My Crazy DIY Cake-Lady Hat

cake-lady-hat-1

I have to quickly get this up (even though I have a million and five things to do today before my crazy spooky Halloween dessert party tonight) BECAUSE there might be somebody just as crazy as me who wants to make a cake hat for their Halloween costume!  Do it! Because it’s fun! Especially if you are like me and you like to play around with cardboard and a glue gun but then again, if you are like me and like to play around with cardboard and a glue gun, you probably don’t need a stupid flippin’ tutorial. I never follow tutorials. I just skim ahead and pay attention to the parts I have questions about. So feel free to skim along!

crazy-cake-lady-hat-tutorial-steps-1

First you need a big piece of cardboard. I recommend an amazon shopping prime account and an addiction to getting packages at your front door. It highly compliments a hobby in cardboard whispering. I used a big box about, I don’t know 14×18″ maybe?  Here are the measurements you’ll really care about: (Aren’t you proud of me for actually writing them down?)

  • 3 circles: 8″, 5″ and 2.5″
  • 3 rings: 14″, 8″ and 5″
  • 3 strips: 25″ x 8″, 15.5″ x 4.5″ and 9″ x 3.5″

These are give or take a half inch here and there. You can always trim to fit when you are assembling. But if you start with these sizes you’ll be good to go and will have a little extra.

Tools you will need:

  • a glue gun (duh) and plenty of hot glue sticks
  • a box cutter or exacto knife (preferably with a fresh blade)
  • a metal ruler
  • a self-healing mat or cutting board (don’t be like me and accidentally cut off your mat board and knick your table. Good thing our table is old and Payam loves me.)
  • spray paint
  • notions for decorating (I used ric-rack, pom poms, fake flowers and a bird but you could use anything really.)

Let’s do it!

After you’ve cut all your pieces you need to score your long strips. These are going to bend around in a circle to become  the round cake sides of your hat. The scoring assists in the bending. First score them once long ways. Where to score them depends on how high you like your cake sides to be. I made mine 4 inches high on the first tier and I think 3 and 2 inches high on the second and third, respectively. (I used an existing bend from my box but if you don’t have one just use the backside of your blade to create a very light cut along the top layer of the cardboard that will let it fold on that spot.)

Then you’ll need to cut narrow strips on one side of the long score line about an inch apart to create your tabs that attach to the rings. On the other side of the long score take that score line but turn it into a score instead instead. The cut strips are going to be the tabs that attach to the round ring brims of your hats the un-cut score lines are going to be the round sides of the cake. I know, this probably makes no sense. Just look at the pictures and if it still doesn’t make sense, email me.

crazy-cake-lady-hat-tutorial-steps-2

So you see the long strips roll up into the hat sides and the tabs fold up under the rings in a flare. Glue those tabs down to the rings. Repeat for each tier of your cake (I went from larger to smaller).

crazy-cake-lady-hat-tutorial-steps-3

In between the tiers that my head didn’t go through (the top two) I glued an extra disc (included in the above measurements) to make it easier to affix layer to layer. Then I attached the smallest circle to the top of the cake. Tah-dah! It’s a pretty sturdy cake once it’s all affixed and glued. I did cut my lower tier at an angle to be topsy turvy but I’ll leave that to the experts to figure out.

crazy-cake-lady-hat-tutorial-steps-4

Then I spray painted the whole thing with some chocolate brown spray paint and the underside with a quick coat of purple for added interest (not shown above).

crazy-cake-lady-hat-tutorial-steps-5

I glued on my ric-rack around the cake edges to look like fancy icing and then glued on some fake flowers for decoration.

crazy-cake-lady-hat-tutorial-steps-6

I searched around my whole house for an old black crow bird to put on top of the cake for that extra haunted touch but I think the cat got it an carried it under the bed or something because I couldn’t find it anywhere. My second choice was this mangled white bird left over from that year I decorated the Christmas tree with fake birds but it’s all gross too because the golden retriever got it. But whatever, it works! It’s a great way to recycle old things that maybe I otherwise should have thrown out.

cake-lady-hat-2

Then we put on our costumes and got ready for the Halloween dance at school. Leftover backdrops from Wonder Woman shoots work great for Halloween photo backdrops.

angle-joon

Joon was an angel, naturally. Bug was supposed to be a devil (I even bought her a red leotard and a pitch fork and devil horns and I was all excited to paint her rain boots red and glue tissue paper flames to them) but she got another bee up her butt and decided she wanted to be a deer princess instead.

deer-in-the-headlights

That’s my girl. Deer in the headlights pose was her brilliant idea. She has such a wicked sense of humor.

So Happy Halloween! I know it’s probably too late but if you are a last minute crazy crafting queen like me, may the winds of the glue gun goddess be with you!

