Making an Easter Bonnet is a tradition that goes back to the 17th Century or maybe even earlier than that. People would wear new clothes at Easter which was 'officially' the most important date on the Christian calendar.
These days easter bonnets are a craft activity for kids and adults and a chance to be creative.
Well you could start with a hat that someone else made and then decorate it. A straw boater is a good starting point because it has holes in it. Tying on flowers, foliage and other decorations with wire is so easy with a straw hat. The other advantage is that you can deconstruct it with ease and bring it back to its original condition as a simple straw hat.
Sometimes a simple flower bonnet won't cut it, so consider getting a bit more creative. A friend bought foam and made a ridiculously outsized top hat which he decorated with plastic eggs. This made a crazy 'mad hatter' style easter bonnet.
The eggs themselves could be bought, but paper mache eggs are easy to make and cost nothing. Simply scrunch wet newspaper into egg sized balls and shape, layering them with paper mache strips of newspaper and glue. When dty, paint them with bold stripes or any other design you fancy.
A simple pair of rabbit ears is a great easter bonnet idea, but don't be afraid to go large. some fake grey or brown animal fur made into long sausage tubes, , wire to give the ears definition and a stuffing of old newspaper is all you need to make great big rabbit ears. They will need to be supported, but the wire again can be used for this.
The 'classic' easter bonnet is, as I said a hat covered in flowers. Here are some ideas for making paper flowers to add to an easter bonnet.
These are simple to make. Cut a piece of tissue paper to the following shape and snip it as directed in the picture.
From the thin end (left) , roll the paper round a green pipecleaner, pencil, stick or bit of wire keeping the bottom edge of the paper horizontal. Once you reach the other end (right), apply a tiny dab of glue to stick it together and tease out the shreds of paper that form the carnation's petals.
A more advanced flower can be made by cutting lots of individual petals from coloured tissue paper. The shape is basically a bunny's ear.
A large button makes an excellent centre.Glue as many petals to the back of the button as it takes to make the flower you want. Use 2 different colours of paper for a more interesting design. The button holes are useful for adding a wire and attaching it to a bonnet.