How to make paper sombreros

Updated April 17, 2017

The sombrero is a wide-brimmed traditional Mexican hat made of woven straw, felt, or velvet painted in bright colours. Sombreros were designed to protect farmers and others exposed to sunlight for a long period of time. Sombreros are used as an accessory in costumes for Mexican folk dance, festivals and mariachi musicians. However, if you have a festival that requires a sombrero, you don't have to go to Mexico to buy one; instead, make your own out of paper.

Place a large bowl in the centre of your piece of cardboard. Use your pencil to trace the outer rim of the bowl on the cardboard to make a circle. Put your compass in the centre of the circle and draw a smaller circle. This inner circle will be cut out and should be large enough to fit your head.

Draw the brim of the hat. Place the point of your compass in the centre of the small inner circle on the cardboard. Draw a large circle around the two smaller circles. If your compass is small and will not reach pass the smaller circles, use a large pot that is bigger than the two inner circles. This gives you a nice big round brim for your hat.

Cut out the brim of the sombrero. Use sharp scissors to cut out the brim of your sombrero from the piece of the cardboard. Poke a small hole in the centre of the smaller circle and cut it out. The cardboard piece should look like a doughnut.

Put fabric adhesive on the top of the brim of the hat. Place a piece of felt fabric that is large enough to cover the entire circle over the brim of the sombrero. Make sure a little felt extends over the rim of the brim so you can fold it under. Poke a hole in the centre of the felt fabric. It should be over the hole of brim. Cut four fringes evenly around the circle. Turn the brim over and add fabric adhesive. Fold the felt fringes down onto the adhesive.

Cover the underside of the brim with felt. Place the brim on top of a piece of felt. Trace the outer edge of the brim and inner circle. Your felt fabric should be a doughnut shape. Cut out the doughnut shape, including the inner circle. Put fabric adhesive on the bottom of your brim and paste the doughnut shape felt fabric on the brim. The entire brim is now covered with felt.

Prepare the brim to be attached to the bowl. Use your scissors to cut small fringes around the inner hole of the brim. Use your fingers to fold each fringe upwards. The fringes are secured to the top of the hat.

Punch equal spaced holes around the entire rim of the brim with your upholstery needle or a heavy duty hole puncher. Tie a large knot at the end of your silver cord. Insert the opposite end of the cord up through one of the holes from the bottom of the brim. Pull the cord through until the knot stops you from pulling. Insert the silver cord in a hold next to the hole and pull the card down. Continue pulling the cord up and down through the holes like you are lacing your shoes. At the last hole, cut off the excess cord and hot glue the end to the brim.

Put fabric adhesive on the entire surface of your bowl. Turn the bowl upside down. Place a square of felt fabric on top of the bowl and pull the fabric towards the rim of the bowl until the felt is smooth around the entire bowl. Allow the bowl to dry. Cut off excess felt around the edge of the bowl.

Hot glue silver trim around the bowl in any pattern that you choose.

Place double sided tape around the inner edge of the bowl. Position the fringes of the brim so they attach to the double-sided tape on the inner edge of the bowl. Put your fingers inside of the bowl and press the fringes and the double-sided tape together to secure the brim to the bowl.

Make the chin strap. Cut two pieces of elastic string long enough to tie around your neck. Use the hot glue gun to attach the strings to the inside of the bowl.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Blue or red felt fabric
  • Gold or silver cord
  • Gold or silver fabric trim
  • Scissors
  • Sharp upholstery needle
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fabric adhesive
  • Elastic strings
  • Double-sided tape
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
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About the Author

Since 2007, Jophiel Aurora has written articles on environmental issues, vegetarianism, travel and animal rights for Web sites like eHow, Answerbag and LIVESTRONG.COM. Aurora is also a writer for Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants, an online program. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration in computer information systems from Georgia State University.