Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In your Easter bonnet: mini Spring hat making and tea party

Although it seems the whims of fashion have made Easter Bonnets a thing of the past, it wasn't too long ago that these "must-have" Spring accessories were proudly showcased by stylish ladies in Easter parades from New York's famous 5th Avenue to Main Street, USA 
 left to Right: 5th Ave Easter Parade 1911, unknown sitter in Easter Bonnet, 
Easter Bonnet from Ad 1945
In your Easter bonnet,
With all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady
in the Easter Parade
Irving Berlin

Left to Right: Easter Parade, Harlem 1947, Judy Garland & Fred Astaire 1948, 
Vogue cover
sources: by Henri Cartier Bresson, Film still: Easter Parade, Vogue magazine

Many years ago, our family, channeling their inner milliners, began the admittedly unusual tradition of making pint size decorative hats for Easter, starting with the very humble….styrofoam cup.
Add some paints, trim and extra crafty accents and voila: a petit but chic chapeau. 
Recent years has seen our family tradition turn into an annual ladies tea and hat making afternoon, complete with mock parade and photo shoot. 
My Mother, the consummate hostess, holds the event appreciated as much for her teatime fare as for her well stocked "craft room" an enviable basement space dedicated to fostering creativity. 
Of course the event is BYOGG (Bring your own glue gun)
Spring Bonnets
There are many different tutorials for these online but we've always found this system works for us
You'll need
styrofoam cups
we noticed different brands yielded different 
results and shapes.
paint which adheres to cup 
(avoid spray paint as it will dissolve cups)
trim, ribbons, florals and trinkets
head bands, hair clips if desired
hot glue guns 
photos and ideas for inspiration

Place cups, bottoms up, on a cookie sheet.
 "Bake" in preheated 300 degree oven anywhere 
from 2-10 minutes, checking every minute.
 (size of cups and variations in ovens will affect time)
As if by magic, the cups will shrink into a variety of hat like shapes. I always make extras to allow for "oopses" or the occasional dud.

Remove cups and allow to cool thoroughly, painting if desired. Faux eggs are on hand to make fun models.
If hosting a party, cups can be heated and painted with assorted colors the day before to save time and allow guests to dive right into the decorating part.
busy hands: gluing, snipping and trimming
Then decorate away: The fun part is seeing how each guest incorporates their own personal style. 
hats inspired by favorite colors, travels, or interests.
toothpicks become impromptu chopsticks for an asian inspired topper, stars add sparkle to chic black chapeau
Once complete hats can be displayed anywhere: on eggs, glassware,candlesticks or even small Eiffel Towers.

No need for serious fashion, as Easter Bonnets can range from the subtly cheeky to the all out outrageous.
Anne Miller in the ultimate Easter bonnet c1946
With the popularity of fascinators (Thanks Princess Kate!) we decided to attach some of our creations to plastic headbands or hair clips for some whimsical but wearable flair.
channelling my inner bunny
(don't think I'll make the fashion pages)

with a bunny tail in back of course

or why not spruce up household members in their Easter finest?
Angel reluctantly models a petal pink chapeau

Tea is Served
We kept our creative energies in full gear with festive tea time fare featuring a "Mad Hatter" theme including tea sandwiches, soup, scones and sweets
mini candy and decorative hats adorned the table

Easy 5 minute Hat Cookies Strawberry "Carrots"

Using simple ingredients, these fun treats can be assembled in the blink of an eye and are a perfect project for kids.

For Strawberry "carrots" simply dip fresh berries in orange chocolate melts with a few carrot ridges added
(Lots of versions on Pinterest) 
Hat Cookies
round flat cookies (store bought or homemade)
Marshmallows (cut in half)
Candy melts or baking chips -any color or flavor
(melted according to package instructions)
icing and sprinkles
cover cookies with melted chocolate
top with marshmallows (cut in half) and allow to cool.
Decorate as desired

Spring is in the Air….
furry friends on the mantel, tea cups and hats on the "Tea" Tree,  assorted cups
The House was brimming with bunnies, Spring flowers and teatime inspired decor
a cheerful foyer sets the mood

Wishing all our readers
a Delightful Spring!


  1. What a truly delightful post! It had me smiling all the way through!

    The styrofoam hats are such a great idea and i adore your tea cup tree!!

    loved every bit of it!!


    1. Thanks so much Deb!
      We had such fun (and lots of laughs) making the hats- so glad you enjoyed the post!
      Happy Spring!

  2. I so enjoyed this post - full of fun ideas for Spring. Love the bonnets. I have saved several of the Easter bonnets my mother wore in the sixties. Thanks for the fun!

    1. Thanks so much Donna! How fun to have real vintage Easter bonnets :)
      So glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. This is the cutest idea to create these fun Easter bonnets. I love the song "Easter Parade" and my mother told stories for wearing your hat downtown on Easter. Your craft room is so wonderful to share with friends.
    Have a great week!


