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All of my college suite-mates are obsessed with Mario Kart, so I made them this hat for christmas. Even though this tutorial covers how to make your own Blue Shell hat, you could easily swap the blue fleece for red or green to make the Red or Green Shells, or even use the basic construction style to make a Mushroom hat! (if you do, please sent me pics! I'd love to see that).
This project took me about 16-18 hours over the course of 4 days.

Materials:
  • White, blue, and black thread
  • 1 yard each of White, blue, and back fleece or felt (I used fleece)
  • A fiber-based filler (can be found at craft stores)
  • 1" elastic band
Tools:
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins 
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Pen or Sharpie
  • Measuring tape
  • Time and patience

NOTE: Almost all of the sewing in this project is done with a sewing machine using a straight stitch. When it's absolutely essential to hand sew, I explicitly say so, but in all other places where I just say "sew" you can assume that means on the machine, with a straight stitch, making sure to add several leading and tailing stitches so your whole seam doesn't unravel. If you dont have a machine, I will say it is possible to do this project completely by hand, but it may take you several years. 

Step 1: Design & Prototyping

The first step is always design and prototyping. If you dont want to make the blue shell hat, find some concept art for the hat you want to make. I've included the photo I used as reference (above).


What We Want:

The basics of the hat is a 7 hexagon pattern: one regular hexagon on top and 6 'elongated' hexagons around the sides, each with a white horn sticking out from the center. The hexagons have to be elongated because regular hexagons tile to make a flat surface, and this hat is hemispherical.
6 isosceles triangles around the edges fill in the gaps between the hexagons and the white rim that goes around the whole base of the hat (I won't be making the under-belly part). In between the hexagons and triangles, there is a black lining that makes the hexagon shapes really stand out. (all of this is depicted in the pattern above).
Then of course, there are 2 wings which attach right above the two triangles on either side of the hat. And thats basically it!

Now to figure out how to make each of these pieces out of fleece...


How We're Going to Make it:

First off, I knew I wanted the hat to be very 3 dimensional, so I decided to make each hexagon and triangle section a 'pillow', meaning 2 pieces of fleece stitched on top of each other, sandwiching some fluffy filler material in-between, essentially making a pillow. The horns will be made by cutting out a section of a circle in white fleece, and then sewing it so it folds into a cone. These will be attached to the top piece of blue fleece on each hexagon, and the inside of the horn will be 'open' to the inside of the hexagon pillow (the horn doesn't have a bottom face, its just open to the inside of the pillow).

To add black lining in between each shape, I decided to sew in a folded-over piece of black fleece in each seam. A cutaway view of this whole idea is in the photos above.  

The white rim around the bottom of the hat will be a long strip of folded-over white fleece with the same filler stuff inside, and it will also have an elastic band inside so the rim of the hat stretches a little. The concept art shows this rim being a bit 'wavy' as it circles around the circumference of the hat. For ease of construction, mine will just be a circle (no waviness). 

The wings will also be pillows, except we will sew the two pieces of fleece together with the backside of the fleece facing out. Then we will turn the wings inside out so the nice side of the fleece faces out, and the seam looks nice and professional.
If you want, I've included an optional step to make the wings even more realistic, all it entails is basically making smaller wings in the same way, and then stitching them to the larger wings. This just gives the wing more dimension by adding an extra layer of 'feathers'.


Prototyping:

Now that we know how we are going to make everything, we need to figure out how big to make each of these pieces. 
I began cutting out hexagons, taping them together, and then putting them on my head. After some time, I figured out that hexagons of side length 2.5 inches work well for an all-around, good fitting hat. The Top hexagon is just a regular hexagon, with each interior angle measuring 120 degrees. The body hexagons, however, have two different interior angles, and these angles will determine how far from flat that the hat is. If the body hexagons were regular hexagons, our hat would just be flat, but if we degrease the 120 degree angles that boarder the top hexagon, we get a shape that 'pops up' and becomes more hat like. I found that if we make those top and bottom angles 107 degrees, then the hexagons will tile to produce a pretty good hat shape (look at the photos above).  

Templates are provided for the two types of hexagons you'll need for this hat. Just be sure that when you print them out the side lengths are 2.5 inches. 


OK, now onto the horns! I decided I wanted horns that were about 1.5 inches tall and had a diameter of 1.5 inches. After a little algebra, I figured out the right 2D shape that would roll into a cone this size. I've also included the template for this. 

We will get to the wings later. Lets start making the hat!
<p>wow!!</p>
I want it... Badly
<p>I used fabric paint for the black lines on the top of the shell. The first pictures don't show it's underbelly well cause the top was heavy and pushed it down. One was a first place prize for Mario Kart 8 party and the other is for me to keep :)</p>
<p>Hey awesome! Thanks for sharing pictures!</p>
<p>I'm working on a blue shell. It won't be a hat but a full shell with the underbelly part. I'm using your template for the top of the shell though. Thanks for your instructions and desire to make a blue shell hat.<br>What are the angles for the spiky cones? It said there is a template but the last picture I see is the hexagons. Then under the making the cones section there isn't one to print. I'm just trying to go off your lined paper photo. Maybe someone else will have the same question though and look through the comments. I will post a picture of my completed project when I am done with it.</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
<p>Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing a pic of it once it's done.</p><p>Unfortunately I no longer have the cone template, but if I recall correctly the height was about 1 inch and so was the diameter. The best way to make the cones would be to use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of about 1.3 inches onto a sheet of paper, cut out the circle, slit one radius, fold it into a cone, and adjust accordingly until the diameter is roughly 1 inch. Then you can use that piece of paper as a template for the fabric. </p><p>I hope this helps! Good luck :)</p>
I'm using your template for the hexagons so what should I do about the triangles?
Once you've stitched all the hexagons together, sort of just guess at the spacing for the triangles, see what works best for your head size. If you have a smaller head, you can make the triangles narrower, and make them wider if you have a bigger head. Hope that helps!
Thanks
After I fill in the hexagons with the stuffing should I hand sew the last opening or use the sewing machine?
Using the machine will be faster! (thats what I did)
I love all of your instructables they are amazing:)
Thank you!
Amazing
well done I love it
Excellent work and excellent hat. I'm surprised your brother was willing to give such an awesome hat back after his modelling moment. <br>
Nicely done!!! Thanks for sharing.
I want this as a bike helmet!
omg me and my sister are huge fans im making one for me and her and her birthdays coming up soon so this is the perfect gift.
Wowsa! That is super impressive :D Fantastic job :)
Nice work, that's a good looking hat!
Very impressive, the planning and design and execution and the instructions. Very Nice

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a senior at Harvey Mudd in Claremont California. This past summer I worked at Make Magazine. I love working out and eating well ... More »
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