Handmade Heirloom Victorian Witch Hats Since 2012

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Last updated on Jun 1, 2022

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Karen Steinkraus

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Karen Steinkraus


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About TheVictorianWitchHat

Sales 172
On Etsy since 2017

The desire to be creative and the passion to create.

The Victorian Witch Hat
By Karen S Steinkraus

My Story:

Barbie. My first doll. Creating her clothes using paper napkins I fell in love with sewing. Since then, sewing and creating art has been a part of my life. My specialty is creating costumes without patterns, challenging me to be more creative.

Through the years I have sewn for high school, college and community plays. Eventually, I landed a gig sewing for a professional theater group. I created costumes for the stage play “My Brother Marvin”, which went nation wide in 2013.

While making hats for the stage play “Hello Dolly”. I thought about creating a witch hat in that same Victorian style and for the past 10 years, I have focused on creating handmade ruched/sculpted Heirloom Victorian Witch Hats, selling them exclusively on Etsy.

Wanting to reach a larger audience, I started displaying my creations at fine art and craft shows across Michigan. Michigan is my home! The local shows are a great way to connect with Michiganders.

The Process:

It takes 4-6 hours just to ruche or sculpt the hat, and 10 plus hours to complete a hat.
When I can find them, I use 1800’s Victorian materials, along with vintage silk & designer fabrics.

My signature look is the ruching and the stem at the top of each hat. Some hats have a real pumpkin or squash stem sticking out.

Once the hat is sculpted, the trimming begins. On go the hatband and buckle. Victorian trims and buckles, vintage brooches and velvet ribbons complete the trim. Each hat is trimmed for a distinct look.

On some of the more exotic hats, Victorian and vintage millinery are used as well as feathers from ostrich, peacock, wild turkey, pheasant and emu. Some have items found in nature including moss, animal bones, dried foliage and flower pods. For a more authentic Victorian look, some hats support taxidermy birds and mice.
For the fascinator lover, a mini version has also been created. They are the same high quality as the larger version. They come with their own hat stand and can be worn or displayed.

Something New:

As I did my own taxidermy, I found that the cute little mice could put on a show of their own. So, I transformed them into anthropomorphic mice, posing as hockey players, musicians, and other curious characters.

Shop members

  • Karen Steinkraus

    Owner, Designer, Creator

    Art has always been a part of me, and my life. Aside from my love for drawing and fine arts, I have been a hat maker and costume designer for theater companies for over 15 years. The beauty of the natural world is what inspires me when I create.

  • Mike Steinkraus

    Support Team

    ...A note from Karen: I couldn't do what I do without the help of a loving and supportive husband! Thank you Michael!

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