Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Most Unusual Hat Stand

Inspired by imaginative department store window displays for women's hats from the 1940s, this whimsical hat stand was created utilizing doll heads and found objects. An artificial topiary was used for the base along with two wire extender brackets from a closet shelving unit. This project cost nothing as I used objects I already had on hand. A trip to your local craft and/or hardware store can also yield some interesting results sure to be a conversation starter. [Left and middle hats are from The Couture Touch. Right hat is from Ashton Drake.]

No Zita....just your body!!!  One thing to keep in mind: the heads are heavy so you will need sturdy supports so they don't topple over. Pencils, small dowels, or chop sticks can be inserted into Styrofoam, or a floral oasis or frog and covered with moss and greenery. [Left and middle hats are from The Couture Touch. Right hat is from Robert Tonner.]

In this example, pencils were inserted into the Styrofoam on either side of the original topiary support. [Middle hat is from Ashton Drake, the other two hats are from The Couture Touch.]

A delightful 1940 Sibley Department Store window showing mannequin heads sprouting from branches.

This Sibley Department Store window from 1941 was my original inspiration for this project.

A 1940 window from McCurdy Department Store in Rochester New York. Those mannequin head stands remind me of candle holders. probably know where this is going!

A metal rod from an Integrity Fashion Royalty doll stand is inserted into the top of a brass candle holder. To keep the rod from toppling over, Tacky Wax was placed inside the opening where a candle would normally go. Foil was then crumbled up and inserted tightly inside the opening. The rod was inserted after poking a small hole in the foil with the sharp end of a compass. Duct tape with a tiny hole to accommodate the rod was attached across the top to further secure it. The "fur" collar from Robert Tonner's Par Excellence suit ensemble hides the duct tape. [Hat is from The Couture Touch.]

You can use any length neck support you like. This variation uses a metal retractable lip brush. [Hat and fur are from The Couture Touch. Handbag is from Robert Tonner.]

Using a doll head as a hat stand is certainly not new. Boudoir doll heads were often used to decorate vanity accessories such as powder jars, candlesticks, and of course...hat stands. This chic doll head tops a stand that has been covered with trim. The possibilities are endless.

I hope this inspires you to create your own unique hat stand perfect for displaying your doll hats.

Here's A Quick Tip:

Cover the metal rod of an Integrity Fashion Royalty doll stand with a drinking straw cut to size. [Hats from The Couture Touch, handbags from Sandra Stillwell and Robert Tonner, shoes from Facets by Marcia and Robert Tonner.]


Sibley and McCurdy Department Store archival photos are courtesy of the Rochester New York Public Library. To view the photos at full size, right click and open in a new window.

The Doll Heads:  Azalea Ice Zita Charles, Metropolitan Madra Lord, and Blush Gene Marshall are from Integrity. Blush's custom hairstyle is from Jim Gaddis. Filigree Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.


  1. Hats off to you, Couture Touch! This sparks the imagination! Very creative post with beautiful examples...Merci! Merci! --Monsieur Erik

  2. Melissa, Please may I steal this ? What an ingenious display. Very impressive.


    1. Absolutely Don! LOL! Always happy to enable. Thanks so much. Melissa