How To Make a Felt Pillbox Hat (part 2)

Here is part 2 of How To Make a Felt Pillbox Hat. Part 1 is here.


The result:

How To Make A Felt Pillbox Hat (part 1)

Ever wanted to know how a felt pillbox is made?

Below is a video showing me making a small cocktail or pillbox hat, using felt, a hatblock and a steamer.  I show how to stretch the wool over the block.  After steaming and blocking, I pin the wool to the block to keep its shape while it dries, then trim off the excess. Here is where part 1 ends.

In part 2 we get to stiffening, strengthening, decorating the hat and adding attachments such as elastic or combs to affix the hat to the head.


Part 2 of making a felt pillbox hat is here.

Some recommended millinery books

Just a little clip where I show and describe 4 books I have on millinery (and especially felt hat making) that I recommend you get a hold of if you’re really interested in hats and making them yourself.


1. Hats On Heads – Mildred Anlezark

2. From The Neck Up (an illustrated guide to Hatmaking) – Denise Dreher

Her biography:
Denise is a well qualified, experienced milliner who has studied and worked in costume construction, design and history in professional theater. She began her millinery studies at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. She has also studied period clothing and hat design in the costume collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum.

She has traveled extensively, teaching hat workshops in both the United States and Canada including U.C.L.A., the University of Michigan, and at the national conventions of the National Costumers Association, the American Theater Association and the United States Institute for Theater Technology.

Some of Ms. Dreher’s hatmaking credits include Amahl and the Night Visitors and Les Miserables for American television, Prince Regent – a BBC series, and the films The Great Train Robbery and The Empire Strikes Back.

3. Fabulous Felt Hats – Chad Alice Hagen

Her biography:
Chad Alice Hagen has been a feltmaker and dyer since 1979. She has written three books, Fabulous Felt Hats, The Weekend Crafter: Feltmaking, and Fabulous Felted Scarves. Her work has appeared on the covers of Surface Design Journal, Fiberarts and Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot Magazine. She teaches, exhibits, works, and writes in Asheville, North Carolina.

4. Saturday Night Hat – Eugenia Kim

Her biography:
One day after getting a bad haircut, Eugenia Kim disguised her shaven head with a red guinea-feathered cloche that she had made in millinery class at the Parsons School of Design. Instantly spotted by boutiques in Soho, they asked to see her other creations, and, soon after, her business was born.

Since her start, Eugenia Kim has successfully altered the millinery landscape by making hats a staple for celebrities and for stylish women and men. Eugenia is known for her innovative wovens shapes in luxe fabrications and inventive, quirky felts and straws trimmed with vintage ribbons and feathers.

In 2004, Eugenia won the CFDA award for Accessories Design. In 2006, she wrote a quirky how-to book entitled Saturday Night Hat published by Random House.

Eugenia Kim hats and accessories can now be found at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and, as well as over 200 specialty boutiques worldwide. Her hats have graced the runways of Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Coach, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Catherine Malandrino.

For this spring, Eugenia Kim has designed a first-time ever limited-edition hat collection for Target! Check out the range here.

Cocktail hats, mini-hats and where to get the materials

Who doesn’t love a little cocktail hat or mini hat?

Well, actually there are a few; mainly those who are scared of hats in general. But can I say these are just the easiest to wear, can flatter all face types…and are better than just wearing a woosy fascinator!

A cocktail hat may be a classic pillbox, possibly a small dish hat, maybe even a mini bowler or tophat. It is something small and dainty enough to perch on your head on a jaunty angle – natch!


Since I’m currently working on a DIY video on blocking a cocktail hat or pillbox out of felt, I thought it might be timely to first list a few suppliers.

You may recall my DIY Embellished Headband post, in which I used a flat felt. I’m likewise going to be using wool felt in some upcoming hat projects.

The felt I use in the upcoming video is from a supplier called B&M; Felt, which I found at  Finders Keepers last month. You can buy the felt in either 2mm, 3mm or 5mm thickness, and in various sized squares or by the metre. I bought a few squares in a fuchsia colour called Lloyd, and a green called Apple, but there are many others.

They specifically deal in felt, but for overall millinery supplies, you may want to go to the specialists. Here are some Australian ones,  but just google ‘Millinery supplies’ to find some in your own country and town.

Milliners Workshop (aka SA Brown)
De Lew Designs
Torb & Reiner
C J Preston

For feathers as well as some millinery supplies:

General craft supplies:

I’ll list more specialty suppliers, such as for diamantes or leather, as I come to them in the DIY’s. I hope you stick around and check them out!

DIY Hair Teasing

Last year I commissioned a shoot for Fiend magazine to show how to tease your hair to get some cool alternative looks happening. We went to salon Altering Images in Surry Hills, and I watched as hairstylist Ashley transformed models Ashlee and James. I watched and wrote down what he did, which became this guide.
Here’s the results (pity blogger won’t let me get the pic any bigger).