This Halloween, I decided to challenge myself to make part of my outfit. I have a some specific rules about my Halloween costumes – firstly, that I don’t wear wholly pre-packaged outfits. Nothing off the peg for me, thanks! Thirdly, it has to be scary, or based on a Halloween theme. I guess this is pretty European-centric of me, because I know in the US, Halloween isn’t restricted to spooky costumes. But I love spooky things, so I’m always up for dabbing on the fake blood! Thirdly, I try to dress up as a different version of myself – this sounds very weird, but by that I simply mean that instead of dressing up like a specific person or character, I instead try to imagine what I would wear if I was a witch, vampire, or whatever. I’m sure a lot of people do the same thing! Last year I actually broke this rule when I dressed up as Morticia from The Addams Family, but hey – rules are meant to be broken…
As I’ve been doing this Halloween thing for a good many years now (ouch, how old am I?) I’ve already cycled through the obvious candidates – zombie, witch, vampire. So this year I decided to confront my fears head on and go as ARACHNIA! SPIDER WOMAN. Very scary. Mostly, it’s because I had seen these amazing cobweb style hats, and I wanted to wear one… Unfortunately for me, they were all pretty expensive, so I decided to make my own version. Startlingly, I really didn’t need to buy much in order to make this – but then again, that’s because I’m a failed craft nut, who had bought too many supplies and never used them.
- Sinamay hat base – any colour, round
- Black felt
- Wooden skewers
- Black paint
- Paint brush
- Black embroidery thread
- Plastic spiders
- Cut your felt a little larger than your hat base, then pin in place.
- Sew the felt onto your hat base with the black thread.
- Once you’ve covered your hat base with felt, you can either attach the headband now by sewing it on, or wait until you’ve constructed the cobweb. Either way, it can get fiddly! When you want to attach the headband, pin it in place, then use your thread to secure it in two places onto the base.
- Time to make the cobweb. Your skewers will be arranged in the classic spokes pattern, like this.
So, now you sew each spoke onto the hat using your black thread. Sew in two places to make it extra secure – just loop around the skewer, back under, and around again, almost like sewing on a button. You might find your cobweb looks more even if you sew four skewers on at the compass points, then fill in the gaps afterwards. Also, remember to leave a small gap in the middle so that your skewers don’t sit on top of each other. Place a plastic spider on this at the end to hide the gap! Before you add in your final skewer, though, grab your black embroidery thread bundle, and tie the end carefully onto the end of your final skewer. Then sew on as the rest. Tying the thread on at this point will make it less fiddly to attach!
- This rope demonstrates how to arrange the black embroidery thread onto your spokes to create the classic cobweb effect. Taking your embroidery bundle, weave the thread around the skewers, creating a loop over each stick to keep in place. This is tricky. You need to keep the sticks pulled apart so that the thread stays tight across the loops. Even so, you’ll find that it’s very difficult to keep everything looking tight – but that’s part of the homemade charm, right?
- At the end of the sticks, tie your thread off, then trim the end. If you haven’t attached your headband, do so now.
- For some optional final touches, add in a fake spider in the centre of your web to hide the spokes, and add another, smaller spider dangling from a thread at the front of the hat!
So, that’s how to create your own cobweb hat! Here’s a slightly better picture of the hat with the spider in the centre!
Anyone going to give this a try next year?