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How To Make An Absolutely Insane Kentucky Derby Hat

And a slightly-less-insane one. These hats will protect you from the sun’s rays all summer long.

The best part of the Kentucky Derby, besides the rampant drinking and gambling, is the hats.

If you insist on staying slightly classy while you sip your bourbon.

1. Gather your materials.

Basically, anything that could conceivably be hot-glued to a cheap hat can and should be. For the totally over-the-top version, we used:

- An assorted bag of pom-poms.
- A huge homemade pom-pom. (Here’s a great tutorial if you’d like to learn how to make them yourself. It’s wicked addictive.)
- A variety of pipe-cleaners.
- Gigantic googly eyes.
- Medium-sized googly eyes with creepy eyelashes.
- Little plastic charms.
- Stick-on silver and gold glitter letters.
- A hot glue gun.
- Scissors.

For the more toned-down hat, we used:
- Four large homemade pom-poms.
- A strip of burlap ribbon.
- Gilding paint for a variety of plastic charms and seashells.

2. Don’t forget the hats.

These each cost less than $10 from the Burlington Coat Factory.

3. The crazy hat is essentially a crafting free-for-all.

We began by hot-gluing pom-poms all around the brim. Then, we detached the bow that came with the hat and replaced it with a strand of braided pipe cleaners (like you do). We decorated the upper brim with a variety of truly terrifying googly eyes, and adorned the front with a giant pom-pom, feathers, and a tiny pair of plastic sunglasses. We topped off the crown with some brightly-colored plastic charms and glitter letters that spell out, appropriately, “GO HORSE.” You can of course pick the name of your favorite horse, although it might be difficult considering how long some of those names are.

4. All the less-cray hat requires is some creative gilding.

Martha Stewart sells this gilding paint that we’re absolutely obsessed with. We used it to paint some plastic charms, rubber animals, and seashells gold. While they dried, we replaced the hat’s original ribbon with a piece of burlap, cut to the size of the brim and secured with hot glue. We glued the gilded animals all around the crown and finished the front with a whole bunch of large, fluffy pom-poms.

Now go cheer on your favorites!

All photos by Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed.

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