Making A Paper Hat

With a few simple steps and some easy access supplies, you can be the King or the Pope in your next game of pretend.

Making paper hats has long been a way of getting children interested in crafts and art. Admittedly, the making of paper hats requires neither patience nor genius. It is simply a craft for kids of all ages who might like to waste a few of their moments in the day fiddling with paper. With a few supplies, an imagination and a desire for a stylish head accessory, people of any age can create a remarkable paper hat.

The complexity of the hats can vary with style and available supplies. It would take mere minutes to make a simple, sailboat-shaped hat. However, if you wanted to create a more elaborate piece (like something a samurai warrior might wear), it would take slightly longer, with added steps and only marginally more complicated paper folding. The shapes formed and steps taken may differ, but the supplies are minimal and similar.

To start, let us begin with the simpler of the two hats, cleverly named "The Simple Paper Hat." Before we begin, though, here are the supplies that you will need:

(01) A piece of paper (newspaper, construction paper or similar) at roughly 12 inches by 18 inches. If you or the child has a slightly larger head, try 14 inches by 20 inches.

(02) A few small pieces of tape or glue stick.

The above supplies are very easy to get a hold of and very easy on the wallet.

Now, to make that stylish hat:

(01) Place your paper down in front of you, lengthwise, so it is more wide than tall.

(02) Take the right side of your paper and fold it in half.

(03) Rotate the paper so that your open edges are at the bottom, and the creased edge is at the top.

(04) First take one top corner, then the other, and fold them down so they meet in the middle of your rectangle. If you have ever made paper airplanes, this step will be familiar.

(05) Below the area just folded are two flaps, the open edges we kept at the bottom earlier. Grab the top flap and fold it up as far as you can. You want the folded edge to be right underneath the folded corners from step 4.

(06) Flip your hat over, and fold this last flap up as far as you can.

(07) You can now either run your glue stick on the inside of your step 5 and 6 flaps, (making sure to refold them into place to seal the glue), or you can tape them into place.

(08) Leave your hat as is, or rummage for some extra supplies with which to decorate your new hat!

If you prefer a hat with more flare and you want to pretend you are a Samurai, this next paper hat may be for you. Your supplies for this hat will be:

(01) A piece of paper (newspaper, construction paper or similar).

(02) A few pieces of tape or a glue stick.

(03) Flexible measuring tape (or an incredibly good guess)

(04) Scissors (if you are without scissors, a nice, even tear will work)

The first order of business for this hat is to measure the circumference of your head. You will want to take your measuring tape and, starting from the middle of your forehead, wrap the tape around your head, meeting back up at the starting point. This number will equal the size of paper you will need. For simplicity, let us assume your head measures 23 inches around. This would make your paper at least 23 inches square (23"x 23" or roughly that).

(01) If your paper is not exactly square, take the top right corner of your paper, and fold it over to your left. You will want it to line up against the left edge of the paper, making a triangle.

(02) If there is any paper outside of the folded area that is to be your square, tear or cut off the leftover flap of paper.

(03) Now that you have removed the excess paper, turn your triangle so that the point (normally the top of your triangle) faces you.

(04) Take your top left corner and fold it down so that it meets the bottom of your triangle (the point that is sitting closest to you). Repeat with the top right corner. So far, your paper should have a diamond shape.

(05) The bottom of your diamond, on both the left and right sides, will have unattached flaps. Bring up each flap, creasing them where they meet at the widest part of the diamond. Make sure they both reach the top of your diamond shape.

(06) The two flaps you just brought up will need to be folded out. Take your left flap, and drag it out to the left until it has a straight horizontal top and crease. Repeat for your right flap, dragging it to the right and creasing it at a straight horizontal line.

(07) At the bottom of your hat are two upside-down triangular flaps. Fold up your first triangle, making sure to keep your creased edge an inch from the middle of your working area.

(08) There should be an inch of overhang from the previous step. Grab the bottom of this overhang and fold it up, creasing where it meets the upper portion of your hat.

(09) The final flap on the bottom can easily be tucked inside of your hat's opening. Secure it in place with either tape or a thin layer of glue.

(10) Leave it as is, or paint it up!

Do not for one second believe that the art of making a paper hat stops here. There are innumerable resources in libraries and on the internet that are geared toward paper crafting. It can be as silly and as fun an activity as you like, or even deadly serious. Perhaps you are a fan of the bonnet or have a wish to be a clown or policeman. These are all possibilities and can be made utilizing similar, if not the very same, supplies listed above.

You only need to have the desire to create and a few minutes to spare. Everyone should get to pretend once in a while. Through the power of imagination, the possibilities are endless. You could be the Pope today, and a Sultan tomorrow!

© High Speed Ventures 2011