Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mourner's Decorated Top Hat Assembly Guide

More fun to create or to display this large scale
Halloween Mourner's decorated Top Hat?
Decide for yourself.
Hat measures approx. 8" tall x 9" front to back,
with stylized wider crown at top.
Cut file includes embellishments of 3d bow,
skull, carnation-style spiral 3d flower,
two feathers..
Double layer brim and rim make the hat sturdy.
Add your own flair with jewels, studs,
fabric flowers and more.

1. Identify and cut the shapes.
C crown wedge center sides 
A crown wedge angle side
T crown wedge top, bottom 
D crown top, crown wedge decor shape, and button circles
E brim and brim reinforcement shape
F brim rim
G spiral carnation flower
(not shown: carnation finishing circle)
H band, bow and bow knot
I feathers and skull embellishments

2. Identify the joining location is for the three crown wedge shapes. Widest shape marked with C in the top tab will be placed at the brim opening at the longest side edge. Top or bottom wedge shapes marked with T will be placed at lengthwise hat ends. Angle wedges will join to the angled edges marked with A.

It may be helpful to arrange your wedge shapes in the order you will be joining them, such as this (beginning at top/front): T, A, C, A, T, A, C, A

3. Prepare the wedge shapes by folding the top wider portion outward slightly. Fold the bottom tab upward. Fold all remaining tabs back.

4. Select the first two wedge shapes to be joined. Apply glue to the bottom tab. Line up the bottom portions to be joined first. Overlap the straight edge (on right shape as shown here) to the left shape's tab perforation line.  Adjust so the cross perf line and the bottom tab perf lines match up exactly, then join. Hold seam until secure.

5. Continue the same process to add the next wedge shape to the first pair assembly, lining up and joining the bottom portions only until all eight are joined.

Here you see the completely joined panel. Top portions are still NOT joined at this stage.

6. Return to the first pair joined. Bend the fop portions outward slightly until the straight edge of the one lines up at the tab perf line, as before. Add glue, and join.

7. Work across the entire crown panel until all the top portions are joined.

NOTE that as you work to join the top potions, it may be helpful to fold the non-tabbed edge top wedge out of the way to apply the adhesive to the tab underneath.

8. Form the crown panel into a tube shape, bringing the lower section edge to overlap the opposite tab perf line as in previous seams. Add glue, align, adjust and attach.

9. Line up and join the upper portion of this final crown panel seam in the same fashion.

10. Fold all tabs down into center opening at top of crown (top is the widest of the openings). The tabs will overlap at the ends.

11. Position the crown top modified hexagon shape over the opening and orient it so that the edge lengths correspond to the longer center side edge, top/back ends, etc.

Apply adhesive to the tabs, then position the crown top over the tabs so that the straight edges line up at the tab perf lines.

Hold the edge in position at the perf line until it is accurately positioned, then secure.

It will be helpful, once the seams are initially secured in place, to turn the assembly over, top-down, onto a flat surface, insert hand into the hat cavity, and apply pressure to the tabs and crown top from the backside.

12. Insert the brim-end tabs through the opening of the upper brim shape, (insert from the face side), taking care to orient the center sides, top/bottom, etc. to match the opening edge lengths.

Fold the tabs outward, apply glue, then adjust so that the crown perf lines fall exactly the the brim's straight edge opening.

It will be helpful to turn the assembly bottom-down on flat surface to apply pressure all around the bottom of the crown to fully and smoothly attach crown body tabs to brim.

13. Position the under-brim, face outward, exactly over the previously-attached brim shape, covering the assembly tabs. Apply adhesive evenly, then press and smooth for a complete join.

14. Slide the brim rim ring over the crown and down into place. Align edges of crown and rim exactly and glue in place.

(There may be small center front/back dash lines to assist with alignment.)

15. Position and attach the optional crown wedge decor shape to the right side panel, lining up the top, straight side and bottom edges.

(NOTE: the decor panel has been modified slightly in the final cut file download from the shape shown here.)

Add the contrast button circles over the cut circles, if desired.

16. Position and attach the two hat band sections, bending band inward at perforations that will line up with wedge seams. Overlap straight end over adjacent tab ends.

17. Prepare the bow shape by looping ends to overlap at the center straight portion. Avoid flattening the loops. Glue ends and center together, hold until secure. 

Overlap and fold the center knot to wrap around the bow's center. Glue ends at overlap.

If you DON'T plan to decorate your top hat further, you could simply attach the bow as shown.

If decoration is planned, reserve the bow until farther in the decorating process.

18. Prepare the 3d carnation-style spiral flower. Beginning at the outward end, curl and roll it around a rod or dowel of approx. 1/2" diameter. Glue the end where it touches the overlapped strip.

Continue rolling the spiral strip so that the base strip portions roughly stack, adding dots of glue at each new layer.

19. When the entire strip is rolled. glue the end in place. Remove from the rod tool.

20. Fold and curl the petals away from the center in an attractive way.

Position and glue the bottom end cover circle in place.

