6. Decorate a Hat (or Three)

salvagebox.co.uk - hat, gloves and chocolates

This episode is subtitled: ‘Three cheers for the staff…’

We were busy preparing for Valentine’s Day yesterday when the lovely bride from the anemone/Sharpie wedding popped in. I can’t believe it’s nearly a month since the big day. She came in to say thank you and bring us a box of chocolates, which was a boost for the staff since they don’t always get to hear the appreciation directly from customers. Mr Saunders had also popped in that morning to order a posy for his wife’s grave so he joined us for the treat as well.

The girls were busy making charms for our Valentine design this year. Remember the wire charms on the candles I made for Kim? We scaled up the heart so we could add one to each of our red rose bouquets. But (time permitting) everything stops for chocolate and everything stops for sweet lonely Mr Saunders so we took a break to indulge ourselves and hear all about the honeymoon.

They had spent over three weeks in Australia and New Zealand and she was so animated as she enthused about it all. It sounded great and we were happy to let her chat away while we ate.

‘My wife and I spent a week in St Ives for our honeymoon,’ said Mr Saunders, ‘and people thought we were very extravagant going all that way to Cornwall.’

It was wonderful,’ he just about managed to say in a croaky voice.

Jaz gave me a nudge and whispered, ‘Do you think he’s ok?’

He did look wistful and his eyes were a little watery but the corners of his mouth turned up and I could see he was smiling at the memory. Phew!

He thanked us for our company and headed off to the butchers. This was the cue for our bride to leave us too (good job since we’d 26 more heart charms to make) so she thanked us all again for helping to make her special day perfect. My staff are brilliant and deserve a big pat on the back.

Blue's signatureThis welcome interlude in our working day inspired me to decorate three of my hats for this week’s craft project – one to match the fingerless gloves I wore for the first time on the day we prepared the wedding flowers, one old straw hat that I thought I’d try and make a bit more feminine and less like a hat Mr Saunders would take to St Ives, and finally, one vibrant straw hat (much like our bride) that I hoped I could make blend with some of my clothes.

Here’s what they looked like when they were taken out of my cupboard. I really do wear them and I can’t believe how boring they look on this photo!

salvagebox.co.uk - 3 boring hats

Here’s a stash of odds and ends that have the potential to transform them into something a bit more creative and imaginative.

salvagebox.co.uk - odds and ends

The Black Bowler – simply buy enough braid to fit round the crown of your hat (with a little to spare) and attach a small amount of self adhesive Velcro to join the ends together round the hat.

salvagebox.co.uk - braid and velcro


I bought this braid from Hobbycraft. My hat now matches my fingerless gloves!

Hmm…but will I look like a Morris Dancer in this?

salvagebox.co.uk - finished hat and gloves

The Cream Straw – I’ve used a fine silk scarf from Monsoon (that a very dear friend bought for me) and tied it at the back with a floppy bow. It couldn’t be simpler but I do think it’s transformed it into a lovely sunhat.

salvagebox.co.uk - hat with scarf

The Orange Straw – Remember last week Gary gave me some of his old ties? I pulled out a blue/yellow one and a burgundy one to give me a couple of options. I measured the crown of the hat, added about 5cm for the overlap and one seam (my measurement came to 60cm plus 5cm). I then cut a 65cm strip from the thin end of each tie.

salvagebox.co.uk - measuring the tie

I turned the raw edge in and hand sewed it.

salvagebox.co.uk - stitching the raw edge of the tie

salvagebox.co.uk - adding a buttonhole
It didn’t take more than a few minutes to add a buttonhole and a button for each one and in no time at all I had two options for the hat that brought in some other colours that might just team in with some of my clothes.

salvagebox.co.uk - finished hat with blue tie

The flowery strip with the big orange button is fun but I love the clashy burgundy and I used an orange flower left over from the braid around the black bowler underneath the button to set it off.

salvagebox.co.uk - finished hat with burgundy tie

Oh, I see my little felted robin has pushed his way onto this photo. He’s very cute but needs some manners.

Although the ties Gary gave me are worn, most of them are silk so I want to put the salvageable sections to good use. Let me know if you think of anything I can do with them for a future project.


  • Don’t make the band too tight or you will pull the hat out of shape.
  • One band may work for more than one hat. Take a look at this one which wasn’t planned but I think it’s my favourite.

Salvaged Item(s):

  • Old hats
  • Odds and ends – old ties, buttons, scarf etc

See you all next week (I’ll try to find something edible to show you!).

Jenny signature

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