This costume I made for a photo shoot. I love the photo of Johnny Depp as the mad hatter and wanted to replicate the look as much as possible for the photo. Yes I am a little mad putting all this effort into creating a costume just for a photo. But aren't you lucky I am a little bit crazy... because now I am going to teach you how to make this costume for yourself. By the way this is actually me dressed up in this costume.
Step 1: Step 1: Make Your Hat
1 piece of poster board
Fabric pieces: I found textured looking pieces of fabric like these: black textured fabric in browns greys and blacks, I even added a bit of black lace here and there.
Black bias cut piping like this: Black piping from hobby lobby
glue gun and glue
First cut your poster board according to the template provided. You will need to measure around your head with a tape measure (like the kind you use for sewing) or wrap a string around your head and measure the string with a ruler. Add 1 inch to the measurement, this will give you the length you need to start you own template. I used this template to make a sample hat for my daughters doll (I didn't want to waste a whole sheet of poster board making a full sized hat. You will use the same technique to make a larger hat. Once you have made your measurements and created your template, cut it out and form it on your head. Once adjusted right...be sure it is very loose fitting on your head at this point... use a glue gun to glue hat top together. Make sure to taper the hat so that the top is larger than the bottom. The hole will get considerably smaller once you attach the brim so be careful not to make the hat too tight.
Now for the brim of your hat. Basically we are going to make a doughnut shape. To get your inner circle find something like a plate that is around a half inch smaller than the opening of your hat. Now find something that is about five inches larger than your hat this will make the outer brim of your hat. Cut out your doughnut shape.
Cut notches all around the inner circle of your brim. These notches will be folded up and glued to the top portion of your hat to connect them together. Refer to the photos above to get an idea of what I mean.
Now you are ready to cover your hat. Get your mod podge out and cut your fabric pieces into random triangle and squarish shapes. These are meant to simulate patches on a hat. I don't know exactly how much fabric you will need but a half yard of 3-4 different fabrics should be enough. Once you have a bunch of pieces cut start covering your hat.. working in small sections... first with a layer of mod podge then stick the fabric on. Once the whole outside of the top part of the hat is covered in fabric and both sides of the rim. Go back over the whole thing with another layer of the mod podge. Let dry.
Use your glue gun to glue the black piping all around the edge of your brim and also the edge of the top of the hat. The piping will cover up any messy edges from the fabric. Yes we will be leaving the top of the hat open. Unless someone is extremely tall they will have no idea that it is open. And even if they notice, well you are a mad hatter right???
Now try the hat on. You will need to manipulate the brim of the hat so that it has a curve to it. Don't be afraid to bend the rim into place.
Step 2: Step 2: Make Hat Accesories
Pink silky material
air dry clay
While your hat is drying you can work on the accessories. For the sash of the hat you will need about 1/4 of a yard of pink satin fabric. Really just any kind of fabric will do, but I used one with a silky sheen to it. Once your hat dries you will fold over the raw edges and cut it to fit around the hat. Scrunch it up and like in the photo and then hot glue it to the hat. If you are really particular you could sew your sash before attaching but I felt like tucking under all the rough edges and gluing worked just as well.
For the golden hat pins I just took wooden skewers (like the kind you use for kabobs) and shaped a piece of air dry clay into the shapes I wanted. This recipe for I found for Home made Model Magic would be perfect for this project: Then paint them with gold spray paint or acrylic craft paint. Add a peacock feather and draw a hat sizing slip out of a piece of paper, use the glue gun to glue the accessories in place under your ribbon.
Step 3: Step 3: Make Your Bow Tie
1/2 yard brightly colored polka dot fabric or if you can find some similar to the picture above of Johnny Depp, get it and save yourself a step. I used a fabric similar to this one polka dot fabric Then painted over most of the white. I will explain how I did it in the step below.
black acrylic craft paint
When creating this costume I really wanted to copy as closely as I could this costume that Johnny Depp wore. When I went out searching for fabric to for the bow tie I couldn't find anything that looked like the one in the picture. So I had to make my own. First I searched for some fabric with brightly colored polka-dots. I found one with large polka-dots on a white background. Not exactly like the picture but close enough that I felt like I could transform it with a little craft paint.
I bought about a 1/2 of a yard of it and brought it home and started painting it. I used black acrylic craft paint watered down so that it was more of a water color consistency. This makes it easier to apply and also makes it so the fabric stays flexible when dry. I simply channeled the abstract artist in myself and painted black and random black dots around the colored polka-dots to cover up most of the white. Ta da! We now have some material that looks more like the fabric pictured.
