This is one of the 48 projects for our Instructables: Made In Your Mind (IMIYM) exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Houston showing from May 26, 2012 - November 4, 2012. Produced in partnership with Instructables, IMIYM is an exhibit where families work together to build different fun, toy-like projects that help construct knowledge and skills related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while instilling a “do-it-yourself” attitude in kids so they feel empowered to explore, tinker, and try to make things themselves. To learn more, check out the article here.
For this project, we based our instructions on the Cool Way to Make a Party Hat Instructable created by golics, but there may be others on Instructables that are also similar. Often, the materials and process for building our projects are designed for use with a large number of visitors (we see over 800,000 annually) and the need to ensure safety in a mostly non-facilitated environment. So, yes, many of these projects have room for improvement in both materials and methodology, which is PRECISELY what we want to encourage the kids to do. So please do share your ideas for improvement and modifications!
Step 1: What You Need
- 2 – 17½” x 22½” Paper (we purchase this in bulk from thepapermillstore.com, but you have to purchase a large number of sheets. For most people, I'd recommend getting some nice wrapping paper and cutting sheets to size - that's what we did for prototyping and one of our videos (see below).
- Crayons/markers/other decorations
Here is a video we shot for our O Wow Moment series that uses the wrapping paper instead of the paper above:
Step 2: The Video
Step 3: Step 1 - Basic Folds
Step 4: Step 2 - Make the Brim
Step 5: Step 3 - Making the Top
Step 6: Step 4 - Assembly and Final Touches
This is a case of using mathematics to create fashion. Radial or rotational symmetry describes objects that have the same geometry when rotated around a center point. In nature, many flowers, starfish, and octopi have radial symmetry. The two pieces of the Symmetrical Party Hat also exhibit radial symmetry because of how they were folded before they were cut.
Now that you know the basics of making this hat, create your own! How could you make it bigger or smaller? What would happen if you change from an arc and diamond to other shapes? Please post pictures in comments on what you make.