Beating Pillows with Tennis Rackets

power-to-the-people

Guess what?! My site is back up! Well, duh. You wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t. But let me tell you it is good to be back. Hallelujah Praise the Lord! You know what this last week of dark and depressing no-site-hood has taught me? A LOT. It’s been one hell of a week. It has cemented my feelings about this blog. In an age where blogs are quickly going out of style or becoming over-produced mega sites that make you feel like you’re reading about a fictional character, I remain loyal to this old hag.

I think I went through the five stages of grief or however many there are. I don’t actually know what those are. I know I’ve been hinting and complaining for years that this site is old and moldy and I might as well just put the old nag out to pasture but the thing is I’m not ready to just up and throw away my archives! So many years of content!! Remember the story of breast feeding Baby Bug? Or the ninja movie, or all those stories about the Things?!! I could go on and on. What about the turquoise wall or that amazing trip Bug and I took in a Uhaul out to the sticks.

Le sigh. There are so many stories and pictures stored on my server that it has become a burden. I doubt I could ever afford to download the whole monstrosity into a book. That would be cha-ching, CHA-ching! Cha-Ching! Imagine $100 coins dropping out of my wallet, slot machine-style and mounding at my feet in knee-high hills of gold shimmery-ness. I know I still need to do that but I’ve actually got a better idea if anyone out there wants a great big book idea.

What if I wrote about all my crafts that I’ve done over the last fifteen some odd years (most of them over at Alphamom)…I could tell the stories in between the crafts and have a ton of photos that I’ve never actually published before. It could be like a giant coffee table book of photos and behind the scenes stories (Just think of all the pinterest fails!) all interwoven, scrapbook style into something really pretty. Sort of like the book, Under the Tuscan Sun but NOT  like the movie because that was stupid and Hollywood-like with a plot and a love story and I’m not ready to write about my love story. But I could include some juicy bits just to keep it interesting. Does that sound like a good idea? I’m hoping so. Maybe that will be my big idea that I sell and then I can use the proceeds to build a loft in Payam’s house because I desperately feel like I need a room of my own, Virginia Wolf style.

office-of-saj

I love, love, love Payam’s house. It really is beautiful but I’m desperate for some space of my own. I just need some blank walls that I can shoot photos in front of. His house has these amazing vaulted ceilings that we love so we’ve been plotting ways to put in a loft over the kitchen where there is currently an attic. It’s a brilliant idea but way out of our budget by like a hundred thousand dollars so it’ll happen on the tenth of never. But I can dream and who knows, maybe somebody out there reading this will like my crazy book idea and I can pitch it to a real company with an actual layout and a plan. I think I could do that, given the chance.

Not that this is a begging post by any means. Just spitting my ideas out there, stream-of-conscious style like I used to do back in the day. That’s the part of this blog that worked. When I just wrote for the sake of writing and I didn’t really care about traffic or worried about keeping up with the Whoorls of the world. I’m done with that.

Big paragraph here about that friendship that ended but I’m deleting it because I’m not quite ready to put all my feelings about that out there. (Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything she did to me. She’s still a wonderful person I’m sure. It’s just purely distance and time and different journeys, or whatever.) But it’s been hard for me not to miss that friendship or wonder why her blog is so successful while I make less and less time for mine and it just sits over here and rots. I could seriously go on for days about this and I do at four am when I should be sleeping but I’m going to make a conscious effort to move on. It’s been way too long. I’ve chosen a different path and maybe my path is the right one for me. I don’t think I could handle being famous anyway. The 10 percent hater formula is way too scary.

blue-period

The week of no website taught me a lot about my dark thoughts, feelings of failure and overall drama of emotions. It was so bad I even finally went to the doctor and got my thyroid checked because it felt like PMS every day. My doctor told me I might have an enlarged thyroid and that it could certainly cause mood swings so I finally got it scanned. I haven’t gotten my results yet but I’m really hoping he’ll call me up and say, Guess what? You have hyperthyroidism so take a pill and you’ll lose weight and be happy all the time!  Hahaha! Wouldn’t that be the American Dream?

Wow, I just noticed that I didn’t carry the left white bar all the way down on my grid of pictures up there. I do crap like that all the time. Half-assed-ness that the Whoorls of the world do not do. Normally, I would go back and fix it but I really want to finish this celebratory stream-of-consciousness post and get it published before I have to pick up the girls from school. Yeah, that’s the other reason I don’t write as much. Life is full of stuff. Like kids with their own minds and puppies that have to be walked or they eat up your plants and cause stage three destruction to your idyllic backyard that is no longer idyllic and instead is a wasteland of pavers and dog pee and dead chewed-up plants.

decorative-gourd-season

There goes my pick-up-the kids alarm! I love you! Thank you for still being here blog and readers and commenters and lurkers (I love lurkers of which I am one!) and decorative gourds! Happy decorative gourd season to everyone! Hope I get back here to post again before it’s over.

Oh yeah. I never told you what beating pillows with tennis rackets means. I’ll get to that next time. But I’m sure you have an idea.