How to Make a Tri-Corner Pirate Hat

Written by mandi rogier Google
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How to Make a Tri-Corner Pirate Hat
A tri-corner hat is the perfect accessory for any proud pirate. (Pirate image by Dubravko Grakalic from

The classic tri-corner pirate's hat has become recognisable once again with the popularity of such films as Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series. If you have a swashbuckling pirate taking up residence in your own home, you can prepare a piece of appropriate headgear with a few simple craft supplies. Whether you're looking for the perfect topper to a pirate Halloween costume or a fun addition to the dress-up box, this creative project will provide you with an entertaining masterpiece. Enlist the help of the kids in decorating the hat for a truly personalised accessory.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Packing paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Crayons or markers
  • Bowl
  • Masking tape
  • White glue
  • 3 paper fasteners

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  1. 1

    Cut a large circle out of brown packing paper, measuring about 26 inches in diameter.

  2. 2

    Draw a large triangle on the circle with light pencil. The semicircles of the hat that are on the outside of the triangle will form the folded up brim that will be visible when the hat is worn.

  3. 3

    Decorate the brim as desired. A length of black cord glued to the paper about 2 inches from the outer edge will dress up the hat. You can also colour the brim with crayons or markers. Add stripes around the inner edge for a jaunty bit of colour, or use "#" marks and small "X"s in shades of brown and black to make the hat look worn.

  4. 4

    Cut a smaller circle out of packing paper measuring about 14 inches in diameter, or the size needed to mould the circle over the head of the wearer.

  5. 5

    Place the smaller circle over a bowl that is large enough to comfortably sit on the head of the wearer. A flat-bottomed bowl works best. Mold the paper over the bowl, making small folds around the edges to get the paper to fix appropriately.

  6. 6

    Secure the paper around the bowl with a circle of masking tape about 1 inch from the bottom of the paper. Wrap the tape around the bowl twice for added stability.

  7. 7

    Colour the masking tape brown to match the hat, or in another colour to mimic a bright ribbon tied around the hat's brim. The tape will be easiest to colour while it is still wrapped around the bowl.

  8. 8

    Place the bowl in the centre of the large paper circle and trace around it with a pencil. Poke a hole in the centre of the circle you have drawn and use this as a starting point to cut outward from. Cut out the circle created by the bowl so you have a hole in the centre of the hat.

  9. 9

    Gently remove the paper from the bowl. Make small cuts about 1 inch apart in the paper that extends below the masking tape. Fold up the lower edges so the dome-shaped paper can sit flat.

  10. 10

    Place a dot of white glue in the centre of each flap prepared in the previous step. Carefully lay the brim over the hat so the flaps adhere to the bottom of the brim. The decorated side of the brim should be facing down.

  11. 11

    Fold up the brim along the lines traced in Step 2. Secure the brim to the hat with a paper fastener placed in the centre of each side of the brim.

Tips and warnings

  • For added decoration, consider adding trim to the edges of the hat brim, which will be facing upward on the finished hat. A short length of feather boa will create a delightfully showy captain's hat.
  • Stick a feather or two onto the trim around the edge of the hat and cover the masking tape trim with ribbon for a regal look.

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