Ladies hats have been decorated with everything imaginable at one time or another.  Silk flowers of every type, velvet blossoms, and fruits, even elaborate feathered birds were all used to embellish hats.  Remember, in  Victorian times, a ladies hat made more than just a "fashion" statement.  A woman's hat reflected her good taste and breeding, her fashion savvy, her age, social position, and even her husband's wealth.  The more elegant and elaborate, the better.  All within good taste, of course.



Ribbon Roses

Ribbon roses are a traditional embellishment for miniature costumes and hats.  They are lovely and easy to make.  For those of you who haven't made miniature ribbon roses, you will need a rose tool, 4 mm wide silk ribbon, and glue in a syringe applicator.

Roses can be made with solid colored ribbon, or a varigated or ombre (shaded) ribbon can be used for a multi-color effect

Insert the end of your ribbon thru the eye in the tool, leaving a 1/4" length extending beyond the eye.  Apply a dot of glue to the end of the ribbon and fold over, encasing the tool in the ribbon loop. 
Twist the tool clockwise 3-4 times, wrapping the ribbon around the tool.  Place a small dot of glue at the base of the wound ribbon, and twist, anchoring the long end of your ribbon into the glue.
Twist your ribbon 1 turn, making a fold, and bring the ribbon around, creating a petal.  Anchor this petal with a small dot of glue.  Be sure to place the glue at the base of your rose, so that the petals will remain soft and loose.
Twist and glue ribbon again, forming another petal.
Continue in this manner until you are satisfied with your rose.
Anchor the end of the ribbon with a dot of glue, and trim.  Gently slide your lovely rose off the tool, and allow to dry. 
When your rose is dry, you can trim off the pointed bottom portion, being careful not to trim away too much, or your rose will fall apart


Always a traditional hat adornment.  In victorian times, feathers were dyed, cleaned, and even recycled into plume "trees" 
To curl a feather, use sharp scissors, and a light touch.  You can curl the entire feather by running the spine of the feather against the scissor blade in the same way you curl ribbon for gifts!

Feathers can also be curled by wraping around a round object and holding over steam.

To get an ostrich plume look, separate sections of the feather, and curl them under, using the scissors in the same manner as when curling spine of feather.  Use gentle pressure, or you will remove all of the fluff!


Find tiny colorful feathers to cover an entire brim.  Make sure that the feathers you choose are small, and well matched in size and color. 

Use only a small bit of glue on the underside spine of the feather, and position onto the hat crown.  DO NOT coat the entire undersurface of the feather.  They stop looking like feathers when they are all stuck together with glue!

Other Flowers

Tiny handmade enamel look wire edge flowers
These daisies were made using a paper punch, and white paper.    The edges of the petals of are colored with water colors.  Center is from a glass head pin, painted to match.  Entire flower is then coated with modpodge.
These tiny violets were made using sculpy and a small flower punch.  Punch out flower, shape into a cupped form, and bake.  Then paint centers with bright yellow, and seal with modpodge.

No Hole Beads

Red no-hole beads on fine wire make these tiny berries.  Just dip the end of the wire into glue, then dip into beads, and gently coax the beads into shape.  Allow to dry, then coat with modpodge.
Pretty sprays of pearl no hole beads on wire look like baby's breath among the ribbon roses.

Fruits and Veggies Anyone?

   Model tiny fruits from sculpey or fimo and bake.  Then, use flocking to replicate those gorgeous Victorian velvet fruit and vegetable hat trimmings.


  Birds were a very popular hat ornament in Victorian times.  Some were real, preserved birds, others used real plumage on paper mache forms.  Use a tiny plastic dove, found in the wedding area of your craft store, and cover with feathers. 


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