21. Prepare the feather embellishments by scoring down the center with a stylus, if desired, bending slides upward slightly. Separate and randomly tweak-fold the tines of the feather for "realism". (Cut file includes a center quill, but it was not used here.)

22. Position the feathers, carnation flower, skull emblem, bow and other embellishments as desired, and attach securely.

Here is the finished version of my hat.

Here is a view slightly from the bottom.


  1. You have some really cute designs but I have trouble following your instructions. Like these - lots of pictures but I can't tell what pieces to use when. I really need more detailed instructions.

  2. So sorry. When you viewed this Mourner's Top Hat tutorial initially, the photos had been loaded, but no text added. That is the way we have to work to get the link added for Silhouette America submissions. Racing to meet deadline, not enough time to complete tutorial before submitting designs.
    As far as detailed instructions, I usually get teased for putting in TOO MUCH detail!!

  3. I tried to comment when I made the hat after the instructions were added. I'm doing better understanding your process. This is in no way your fault, this is just the way my brain processes the instructions.I love the detail in your designs. So I guess I'll just have to buy more of them to get more practice. lol This morning I made the mini cauldron. I just bought the pineapple box. So thanks for including instructions.

  4. I just finished the hat and I'm going to have to make more it came out so cute love it thanks for the design. Gina

  5. Your Assembly list is a little confusing. The cutting file contains pieces C, T and A, which in the photo, you label A, B and C. In your list, you identify part B in the picture (with 2 pieces) as being part A. However in the cutting file part A has four pieces.

    The directions are fine, so I figured it out, but it would be probably be helpful if you corrected the Assembly list.

    Just finished the Witch high top shoe. I'm really pleased with it. I'm sure the hat will be great too,

    1. Thanks for the suggestions. The lettering in the shapes layout image have been changed.

    2. bonjour
      moi désole mais le chapeau n'est pas conforme à votre modèle les pièces s'ajustent mal je suis très très déçue, je sois le fabriquer pour un anniversaire voilà 2 fois que je recommence , le dessus du chapeau n'est pas juste , que faire ??

    3. Je suis tres desole aussi. Il y a beaucoup de gens qui ont a realise se projet, et moi meme aussi, pour cette raison je suis certain qu'il marche. Je me demand si vouz avez modifiez les fiches d'une maniere d'autre. Quels fiches par letre ne marchez pas? Et par quel etape dan les instructions du blog contien les etapes les plus difficil de faire? Avez vous le Silhouette Cameo ou quelque machine d'autre?

  6. merci beaucoup pour votre réponse, oui j'ai silhouette, j'ai compris le probleme et je crois que l'erreur est làI t may be helpful to arrange your wedge shapes in the order you will be joining them, such as this (beginning at top/front): T, A, C, A, T, A, C, A
    se ne sont pas les bonnes lettres.
    en tous cas merci de votre professionnalisme

  7. Oh what a nice hat!!!! I made a very teeny mini one.
    Thank you very much fot this patern, I love it!

  8. Thank you for the awesome assembly instructions for this fabulous Hat... I just finished mine... here is my blog post if you want to pop over and see it :)

  9. Yours is a wonderful rendition, with lots of lovely detail. Loved how you painted your chipboard hat. An inspiration. I encourage bloggers to chase your link to see what you did.

    1. Thank You Jodi, I read your Comments on my blog but did not have an email to contact you back so I thought I would just answer your questions here. I just used Americana Acrylic black paint with a foam brush. I painted after assembly of the hat with the exception of the last fancy piece that holds the buttons... that one I painted let dry Inked the edges of it and then adhered to the already painted and dried black hat. Since it was all lightweight chipboard it held up better and I went with light amounts of paint on the brush each time trying to never saturate and get it too wet. I waited about 1/2 hour and went over it again lightly with a second coat of black paint. after it was dry I took a small light green stamp pad and inked all of the edges of the hat with it directly with the ink pad and then also smudged different areas of the hat to give it a more worn and aged look. What a fun and fabulous file this was to work with and loved being able to follow your tutorial here for assembly. You made it so easy and enjoyable so thank you once again for all of your hard work on your Beautiful hat and sharing with us to make it easy and fun to create!

  10. I am currently making this hat but with fabric and some stiff interfacing for my daughter's Comic Con costume! Thanks for the pattern

  11. Super easy instructions, I loved the cut letters on the sides. Ive just finished my hat, and I must say it looks fabulous! I used matte grey gems for the flap buttons, gold and white striped paper for the ribbon and bow, and a cluster of purple gen in the center of the rosette. Using my Tombow watercolor markers made the edges really pop. Thanks for such a great design!

  12. como se obtiene el archivo para el corte de las piezas???

    1. This cut file (svg) is available from our website at this link:

  13. Love your hat were can I purchase the pattern pls😊

    1. This design is now only available as a cut file through Silhouette America's online store. Once at their site, search our designs under the "Artists" button at the top of the store screen SnapDragon Snippets, then search within our portfolio. Thanks.

  14. Hello, addition to previous message is this a kit? can the templates be downloaded? thanks