Newspaper Sun Bonnet




Introduction: Newspaper Sun Bonnet

About: SENSOREE Design Lab crafts bio-responsive fashions with expressive technology. Our Therapeutic Biomedia monitors the body systems and animates emotion with audio, visual, or tactile displays. We work with fu...

Sometimes you find yourself smack dab in a desert with no hat or sunscreen. You are not prepared, but you have to explore those funny trees in Joshua Tree National Park. Thank goodness the park service provided a newspaper upon entry and you are clever.

Here is a "how to make a newspaper sun bonnet," so you can get out there and as the Nation Park Service says, #FINDYOURPARK


  • Newspaper
  • Twig
  • Hair if you have it

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Step 1: Put Hair Up in a Bun If You Have It!

As you see here, it is really sunny! Act fast.

If you have hair, use it.

Make a bun or "top knot." Your hair will secure the newspaper. Choose your position wisely as your bonnet depends on it and best to not change once the design is set, unless you want to reconfigure the whole contraption.

Step 2: Rip a Cross Section in the Seam of the Paper

When you have nothing with you, no scissors or knife, no tools, you have to resort to hand craft. Rip that paper!

  1. Measure your hair knot
  2. Rip a cross section in the center of the paper, 1/3 smaller than your hair dimensions for a secure fit.

Step 3: Put Your Hair in the Hole!

  1. Ready
  2. Aim
  3. Dive!

Put your hair in there! Dive in to the newspaper cross section and pull hair through. The fit should be snug.

Step 4: Find an Organic Hat Pin

You need something to join the newspaper together in the back. Search the brush for a proper pokey spear to become an organic hat pin. I liked the knobby, not exactly straight twig here as it stayed in place and did not slide out.

Note: Find vegetation that is not attached to the plants as to not disturb the nature. It is best to find pieces that have already fallen to the desert floor. You can also return them there later.

If you do not have a bun, that is ok. You can use more hats pins to weave in your short hair in case it gets windy. Or perhaps make a tie for under your chin with organic matter like an old yucca leaf? You will have fun getting creative with natural materials. Go hunting.

Step 5: Affix the Twig Pin in the Bonnet

Here we used the over-under-over threading technique.

  1. It helps to poke holes first where you want the twig pin to go
  2. Make sure twig goes through both layers
  3. Stay in the paper and avoid soft skin
  4. Add more twig pins as needed to create your design

Step 6: Go Hike With Abandon!

You now have shade and sun protection to go on a tour. Hopefully you have water, too!

The National Parks are so awe inspiring, and Joshua Tree pictured here deserves your full attention. Do not let lack of sun protection get in your way. Get crafty!

We hope this gives you ideas to inspire and share!

Design by Kristin Neidlinger
Photos by Colin Willson
Nature by Joshua Tree National Park

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Great idea! Please keep in mind that one must not pick branches or twigs off of standing vegetation, living or dead, in National Parks. You may usually pick up fallen plant materials from the ground. Please check with the Park Ranger at the park you are visiting. Thank you for protecting our wild places to preserve them for future generations!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you for information and the reminder!