Instructions & Steps to Make a Mexican Sombrero with Students

Written by jennifer mullett
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Instructions & Steps to Make a Mexican Sombrero with Students
Bring in a real sombrero for inspiration. (sombrero rosso image by Giuseppe Porzani from

Mexican sombreros can be easily made in a classroom setting. For younger children you can let each child decorate his own hat and for older kids you can let each child make a hat and decorate it. Assemble colourful supplies ahead of time to save time. The hats can be made from paper, card stock, cardboard, plant pots or a combination. For the youngest crafters, look for pre-made straw hats, which can be adorned with coloured pom-poms, feathers, pipe cleaners and paper cutouts. Assemble cut outs ahead of time or use felt or foam pieces that can be easily glued in place.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Assortment of paper or straw hats
  • Cardboard
  • Plant pot
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Glue
  • Felt or foam
  • Ribbon, yarn and other decorations
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Cord or string
  • Beads

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  1. 1

    Create the form fitting part of the hat using the plant pot, or glue layers of paper together to form the contours. Place the hat on top of a large piece of thick construction paper to create the brim of the hat. Trace a large circle and cut neatly along the edge. Cut out an inner circle large enough to fit your head.

  2. 2

    Glue the two hat pieces together. Paint the hat a solid colour. Let it dry. Hide the glue line, where the two pieces were attached, by gluing a row of coloured pom-poms or other adornments. Decorate the rest of the sombrero with crayons, cutouts and other embellishments.

  3. 3

    Poke a hole on either side of the fitted piece of the hat. Attach a string through each hole securing it in place by knotting each end or attach a large bead to each side. Tie the two ends together. Add trim along the edge of the sombrero. Let the glue dry before wearing the hat.

Tips and warnings

  • Offer prizes to students for silliest hat, most colourful hat or biggest brim. Create the hats as part of a Mexican fiesta day or culture day. Instead of a trim you can cut the edge of the sombrero to make a fringe. You can also do this to the inner circle of the brim before you attach the pieces for a different look.
  • Assemble the more difficult parts of the hat ahead of time to prevent frustration in younger students. Pair teams of students together based on skill levels to have the older children do the assembly part and the younger kids can handle the decorating. You can also assemble the hat pieces the day before to allow them time to dry to prevent separation.

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