Home-made Hat Stands
I've been wanting to make myself some real hat stands for several months now. In August, I bought some heavy-duty black wire that I tried to form in the shape of a human head, but the wire didn't hold its shape well enough for my satisfaction. In October, I thought about going the paper machier route, but that was a little too crafty for the elegance level I wanted.
I finally got inspired when I was at a recent Big Flea and saw a woman selling hat stands for 20 bucks a pop. "I could make those," I said to myself. In fact, I thought that I could make better ones using decorative molding and more interesting legs. Hers were made from a decorative porch newel post and two pieces of square molding nailed together like a capital I (and painted bilious pink). Mine would prettier in form and color.
How I Did It
My final hat stands (there was one failed attempt before success) were made of round wooden molding blocks usually used to decoratively tie a stair railing into the wall, 2 sizes of pre-fab similarly shaped wooden legs (with screws sticking out of the top of the leg), and some round decorative wooden appliques left over from the Dressing Table Revamp.
I drilled a hole into the round molding blocks in roughly the middle of the block. I picked a drill bit that made a hole that allowed me to shove (and glue down) a nut into it tightly and flush with the top of the wooden surface. I then screwed the leg into that nut.
I painted the four stand bases blue, using the leftover paint from my downstairs bathroom (now known as "the stripe"), and then turned my attention to the four pieces of decorative wooden applique molding. These, too, I painted blue, picking out the flower rosette in yellow. I glued the appliques onto each stand, and voila! Instant Hat Stand.
I wasn't anal about finding the true center, so the symmetry isn't perfect.
The tops of the legs weren't perfectly flat, and so the legs don't abut perfectly up to the base; I probably should have sunk the nuts a little deeper into bases rather than perfectly flush.
If I ever make more, I'd use bigger appliques here. Structured hats don't need the extra resting place, but my unstructured hats don't look as nice on the stands as they should. I may cut out circles from sturdy cardboard to create the illusion of structure while unstrucutred hats are sitting on the stands.
Mistakes Along the Way
In my first attempt, I tried to be cheap and put two legs (1 short, 1 tall) sticking out of one common base. The legs were still too close to each other (hat collisions!) when I angled the legs away from each other.
I got blue paint on my favorite sweater from trying to paint all sides of the rosettes at once and absent mindedly pushing my sweater up my arms.
Some of the nuts aren't in perfectly level, and the poles seem to list slightly.