Duct Tape Hat




Introduction: Duct Tape Hat

Another rainy morning - can't do any yard work (boo-hoo).
This looks like a good day to try an idea I've been mulling over for a duct tape hat to wear at the town's parade on July 4th!

   Marking Pen

   Corrugated cardboard
   2-Liter soda bottle
   Rolls of Duct Tape (1 each of Silver, Red, White, Blue)
   A hat to copy (I worked with a military-style cap)

The first part of the project is to develop patterns from the hat. The military-style cap I chose is simple - basically a low cylinder made from a strip of material, an oval top and a short bill.

Start by tracing the brim onto the cardboard. If you don't have your own hat to copy, print out the pictures that I posted in this instructable to make your own pattern (that's why I labelled them with their dimensions and photographed everything on a 1"X1" grid).

The dimensions I used for the oval top of the hat and the two side pieces are labelled in the third picture on this page...

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Step 1: Sheets of Silver Duct Tape

Lay strips of duct tape on the newspaper, overlapping the strips by about 1/4 Inch to make sheets of material. One sheet will be about 9X10 inches (the top) and the other will be about 9X13 inches (the 2 side pieces).

The silver duct tape will be the inside lining of your hat.

Trace the top of the hat unto the smaller piece of sheet. Notice the notches. They are there to identify the longest dimension of the oval and help you orient it when you attach it to the side of the hat.

When you lay out the two side pieces, make sure that they are mirror images of each other.

Trace the bill pattern onto the side of a 2 Liter soda bottle with your marker and cut it out.

You'll cover the top of the plastic bill (convex side) with blue duct tape. Neatness counts!

Step 2: Assemble the Sides

Now you have all the basic pieces of the hat with duct tape on one side.

We'll start assembly by attaching the two side pieces together at their narrow ends. Put them together paper side (outside) to paper side then "sew" them together with a stapler...

Open them out - paper side down - and flatten the seem. Cover the stapled seam with a piece of duct tape to cover any sharp edges.

Step 3: Red, White, Blue Outside

Now, the stuff that will show:

On the newspaper side of the hat, place white and red stripes of duct tape.

After you've trimed back the raw edges of the tape, place a blue strip of tape (outside hat band)  at the bottom of the  piece. It shold overhang the sides by a little less than half its width so you can fold it over to the inside.

Step 4: Sizing & Assembly

Now, to the final steps:

With the side inside out, place the hat on your head and pinch the ends together to mark the seam location with your thumbnail.
Staple the sides together on that pinch line. Flatten the seam out and cover it with a piece of tape.

Next the top. (I covered the outside of the oval top with white tape.) Line up the notch marks of the oval with the front and back seams of the hat side and staple them in place. then continue around the sides. (TIP: I staple half-way between the front and back staples, then half-way between the middle and the front, them half-way between that and the next and... well you get the idea. Makes for neater work than trying to staple in sequence all around.)

Step 5: Right-Side Out (Finally)

Now flip the hat right-side out. (So easy to say - take your time, here. This step will tell you if you have any weak points in your construction.)

You start with the silver side out, end up with the red, white, and blue side out.

Step 6: Attach the Bill

Cover the inside of the bill (concave side) with tape.
Trim the tape in front even with the plastic form but leave the back over hang by an inch or so...

Make slits in the overhanging tape in back so it can bend up without too many wrinkles.

Attach the bill to the crown of the hat making sure the center of the bill is alligned with the front seam.

(We're almost done)

Step 7: Final Assembly

Last step:
Cut a 24 inch strip of tape and fold a half-inch or so over, this will be the inner hat band.

Middle the tape and start attaching it to the hat from the center front to the back an one side, then the other. You should have some overlap at the back of the hat.

Try it on.  If your hat feels too loose, you can add another layer of tape to the inside hat band...

You can put a decoration on the top (I made a star from blue tape - too much white showing otherwise)
You might want to take a leather punch and cut some vent holes around the side. Remember that duct tape is waterproof and a little air-flow is a good thing.



The tie-dye hat is the one I made for my wife.

Try one and use your imagination for color combos!

The Great Outdoors Duct Tape Contest

Participated in the
The Great Outdoors Duct Tape Contest

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    2 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, Kaptain,
    Appreciate the encouragement...

    Kaptain Kool
    Kaptain Kool

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome hat, its like Captain America's shield mixed with a Mario hat!