How to Make a Jester's Hat

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The jester's hat adds the perfect final touch to a jester's costume and involves quick steps with felt and a glue gun or sewing machine. The traditional court jester or fool wore a bright multicolored hat with three points on it, each ending in a bell while he entertained the lords and ladies.

Things You'll Need

  • Minimum four colors felt pieces
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure
  • Paper bag
  • Pencil 
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Three jingle bells or pom poms

Step 1: Measure the Circumference of Wearer's Head

Use your tape measure to measure around the head of the person who will be wearing the jester's hat. Add an extra 1 1/2 inches to that measurement.

Step 2: Cut Base of Jester's Hat

Cut a piece of felt the length of the circumference measurement you've just taken and 2 or 3 inches wide, depending on whether you are making the hat for a person with a smaller or larger forehead.

Step 3: Determine Base Size of Triangles

Once again use the circumference measurement, in this case to determine the size of the triangles to cut from the rest of the felt. Take the total number and divide by three. This will be the base measurement of a series of isosceles triangles to cut.

Step 4: Determine Length of Sides of Triangle

Draw the base of your triangle on a piece of brown paper bag to start your triangle pattern. Either 'eye' how long you want the sides to be and sketch them out, making sure that they are longer than the base so that they will flop naturally, or use this isosceles triangle online calculator to help you approximate a length. Once drawn out, cut the pattern piece from the brown bag.

Step 5: Cut Six Different Colored Triangles

Pin or hold the pattern piece on top of the felt and cut six different colored triangles. The minimum number of colors to use is two.

Step 6: Attach Triangles to Each Other

From the six triangles, now make three by gluing sets of two together. The point of this is that you end up with three different triangles that are each two-sided in color.

Step 7: Attach Triangles to Hat Band

Lay the hat band out flat and place the three triangles side-by-side on the band. Pin in place. They may need to overlap a little bit in order to fit. Heat up the glue gun. When thoroughly heated, take pins out one at a time and apply glue to attach the triangles to the band. Make sure at least 1/2 of an inch of the triangle is glued below the band. Allow to dry.

Tip

  • Rubber cement or superglue can be used in place of hot glue.

Warning

  • Supervise children when using hot glue.

Step 8: Sew Band in Place to Finish Hat

Once the hat is dry, hold up to the wearer's head again to determine how much overlap of the band will allow the hat to fit nicely. Glue or sew in place with needle and thread.

Step 9: Attach Bell to Each Triangle End

At the tip of each triangle attach a jingle bell using needle and thread. Alternatively you may want to attach a small pom pom.

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