New Era Introducing Contest

In 2012, I participated in New Era’s Introducing Contest. They sent me a box with a plain, beige hat and a few art supplies. I had to document the process step by step and send it back to be judged. Though I didn’t win, I made it to the final round and my hat toured the United States and Europe in the traveling exhibition.

The box with the hat and supplies.

My official entry picture. The pictures of me only get more unflattering from here, I promise.

Starting up my idea!

After cutting one flower, I traced it 20 times on on 4 different colors of felt.

I got blisters from cutting out so many flowers.

I used white thread and sewed the middle of each flower to make the little button centers the Hydrangeas have.

Using one of the paint markers New Era sent in the box, I painted the top of the cap blue.

All blue!

Using acrylic paints, I painted the brim of the cap green.

Done? Nah.

I took a piece of white felt and used a green marker to color it. Using my hot glue gun, I glued that felt to the brim of the cap.

The green felt all glued.

I took scissors and cut some notches into the felt to make it look like a leaf.

I used fabric paint to create veins on the leaf.

It’s starting to look good!

I carved a piece of styrofoam (switchblade not recommended as a proper tool for this activity) into the body of a dragonfly.

Ended up with this and a LOT of styrofoam bits all over my apartment.

Using a sheet of wire mesh, I drew a set of wings in marker.

A better look at the set of wings.

I cut the wings out with wire cutters (the edges of the wire mesh were extremely sharp).

I attached the wings to the body, which I painted green with acrylic pant.

I drew a butterfly on white felt and cut it out.

I traced the butterfly onto the wire mesh and cut that out.

I sandwiched the wire mesh in between the two felt cutouts.

Using black thread, I sewed around the whole butterfly.

I sewed three layers around the whole butterfly.

I used wire twisted with white felt to create legs and wire mesh covered in white felt to create the body.

I used black acrylic paint to cover the body and legs.

I painted the wings with orange acrylic paint.

Added some markings with black paint.

Added the final markings with white paint.

Time to start gluing all the flowers onto the hat with the hot glue gun.

I alternated colors to add some dimension.

Started including some purple and pink.

After a couple of hours, I finished gluing all of the flowers onto the hat.

I started pulling the petals outward one by one.

Fluffed the petals all out and now it’s ready for the final touches.

I added a little glitter to the body of the dragonfly and hot glued it to a few of the flowers.

On the other side of the hat, I hot glued the butterfly to a few of the flowers. I also added a little bit of orange glitter to it.

Being silly and wearing the completed hat.

Sent the hat in and they created a 3D slider of the hat on their page. Here’s the front view. I was peeved they didn’t straighten out the front leaf.

The side view on the site.

The back view.

Front closeup from their site. Again, the leaf should’ve been flat.

Official side view with the butterfly.