Boho Shelf From an Eastern Hat

by Thea
2 Materials
1 Hour

Get the boho look without the macrame macdrama.

I have said it before - I can’t and won’t do macrame. They say it’s easy but I never understand the instructions and all those knots must be in precisely the correct position, otherwise it all looks horrible. And I love cane but but weaving goes against my very unmeticulous nature. However, hints have been dropped by the 16-year old and I will get a really big mommy gold star if I manage to swing another version of a boho-, caneish-, macrameish-type hanging shelf that you can put a pot plant on. So, what to do?

A conical eastern hat is woven and I happened to find a mangy but rigidly framed one at a junk shop. Plus it fits into the boho aesthetic. Bargain!

The lining was very fragile so I gave it a very superficial rinse to get rid of the dust, let it dry and then sprayed it with Krylon Clear Glaze.

To get around the macrame conundrum, I found a really chunky wool in a ropey colour.

And cut 4 lengths of about 4ft each.

A simple knot at one end ties the strands together as well as another a couple of inches lower down. Depending on the length of your rope and hat size you could add a couple more. The knots are intended to make the strands look chunkier and stronger and to anchor the strands. You could also add some beads in between.

Using a firm piece a wire with a hook on it, I pulled the wool through a wooden bead. Make sure that your beads have smooth holes, otherwise the wool is stripped in the process.

Complete all 4 strands. Strictly speaking it would be a good idea to make a knot above each bead as well because this will ultimately make the hanger stronger but this meant making four knots at exactly the same height. Not for me then!

I punched four holes in opposite sides of the hat. This was quite easy because the lining was old and brittle. You can also use a craft knife or boxcutter.

Turn the hat upside down and thread the wool through the hole from the top down. The bead should be on the upturned side

and there should be at least two inches of wool on the bottom side.

Thread a second bead on the underside of the hat. Repeat on al four threads.

Use clothes-pegs to keep the beads in place temporarily.

Hang it up and adjust the strands so that the hat hangs level. Adjust the pegs accordingly.

Make really big knots right below the bottom beads. These will act as stoppers and will bear the weight of the shelf, so they need to be much bigger than the holes. When there is weight on the wool, the knots will compress further. I made triple ones. You could also use fancy knots if you know any or add an extra smaller bead with a smaller hole.

I added a supawood cake charger to flatten out the hat’s surface. The ‘client’ wanted it neutral but I couldn’t help myself and used the white side. Other options would be a plastic, tin or a paper maché tray.

I knotted the end onto a hook and draped the tail in a ‘suitably artistic manner’. Or you could just hang it by the knot.

And so now the obligatory potplant and other boho stuff can be balanced on it. The client was suitably impressed with this addition to her growing collection.

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4 of 41 comments
  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Jul 19, 2022

    Wow! What lovely project 💞, with excellent directions!

  • Leslie Leslie on Jul 19, 2022

    Great idea Thea and thank you for sharing this came out lovely!!

    • Thea Thea on Jul 20, 2022

      Thank you very much, making it reminded me of exotic places that I would like to visit.