This is a fairly simple way to make a top hat. The most important thing here is getting your measurements right.
What you will need for this project:
- Strong cardboard
- Strong glue (ideally a glue gun)
- Duct tape for in case the glue doesn't stick :)
- Felt (a half a meter should suffice depending on the size)
- Chalk to mark on the felt
- A compass to make a circle
- A ruler to measure
- And a tape measure to get your head measurement
- Needle and thread for finishing touches
- Black ribbon
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Step 1: Step 1: Cut Cardboard
Start off by measuring around your head where you would like the hat to sit.
Once you have your measurement, cut a strip of cardboard out to a little longer than that length
My boyfriend's head measured in at 60cm and then I added a couple more just for where the band would eventually glue up
Step 2: Step 2: Draw an Oval
Once the glue has dried, you can then take your band to a piece of paper, trace around it and then cut it out
The shape should be more oval than circular
Step 3: Step 3: Draw a Circle
Once you have your oval, grab a compass and draw a circle around the oval
This will become the brim of the hat
Step 4: Step 4: Draw Tabs
The brim will need tabs to stick to the inside of the hat
IMPORTANT- these tabs need to be on the INSIDE of the brim
Step 5: Step 5: Cut Out the Tabs
This is slightly tiresome, but you need to cut out the individual tabs
Step 6: Step 6: Measure and Cut the Tube
Measure the tube part of the hat.
Mine was 60cm in diameter and I started out with a height of 30cm but that did end up being a little high
Gauge for yourself how high you would like it but 20cm should be about right
Step 7: Step 7: Glue the Tube
I glued it up but my glue was a little weak so I had to add masking tape and then a little duct tape which was stronger
I think a glue gun would have been better but I couldn't find mine
Step 8: Step 8: Draw Another Oval
Once your tube is all glued up, pop it over the cardboard again and trace around so that you can get the shape for the top of the hat
Step 9: Step 9: Draw and Cut More Tabs
This time, BEFORE you cut out this oval, you will need to draw more tabs
They need to be on the OUTSIDE of the circle as these are going to glue into the tube of the hate
Step 10: Step 10: Try It On
It isn't glued up yet but this is the time to try it on and see if you are happy with the height
It is always better to have excess that you will later be able to cut off, rather than too little which is more difficult to fix
Step 11: Step 11: Glue in the Top
Fold the tabs up and glue them into the hat
Again, my glue wasn't sufficient so I had to tape each tab on so that it wouldn't come apart
Step 12: Step 12: Felt Time
So as you can see it is glued up and we can now begin with the felt
I bought a meter of fabric which was more than enough but again, rather safe than sorry
Step 13: Step 13: Measure the Felt
Place the brim over the felt and ideally use chalk to mark out where to cut
A word of advice - cut more than you need.
I went a little too short and encountered some problems later on
Remember you will need two pieces of felt - one for the top and one for the bottom
Step 14: Step 14: Glue the Felt Down
Put glue on the rim and glue the felt down
Step 15: Step 15: Trim the Felt
You will need to cut a hole out of the middle of the felt and then match it to the tabs that you have snipped too
Again remember you need to do this for the top and bottom
At this point you can trim it to the right length and if you have good glue, then fold one side under the other so that you have a clean line
I ended up having to do a hand sew all around the brim to make it neater
Step 16: Step 16: Cut the Sides and Top
Cut a long piece for the tube part of the hat and then measure an oval piece for the top
Glue them one and then be sure to tuck the top part under the sides
Again, I did a quick sew here just so that the hat would all be one continuous piece and look neater.
This sewing may be unavoidable unless your glue up is impeccable
Step 17: Step 17: Attach the Brim
As I said, I used duct tape to ensure it stayed put
Step 18: Step 18: Add Ribbon
Add a little black ribbon to where the brim meets the tube part
This will again neaten and add a more finished effect
And there you go - your hat is complete.
For a full video on how to create a top hat, why not check out my Youtube video?