Top Ten Top Hats by Lady Woolthief

The picture above is me wearing the first Tea Cup Top Hat I ever made!

Obnoxious Hats by Lady Woolthief was an incredible, fun experience during my late-twenties. I learned how to build my own business and had an absolute blast making and selling hats. There came a point where the demands of my life and full-time job became too much to continue handling my side business with the care and attention it needed. While I absolutely loved custom orders (and you will see several of those collaborations on this list), they were becoming the largest part of my sales, while also taking much more time and resources. It was with a heavy heart that I shut down the Obnoxious Hats part of Lady Woolthief in October of 2018.

I am still so proud of all the work I did and had so much fun reminiscing about my hats while creating the Obnoxious Hats Gallery for this website, that I decided to make a Top 10 List! This list was incredibly hard to narrow down – I kept changing my mind and adding more (which is why there are a few honorable mentions). Here we go…

10. The Little Mermaid Top Hat

This ultimately made the list because I love the look of the scales across the front. That effect was made up of a bunch of large sequins hand-glued in this pattern. I was also very proud of myself for finding a cheap, economical way to make a big impact on the front of a hat, though it was time consuming.

Two of my best friends and I have a Christmas tradition where we hand-make gifts for each other. Little Mermaid is their favorite Disney movie. I came up with the design of this hat and made it for both of their Christmas presents (2016), then replicated the design a few more times when the hat sold on Etsy.

9. Steampunk White Rabbit Tea Cup Top Hat

Sometimes I would just get the most amazing requests from my customers. This woman messaged me wanting a Steampunk Alice in Wonderland Centerpiece for her Easter table. This is what we came up with!

My favorite parts about this are the Steampunk Goggles (they were leftover from a friend who didn’t want them anymore) and the handmade hat pins on the back!

8. Cinderella Steampunk Top Hat

I am so glad this hat was purchased by a dear friend, who actually wore it to my wedding!

How cool is that? I love this top hat because it is simple and beautiful. I love the way the rich blue and purple mesh together. The little sculpture of the couple dancing was actually a ceramic cake topper I found at the thrift store. It was a full-body piece, but I smashed the bottom off and only kept the bust. It looks like they are dancing in heaven.

7. My Fair Porcelain Lady Top Hat

After I made this hat, I remember just sitting back and staring at it. I know some people find clowns creepy, but this hat was everything I loved about my business. I had thrifted this doll, which was actually a music box, and turned it into the centerpiece of an obnoxious, imaginative creation.

I loved, loved, loved this hat and thought it was gorgeous, but it was so hard to sell. What made it especially unique was that it was an intact music box, on top of being a hat. Finally, a gentleman saw it at a convention and his wife was a collector of these porcelain dolls. He couldn’t afford it at full price, but I was so excited for it to go to home that would appreciate it, I sold it to him at a steep discount.

6. Fairy Dreamscape Top Hat

This hat has a very interesting story behind it, as it’s one of the few hats I created and kept for myself. Below was the first version of this hat, which is very meh. Definitely not good enough to be an Obnoxious Hat by Lady Woolthief. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made it or why I even bothered putting it up for sale. Looking at it now, I can’t get over the fact that I basically made a smiley face out of blue flowers on one side, lol.

A few months later, I was staring at it and thought… I can do better. So I totally revamped the hat into what you see below. This thrifted fairy was now in the middle of a beautiful meadow scene. But the story didn’t end there.

I was at a convention when someone went to purchase it. I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling of, “NO! That hat’s mine!” And so I basically ripped it out of their hands and said, “I’m so sorry. That actually isn’t for sale.” I’ve worn this hat more than any other I have ever created. It goes with so many costumes and is something that makes me feel extra special when I wear it.

5. Painting the Roses Red Top Hat

Look at my client rocking this hat! I am SO GLAD this special hat that had loads of hard work put into it was purchased by someone who really appreciated it. This hat was actually refurbished from a destroyed Beauty and the Beast hat and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! All the hand-painted elements were new to me. This hat to me was all about the drama and Tyler, the person who picked it up off Etsy, has been so kind to send me pictures of all the places its been.

