagesProjectsCraftfeltsculpt

Craft Felt Sculpture V-Day "Rose" Hat Project at The Costumer'sManifesto Costume Design & Construction Craft Felt Sculpture Hats 5D+10C

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In addition to making

normal hats with craft felt, craft felt can be used to make unusual sculptural hats, such as those shown here. Craft felt, when soaked in glue can hold large complex shapes that are very strong:

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Only the central banana in the hat below is made with

foam airball, all the leaves, peel, cap and coconuts are just glue and felt:

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Felt and glue also makes a good basis for designs using paint to make strong graphic statements:

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254images254photos1Felt18.jpgSmall prongs, petals and other protruding bits are made very strong with just the glue and felt as support.

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Felt is extremely soft and pliable when damp, and can be pulled into curves, or tucked into pleats that mimic natural shapes:

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Felt can be cut into small motifs that can be applied to the surface in raised designs using the glue as both fixative and surface glaze:

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HatsMyhats70983 21.jpg These felt glue-appliquéd designs become part of the body of the hat, while also having a slightly raised surface that makes paint application easier, and the surface texture more interesting to look at.

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Small, otherwise useless scraps of feltcan be blended into a complex whole to make waves, feathers or plant life in gradient color.

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This technique can also be used to make armor and other objects:

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The Project:

What you need:

A wooden or foam head or hat form in a size larger than the performer's head.

A plastic bag to cover the form

White glue that dries clear (nontoxic)

craft paint brush

plastic container

water

Craft felt pieces and scraps

T-pins or other strong pins

Newspapers or plastic to cover your workspace

latex gloves

2 large rubber bands

craft scissors

paint if desired

Render your hat design on paper to give yourself a plan to work towards. You may end up changing your plan slightly, but starting without a plan is definitely a mistake. The instructions below detail how to do a V-Day "Rose" hat like the one shown, but you may choose to design a different style of hat and can extrapolate your own process based on your design crossed with the instructions below.

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Cover your workspace with plastic or newspapers, bag your head form in the plastic bag, and use a rubber band to hold the bag close to the head without a lot of air space.

254images254photos44034.jpg Cut a circle or square of craft felt to make the base cap of the hat. Make sure it covers the head fully.

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254images254projects55005.jpg Mix glue and water together in the plastic container about 50-50, and pour and brush the glue into the felt cap, stretching it around the head as you go.

254images254photos44037.jpg Put the second rubber band around the cap, and use it as a guide for stretching the pleats out of the cap.

254images254photos44038.jpg Pull some more, and add pins to hold it smoothly.

254images254photos44039.jpg Cut a piece of felt to make the pleated section in the center of the flower, soak it in the glue mixture, and fold it in pleats onto the surface of the cap.

254images254photos44041.jpg Cut, soak and attach the layers of felt that make the petals.

254images254photos44042.jpg Pin at strategic points as you go, to hold the layers down for a few minutes each till they have had a chance to stick.

254images254photos44043.jpg Keep adding layers, in lighter shades of pink, till the cap is totally covered with pleated petals.

254images254photos44046.jpg add glue and pins as you go.

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254images254photos44050.jpgLet dry till it is semi-soft, but still holds together. If it dries too long, it will take pliers to get your pins out:

254images254projects55004.jpg Force the hat off of the head (difficult). Then use craft shears to cut off the excess felt from the bottom of the cap piece:

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254images254projects55008.jpgAllow to dry completely before painting or adding any decorations.

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When it is finished, photograph the hat and sketch as jpeg files and post them to your File folder at the class @160x120.jpg eGroup

. Post a message to the group letting everyone know you have posted these pictures so you can get feedback.

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"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis