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How Do I Make a Paper Hat?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Jan 28, 2024
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You can make a paper hat using a newspaper page as well as other kinds of papers of a similar size. A paper plate can be used to create a visor type of hat. For a really simple paper hat suitable for a princess costume, roll a large piece of thin cardboard into a cone shape and secure with tape. All of these types of paper hats can be painted, then decorated with any kinds of fabric scraps or craft materials you may have, such as glitter, felt shapes, pom poms, beads, pipe cleaners, sequins and feathers.

When rolling thin cardboard to form a point at the top that tapers outward into a cone shape, use a strong tape to run down the length of where the two edges meet both on the inside and outside. The larger the cardboard, the taller your princess hat will be. You may want to cover the hat with pastel paint followed by a sprinkling of glitter for a sparkly finish. A long, narrow piece of sheer fabric attached from the point can really add storybook princess glamor when you make a paper hat like this.

If you cut the center portion out of a paper plate, you can create a visor. Don't simply cut the middle out in an even circle though, but rather leave a thinner band of the plate's edge at the back and a thicker portion to create the "bill" of the visor in the front. As you make a paper visor, it's advisable to draw your cutting lines in pencil first. Felt or paper shapes as well as many different types of craft materials may be used to decorate your visor, although you may want to paint it first.

Using a page from a newspaper, you can make a paper hat with a folded brim that can be a base for many looks. For instance, if you paint the newspaper hat black and add white felt skull and cross bone detailing, you'll have a pirate look. The same newspaper hat painted dark green and affixed with a feather on one side becomes the perfect hat for a Robin Hood costume.

Start the hat by folding the newspaper page in half horizontally, then press the fold to make a crease. Next, fold what you have now in half again, but this time vertically. Once again, press the fold down to form a crease. Now open back that section to reveal the creased line down the center of the paper. You should still have the first fold in your newspaper sheet.

Take the top left corner of the newspaper page and bring it toward the center spot on your crease line. This will form a triangle; press the crease down and repeat these steps on the other side. As you make a paper hat from newspaper, you should now have a pointed triangle on the top half and a rectangle shape on the bottom. Take the top sheet of the rectangle and fold it to create a brim on one side of the triangular section which is the main part of the hat. Crease the fold and repeat the same steps on the other side before tucking in and securing the ends with tape.

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Discussion Comments
By pleonasm — On Jul 26, 2014

@pastanaga - That's not too hard to make with paper, although it depends on how durable you want to make it. It can be as simple as a roll stuck on top of a ring, or you can make it more interesting. For some reason the kids at my high school make them all the time to wear to sports games and then paint them in the school colors.

By pastanaga — On Jul 25, 2014

@Fa5t3r - We used to have to make costumes and hats every year at school for a "Mad Hatters Day" which was usually quite a lot of fun. The youngest kids loved it, of course and the older kids usually liked putting together hats reflecting their favorite characters as well. Pirate hats were quite popular after Pirates of the Caribbean came out, for example. Although it was difficult to make those out of paper.

Ironically, I don't know if anyone ever actually made the traditional top hat I would usually associate with the Mad Hatter.

By Fa5t3r — On Jul 24, 2014

You can make a really cute little nurse's cap out of white cardboard. It looks almost like the real thing, if you decorate it well with a red cross.

I learned how to make a hat like that for a scavenger hunt I did in college where we had to dress up as a film character. I decided to go as the assassin Elle from Kill Bill, but I went dressed as her from when she dresses up herself as a nurse.

I don't think anyone actually got my costume at the hunt, but I had fun making it. A nurse in general is one of the easier costumes to put together if you don't have much money to spend.

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