How to Make Paper Pilgrim Hats

Written by kim hoyum
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How to Make Paper Pilgrim Hats
Make a paper pilgrim hat to celebrate the season. (pilgrim face image by Roslen Mack from

Use construction paper or poster board to create these crafty Thanksgiving or Pilgrim hats. Add them to a Thanksgiving dinner table, or make them as an educational craft while talking about the Pilgrims and the early history of the United States. Paper Pilgrim hats can be made in two different fashions for boys and girls.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Black construction paper or poster board (for boys)
  • White construction paper (for girls)
  • Gold construction paper or poster board (for boys)
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Paper clips
  • Paperweight
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • String or yarn (for girls)

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  1. 1

    Mark the dimensions of the hat on the black paper or poster board. It should be 10 inches tall and 14 inches wide. Also mark out a 2-inch-wide strip of black paper for a headband. It should be twice as long as the hat is wide, about 28 inches.

  2. 2

    Cut out the basic shape of a Pilgrim hat with scissors. It should be a truncated pyramid with a wide brim. You can use your first one as a template to trace others if desired.

  3. 3

    Place the hat in the centre of the headband so that the hat brim overlaps below the headband. Staple the hat and band together and fold the brim upward so that it forms a little shelf-like hat brim over the wearer's eyes. The bottom of the band should be level with the crease that forms the brim.

  4. 4

    Cut a buckle shape out of the gold paper or poster board and glue it onto the centre of the hatband with white glue or a glue stick.

  5. 5

    Fit the headband to the wearer's head using two paper clips for adjusting and securing the band, with the hat shape in front.

  1. 1

    Fold a 12-by18 piece of white construction paper lengthwise about 2 inches from one edge to begin a girl's Pilgrim hat; this will be the front of the hat.

  2. 2

    Fit the hat to the wearer's head, by bending, but not folding, it in a half circle over her head, with the shorter ends of the paper coming down to the jawline. Mark the paper where it will meet the jawline.

  3. 3

    Cut two slits at the back of the paper on each side, about 6 inches up from the jawline marking, but at the back of the head, opposite from the folded front. The pieces you are creating will fold in to create the bonnet shape, and should divide the paper in thirds. Cut the slits about 6 inches long.

  4. 4

    Bend the paper in a half circle again, as if to be worn, then fold down the middle section of paper between the two slits you cut at the back, and crease the fold.

  5. 5

    Fold one of the other thirds of the back of the hat over the middle section and glue it into place, then glue the remaining third section over the first two and glue it as well. Let the glue dry with a paperweight or other heavy object on the glued sections.

  6. 6

    Punch two holes with a hole punch in the corners of the front of the bonnet, underneath the folded brim. Tie a piece of string or yarn to each hole, which can then be tied together to fit underneath the wearer's chin.

Tips and warnings

  • The dimensions given for the boy's Pilgrim hat can be scaled down for smaller children as well.
  • When allowing the girl's Pilgrim hat to dry, place it face up to avoid crushing.
  • Either of these hats also can be made out of felt for a more permanent craft or to be used as decorations.
  • If very young children are helping make the hats, don't allow them to use sharp scissors or strong glues.

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