Introduction: Paper Sculpture Hat

About: I teach in a Makerspace in a public elementary school in Oakland, CA. I also am obsessed with making mosaics.

I make these paper sculpture hats with the first graders at my school to get them exploring the possibilities of turning 2D (paper) into 3D. This project definitely qualifies as a "Silly Hat."

Step 1: Supplies

You will need:


Colorful paper cut into strips. I use construction paper, but regular copy paper works just fine. This project looks great with the Astrobrights paper collection; copy paper in neon shades.

A stapler

Possibly a glue stick

Step 2: Making the Hat Base

Open up one sheet of newspaper and fold it lengthwise three times, so you have a long strip, about 2 1/2 inches wide.

Step 3: Another Sheet of Newspaper

Open up another sheet of newspaper, and this time fold it diagonally. Continue to fold it over, until you end up with another long strip (this one is longer) also about 2/12 - 3 inches.

Step 4: Assemble the Base

Take the longer, diagonally folded strip, and staple into a crown, measuring it to fit your head.

With the shorter strip, thread it through to make the top of the hat. This is hard to explain in words, but I think the picture makes it clear. I also tried drawing a diagram; if that isn't helpful, just ignore it.

Finally, fold and staple the "ear flaps" to the crown.

Step 5: Start Decorating!

This is the fun part! Take the colorful strips of paper and start decorating. There are so many ways to cut and fold paper.

Here's a picture of a sampling of paper sculpture techniques to get your started. Try them all!

Note: there are two ways (at least!) to curl paper: straight and ringlet. For both ways, I find it easy to curl the paper around a pencil.

Pro tip: Make sure the side of the staple that can catch hair is on the outside of the hat.

Step 6:

Once you curl, tab, fringe, twist, spiral and loop the paper, staple it onto the base and keep going until your hat is very silly.

Step 7:

Silly Hats Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Silly Hats Speed Challenge