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Author Topic: Stained Glass Hat  (Read 1290 times)
setzer808
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United States United States



« on: March 03, 2018, 08:52:58 pm »

Good day all,

  I've certainly taken my time posting this, but better late than never.  For last year's (2017) DragonCon I decided to attempt a faux stained glass hat for my wife's Steampunk outfit.


I've owed her a custom hat for a couple years since I made my own riveted clock hat and I wanted to make something that would be unique.  My original plan was to paint all the panels and light it from the inside, but time ran short and I also really enjoyed the more minimal look.  A future redesign may be coming this year, we will see if I go for that original vision. 

Now, on to the build:

Materials: armature wire, plastic sheets from the front of cheap poster frames, slow and quick set metal epoxy, instant/quick/5-minute clear epoxy, super glue, dullcoat spray lacquer, white glue, clear glue, acrylic paint, black spray primer, and craft foam. 

Tools:  metal snips, clamps of all types, hobby knives, rubber bands, pliers, craft Popsicle sticks, jeweler's helping hands, sandpaper/sanding blocks.

I began with a cheap top hat from a party store that fit her head as a base to form the armature wire around.  I tried to follow the fairly battered shape of the underlying hat instead of making nice straight lines and curves to give it a more organic industrial look. The various bits of paper/post it notes you may see are just there to keep the epoxy from sticking to the form hat. 

 

All the "main" joints were made with standard metal epoxy and the more decorative parts were mostly joined with quick setting metal epoxy.  While the quick setting version had its uses, I recommend planning in enough built time for using the full strength product on each joint , it proved to be far better at adhering to the armature wire.  The second shot below shows the primed frame sitting on top of a sheet of the poster frame plastic that would be cut to form the "glass".

   

Each glass segment was attached using clear epoxy and was then clamped in place until fully set.  In areas where I could not get the plastic to fully meet the metal frame I would later use extra clear epoxy that I would sculpt into place with a wooden stick and gravity to fill in the missing glass (its not far off from the look of antique glass window panes that have "settled".

 

All parts of the clear plastic from the photo/poster frames was sprayed with at least one coat of spray lacquer to give it the semi-transparent look and to help form a basecoat for glue/paint.  The second shot is the lacquered hat with an LED light sitting inside to show the effect the lacquer has.  ***Side note.  I recommend using only epoxy and not superglue.  As you can see, the epoxy dries clear, but areas where I rushed and used superglue are a mostly opaque white.

 

The lines of the flowers and the lines that "connect" them to the actual metal frame of the hat are drawn by mixing black acrylic paint into a bottle of white glue and drawing them much like a cake decorator would.  This makes them three dimensional and allows them to hold the colored paint.  The colored paint is metal acrylic mixed with clear glue to both enhance its transparency and to make it less runny.  The second shot shows how I attached small strips of craft foam to correct the fit and to make it much more comfortable.  The fact it was built on top of a hat that fit her makes it a little larger in the end.

   

I won't take credit for the flower designs as those were just my rendition of a few flower based stained glass images I found through a google image search:
http://www.busternus.com/glass/flowers.html and https://autobotwonko.deviantart.com/art/Rose-Stained-Glass-77587630

Our schedule of the con being what it was we didn't end up getting professional pictures this year, but here are a few:

     

Thanks for reading.  I would love to hear any comments or questions!
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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
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Australia Australia



« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 10:56:47 pm »

Lovely job, & well constructed, sir!
I would think that being shot by some one wearing a flowery top hat would add an extra fillip to the experience!  Grin
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Antipodean
Zeppelin Captain
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 11:05:45 pm »

Very well done! I like it a lot. Cheesy
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2018, 12:23:50 am »

Very original! A great article for conventions and to show around.
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ForestB
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Lady of the copper frogs


« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2018, 12:35:59 am »

I wish I could have been there to see it!
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2018, 12:44:15 pm »

Uniquely wonderful - than you for sharing and the the detailed description of its construction.

Yours,
Miranda.
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frances
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2018, 12:25:12 am »

Impressive.
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Drew P
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2018, 05:42:10 am »

Yes, very creative idea!
Seems like something to keep expanding on, possiblities in glass design are endless!
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2018, 07:38:04 am »

Yes, very creative idea!
Seems like something to keep expanding on, possiblities in glass design are endless!

A Tiffany Lamp (Art Nouveau) hat?
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Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2018, 01:27:55 pm »

Yes, not only of the image, but of the style of the hat itself.
Why not?!
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Rockula
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Nothing beats a good hat.


« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 02:36:49 pm »

Excellent work. Unique.
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