Thinking Cap With Working Light




About: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, and cake decorator. I also can't stop taking photographs! I have a genuine love and appreciation for all things creative and handmade.

My oldest son just started kindergarten and really loves it. Everyday he tells me that everything is so much fun but when I ask him what he actually did he says he can’t remember. At least I’m getting a positive reaction! Although he likes it he is still trying to figure the whole thing out – I think!

I vividly remember my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Wilson, reminding us to put on our ‘thinking caps’ if we couldn’t remember something. I thought I might try the same tactic on my son so one day when he said he couldn’t remember what he did I said, “You should put on your ‘thinking cap’ and maybe you will remember!”

I didn’t exactly get the response that I was hoping for…..he very effectively stated the obvious and said, “I don’t have one Mommy.”

And so the thinking cap project began.

Felt – I used scraps but if you are purchasing you will need approximately ¼ yard of the cap color and random sheets of colored felt. Since the sheets are so cheap you might be able to get away with just using sheets.
Embroidery Thread
Nuts, bolts, wing nuts, etc.
Pipe cleaners
Sharp scissors
Pencil and sharpie marker
Small hole punch
Very small flash light

***This would make the great start of a Halloween costume. Mad scientist maybe!?

Step 1: Sew Cap Form

Instead of going out and finding a cap pattern I just mocked up a pattern using a winter hat that fits my son. It is a very basic rounded triangle. If you don’t want to draw one up I’m sure there are plenty of hat/cap patterns online.

Cut four pieces using the same pattern noting which point is the top.

Layer two of the pieces on top of each other and sew down one side. This would be very fast if you use your sewing machine but when pre-season football is on I really like to veg in front of the TV with a craft project so I hand sewed the whole hat!

Layer another piece and sew down the next corresponding edge. Repeat until the final edges come together and sew down the last side.

Turn the form inside out and make sure it fits the appropriate head. Make adjustments if necessary.

Step 2: Add Rim

Turn cap inside out.

Cut one solid sheet of felt in half. Sew the short edges together. Fold in half the long way and sew the cut edges onto the rim of the cap form. I started about ½ inch up the rim because it was a little long for my son’s head.

Sew all around the edge. Turn right side out. Cut (if necessary) and stitch the seam where the pieces meet.

Step 3: Cut Circles and Sew on Rim

Cut eight 1 ¼ inch circles of felt in the color of your choice.

Whip stitch them onto the rim of the hat using embroidery thread.

Step 4: Draw and Cut Gears

This thinking cap had to have gears on it since the ‘gears’ in my son’s head are always turning!

Draw basic gear shapes on paper and cut them out. Better yet print the first two pictures and size them to what you want and cut them out. Drawing them was a pain! If someone requests a pdf version I can make one.

Trace around the gear patterns with a sharpie marker and cut gears out of felt of your color choice.

Step 5: Stitch Gears

Using embroidery thread stitch gears onto the cap.

Step 6: Embellish Cap

Collect random nuts, bolts, wing nuts, etc. from the garage or buy some at the hardware store.

Using more embroidery thread secure the nuts on the circle cut outs sewn on the rim of the cap.

Bend the top of a pipe cleaner into a small circle shape.

Cut out four small circles and punch a hole in the center using a small hole punch. Push them onto the pipe cleaner. Add a wing nut under the felt circles and push the straight end of the pipe cleaner in to the seam of one side of the cap. Fold over (on the inside of cap) and secure with one or two stitches.

If you can think of a better way to secure the pipe cleaner on the inside let me know. It didn’t seem like the best solution but it was all I could figure out as to not have the pipe cleaner fall over and not poke the top of my son's head.

Repeat for the other side and secure the wing nuts with embroidery thread.

Step 7: Add the Light

Cut a basic light bulb pattern from paper and cut out two felt pieces from the pattern.

Cut two rectangular pieces for the base of the bulb.

Stitch rectangular piece onto the base of the light bulb using a running stitch with like colored embroidery thread. Repeat with other piece/side.

Put pieces back to back (right sides out) and stitch only the base of the bulb together.

Stitch a filament like shape on the bulb part of the felt. Then using a butcher stitch sew the bulb part together.

Do not stitch the bottom of the light bulb. This is where the flashlight will go.

Stitch only one side of the bottom light bulb base piece onto the top of the thinking cap. Do not stitch the back side.

Turn on flashlight and insert into the light bulb.

Let your child think!!

When you no longer want the light lit take flashlight out and turn it off!

If you want to be a little more technical about this you could rig up a light bulb with a battery and some wire. I just wanted my son to be able to do it all by himself. He thinks it's pretty cool!

Back to School Contest

First Prize in the
Back to School Contest

Halloween Props  Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Props Contest



    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest

    24 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is very cool! For the pipe cleaner part, you could sew them while to sew up the hat pieces. Put them upside down on the wrong side while you sew up the hat, turn it right side out and uncoil the pipe cleaner. You could also add some felt circles on the inside of the hat where the pipe cleaners comes out. Bend it and then glue a felt circle on it so it doesn't scratch the head.

    I seriously have to make one of these sometime. XD


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Is it possible for you to make a similar cap and allow me to purhcase it? I know a kindergarten student at school. He is a cute kid who has a less than desirable home life. He repeated and sincerely states that all he wants for Christmas is a 'thinking cap'. He is from the inner city and bused to our school as part of a voluntary integration program. 1 of 9 other brothers and sisters. He wold love the Thinking Cap. Can you please allow me to purchase one? Thank you very much.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I gave you a vote, this is very creative and I may have to make a version for my son!
    The only flaw I see in it (and mind you I only notice because i have a touch of OCD!) is that a gear configuration like that would not turn. The 3 gears would lock up (and thus prevent proper thinking?) Next time leave the 3rd gear touching only one of the bigger ones.
    Like I said it's absolutely fantastic, i'm just a nut about things like that.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I seriously didn't mean to be picky like that, it's really awesome.
    I have problems! ;)
    Hope you win the contest!

    Gosh I just love this and all of the hand sewing looks great! Also, I love that you mixed in those nuts, it really flows well with the felt :D

    3 replies

    I'd wear it ever day too! Does he wear it to school? That would be fun, but I don't suppose hats are allowed in school.

    Unfortunately, hats are not allowed in school or he would wear it there for sure. They are afraid kids will share the hats and spread lice! Ha! Gross!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You never cease to AMAZE me! I love this idea! Very fun. You should also enter it in the halloween costumes. :)

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. I entered it in the easy costumes contest but it would need some kind of cute mad scientist coat to go along with it don't you think?

    wold630Treasure Tabby

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. If kids were allowed to share hats in school I would have definitely made one for my son's classroom. It would be fun for them.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm... I need an adult version cause I'm constantly "losing" my mind. Maybe if I had had ones of these, LOL

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    An adult version huh? Sounds like a great idea. Staying at home with the kids could make anyone lose their mind.......I think!!! :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this is fantastic! My niece just started kindergarten too, so this sounds like a great project. Thanks!

    1 reply