tugboat yarning

DIY Hat Display

DIY Hat Display

DIY Hat Display

I have a longtime fear to share with you, dear reader.  Let’s disregard the usuals: trypanophobia (I’ve been known to drop to the floor with a needle still in my arm), arachnophobia (doesn’t everyone have this?), and of course the fear of falling through metal grates (if you do not share this fear, you should).

Besides my top three fears I have already mentioned, I find that styrofoam heads make me ever so slightly uncomfortable.  There, I’ve said it!  Maybe it’s their lack of eyes in which to be shifty, or if there are eyes, how perfectly sculpted the eyebrows are, and so unnaturally smooth.  Or the blankness of theirs faces, as if to say, “I don’t care what I wear or what I model – what is my purpose?!”

Well, wanting a way to properly display adorably awesome hats that I’ve made for craft fairs and the like, how was I supposed to trust just any old blank, styrofoam face? The answer?  I couldn’t!  I then was set on a quest – beginning with a Pinterest adventure (in which I found not much to go on) and ending with a bout of acrylic paint, hot glue, and a man with a drill – to make the perfect DIY Hat Display!

Let me share my tale of bravery, ingenuity, and craftiness so that you, too, might learn of my exciting adventure.

Okay, okay, hubbub aside, and without an arthurian narrator to read this aloud to you in the market square, let me break it down for you.


Here’s the stuff I bought or found around the house – all in all it cost about $12-15 each to make the displays:

  • Acrylic Paint ($3.17 – Hobby Lobby)
  • 4″ Styrofoam Ball ($3.17 – Michael’s)
  • Wooden Candlestick ($5.29 – Michael’s)
  • Wooden Circle Plaque ($1.37 – Michael’s)
  • Worsted Weight Acrylic Yarn (my own yarn stash)
  • Random Screws with Pointy Things on Top – originally from a “ceiling kit” we never used (the whole kit was $15.25 at Lowe’s but I only needed the bit and three of the screws)
  • Drill & Magic Drill Bit – bit that also came with the “ceiling kit”
  • 2″ Wood Screws
  • Hot Glue & Glue Gun

Paint, Yarn, Styrofoam Ball, Candlestick, & Plaque


“Ceiling Kit” Screws & Magic Drill Bit


Drill & Magic Drill Bit


Wood Screws

And here’s how it went…

1.  PAINT all the wooden components and let dry.  Later, decide to add a second coat of paint because your brush strokes are obvious and your painting skills are sub-par.


2.  LOOK for a handy scape goat to do the drilling and screw placement so that you cannot be blamed if the project goes horrifically wrong while using the drill.  I was lucky and found this handsome scape goat around the house, tee hee.


3.  OBSERVE as he skillfully drills holes for both the wood screws and random screws with pointy things on top.


Drilling Holes in Top of Candlesticks


Drilling Holes in the Bases


Drilling Holes in the Bottoms Candlesticks


Drilling Screws with Pointy Tops with Magic Drill Bit into Candlesticks


Screws with Pointy Tops are In!


Attaching Candlesticks to Bases Using Wood Screws

4.  POKE styrofoam balls with pointy screws.  You may need to use a pair of scissors to dig out a good hole.


5.  GLUE the yarn around the styrofoam balls, making sure to burn your fingers a minimum of forty-seven times for full effect.  Add additional hot glue in the hole you created in step four once the yarn gluing is complete, and slide onto pointy screws.  I also added extra hot glue around the rim of the candlestick to ensure it would stay on well.



6.  ADMIRE your beautiful work, then hang some hats on your faceless, yarn-coated styrofoam ball, candlestick hat holders!




Got any fears that you’re working on these days?

Still avoiding metal grates,


13 thoughts on “DIY Hat Display

    1. Maggie H-G Post author

      Since I used hot glue, I did small increments at a time, otherwise it dried too fast and I’d get bad lumps. At the “equator” of the ball, I was able to go longer distances without glue because it was flatter, but as I got narrower on the ball I had to use a lot more glue to hold it in place but still do small amounts at a time so it wouldn’t dry too quickly. I hope that helps!

    1. Maggie H-G Post author

      Oh yay!! I’m so glad it turned out nicely! Feel free to email me a pic if you want – I’d love to see it :). tugboatyarning (at) gmail (dot) com ~Maggie

  1. Karen

    I was thinking what if you took a balloon, blew it up to a child size, woman size, and man size head, and took fabric and used modge podge all over the balloon and let it dry overnight, and then attach it to the candlestick…that way it would fill the hats out more? It’s just a thought…maybe I might try that…this is a fantastic DIY idea…great job!

    1. Maggie H-G Post author

      That’s a great idea to get different sizes for the stands, Karen! It reminds me of paper maché projects of making the planets when I was growing up, ha! If you end up doing the balloon idea, let me know! I’m curious to find out how it turns out! ~Maggie

  2. Eileen

    These are so fantastic. Thanks so much for posting this. I don’t have a handy scapegoat unfortunately, so I might just try using glue, as power tools scare me. Love your writing too, you really made me chuckle.

  3. aimsical

    I too have a strange fear of the styrofoam heads, and no way could I get a mannequin head. Creepy! So I made hat stands using styrofoam balls too! Except I wanted them to be head shaped to show off my hats better. So I got the larger balls and shaved them down with a bread knife to be oval shaped, then wrapped white fabric around them. I love your idea for securing them to the sticks. I’ll have to redesign mine so I can do that!

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