Burton's Mad Hatter Hat





Introduction: Burton's Mad Hatter Hat

About: Born and raised in Juarez México I have a degree in visual arts and have been involved in the scene for years now, I love to act and usually help in the design and building of costumes and sets.

This are instructions to make the Mad Hatter Hat from the new Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

Step 1: Cardboard Box

The size of the cardboard will be the measurement of your head, remember to add half to one extra inch of size so that it can fit over the wig.
How tall you want it is up to you, I made it the size of my head and a half, after this cut strips about an inch or 2 apart. DO NOT go all the way through the cardboard except on the bottom and top tabs that will be used to glue the top and the visor.

Step 2: Make Cylinder

Fold it and tape from the inside so that you end up with a cylinder, you will get a good idea of how tall it will be from here, just remember you will loose about 2-3 inches when you expand it.

Step 3: Make Expansion

Once  you have it taped cut through the strips to a little more than half way down the hat, then bend each strip outwards so that you end up with something like this.

Step 4: Top Part and Visor

Cut a large circle, this circle will give your hat its size on the top, to measure according. Cut 2 of this circles, one will serve of that expansion the other as the main cover. Then using the cylinder trace the circle to be cut out of the visor part, draw another circle the same size as the top circles and draw the sides so that it has an oval shape you should end up with this.
NOTE: Use the circle and trace the pattern on the cloth that will be used to cover the hat, do the same with the visor, but trace it twice, one for the top part  and one for the bottom. You should do this now because it will be very hard to do this once the hat is assembled.  

Step 5: Glue Visor

To put it together  insert the hat into the visor and then just fold the tabs and glue on the bottom using hot glue sticks.

Step 6: Top Part

The circle for the top should hold by itself right where the tabs fold, inserting the top part will give your hat the expanded look, now just glue the tabs on preferably by gluing one then its opposite counterpart. This will help keep your top centered.

Step 7: Almost Done (not Really)

Once this is done glue your second top circle on top so that it will cover the tabs and it will give the top of your hat a smooth look.
Now take your hat and using a water bottle wet the edges of the visor, wait till it is completely wet and fold upwards, use something heavy to keep the folds in place and wait until it has completely dried, this way you will get the folded edges look of the hat.

Step 8: Cloth

Buy a green patterned cloth of your choice, first glue the top circle that you all ready cut, glue the excess to the sides of the hat. For the body of the hat cut your cloth into strips then into squares and glue one by one. I found out using a prit stick worked best and it is less messy. After this is done glue the bottom part of the visor folding the excess onto the top of the visor, then glue the top and then just trim, Wrap a salmon colored scarf to the hat it should hang down all the way to the back.

Step 9: Details

Glue buttons onto coat hangers and stick them into the hat, I also glued some feathers to the other side and finally add the 10/6 card and you are done (the 10/6 is the price of the hat by the way)
Now you have the hat on the last step you will see my whole costume and I'll tell you about the clothing.

Step 10: Complete Costume

For the rest of the costume I got everything from a thrift store, brown coat, colorful vest, salmon shirt, black with bright accents scarf/bow, striped pants and extra scarfs to pin to the coat. I used about 24 thread spools that are held together with yarn to make the "bullet belt" on the chest and the wig is a regular orange clown afro wig that I straightened with a  regular hair straightener, and that is it.
Good Luck and remember Why is a raven like a writers desk?

Because Poe wrote on both

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113 Discussions

I'm not understanding the fabric instructions someone please help??

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Basically the rim you just cut the fabric the same shape, leave the top part for the rim a bit longer so you can wrap it around to cover the edge.
The top part same indication, the sides are strips, about an inch and a half thick, overlap them around the body of the top hat, flip them on the top and then put on the top fabric part.

Thank you for putting this tutorial together. I used your great idea and turned it into a card box for my niece's graduation party. I added all sorts of things, from a large Queen of Hearts card with accompanying playing cards to a toy tea set and a pocket watch. She loves Alice in Wonderland, and thinks I'm the greatest uncle in the world. She loved it! Thanks, Badia.

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that's awesome I was thinking the same thing! I planning a sweet 16 party for my daughter end of april and theme is alice in wonderland I want to turn the mad hatter hat into a card box could you share any ideas on how big you chose to go? to ensure cards fit? thank you

Parabéns e obrigada por me ensinar a fazer esse maravilhoso chapéu!!!!

Thank you so much for this tutorial. For this Halloween I am going to be the Mad Hatter, and I didn't want to spend a ton of money for a costume. This saved me budget wise.

decided to make this for my drama assignment...any tips on approx. how much fabric I would need?

Your tutorial is nicely laid out and came in handy for a costume horse event last Haloween. We won First prize, of course. I had to improvise a bit and build the hat around my helmet. It was quite large but came out great. Thank you!!!


I made a Mad Hatter themed Easter Bonnet. It won first prize whoop ! Thanks for the tutorial xxx


i used it for my Drama exam!!! thank you so much

Awesome! My friend is going as a Mad hatter, and she was planning on making her hat today, too bad I can't tell her about this I'ble till tomorrow... Still awesome though!

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Its amazing that my craft is still helping people after so many years, cheers!!!

Ha ah! I AM making her hat! This hat is going to be awesome!

Thank you so much for this tutorial :) it helped me a great deal...I am very satisfied with the outcome, however I am a little bit nervous about its weight - it is quite heavy, so I probably won't be able to wear it for the whole evening :D I guess I used too much glue and heavy fabric. It does not matter really, because I am still so pleased that I made something I would never believe I could manage. Thank you :)

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A few years ago the hospital where my husband works had a competition for Melbourne Cup day where you had to make a hat using the sterile wrap that they use to wrap instruments for the operating theater. My husband gave me one days notice, and this is what I came up with. The instructions were so clear and easy to follow. I glued the strips of wrap on using a hot glue gun and quickly made up a few fabric roses to go along with the hat pins and price tag. My husband won first prize, and afterwards my nephews had a lot of fun playing with the hat. I was amazed at how long it kept its shape! The boys used it for performing magic tricks (making toy rabbits appear) they sat on it, used it as a table etc. The imagination of a 3 year old is endless! Anyway, my youngest nephew is I think 6 months old here and you could not ask for a cuter model. Thank you for such a comprehensive instructable, I had so much fun making it.

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That is just amazing. I never thought when I made this hat that it would bring so much joy, and fun and well Im just dumbfounded at how many people comment and how much this instructable has been able to help people keep on feeding their imagination, so glad it helped you, and the hat looks great, cheers,

Oh wow! You are a total inspiration! Look at all the amazing hats that people have made from your design! I don't think anyone had as much fun with the hat as my two little nephews did though. I seriously could not believe how long the hat lasted. The boys did their best, but they just could not destroy the hat! And all that comes down to your construction method.

Um... any hints on what hat I can make for this years Melbourne Cup Day Competition anyone?

Thank you for this! I just finished one for my daughter's "Mad Hatter Tea Party" for her birthday. I glued some quilt batting over the cardboard to smooth it out since my fabric was thin and stretchy. It came out great!