Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Things to Make: Craft Fair Hat Stand!

This post should probably be started with "How-NOT-To Tuesday"...but, since I finally figured out what to do, we'll just pretend that I did everything right from the start!

This project came about because I was trying to figure out how to display my hat's when I go to craft fairs.  I had a couple of styrofoam heads that I had mod-podged with scrapbook paper, so that they looked more finished, but  they were too big to display baby hats on.

One Sunday, the fam and I were watching Hello, Dolly!  ('cause we do stuff like that), and during the scene in the hat shop, I noticed that they had these fantastic hat displays!  (I know.  I'm a total geek.)  They were just these big wooden balls on top of pretty turned-wood poles.  There wasn't anything particularly fancy about them - they were just balls on sticks - and immediately I started thinking about how I could recreate something like that.

Thus, the concept for my hat stand was conceived.  


Here's what I did  (and didn't do.  Tee hee.)

Materials Needed

Large styrofoam balls
A long wooden dowel, cut in three lengths
A wide board for a base
A drill
Wood Glue
Mod Podge
Scrapbook paper

First, cut your dowel to the lengths desired.  I had mine cut to three various lengths as I didn't want my 'heads' to all be at the same height.

Drill holes in the base board, and  a shallow hole in each styrofoam ball.  

Glue the dowels into the base board and allow to dry.  And then paint them if desired.  

Don't glue the styrofoam to the dowels yet!

Here's where the mistakes, er, fun began for me.

See, I opted to purchase the cheaper styrofoam balls...not the pretty smooth type, the kinda rough and crumbly textured ones.  Mistake #1.

Next, I applied Mod Podge and scrapbook paper to one of the balls.  It soaked it in, and the paper wouldn't stick. At all.

I decided to try a different approach I thought I might be able to wrap the balls in yarn...but they were so big that I used almost an entire skein of yarn to cover just one....Not to mention, the fact that the flaky styrofoam was getting everywhere!!!  Mistake #2.

So, I unwound the yarn...because I just couldn't justify using all my yarn up like that!!  

My next thought was that I could get away with painting the balls.  So I did.  And the paint soaked right in.  And the styrofoam was still crumbly...Mistake # 3.

After allowing the paint to dry (overnight, of course, since the styrofoam was virtually a paint sponge...sheesh)  I tried my last desperate approach.  

I dipped the scrapbook paper in water.  Then I spread Mod Podge onto the strips.  This made the paper more pliable, and easier to smooth down onto the surface of the blasted stryofoam balls.  AND IT WORKED.

After my Mod-Podged/Paper Machéd balls were completely dried, I glued them onto the top of the dowels.  SUCCESS!!!

Here's what the finished hat stand looks like.  

And with it's other two friends.

And here's a really terrible shot from the Craft Show I did on Saturday.


My advice for you, if you are going to try this little project out is:

#1 - If you are going to do this spring for the smooth styrofoam balls.  You'll thank me.

#2 - Wrapping balls in yarn is super cute...for a much smaller project.

#3 - Just use homemade paper maché paste (a little flour and water) to adhere your paper to your ball with, instead of wasting using up half a bottle of Mod Podge.  Just use the Mod Podge to seal the ball when you're done.

Good Luck and Happy Crafting!!!

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