In the audience of my 'Naughty Women, Lovely Tea' presentations every year for the Crawford Long Museum, there are always in attendance the lovely Red Hat Society ladies. They really are a terrific group! Well, one day earlier this month I got an email from a couple of the members inviting me to their Queen's birthday party to be held at a local Tea House. They were asking me to be a guest, not to do a presentation. They said, "We have been to so many of your Teas, we wanted you to attend ours!" At first I was overjoyed!! Then panic set in. "What do I wear?!" Seriously. It seemed (even to me) quite ironic that I was frantic, not knowing what to wear to a Tea. But as I said, I was going as ME, 21st century me, not in costume. But I gathered my composure and (after a quick search on the good ol' WWW) I came up with an idea I could quickly do for a hat. (The ladies were kind enough to give me a pass on the regulated attire since I was not officially a member of the Society.)
Gotta love the internet! I found a pattern and instructions on Downloadandprint.com searching for 'how to make giant paper roses'. Gotta love free patterns! Pictured above are small, medium, and large petals, a circle base, and ...a cluster star thing. (You'll see what I mean.) The paper I used was 'butcher paper' thickness; it's not as thick as cardstock but thicker than regular paper.
I made two of the star cluster things and curled the spikes for two different finished sizes. Both curled clusters started out the same size as the flat one.
I cut out four of each size petal (giving me 12 total). I cut a straight slit up the middle of each petal about an inch or two long (depending on the size of the petal). I then crossed them in a bit and hot glued them together. This gave the bottom of the petal a concave curve. Lastly, I bent/curled the top en of the petal outward. I did all of these steps for every individual petal.
Then I got into the actual assembly and didn't take any more photos. (SORRY! I really suck at that.) But I tried to make up for it with this lovely illustration. (HA!) Feel free to send me a message if there's something you don't understand.
Once all the petals were secure (and my finger tips properly burned) I glued down the two star clusters (wider one on the bottom then the smaller one on top. As for the stamen, I ripped apart a dollar-store flower cluster (I think it was a hydrangea kind of thing) until there was only the green plastic left. I painted it black and glued it in the center. Then I glued the back of the flower to the off-center side of the hat and glued the ribbon around it. DONE! Honestly, the cutting and curling of the petals is what took the longest. This is a very quick project, less than 30 minutes for assembly.
I adore the Victorian era but I live in the 21st century. I strive for authenticity but not to the point of obsession (usually). Unless the TARDIS shows up, I'm only ever going to have to 'look' the part. Sometimes close enough really is good enough.