Make a Paper Hat

Make a Paper Hat

All the news that's fit to wear

Remember those make-believe games when you were a kid? The right-shaped stick became a cowboy pistol or a pirate sword, and for a hat, a few strategic folds to the morning newspaper, and voila! The things we forget when we grow up. If you¼ve been wondering how to get back those periodical pleading skills, follow these steps from peak to brim for a perfectly folded paper hat (and a few variations on the theme).

You have some choices regarding your hat materials. A standard sized newspaper (15 by 22.5 inches, or 38 by 56 centimeters) will make a hat to fit most adults and kids. If you need something smaller, you can again fold the newspaper (see Step 1) or try a smaller size (like a weekly paper). Construction paper works well, although it doesn¼t quite have the flexible, malleable qualities of newsprint. It may require some extras to hold the hat together, like transparent tape, staples or paper clips.


Fold the peak


To begin your paper hat journey, you need to create its peak. Start by folding the paper in half (so a 15 by 22-inch piece of paper becomes 15 by 11). If you're using a newspaper section, you don't have to cut or tear the section into the right size, just fold it along its natural fold.


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Next, fold in the corners of the folded edge, so they connect in the middle of the paper.


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Fold the brim

What's a hat without its brim? Fold one side of the bottom flap of paper in half, so it meets the bottom of the folded corners. Then fold it up again so it overlaps the folded corners.

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Flip the whole thing over so the unfolded flap faces you. On either side of the peak you'll see a triangular-shaped flap where the top edge of the opposite side's brim meets the peak. At the point where these flaps meet the peak, fold the flaps, along with the right and left sides of the peak, inward. This should create two vertical, rectangular folds on each side of the hat (and these folds should include the two ends of the opposite side's brim).

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Next, turn in the bottom corners of each of these rectangular folds, so that the bottom edge now touches the inside edge of the rectangular folds. Finally, fold the flap in half horizontally, then fold it in half again, in the same way you folded the first brim.

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Tuck, open, and wear

You're in the home stretch now. Tuck the last fold of the second brim behind the folded ends of the first brim.

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Smooth the whole hat so all the folds and tucks are crisp and tight. Pop open the bottom and place the hat on your head.

There you have it--the classic paper hat. You can wear it with the corners front to back, or side to side. Whatever suits your particular fashion sense. For added security, staple, tape, or paper clip the brim ends together. The decorating possibilities, of course, are endless. But if you're interested in more hat styles, read on.


Try some variations

Looking for a chapeau of a different character? Try out these models for your folding pleasure:

The pirate

The pirate's hat follows the same folds as the classic style, except when folding the second brim, simply follow same steps as folding the first. Wear with the corners side to side, and Avast! You're ready to walk the plank.

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The firefighter

For the firefighter's helmet, leave one of the brim flaps unfolded. This will serve as the long back brim of the helmet. Wear side-to-side and hook up your garden hose (but be careful--wet paper hats don't last very long).

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The cowboy

The cowboy hat is a slightly more complex style. Starting with the peak, fold the corners down, leaving some space between them--for a 15-inch (38-centimeter) long piece of paper, fold each corner five inches from the outside, leaving five inches in the middle. For the brim, fold each side's flap up to meet the base of the peak. Next, fold the bottom corners of the flaps upward to meet the flap's top edge, creating long, triangular folds all the way to the center of the brim. Fold each flap up, and you have the rounded cowboy brim. Note: some staples or tape may be required to hold this one together.

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For an added touch, hold the peak with one hand and push your closed fist into the inside peak of the hat, against the palm of your other hand. This will create a flat, realistic look for the hat's peak. Wear with the brim corners front to back, and saddle up.

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