A few days before Halloween I will be leading a workshop for a group of children and teenagers and have made witches hats for them to decorate. I'm writing this blog post because, though I found a lot of information about making a witch's hat online, I couldn't find a quick and cheap way of producing them - important when you need to make twelve and are on a budget. Also, because I made the hats in advance I needed a design that would fit everyone up to and including those with adult sized heads. So I came up with my own version of a witch's hat based on what I saw in various blogs.
Read on to find out how I did it and if you make a witch's hat yourself remember that they don't have to be perfect, witches aren't known for their neatness (at least that's what I told myself!).
Note: I'm based in London UK, used metric measurements and one of our standard paper sizes. A3, according to Google, is 11.69 x 16.53 inches. If you look at how to make the templates for the cone and the brim you may be able to work out how to adjust the measurements for other paper sizes. You can convert my measurements to inches online. Let me know if you find any mistakes in my instructions below and do get in touch or leave a comment if you have any questions.
Making a witch's hat
Materials used to make each witch's hat:
2 sheets of A3 (297mm x 420mm) 220gsm (reasonably sturdy) matte black card
Double sided tape
Two lengths of 500mm ribbon (for ties)
Plus an HB pencil, a craft knife, a stapler, scissors, a compass and a ruler
Large sheets of black card are expensive but I was able to find packs of A3 (420mm x 297mm) card online and in shops that were affordable. I designed my hat so that the two components (the cone and the brim) would each fit on an A3 sheet. Try to get matte card if you can because it is easier to draw on and decorate.
|Witch's hat cone prototypes made out of sheets of scrap A4 paper taped together to make A3 sheets. The one I chose to use was a trade-off between height and head-room.|
The radius of my cone template is 215mm. To create a similar cone place the point of your compass on the bottom edge of the sheet 215mm in from the left edge, start your line on the lower left corner and keep going until you hit the right side of the sheet, then draw a straight line between that point and where the compass point had been.
Cut out your cone using a craft knife or scissors.
Then start making your brim.
|Making a brim for a witch's hat.|
Once you've cut out your brim(s) bend your cone(s) into shape.
|Some of the witch's hat cones I made.|
Overlap the two straight edges of your cone by about 10mm at the base (because of the shape it won't overlap at the point but the overlap will gradually widen to the base). Secure the cones with double sided tape and a line of tape on the inside. If you are using thick card I recommend bending it into a tight cone a few times before taping it together so that it holds the shape well.
Next add ribbons ties to secure the hat to the wearers head.
|For some reason stapling the ribbons to the witches hats was the hardest part of the process for me, very fiddly!|
I used pink ribbon for the Halloween workshop hats because I happened to have a roll of it but you can use any colour you like. Attach a 500mm length on either side of the inside of each hat, with the smooth side of the staples facing inwards (to avoid catching on the wearer's hair) and at least 15mm up from the bottom edge.
Make scissor cuts all the way round the bottom edge of the cone roughly 15mm deep and 15mm apart.
|The cutting measurements are for guidance, it's fine if the tabs are uneven - they will be hidden by the brim.|
Next tuck the ribbon ties inside the hat and secure them out of the way with tape so they don't get covered in glue.
Run a line of glue along the top side of the tabs at the base of the cone.
Slide the brim over the cone on to the line of glue and leave to dry.
|A witch's hat on a drying rack made out of a storage box and two rulers. I found that I needed to keep pressing the tabs down as the hat dried, you can see here that they had a tendency to pop up.|
|The staples and any rough edges on the join between the cone and the brim will be covered later by decoration.|
Halloween workshop - decorating a witch's hat
White pencil or crayon
Black card left over from the construction of the witch's hat
Also scissors or a craft knife, a hole punch, glue and double sided tape
I used an ordinary white pencil to draw on the brim of the hat, I chose to doodle little Halloween themed drawings such as spider webs and skulls but creating textures or writing would also look good. It is possible to draw on the cone as long as you support it from the inside with your hand as you draw - you'll notice on the finished hat that I drew some scales on the tip of the cone. You could use scrap card left over from construction to try out ideas.
|The card I used for the witches hats had a matte surface that took white pencil very well.|
|Here is a bat but spiders and skulls would also look good.|
Then I made some hair.
|I bought a packet of crepe paper that had nine different colours.|
The easiest way I found to make the crepe paper hair was to use fairly small segments (120mm - 150mm wide) and to build up the hair bit by bit starting from one of the ribbon ties and ending at the other. Each crepe paper segment was cut into strips that ended around 30mm from the top edge and a strip of double sided tape was put into the gap.
|Crepe paper hair in a variety of colours.|
I took the backing off the double sided tape and applied the crepe paper hair segments to the inside of the cone at the lower edge. I then plaited some segments together and tied them with lengths of wool.
Then I created a hat band out of scrap material (crepe paper could be used instead) and stuck it to the hat with a couple of pieces of double sided tape.
A final touch was a Halloween spider sticker.
|This is the sample witch's hat that I will take to the Halloween workshop.|
If anyone decides to make a hat please upload a photo into a comment!