After shopping around without success for hat for my daughter Jessica to wear to the Kentucky Derby this weekend, we decided to make one.  Jessica (16 years old) did the vast majority of the work and was very pleased with the result.  Here are the step by step instructions:

1. Purchase a simple hat and embellishments of your choice.  Jessica choose a black straw hat and various ribbons, flowers and feathers.

2. Start with the band.  Jessica used a wide ribbon which contained wire edges so that it could be formed into the shape she wanted.  If you plan to have your embellishments on the front with a simple band, cut your band the diameter of the hat and be sure to glue it in the front.  This way your embellishments will cover the seam. 

Jessica however, wanted to have flowing ribbons on the side of the hat, so she chose to tie the ribbon on the side using a square knot.  It was also anchored in place on the front and opposite side with a drop of hot glue.

3.  Next, she formed a big bow out of tulle, a light net like material that comes in a variety of colors.  She actually used two long strips of it together to make it bulkier and less transparent.  To make a bow, find the center and then form two loops of equal length on either side of it.  Tie the loops together and pull until they are the desired size.  She left strands hanging, but if preferred you can cut the excess off leaving only the bow.

4. Jessica used a small piece of green floral wire to attach the tulle bow to the knot in the ribbon.  She also used a couple of small drops of hot glue to anchor each side of the tulle bow to the hat so that they would stand up straighter.

5. The stems were then cut off of the feathers and flowers so they could be attached to the hat.  The large feather was tucked behind the knot in the ribbon band and secured with floral wire.  Next, a large artificial flower was wired over the band's knot.  And finally, little sprigs of dried Baby's Breath were glued to the back of the large flower.

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