03 July 2012

Make an Easy Kids Chef Hat & Apron (Glue Gun Magic)

You could spend a fortune on kitting out little chefs for a Baking Birthday Party.
Or you could make your own using cheap felt and teatowels, with the help of your trusty glue gun.

It's totally up to you. But I know what I'm choosing - and here's how to do it if you haven't got megabucks and aren't handy with a sewing machine...

We'll start with the Chef Hat. I promise this is simple.

2 metres of white felt fabric
Glue gun + plenty of glue sticks
Needle and white thread
Sharp scissors
A pencil, some string and a thumb tack
Coloured felt for letter cut-outs (optional)
A child's head

  1. Cut off a strip of felt approximately 12cm wide, and wrap it around the head of the nearest lurking child.
  2. Pin it into a round band as shown and trim off the excess, leaving enough overlap for gluing. Glue gun the overlapping edges and press together firmly.

3. To measure a large circle for the top of the hat, first tie a knot in your string. Put a thumb-tack through the  knot and secure it towards one corner of the felt (have cardboard underneath so you don't mark the table)

4. Tie the other end of the string to a pencil; the pin becomes your anchor point for scribing a large circle (the larger your circle the more pooffey your hat)

5. Scribe your circle onto the felt as shown

6. Cut out your circle (perfection is optional)

7. Get your needle and thread and sew a loose running stitch around the edge of the felt, gathering it as you go. Make sure you have the unmarked side of the felt on the inside (this will become the outside of the hat)

8. When you have stitched right the way round, pull the two ends of the thread and even out your gathers.

9. Put your hat band inside your gathered circle and use this to get the tension right in the gathers. Once you are happy, tie off the ends with a double knot and snip the excess (at the moment you are working with the hat inside out)

10. Apply hot glue the the top edge of the hat band in smallish amounts, then press the edges together quickly for maximum stick.

When you have glued all the way around, turn your hat in the right way - Voila! A chef's hat for less than two bucks!

OPTIONAL:Add some colour by cutting out the child's initial in coloured felt and hot-gluing into place. 

(At the party, the little chefs can have fun adding bling to their Chef Hats if you can bear for your creation to be desecrated)

Now for the Aprons. No-one would ever guess that this beauty is made with a hot glue gun from a humble teatowel and the annoying straps off our new electric blankets.

The secret to true apronly gorgeousness is using good quality linen tea towels. (I bought a four-pack in a Farmers Sale. Ten Bucks for the pack.)


The next most important thing is the folding. This is key to the success of your operation. It requires precision guesswork. In fact, you might want to have your iron heating up - a pressed seam is easier to keep dead-even. (Or do a practise run on an old teatowel first).

Fold the teatowel in half lengthways. Then fold back one corner of the teatowel, leaving around 10cm square at the top, as shown.

Press the folded seam with the hot iron (or pin in place) and flip your folded teatowel over. Use the already folded corner to be your guide, and fold the other corner at exactly the same angle.

Hot-glue into place; then flip over and repeat. When you open your teatowel out, it should look like this on the back (seam side):

Now we are ready to attach our straps.
Yes, you heard me right that I snipped the long straps off our new electric blankets - they are perfect as apron straps! (I also found some more white cotton strap-stuff in Geoffs Emporium for .6oc per metre.)

Estimate how long your straps need to be and hot-glue them on. I added another layer of glue on top and then folded the excess strap back on itself a few times for extra strength (helps prevent unraveling). Then snip and do the next bit.

I think it took me all of five minutes to make this apron. Honest. No measuring, no sewing, no trimming (unless you count snipping the straps). Too easy. And too cute.

Phew. one down, three more to make in time for Saturday's Brilliant Baking Birthday (with special guest all the way from China - wahoo!)

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