    1. Thanks so much Pam!
      Love "Easter Parade" That song pops into my head every Spring -
      The craft room is actually at my mothers house (I wish it was mine- I have a messy corner of our basement hahah)
      So glad you enjoyed the post and please visit again! :)

  4. Such a great "tradition" and a wonderful way to spend a fun, creative afternoon.. The hats are fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing these great ideas!

    1. Thanks so much - so glad you enjoyed it!
      Crafting with friends can be such fun :)

  5. Very cute! Love the hat cookies especially! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

    1. Thanks so much Ruth!
      The cookie hats are so easy to make :)
      Thanks for hosting your delightful parties!

  6. Wow! You are full of wonderful ideas for this time of year! Everything looks amazing. I am so taken with your tea tree! Thank you for your wonderfully creative tea post.
    Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks so much Terri-
      After this winter we went a little overboard with Spring fun!
      Wishing you a Happy Easter!

  7. I loved those little edible hats and carrots! So cute - great ideas here!

    1. Thanks Bernideen!
      The treats really took just minutes to make :)
      Thanks also for hosting your lovely parties!

  8. Christina, I have always loved hats and I wear them all the time when I'm out and about. Not fancy hats but hats nonetheless. When I was a pastor's wife, I wore a hat every Sunday hoping I would start a new trend in our church but no go. Most ladies think they don't look good in a hat which is a shame. I loved your ideas and what a fabulous idea for a tea party! The marsmallow hats are really cute. Thanks so much for coming to tea and Happy Easter!


    1. Thanks so much Sandi!
      Good for you setting a trend! I just love hats too and wish more people wore them-
      I woke up to watch the latest royal wedding in part just to see the fabulous hats- haha
      Thanks so much for your kind words and if your ever in Pa, your welcome to join our next party :)

  9. Oh, I forgot to mention your tea tree; love it!!

    1. LOL- it's actually my mothers- it is dressed every season - last month it was adorned with Mardis Gras masks!

  10. Your tea party looks like so much fun. I remember, as a young girl, going to the millinery shop, yes, they used to have them, with my mom and my sister, to choose our Easter bonnets! Haven't thought about that in years!

    1. Thanks so much Beth!
      Oh I would have loved to go to a millinery shop! I do remember as a very young child (many years ago) having a white straw Easter hat with ribbons and cherries on it - so funny the little things we remember!

  11. Love this!!! I am a full blown tea party obsessed girl. I am loving all your hats and beautiful decorations! Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I too love to celebrate every little occasion...mostly to eat cake. My girlfriends and I are volunteering for this program called Birthday wishes where we set up and throw birthday parties for children in homeless shelters. So now I get to celebrate even more.

    1. Thanks so much! I couldn't agree more about cake! lol
      That program sounds wonderful! I will have to see if it's available in my area- I would love to get involved in something like that!

  12. Christina, what a fun tradition! I love hats and wish people still wore them for Easter. I wore a hat almost the entire time on my curise. Kind of fun! One year for Easter each family decorated a hat for their daughter. It was so fun. We had crepe paper, napkins, and paper plates. All was great until one dad suggested stapling it to his daughters head. lol! Hope you had a lovely Easter! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  13. Forgot to mention that my moms family had a millinery shop. Can you believe we have no hats that were made by them? SAD!

    1. Thanks Jann!
      That is too funny about the staples!
      I just love hats too- and so many readers say they wished more people wore them these days- a cruise is the perfect place! How fun!
      How fabulous that your family had a millinery shop! I wonder if you could track down some of their creations?
      So glad you stopped by

  14. This looks so sweet and clever and fun! Loved it! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

    1. Thanks so much Kathy-
      we look forward to it every year :)
      Thanks for hosting your lovely parties

  15. I love this idea! Yes let us bring back the fascinator! It is perfect for tea!

    1. Thanks so much! I agree %100 about bringing back fascinators- they are such fun!

  16. I love the whole post ! Your mother's generosity and hospitality in sharing her craft room has inspired me to pursue this for myself. And Easter hats, I am mold enough to remember getting an Easter hat every year as a child that I would wear to church every Sunday until I got my new hat the next Easter. We also got new gloves and dress shoes. I think it would be very pleasant to bring back a modern version of this example of gentility and respect for special occasions.

    I am loving the hat cookies too and foresee this incorporated into a tea party with my granddaughters.

    BTW, I tried to become a "follower" but Google is not cooperating with me today. :)

    1. Thanks so much Kathy!
      I remember getting new Easter outfits too!-- I wish more people would wear hats today - such a fun and elegant accessory- I'm so glad you enjoyed the post - the hat cookies are so easy and would be great for kids tea party (I might make them for the kentucky Derby) I hope you give them a try-
      Thanks again for your kind words- and so sorry about google acting up!

  17. I meant I am OLD enough, not moldy yet !

    1. Haha- too funny- I figured that's what you meant - I do the same thing - I'm the queen of typos! :)


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