How to make a paper hat

July 19, 2019
How to make a paper hat

Trying to think of something creative for kids to do on a day spent indoors, but fresh out of crafting supplies? This simple paper hat activity only requires one sheet of printer paper (8.5 x 11 inches) with no glue, tape, scissors or other materials required!

Though this is a short project (best suited for kids ages 4 to 8), if you know a little one (or a group of kids) who might get a kick out of learning how to make a paper hat, here are some simple step-by-step instructions to follow.

Step 1

Grab an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of regular stock paper (the kind you'd find in your printer or in a notebook) and fold it in half lengthwise, taking extra care to make a strong crease. Then unfold the paper and fold it the other way, again making a strong crease. Finally, refold the paper lengthwise (as you did initially).

Step 2

Take the top corners and fold them down until they meet each other at the crease in the middle. There will be a one-inch rectangle below the triangles, which you can ignore for now (we'll address it in the next step). Make sure you make a sharp crease where the triangles are and press hard against the paper so it lays flat on your work space.

Step 3

Grab the bottom edge of the rectangle (below your folded triangles) and fold it up and over the bottom parts of the triangles on both sides of the hat. Then take the triangles hanging off the sides of the hat and fold them up against the bottom of the hat, tucking them in and over on both sides.

Step 4

Insert your hand in the center of the wide part of the triangle and pull gently to reveal ... your brand new paper hat! Note: the hat is quite small, so children might need a few bobby pins to keep the hat in place.

Fun variations on the paper hat

Though the basics are pretty simple, there are plenty of fun ways to jazz this project up. For a fashionable hat, have children color each side of their paper with a different colored crayon or colored pencil before the hat is folded. Once the hat has been made, kids can further decorate it with stickers.

Looking to keep the fun going? Challenge your child to an "origami face-off" — try to make as many hats as possible in a certain time period while competing with another sibling or parent.

If your child is looking for a challenge, try cutting your standard-size paper into quarters and have them make miniature hats. The folding can get quite difficult for smaller sizes, so you might need tweezers or pliers to help them hold the paper while they get these small folds just right. Or go big and use a sheet of newspaper!

No matter how you do it, learning how to make a paper hat is plenty of fun and is a great impromptu activity that doesn't require any prep time and will help keep kids occupied.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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