To form the tie cut two 8 inch strips as wide as the fabric you got, mine was 45 inches wide. You will need to figure out a way to attach the two strips together. The easiest of course is to just sew them. But if you don't have access to a sewing machine you could hand sew them or use fabric glue. Place it around your neck or around the neck of the person who is wearing it and tie a simple bow. Leaving the seam you made attaching the two pieces together in the back so that you can't see it. Tuck rough edges under and out of sight. If you would like you could hem the rough edges under just make sure to cut your fabric a little wider for seam allowances. I didn't mind leaving mine rough because I thought it added to the rough character of the costume. Once you have the bow the way you like it around your neck trim any extra material hanging down the bottom. I didn't trim mine much. I liked having extra material to tuck into my jacket.
Step 4: Step 4: Take a Trip to Your Local Thrift Store.
Here are some ideas of what to look for:
A pink or white button up shirt
a brown grey or black suit jacket or coat
Pants or skirt in the style you want
lace up boots
Be creative, don't worry if your thrift store doesn't have exactly what you are looking for. Remember this is the mad hatter and his outfit just needs to look a little wacky. You might even have some old clothes laying around your house that would work perfect for this outfit. You could even make it a little more feminine for the girls. I included a collage of photos that illustrate what I mean. Some of these are exactly like the original mad hatter costume others took creative liberty and put their own personal style into their outfits.
Step 5: Step 5: Make Your Wig and Eyebrows
Red curly wig about shoulder length
Strips red fabric I used red so that it wouldn't show through the pieces of hair that I attached.
optional orange hair spray
I found a red devil wig that worked perfect for this costume. I just cut the horns off and it was perfect. But really any wig that is about shoulder length and a little curly would work perfect. If you have the right length of hair you could also get orange hair spray and crimp your hair and skip the wig entirely.
If your wig is not shoulder length trim it a bit, don't worry about your cutting skills this hairdo is messy and it won't matter if it is uneven. Save your clippings for the eyebrows.
For the eyebrows either use the clippings from trimming your wig or cut a few pieces carefully here and there from your wig. Now cut strips of red fabric in a small rectangle or the shape of your eyebrows. Take your clippings and glue them to the strips of fabric in the shape shown in the photo.
To attach your eyebrows to your face, use a bit of eyelash glue. Avoid attaching them directly to your own eyebrows. Eyelash glue is very sticky and you might end up ripping out a few of your eyebrow hairs when taking them off. The eyebrows are big so you should be able to attach them with a few dots of glue around the eyebrow instead of directly on it.
If you would like your wig to be more of an orange shade like the Johnny Depp's then use orange hair spray to get your wig and eyelashes more of the right shade.
Last of all to get that wild hair look you will need to do a bit of gluing once you have your costume on. Put on the wig and hat. Now pull up the ends of your hair/wig and hot glue them to the underside of the brim of your hat. Don't worry it won't be permanent. You can pull the glue off when you are done. If you are using your own hair don't do this!!! Simply rat your hair a bit, use a bobby pin or two to fasten your hair to the brim of your hat. You could also use a bobby pin for the wig if you don't want to have glue blobs on your hat. For the photo above I used bobby pins to attach the wig to the hat.
Step 6: Step 6: Finishing Touches
Face paint: this is the kind I like wolf fx face paint it is the kind that comes in a powder and you get wet to apply. This brand has great coverage and is great for detail work. And isn't super pricey.
White mascara or white cream makeup
Tea cup I found one at the thrift store
Bandage for finger
For the hands cover with a very light coat of white, then add splotches of red here and there like you've gotten your hands a bit bloody. You can also paint a nail or two a light shade of yellow. Add a ragged looking bandage and a thimble to complete the look.
For the face, cover your face with white. Under your eyes add a coral or orangish pink shade try to blend it out a bit as you go darker toward the eyes lighter toward the cheekbone. On the top lid do a shade of light blue and blend it down into the pink you will have a purplish shade in between. Now line the inner eyelid with black to make them stand out. Apply white mascara to your eyelashes. If you can't find white mascara a white cream makeup will also work. Define the cheekbones by applying a light shade of grey just under the apple of the cheek. Also apply this to the sides of the nose. Now go back over the grey with a light coat of the coral you used under the eyes. Last apply a light pink to the lips.
If you would like you can attach a teacup to a chain around your arms and neck. So that you always have a teacup handy.
The eyes in the photo of me are edited to look that color. If you want to go all out with the look you could also get colored contacts.