Want to make a party hat?

Why not? They always seem to elevate the happy mood everyone is already in at party. Perhaps because it makes us feel a little like royalty. Back in the distant past, birthday celebrations were only given to royal families. Once it became permissible for common folk to commemorate their own birthdays, people took to acting like ‘king for the day' and put on a crown or special hat to symbolize the occasion. I especially like them because it adds to the ambiance; they’re like floating party decorations moving all about.

So keep this in mind when you decide what you will use as your hat material. Any paper similar in weight to watercolor or card stock paper will do. I used paper from some old Ideals magazines from the 50’s and 60’s. I liked the color tones of the photos back then---bright, jewel like, and very softly muted. The compositions are very retro, and the weight of the paper is similar to sketch paper. Or, how about watercolor or sketch paper with your own artwork? :-)

These hats are very basic, but tall---so they really stand out (almost to the point of absurd) when you are wearing one, and I add a little twist. Here goes…

You’ll need:
Sheets of paper (one for each hat)
Marker or pencil
Stapler or small brass fasteners (four for each hat)
Ties---something stretchy works best (two for each hat)

For my instructions, I’m using regular card stock 8.5x11 inches. You can adjust the dimensions as you like.

Measure a couple of inches in the center of the top edge, and mark. Then do the same a couple of inches from the bottom along each side.

Make your outline by connecting the side markings to the top markings, and freehand a curve along the bottom edge connecting the bottom markings together.

Cut along the outline.

Take your leftover corner pieces---you should have two large and two smaller triangular pieces, and cut strips, into them, about 2/3 of the way down to one corner. You can do this a dozen different ways; it really doesn’t matter which side or corner you do this on. I cut the two similar pieces at the same time. It does not have to be perfect.

Gather your pieces together with the corners that were not cut, and staple at the bottom to hold them all together.

Then you will tape this to the inside of the top of the hat.

Grab your stapler, tape, or small brass fasteners (if you would like a slightly fancier look) and attach the bottom corners together. This might be a little fiddly---be patient; you’ll get it. I only connect the edges a few inches up from the bottom, and don’t have a problem with the opening near the top.

Again, grab your stapler, tape, or small brass fasteners and attach your tie. I use file rubber bands. They’re heavy weight, come in bright colors, and can be picked up at the office supply store.

Play around with the fringed pieces on top and fold them however you want them to go.

And, that’s it. Now put it on your head, tie it, go look at yourself, and try not to smile…I bet you can’t! :-)

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