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March 27, 2014

RUSTIC COUTURE SPRING BONNET: TUTORIAL

You'd like to make a rustic couture spring bonnet, would you?

This is what you'll need for making a 6"(approx.) diameter bonnet:

  • a piece of window screening cut into an 8" circle (check your garage/basement for remnants or purchase some by the foot at a hardware store).  Do not use nylon screen; you can't form/shape it.  I used a lunch plate as a template and a Sharpie pen to trace my circle.
  • floral wire (roughly 14" long)
  • acrylic paint & a brush or sponge (I like to create a patina effect using "muddy" greens and blues)
  • ribbon, moss, twigs, notions....(whatever your heart desires for embellishing)
  • scissor type tool that cuts through metal mesh (I used an old pair of boning shears)
  • 2 1/8" diameter herb container (to use as your"hat form")
Trace your template onto the mesh, then carefully (the edges are sharp) cut it out.  Next, center your circle over the herb container and squeeze the mesh to fit snuggly around the lid.  Bend upward and crease what would be the brim part of the hat.
©linda nelson 2014
©Linda Nelson 2014

Remove your hat from the form, then use your floral wire (no needle necessary) to stitch, up and down fashion, around and along the crease line.  Twist the two ends together to secure.  This step reinforces your bonnet.  The remaining ends of the floral wire provide a means to fasten some embellishments onto it.  The wire tails can also be kinked and twisted, thus becoming part of the design.  Trim the brim to shape and to your liking of it's width.  I crimp and fray the edge by giving it a little tug and pulling off a few loose strands; that's what makes it rustic looking. 
©linda nelson 2014

Dab on some paint, if you'd like, though this step is completely optional.  I chose not to paint the one pictured below.  Sew or glue on your embellishments.  You can put your bonnet back on the hat form, if you'd like; it frees up both of your hands while working on it.
©linda nelson 2014
©Linda Nelson 2014

There you have it.  All done.  Now, get creative.

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