it's been over 2 years since i originally made this paper bird's nest hat on the fly for a "silly hat contest" where i was employed at the time. i had two of my co-workers come over the evening before the contest and we pretended we were on project runway and were only allowed to use things we found around the house to make the most couture-yet-whimsical hats possible (we were too poor to actually buy any supplies!) so, we basically turned it into one of my favorite project runway challenges - the one where they have to shop at the grocery, hardware or party store for fashion supplies instead of the normal fabric shop.
at the time, i was living in northern california and volunteering at an established letterpress studio. they had mountains of edge trimmings under the 'guillotine' - years worth of thin shavings of high quality printmaking paper that i had started taking home with me, convinced that someday i would find a purpose for them. i thought of them right away for the hat and gathered a small bunch of the shavings to color with pastel chalks - yellows, greens and pinks - before rolling and tying them up into a nest shape. next, i clipped a few feathers from a feather duster and stuffed them in at a few spots to look like molted feathers. i had a small craft store bird in a bell jar in my room as a decoration, so i took him out and glued him into the nest. for the 'veil' i actually used a piece of screen mesh - the kind you use on your windows when you cut your own screen - and sewed on a handful of swarovski crystal beads to take away from the fact that i was wearing window screen on my head… ha, ha.
i didn't end up winning the contest, but i did get a ton of compliments (someone even asked if was going to get married in this hat) and felt really proud of what i had made in just one evening using a little creativity and whatever was on hand. i made another one of these paper bird's nest hats recently, which is what made me dig this one out of my curio-cabinet to start wearing. i reinfornced it a bit, and made sure everything was more properly adhered before taking the hat out for a spin - my first time actually wearing it in all seriousness with a matching outfit. i sort of fell in love with it all over it again - such a perfectly quirky springtime accessory.
have a great weekend!
☆ emilia ☆
*outfit details: vintage 1980's cream dress // vintage cream lace-bottom slip // vintage pink belt // vintage pearls // calvin klein nude heels // forever 21 ring