How to Construct a Felt Top Hat

Updated April 17, 2017

Top hats finish off period costumes for occasions such as Halloween or costume parties, giving them a touch of class and sophistication. However, top hats are often costly and hard to find. Instead, make your own top hat out of felt. Making your own allows not only a custom fit, but also a wide variety of colour options. You can create your own felt top hat with a few steps and simple items from your local craft store.

Measure your head. Find a bowl that fits on your head comfortably, then trace around it on the bottom half of the poster board.

Outline the brim. Use a larger bowl to trace a wider circle around the first circle. This forms the brim of the hat. Cut out this piece and then cut out the centre portion.

Measure out the sides of the hat. Start at the top edge of the poster board and use a ruler to measure the desired height of the top piece of the hat. Use the ruler as a guide to draw a line all the way across the poster board. Cut along the line. You should now have a rectangular piece of poster board.

Measure the felt for the sides of the hat. Place the rectangular piece of poster board onto the felt and outline it in chalk. Cut out the felt and set it aside.

Make the sides. Take the rectangular piece of poster board and roll it into a cylinder. Make sure that you roll it tight enough so it slips inside the hole in the brim. Staple the ends together.

Outline the lid of the hat. Use the cylinder as a guide to trace a circle onto the poster board. Cut the lid out.

Cover the cylinder in felt. Use the glue gun to attach the piece of cut felt to the poster board. The felt should be just long enough so that the ends meet in a neat seem.

Outline the rest of the pieces onto the felt. Use the chalk to make two outlines for the brim and one for the lid. Cut out the three pieces.

Cover the brim and lid with felt. Use the glue gun to attach the felt to the lid of the hat. Glue the pieces for the brim to each side of the brim.

Assemble the hat. Glue the cylinder into the hole of the brim, then glue the lid into the top of the hat.

Things You'll Need

  • Poster board
  • Bowls
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Felt
  • Glue gun
  • Ruler
  • White chalk
  • Staple gun
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About the Author

Heather Mckinney has been writing for over 23 years. She has a published piece in the University Archives detailing the history of an independently owned student newspaper. Mckinney holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from University of Texas at San Antonio.