• How to Carve a Hat Block - Part Two | Top Hats and Bowlers

    Sometimes you don't have to carve. Sometimes you can put pieces of Styrofoam together to make the block you want. My awesome teacher, Jill, was commissioned to make a large number of small top hats and bowlers that would be worn by Steam punk fans. Here's some photos of what she made.

    Mini Bowlers and Top Hats

    Black Buckram Top Hats


    • Semi-circle piece of foam (size of a tennis ball cut in half)
    • Round disc of foam same width as the semi-circle
    • 2 Wooden shish-kabob stakes
    • Clippers

    Making a bowler shape (or top hat) is very easy. I went to a store with floral supplies (like JoAnns or Michael's) and purchased a half ball shape and a round, flat shape that fit the bottom of the half ball.

    Step 1: Take your semi-circle of foam and place it on top of the round disc so it looks like this.

    Step 2: Take your first wooden shish-kebab stick and insert it straight through the top of the semi-circle until you reach the bottom of the round disc.

    Step 3: Take the second wooden shish-kebab stick and insert it sideways through the bottom round disc of foam.

    Step 3: Once you can feel the tip of the shish-kebabs barely break the other side of the foam stop. Use your clippers (or heavy scissors) to cut off the ends that still protrude.

    And, voila! You have a mini-bowler hat block. Lots of people like to block these using a layers of felt (or any material), buckram and then lining all at the same time. Just wet with hot water, stretch and pin until it dries.

    Another tip is that you use an empty can to mount the block on. This will make it sturdy and give you room to pull your material and pin under the edge, if you wish.

    Coming Soon Part Three - More Carving Tools & Tips