There’s nothing I like more than listening to a historian rant on Youtube, unless it’s a historian ranting about clothing. So I was intrigued when I watched this episode of Lindybeige about the versatile wide-brimmed felt hat and the many ways of styling it for your LARP characters. Lindybeige demonstrates some great shapes the hat can take on, but sort of glosses over how to affix the brim into position. A bit of Google research tells me that the typical answer would have been to sew the sides into place or tie them into position with a cord, but I think my LARP buddy Brad has an even better solution: Brad’s tricorn is held into position by three snaps. Lindybeige bought his demo hat new online for “only a few quid”. In Canada, the best I found was this $9 hat. But by scouting thrift hats, I was able to get one similar for $2!
How do I love thee, Three Snaps Hat? Let me count the ways.
1. Your brim can be let down in bad weather (or bad guy shenanigans).
2. Your snaps are an easy attachment point for adding accessories like plumes.
3. You are crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy easy to make.
Okay.. so that’s pretty much it. But the bottom line is that it’s a really great looking costume hat that takes almost no effort to assemble. Let me show you how.
Step 1: Acquire a wide-brimmed round hat. A felt one is ideal. Mine is more of a medium-brimmed hat, but I think it will still be fine.
2. Measure the circumference of the brim and the hat. Mark three equidistant spots on the brim and three to correspond on the hat itself. I used chalk.
3. Pierce holes for the snaps. I used an eyelet punch and a hammer, because I happened to have them around for another project I’m working on. A knife or scissors would be fine, too.
4. Install your snaps! There should be instructions on the back of the package.
5. Shape your hat. I ran hot water over my hat, shaped the corners to make them more pointy, and then pinned them into place with paper clips and left it to dry. The paper clips left light impressions in the felt, but they smoothed out on their own over the course of the next day or two.
That’s it! Your hat is ready to rock.