How to stiffen canvas hat brim

Making witch hats, part 1: The simple hat

What you need:

  • Audio drawing cardboard or photo cardboard (for smaller decorative hats A4 or A3 should be sufficient, for a large hat that you can carry yourself you need up to 3 photo cards in the large format 70.5 x 20.1 cm)
  • White craft glue and a brush
  • Old newspapers as an adhesive and painting base
  • A pencil and string
  • A ruler
  • A scissors
  • Optional: acrylic paint of your choice and a brush

That's how it works:

Step 1

The conical main part of the hat consists of a quarter of a circle. To draw this on your cardboard, first tie the end of a long string tightly to a pencil, as close as possible to the tip. This tool now works much like a compass.

Now you measure the length on the cord that the side of your hat should have and add a few more centimeters (for a large hat that you can wear yourself I measured approx. 34 cm, but the example hat I'm making here only has 13 cm). Place the end of the string on one corner of your photo cardboard and hold it there securely. If you now tighten the cord with the pencil at the end and pull it over the cardboard, you can draw a quarter of a circle. Now shorten the string back to the length you want the side of your hat to be and pull the pencil over the cardboard again. Now you have two parallel curved lines that form a quarter of a circle.

Cut out the quarter along the outer line.

2nd step

Cut the strip at the edge of the circle quarter (from the extra centimeters you added at the beginning) at short intervals and fold the resulting small rectangles outwards. These later become part of the brim. Now you can start rolling the quarter into a cone. When doing this, adjust it to fit your head if you want to make a hat for yourself to wear.

Use a pencil to mark where the straight sides of the circle quarter overlap. You can now apply a thin layer of craft glue to this point and press the two sides together until the glue has dried. Your hat is slowly taking shape!

3rd step

For the brim of the hat, first fold the many small rectangles that are at the bottom of the hat's edge into the inside of the hat. Now you can transfer the circular shape of the edge of the hat onto the leftover photo cardboard.

For the brim, of course, you have to draw a larger circle around the outside. To do this, you place your ruler at several points on the circle and make a point at a distance that is as long as your brim should be wide (For a large hat that you can wear yourself, I chose 9 cm, but this hat has a brim width of 4 cm).

Now you connect the dots to a circle and cut out the whole thing. Don't forget to cut out the inner circle too. Now you've got something like a cardboard donut.

4th step

Transfer the donut onto more photo cardboard and cut it out too so that you have two donuts.

On your cone, fold the small rectangles outwards again and use the brush to apply some craft glue to each of the top. Try to work quickly here so the glue doesn't dry out before you're done.

Now you place one of the donuts over the hat on the adhesive points from above and press it firmly into place.

To make the hat a little more stable and beautiful, you now apply glue to the lower side of the donut and the small rectangles and press the second donut against it until all the glue has dried.

5. Optional step

To make the hat a little more weatherproof or if you don't like the color of your photo cardboard, you can now paint your hat with a layer of acrylic paint.

Your classic pointed witch or wizard hat is ready!

The way the hat is now, it is already very beautiful. If you want to make it even more personal, we have a few ideas for you in Part 2!