Hat Display Update for the Win

So your walking along and come across the most amazing hat store. Of course you need a hat, you’ll wear it all the time!

Looking all fabulous while sitting out front of the cutest little brunch place sipping that delicious mimosa and laughing with your friends.

Perfect! Now that you have two new gorgeous hats, you need to be able to store them properly. Hat box? Vintage hat box? Ohhh that sounds amazing but also a little hard to find in great condition, plus you want to see those gorgeous pieces. Like all those really cute boutiques, they have sleek looking mannequins that display and show off a hat in all it’s glory. I know they can accumulate dust this way, but for me if I don’t see them, I won’t wear them.

Well I just happened to come across some “lovely” white foam mannequin heads. Ok stay with me here, a little tlc is needed. 

I’m sure you have ran across these if you frequent second hand stores and handmade craft markets. I’ve seen these dressed up pretty interestingly. That might be an understatement to be honest. If I had a picture I’d post it. Probably scare everyone half to death though. A lot of people decide to draw eyes on them, add some blush to the cheeks and to top it off attach artificial lashes. I’m sure there are some amazing artist out there that can do this and make it look phenomenal, but so far in my travels I’ve not come across that. 

Well instead of going that rout and scaring myself everyday, painting seemed like the best option. As well as being the cheaper option in my opinion. Although I am unaware of how much artificial lashes cost, but I’m going to think more than $1.50 craft paint.


Here’s the items I used:

  • – styrofoam mannequin head (often found new at Value Village in Canada)
  • – 220 grit (or higher) sandpaper (tiny little scrap piece is perfect)
  • – small paint brush
  • – extra fine paint brush
  • – craft paint
  • – newspaper or something to protect work surface from paint
  • – hairdryer *optional (can help speed up drying time)

As you can see below that there is a seam that runs all the way around the mannequin head. I took a fine 220 grit sandpaper and ran it lightly downward and it took the seam right off. I did make the mistake of running the sandpaper in the opposite direction as well and it kinda starts gouging into the styrofoam. Downside to sanding styrofoam is that it leaves highly sticky white fluff everywhere after, but a quick wipe down with a damp paper towel took care of it all. 

Once the seam was removed and laid down some newspaper (I’m an extremely messy painter) I grabbed some black craft paint and went at it. I really debated between navy blue and black for my self, but of course you could choose any colour that makes you happy. I would consider in the future if I got a black or darker hat to do a colour like mustard or something that would really pop with the hat. Ahhh so many ideas, I need more hats!

It took about two solid coats to get equal coverage and then had to go back over with an extra fine paint brush to get into a few fine holes the large brush wasn’t able to get to. I actually had to tilt the mannequin head in different directions to see if any fine spots were left showing. One of the best things about craft paint is that it dries so fast that you can do the second coat and any touch ups very quickly. If you are a little impatient like me, then having a hairdryer handy makes it even faster.

After the final touch ups I left the mannequin heads to finish drying overnight before I put any of my hats on them just to be one the safe side. Last thing you want is any of your gorgeous hats to have a little bit of paint get onto them.

With the paint dry your fabulous hats can sit on their newly updated thrones. The other plus of having these beauties displayed is that my husband tries them on and it puts me in a fit of giggles. I need to take a picture and put that on our next Christmas card. 

Until next time Create, Smile and Radiate!

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