Simple Way to Make a Paper Tricorn Hat

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Tricorn hats
Tricorn hats (Image: louisbourg soldiers image by pcphotos from Fotolia.com)

You can make a crownless version of George Washington's three-cornered hat in minutes, using construction paper. Use it for a school play or a costume party. It will hold together for at least two or three uses, or laminate the three pieces that will become the sides of the hat before you assemble it if you want a more durable version. If you decide to make a felt version, your paper hat can be your template.

Things You'll Need

  • Two sheets black construction paper, 9-inch by 12-inch
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Cellophane tape

Fold each sheet of black construction paper in half, lengthwise, with corners matched. Cut each sheet along the fold to make a total of four strips, 4.5-inch wide by 12-inch long. Lay one strip aside.

Stack the three remaining strips of black construction paper, matching the corners. Without pressing the fold flat, bend the strips so that all the short ends meet and the corners match. You should be holding the paper at the short ends, which makes a teardrop shape when viewed from the long sides of the paper.

While holding all the short sides of the paper strips together in your off hand, round the corners with a pair of scissors. While still holding the short ends together, cut a curve that begins two inches from the rounded ends, gently curves to 1-inch deep after two more inches, and returns to the outer edge, six inches from where you began cutting the curve. This makes the short ends look like they have been rolled.

Lay one of the rounded strips aside. Hold the remaining two strips with both ends matched. Staple one inch from one end in three places along the top, center and bottom of the curve.

Pull the two loose sides of the hat apart about six inches. Match one end of the third side to one end of one of the first two sides and staple it as in the previous step. Repeat to staple the remaining corner of the hat together. Your hat should resemble Bloody Davy's hat, which is the fifth photo from the beginning of the article at the Gentlemen of Fortune website.

Place the hat on your head with one point between your eyes and the other two points on each side of your head. Have a friend pinch each of the side points close to your head, moving the hat until the bottom edge is above your eyes and the hat will not slip. Mark the points one each side that allow the hat to fit correctly.

Remove the hat and staple it at the marked points. Try the hat again to ensure that you have a good fit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the remaining strip of construction paper to cut a cockade or to make edge trim. To make edge trim, cut strips of paper 1-inch wide. Fold in half lengthwise. Place the edge of your hat in the fold and glue into place. To make a cockade, cut a square of paper and fold it point to point diagonally, to make a large triangle, and again to make a cone shape. Hold the triangle by the closed end and round off the open end. Slash into the open end to make fringe. Open the paper and you will have a round, fringed shape to glue to one side of your hat. Make two or three more cockades in various colors, gluing each one on top of the previous one until you have a "rose" effect.
  • Do not staple the hat while it is on your head.

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