Thursday, September 03, 2009

How To Make a Hat Stand From An Old Lamp

Before I tell you how easy this is to do, let me give you a little back story. I found this Sudan fez at Dad's house after he died and it reminded me of Grandpa in Meet Me in St. Louis. He wears a hat like that while dancing around and singing the title song. So I had to have it. I would wear it when I watched the movie because watching musicals at my house is an interactive sport.
Well, after a few years as using it as a play hat, I saw something on TV or somewhere and realized it was a Masonic hat. And I knew my grandfather had been a Mason. Suddenly I realized that this was not a toy. I got on the internet to find a hat stand on which to display it, and they were ridiculously expensive. Then I noticed that one of them reminded me of an old lamp that was in the closet.
It had been a cheap little novelty lamp that my daughter had gotten at her Dad's house. It spun when it got warm and made patterns on the ceiling. She brought it here when her dad moved. I made some simple adjustments to it and used it for a hat stand.
In the last few days I have been doing some major "spring" cleaning and we have this cool hat that I found at Mom's last year when I was clearing out the house. It had been awkwardly hanging on the side of the cheval mirror and I decided I wanted a place for it. I remembered my lamp thing for the fez and so today after delivering Meals on Wheels, I went to the Goodwill thrift store. I saw this bathroom hand towel stand:

That would have made an easy hat stand. It cost $10, but the base diameter was really big for where I wanted to use it so I decided on this lamp:

I unscrewed it and clipped the plug. I pulled the cord through:
I then reassembled it with that one large brass plate at the top:

The brass is gross and I wanted to make it go away, so I checked my paint cabinet and had primer and a perfect paint, but the directions said it had to be below 90° and it was 93° outside so since I was in no big hurry to grab some newspaper and masking tape to cover the green part, I decided to check the height for where I wanted to put it. Once I put it in place, I realized you couldn't even see the ugly brass parts so I skipped the painting part even though it would have been pretty simple to do.

Since I was skipping the painting, I moved on to the next step which was preparing the top. There was a rough threaded pipe sticking out of the top that runs all the way through the lamp:

I rummaged through my junk drawer and found a plastic thing that looked like a teeny tiny hat. That seemed appropriate, so I stuck that over the bolt/pipe thing:

I found a 1/2 inch piece of foam in the garage and used a cup that seemed about the right size for that brass disk and traced that:

I cut that out and stuffed it into the brass disk which just happened to have a very sharp lip. If it hadn't fit so easily into the disk, I would have glued it.

Well that was the end of the whole project and I put it in the bedroom behind the little TV:

The whole project cost $6.00. And while I was at the thrift store I picked up a $3.00 lamp in case I ever have another hat I want to display:

On that one, I will probably just clip the cord at the base and cut open an old tennis ball and stick that on top. If you don't have an old tennis ball, you could just wrap a scarf or any peice of cloth around the top. Be creative. And enjoy looking at your hat.


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

How clever and resourceful you are...! I just love how you can do just about anything you set your mind to.....Both of these "Hat Racks" are so terrific...! (I LOVE "Meet Me IN St. Louis" and know Grandpa's hat

BTW: Phil Abbott was such a WONDERFUL man--and such a talented actor, too. I knew him from Theattre West and we worked together on many projects there for many many years, starting back in 1962--until he died. In fact, I was the Mistress of Ceremonies so to speak, at his Memorial Celebration....His son is very very talented, too....In fact the whole family is talented!

Anonymous said...

That jauntily cocked hat might scare the crap out of me if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw it. Oddly enough, though I have no hats that need displaying. Now, if you can figure out a way to make something that will hold and display all my fabulous/junk jewelry in one convenient place where I can see exactly what there is and it doesn't get tangled up - that would be great. I've tried so many things and none of them are really perfect.

Mr. Jazz said...

I tip my hat to your creative and resourceful genius ;-)

geewits said...

~~The cheapest hat stands online are about $30 and that does not include shipping. I think $3 - $6 is much better!

~~That's easy. Get a basic glass front shot glass, curio or medicine cabinet, lay it down, glass side up and attach it to a cheap used table of about the same size and you have a little glass-topped display table. If your woods don't match well, just paint the whole thing one color.

Mr. Jazz,
~~I can't picture you in a hat. Do you ever wear one?

Big Brother said...

You should have your own DIY show on TV. You would be a hit. :o)

geewits said...

~~I bet there's already a trash to treasure show out there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I think a lamp is a good use for a masonic hat and I like your work. I think it's a good use because I have a special loathing for the Masonic organization. Nothing against your grandfather, my grandfather was one, too, but just a personal issue with the outfit.

Scarlet said...

Great job!! You make me want to find a special hat in the family just so I could display it.

Btw, have I told should have your own show?? Seriously!

Mr. Jazz said...

You're exactly right: hats and ties, not too much for me.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha haha ha ...oh my... yes, that DOES sound "easy" - for someone like you perhaps. I may use the idea and just slide it on a shelf, however, instead of making a table out of it. I don't like to have too much furniture around.

Carole said...

Gee, love the hat stand! I might build one for my Mary Poppins Hat! Thanks for the nifty idea. :) The hat sitting up behind the monitor looks very cool too.

Oh...and I have my son's Fez here too! It's not a Mason Fez, it's a "I'm in college and need a funny hat Fez, but now that I'm married and moved out, don't need it at my house so Mom can keep it" Fez.

geewits said...

~~You should do a post about that.

~~Seriously, you should get some hats. You have the perfect head for hats.

Mr. Jazz,
~~I thought so.

~~Okay, but the little table idea is easier. No sliding involved.

~~Yes! You have to display the MP hat. That fez story is funny.