Tuesday, November 22, 2016

DIY Brown Bear, Brown Bear Party Hats

In preparation for Lucky's third birthday party, I purchased most of the items I needed to decorate the party.  I did want to do a couple of crafts, so I made him his own Brown Bear Birthday Shirt.  After a lot of debate, I put the brown bear on the back of the shirt and the number 3 on the front.  How could I incorporate the Brown Bear into Lucky's birthday pictures?  How about a DIY party hat!

I wanted to embellish a plain colored party hat like I did for Lucky's first birthday but it was surprisingly difficult to find plain paper party hats.  There are many handy party hat templates out there, but I I liked the look of the It's a Party Hat template from Give your Octopus a Paintbrush (or 8) blog.  This hat shouldn't need any glue to help it hold its shape.  Combined with thick cardstock (110 lb), I should end up with a pretty sturdy hat.

If I had more printer toner I would print the patter on the hats, but where is the fun in that?  I have a ton of leftover Brown Bear, Brown Bear fabric from Lucky's shirt, why not use this fabric to decorate the hats?  Maybe I will also make some kind of bobble out of the polka dot fabric.

I cut out one hat and did a test of securing a scrap of cotton fabric to the card stock with rubber cement.  It stuck pretty well.  Someone could peel the animal off but it should hold for photos.  How long will a paper party hat last anyway?  (The hats from Lucky's first birthday party are still on display on a floating shelf in his room.)  I even tried peeling off the fabric and the rest stayed on pretty well.  Hopefully we'll be able to get a family picture out of this.

I am only planning to make 5-7 hats (My family + maybe one set of grandparents) with the Brown Bear theme.  I purchased some polka dot party hats that other people can use but the elastic felt pretty short on some of the hats.

To save on toner, I printed two hat templates and held 4 pieces of paper together at a time while cutting.  To make the slit cut cleaner, I used a box cutter to make the slit versus trying to get a pair of scissors in there like I did for my test hat.  So you can't the lines of the templates, I will attach the fabric to the reverse side.

This project is also an excuse to use some of the animals that are cut off on the fabric.  With the curve of the hat I wouldn't be able to fit an entire white dog on the hat, so I may as well use the one that is cut off a bit from the edge.  These ones wouldn't work well for an applique project anyway.

I worried about the placement of the animals a LOT, and finally just decided to go for it.  I attached the fabric with rubber cement and the animals face ROUGHLY in the front middle of the hat.

I wanted to see if I could create bobbles out of the polka dot fabric.  I cut 1.5" strips of fabric, pressed down the edges and then pressed it in half to make a ribbon for the top of the hat.

Meh, I don't love it.  The fabric is too thick.  In my craft box I found some fun multicolored sparkles that I can try to use for the tops of the hats.  Maybe I can use the fabric ribbon I made around the bottom edge.  It won't lay flat but it will finish off the hat and give it a clean look.  I think if I use a glue gun it might work fine.

Even though I liked the idea of putting this on the bottom of the hat, the hats looked SO AMAZING with just the bobbles that I didn't want to mess them up.  Let's stop while I'm ahead and not over embellish.  Hot glue was sufficient to attach these sparkly bobbles to the hats.

There are two choices to secure these hats to someone's head.  I can either find some stretch elastic to tie on like a traditional party hat or I can secure some ribbon and tie it under the chin with a bow.  Hopefully I will be able to get Rowdy, Lucky and Indy to wear these long enough for a photo!

Lucky's birthday party is going to be at a playground.  We have reserved the covered structure, but if it rains we may need to move the party to our house.  Maybe giving kids crayons, markers and letting them DIY their own party hats is an activity we can have up our sleeves.  I did buy a whole ream of paper!

For the chin strap, I cut an 18" piece of elastic.  This length fit me, Keith and Lucky well but was a little too long for Rowdy and Indy.  I think I will cut 15" for Rowdy and Indy, 18" for Lucky and 19" for each of the adults.

On the day of Lucky's birthday, he was so excited to wear his Brown Bear hat!  

Taking the family photo was a little harder than I had anticipated.  I can control my DSLR with my cell phone, but it was hard for me to press the shutter button while holding Rowdy in my lap.  In the end, my mom came up and pressed the button on the phone.  Thanks, Mimi!  

Once I figured out what I wanted to do, making my own paper party hats was a piece of cake!  I know know that I would love to do this for future parties.  Now I just have to decide what I want to do for Rowdy's first birthday!