My Crazy DIY Cake-Lady Hat

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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!

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Summer Download

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy…

You know what is NOT easy during summer? Working. Especially when you are your own boss and you make your own schedule. I am at constant odds with my boss. She says I need to work to pay the bills. I say I need to take the kids swimming because it’s hotter than dogs breath and their brains are rotting from Minecraft. We spend a lot of time at the pool but my boss keeps me up all night with fun games of anxiety. It’s two am, have you thought about your debt lately?

I swear I am getting nothing done the weeks I have kids.

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But I get tons done when they are gone! Sort of. Well, mostly.

The last two weeks I have been into spray-painting backdrops for parties. It’s my new thing. I think mostly because I am so tired of trying to find a blank wall in my house to shoot photos against. I’ve created my own walls! It’s amazing what kind of creative break throughs you can have just walking down the aisles of your local hardware store.

For example, paint drop cloths are CHEAP! Ten bucks for a huge canvas. Twenty for a cloth one. A roll of brown paper is nine. You don’t have to use them to protect your floor while you paint. You can paint on them!

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I made this orange Wonder Woman background out of a paper drop cloth. I’m not super excited about the fold lines but it covers a big space and it only cost me ten bucks. Instant wall. Just blur the background a bit and focus on your subjects.

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The following week we had a Pampered Chef party and I decided to make my own fake Mexican restaurant. I’ve always wanted to do that. Restaurant designer is on my list of coveted careers, right next to set designer and cake decorator. I love designing businesses. Running them not so much.

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Of course we had Brendaritas at my restaurant, in pink plastic glasses no less. It’s funny the things that inspire you sometimes. Now we have a zillion pink plastic glasses leftover. Maybe I’ll let the kids have a sassy pink lemonade stand with them. Wouldn’t that be cute?

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Speaking of kids, we are on a mermaid kick lately. Unicorns are so early 2017. We’ve moved onto mermaids.

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Have you guys seen these bubbles at the fair? They are so cool.

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What is especially cool about these bubbles is that they saved my day. I was having such a bad day the day we went to the fair. It was the end of a bad week. I’d gotten no work done and every day it seemed like all I did was shuttle kids between camp and swimming. I was out of sorts. Payam almost turned the car around to take me home. But I rallied.

Mostly I was just sad that we were getting to the fair so late. Same song, different day. All I really care about is taking pictures. I thought it would be stupid with blaring music and blinky lights, gross fried food, kids begging for money for dumb games that you can’t win and if you do you end up winning you get a 99-cent stuffed toy that cost you twenty bucks. I sulked like a spoiled brat.

But then we got there and the sun was setting right behind these bubbles. We were the only ones there and the kids got to go free because it was kid free Thursday or something crazy. The light was golden and the kids were having so much fun splashing around pretending to be hamsters. My bad mood dissolved with every picture I took. Click, click, click. I was so happy! It’s funny the things that cheer me up.

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And then the rest of the “stupid blinky lights” and blaring music, smelly fried food and cheap toys seemed so much cooler. I may have even eaten a bacon wrapped hot dog and let Bug go home with a stuffed donut that ripped at it’s seam before we even left the fair.

So yeah. Happy Summer. Good luck with working!