4. Cake Top Hat

I had an amazing client who was a Red Hat Lady named Jodi. Not only did she send me lots of business from her friends, but she ordered several hats from me herself. I adored working with her!

She wanted a special hat for her birthday and the only requirement was that it had to be purple with some red on it. I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do – make a Birthday Cake! But, ya know, an elegant one. She was very trusting as I sent her the concept. I had basically went to Pinterest and found some beautiful cakes decorated with berries and flowers. I was so excited when she told me to go for it!

I found the perfect purple fabric that reminded me of frosting and then went about finding an array of fake berries that would suit the idea. I could not be happier with how this turned out! In fact, I once searched “cake” in my Google photos, and even Google was convinced!

3. The Walking Dead Top Hat

This was a custom order and I basically had a limitless budget so I freaking went for it with this hat. I bought a Walking Dead calendar with some great prints of the zombies. After cutting the pictures to the appropriate sizes, I decoupaged those onto shims, that I then broke off at the top to form a circle around the top hat. I wrapped it all with chicken wire to really sell the effect of the prison yard and WHEW! was that a chore! I still remember this night like it was yesterday!

I literally topped it off with the action figure of the woman zombie from the first episode, separated from her torso. I can’t remember what I used for the blood – maybe some red paint? It’s gory, but I adore this hat and the creativity I was able to put into it. I still have a bunch of chicken wire in my garage… I am hoping one day it will come in handy for something not hat related, lol.

2. The Fishbowl Top Hat

There is an excessive amount of pictures of this hat because I put an excessive amount of work into it. This was another hat with a sky-high budget and I wanted to make it worth my client’s money. Lynne is someone who has such a creative mind and is pretty much up for anything. This was her original email:

“I will attend a Mad Hatter event in the months ahead and it is an ocean theme… I brainstormed more last night and came up with what I think is a winning idea. Live tropical fish in a plastic bowl on top my head!”

I love the way her brain works! So, I started doing tests to see if this was even possible. We started with a large fish bowl that would have really made a statement…

My first test of the Fishbowl Top Hat.

That sucker was so heavy at 4 lbs. We ended up scaling it down to the smaller-sized tank you see. Then came the extensive work on all of the detail. She wanted color and I was all about delivering. I hand-colored gems, hand-decorated those octopus arms, individually placed every little sea shell and gem. It was a masterpiece and I am still so proud of it to this day!

And finally… My #1 favorite…

1. The “Sculpture” Mad Hatter Top Hat

Photos by Redwood + Sage Photography

I remember when I made this hat, I was so sick. The Mad Hatter Top Hats with the tea cups on top were my biggest sellers, and I made many, many versions of them throughout the years. I would thrift shop to find tea cups and I often had a massive stock of them somewhere around the house. I also had loads of fabric, trim, silk flowers, and other thrifted items (like the metal flowers adorning this hat) just laying around. I sat down to work on it and suddenly it was done. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it had turned out.

This hat actually sold twice on Etsy. It was originally part of a large order of 6 hats that flew across seas to Europe. For some reason, this hat never got picked up by the woman who purchased it, so it got sent back to me… just in time for my Engagement Photos. I couldn’t believe how well this hat matched my glitzy dress (also a thrift store find). After the photoshoot, I put it back for sale at a higher price tag – $200. I was shocked when someone else purchased it for that much. Part of me is still sad that I sold it, but I hope it is off living a wonderful life at someone else’s house – being worn on occasion for some amazing events.

Lastly, my honorable mentions. These 3 hats didn’t quite make the cut, but they still hold a place in my heart. There is another Mad Hatter Top Hat, that my dear friend, Tiffany, actually wore in a photoshoot. I absolutely adore the color scheme on this hat, plus the polka dots/diamond patterns.

The Peter Pan hat I love because of the duality of London on the front, with the silhouettes of our heroes flying through the glittery night, and the vibrancy of Neverland on the back. There are loads of hidden references in this hat, including a hidden hook.

And, lastly, the Doctor Who hat. I have more of an emotional attachment to this one, as I originally designed it to Cosplay with Adam. He was the Tenth Doctor and I was the Tardis. I ended up replicating the hat and sold a bunch of them. I still love it.

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