Marissa Meyer Crazy Hat Contest

marissa meyer

The Contest:

For Marissa Meyer’s standalone novel Heartless appearing on shelves this November, Meyer decided to a host a contest where readers develop their own crazy hat fit for the Mad Hatter. In Heartless, a Wonderland-inspired story, Catherine is the most sought after girl in Wonderland, especially by the King of Hearts. Catherine’s heart, however, lies elsewhere. Much to her mother’s dismay, Catherine wants to be a baker and falls for the court jester.

For Meyer’s contest, she instructed readers to “design and create a real headpiece inspired by Heartless and the world of Wonderland” which follows these guidelines: it must be an actual wearable headpiece and readers can only submit one design. The design must be uploaded onto a form on her site and posted on social media. For complete instructions, refer to this blog post.

At the end of the contest, August 31, all entries will be compiled onto a Pinterest page. From there, Meyer will choose the top three finalists. Readers will vote from the grand prize winner on Meyer’s website. All finalists receive a Wires & Nerve sampler book, a Fierce Reads coloring book, and a $50 gift card to the book seller of their choice. In addition to these prizes, the grand prize winner will receive a signed ARC of Heartless.

How I Created my Hat:

When I created my headpiece, I knew I wanted to make my crazy hat relate to different aspects in Wonderland. After drawing several designs on a sheet of paper, I decided that I wanted to stack five  topsy-turvy teacups onto a headband and add decorations that also gave a nod to aspects of Wonderland.

To create the teacups, I search for a 3D teacup template online. I blew up the picture and printed it out. It turned out I did not end up using the bases for the teacups because it made them more difficult to stack and did not fit the teacups easily.

The teacup stencils I found are at the top. I created the handle stencil at the bottom.

After I created the tea cups using red card stock, I decorated them with various materials that I had purchased and that were lying around in my craft bin.

I found all of these materials (except for the lace stickers) in my craft bin. I didn’t end up using the label stickers or white glitter.

For the first cup, I cut up strips from a specialty paper I picked up at Michael’s that had a clock pattern on a burlap material. I created a striped pattern that alternated between the strips and black Sharpie.

The paper I used for the teacups

I decorated the second cup using lace sticker decals that I found at Dollar Tree. The angle the stickers correctly, I cut them into small sections before placing them onto the cups. For the third cup, I used laser-cut specialty paper from Michael’s. On the fourth cup, I used the clock paper again, but using it to cover the entire cup. For the final cup, I used a rose stamp which I later filled in with paint to give a bolder look.

Close-up of teacups 2, 3, and 4

For some finishing touches, I added two symbols often associated with the Mad Hatter and Wonderland. First, I created a small DRINK ME sign using construction paper, red glitter, and stick-on black glittery letters.


I then created a 10/6 card using the same glittery letters, a Sharpie, and black glitter.


I also wanted to specifically tie in a Queen of Hearts theme with my design. I did this by buying two bouquets of fake white roses by the Dollar Store. I kept one bouquet in tact, but pulled the flowers of the other bouquet to attach to my hat. I then painted the roses red to reference the “Who is painting my roses red?” line. In some of my pictures, I also hold a paintbrush or place the hat next cupcakes with red heart sprinkles.


The most difficult part of creating my hat was making it stable. Since I wanted the cups to look like they were sitting on my head, I used a thick headband as my base. It’s a good thing I’m not an engineering major because it took me HOURS to figure out how to keep the teacups from falling forward and backwards. Finally, I figured out how to use the roses to stabilize the bottom of the design. I also used pieces of cardboard from the packaging of some of my supplies to hook the teacups together and add weight to the back. It doesn’t look pretty from the back, but it does stand up!


The “Photoshoot”:

I didn’t know exactly what kind of picture I wanted to enter for the contest, but luckily my sister loves taking pictures for Instagram, so she gladly took tons of different pictures that I could use! For the photoshoot, I decided to go all out and don a Mad Hatter inspired costume and makeup look.

For my outfit, I chose a white polka-dot blouse from H &M with a bow collar. I paired the blouse with a black blazer and skirt to match my red, black, and white theme. I finished off my outfit with bright red tights and black shoes.


For my makeup, I took inspiration from Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter look. I used my BH Cosmetics 28 Smokey Eye Shadow Palette to create the look. I used a mixture of blues and green on my lid and in my crease as well as pink and red eye shadow underneath my eyes. I finished off my makeup by using Milani’s Cherry Pie lipliner and mixing Bite Beauty’s crayon-style lipstick in Winterberry and Pomegranate.


Here’s a slideshow of some of the pictures:

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