This instructable documents my take on how to make a realistic Tim the Enchanter hat, as seen in the all-time-great movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Tim is the "horny" Scottish wizard who enjoys randomly blowing up trees and eventually introduces King Arthur and his knights to the killer rabbit. Definitely a worthy character for a Halloween costume, and the hat is without doubt the most important component!
Step 1: Gather Materials
Here is what you'll need...
Qty 2 - Ram Horns (I bought mine on Ebay for $40.00)
Qty 2 - Aluminum Stock - 10.25" L x 0.75"W x 0.0625" Thick (Check your local Hardware Store, $5)
Qty 4 - 1.5" Long Flat-head screw (any size)
Qty 4 - 0.75" Long Flat-head screw (any size)
Qty 1 - Rivet or a small flat-had bolt/nut
Qty 2 - 1" thick Scrap Wood
2 ft x 4.5 ft of "fake leather" material (Check your local fabric or hobby store, $10)
Scrap pieces of soft packing foam or maybe bubble-wrap (Check your local shipping supplier)
Total Cost: $0 - $75 (depending on what you have "in stock")
Hack Saw (optional)
Leather Punch (optional)
Needle and Thread
Step 2: Prep the Horns
I don't know much about Ram Horns, but the pair I bought on Ebay were hollow and covered with dirt. After a quick cleaning with a rag and water, I set about finding a way of attaching to the horns.
I took some scrap wood and by trial and error I cut two pieces of wood with a Bandsaw to fit inside the hollow end each horn. Because the horns taper down from the base, you may need to make some angled cuts and/or use a sander to get them just right. Ideally you want the wood pieces snug and flush with the end of the horn so they are not visible from the outside. You may also need to use a hacksaw to trim the horns so they can sit flat against your head.
Next you want to secure the wood inside the horn - I did this by pre-drilling two holes through the horn and into the wood, then driving in a flat head screw. Ideally you want to do this in the thickest part of the horn and in non-obvious places (like the top of the horn, back of the horn, etc.) You can also chamfer (bevel) the hole so the flathead screws blend in. Oh, and if you have a pile of assorted rusty screws - this is a perfect place to use them! The rusty screw head blends in perfectly with the horn.
Step 3: Build the Headframe
Those horns are heavy, so we need something more rigid than fabric to keep them held in place on your head. To do this, I built a "Headframe" out of two pieces of scrap aluminum. My aluminum Stock was 10.25" L x 0.75"W x 0.0625" Thick. This worked out to be the perfect thickness to give it rigidity but also allow it to be bend (more or less) by hand. The size is also perfect to give enough room for horn attachment (on the side-to-side piece) and enough length (on the front-to-back piece) to wrap behind my head to keep the horns on when I lean forward.
The dimensions of the headframe will vary depending on the size of your head... Bending these pieces will also take some trial and error to find something that fits your head comfortably. You can do the bends either by hand or by securing one end in a bench vise and then using pliers. You want to leave around 2" of straight stock at either end of the side-to-side piece to give good room for attaching the horns. You can see dimensions of my headframe in the pictures.
Once the headframe pieces are formed, I attached them together at the top with a pop-rivet (See pictures). You could also use a small nut and bolt.
Step 4: Attach the Horns to the Headframe
Next you'll want to attach the horns to the headframe - I used two screws per horn. You will probably want to adjust the angle of the horns to get the right look, so start with only one screw (enough to hold the horn on the frame) and then adjust the angle while looking in the mirror. Mark where the frame is on the wood, then go back and drive the second screw keeping the frame within your marks. You should once again chamfer (bevel) the holes in the frame with a larger size drill bit of chamfering tool so that the heads of the screw are flush with the frame.
Finally, I suggest adding some nice cushy foam to the headframe with glue or double-sided tape (see foam applied in step 7). If you want to be more authentic, leave it off... I guarantee after wearing this without foam you will be as grumpy as Tim!
Step 5: Time to Sew!
Now the the mechanical stuff is done, we need to sew a nice leather hat to complete the ensemble!
Once again, this part may require some trial and error using pieces of newspaper or scrap fabric to get something that will fit your head (See pictures below where I did a newspaper mock-up of the leather part). Instead of trying to work around the horns, I decided to sew the entire hat and then just screw through the leather into the horns. Depending on how neat your horns came out, you may need to try and glue in some leather material around the horns to cover up wood or fill in air gaps.
You can see the approximate pattern and dimensions that I ended up with in the attached images (Not to scale!). Edit: You will probably want to adjust the pattern, my finished had ended up being pretty loose and bunched up in the back (See step 7)...
My girlfriend helped with the sewing - she did a nice basic stitch and continuously checked it on my head for fit.
Step 6: Put It All Together...
By now we have all the pieces - let's put it all together!
First: Put the leather hat part over the headframe and adjust to get a good look/fit. Once again I used trial and error to find the best placement of the headframe in the hat, and then marked where the screwholes should be with a marker.
Next: Re-attach the Horns. This should be easy since the screw holes are pre-drilled and tapped, but you will probably want to punch a hole through the leather where each screw goes (2nd picture). Then, just screw on the horns.
Last: You'll probably want a string to pull the bottom of the hat tight around your neck. Using the leather punch again, put some holes around the bottom of the hat (12 holes total) and then thread in a string (See last picture). I found a little snug black bead as a tightening mechanism, but you could always just tie the strings under your chin.
Step 7: Done!
And there it is - One authentic Tim the Enchanter hat with real ram horns!
Time to work on my flamethrower staff and Scottish accent...