Before and After: Vintage Hat Box

I found an old hat box at a consignment store a few months ago. It had been marked down to only a few dollars, probably because of the rough condition it was in. I couldn’t resist trying to save the box from falling into more disrepair. So finally on Sunday, after weeks of it sitting in the corner of my dining room floor, I decided to try and tackle this project. Here is the lid of my hat box where most of the restoration was needed. As you can see in this picture, the top of the lid is coming unattached from its rim and caving in. Very unattractive!


hat box 5

After a quick call to Angela for some advice, I headed to the fabric store for my supplies. I picked up Aleene’s fast grab tacky glue, bias tape and stole one of my kids unused small paint brushes. Sorry boys!


Let me just say how lucky I was that my sister happened to stop by right when I was starting to apply the glue to the fabric tape. I really think this might be a two-person task. It went so much faster and smoother with an extra set of hands.

hat box 7

We used paper clips to help secure the fabric tape. Be very careful when applying and removing the paper clips so as not to scratch the lid. I only applied glue to about two inches of the fabric tape each time and then quickly applied it to the box. Take your time to assure the fabric tape goes on straight and smooth.

IMG_0127After a slow twenty minutes we made it completely around the lid. Here are the before and after shots.

hat box 2


hat box


I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. There still is a little bit of tape on the top that I may try to remove.

hat box 4

Don’t you just love the very masculine graphics on the box? It was made by the Portis Bros. Hat Company. The Portis brothers started their hat company around 1914 and were in business up into the 1960s. The top of this box reads, “Portis Hats, Typically American”. After a quick restoration this Portis Hats box can now double as storage for my finds and an eye-popping display on a shelf. I’m so glad I found it.

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