How to Make Mini Top Hats Out of Stiff Craft Felt

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Mini top hats don't require much time to make.
Mini top hats don't require much time to make. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Mini top hats mimic the form of traditional top hats, but are smaller. They add flair to outfits or as decorations at parties. Stiff crafting felt holds its shape when used, and making a mini top hat doesn’t require many materials. The top hats can be decorated in many different ways after they are finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff felt
  • Cardboard or heavy card stock
  • Drawing compass
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread

Determine how large you would like the crown (top) of the mini top hat to be. Using the drawing compass, make a circle of that size plus1 inch on the cardboard or card stock. For a 2-inch crown, the circle should be 3 inches.

Draw a rectangle on the cardboard or cardstock with the ruler for the body of the hat. The height of the rectangle should be the height you want the hat to be plus 1 inch. The rectangle should be as long as the circumference of the circle plus 1 inch.

Determine how wide you want the brim of the hat to be. Draw a second circle with the compass that is twice the width of the brim, plus 1 inch, plus the diameter of the crown. For instance, if you want a 2-inch brim and the crown is 4 inches across, the brim circle will need to be 9 inches. Inside the this circle, draw a second circle that is centered in the same place as the outer circle. This second circle should be the diameter of the crown minus 1 inch. So, if your crown was 2 inches, the inner circle should be 1 inch.

Carefully cut all three pieces out of the cardboard or card stock. Cut the inner circle out of the brim pattern. Lay out the pieces on the craft felt and use the fabric marker to trace the outlines onto the felt. Cut the pieces of the hat out of the felt.

Take the pieces of felt intended for the body of the hat. Fold in half without creasing the fold, and line up the short ends. Use the needle and thread to sew the ends securely together 1/2 inch inward from the edge. Do not sew the 1/2 inch at the top or the bottom of the piece, as they will need to be loose to attach the crown and brim. Trim any extra felt from the outside of the stitches, without cutting into the stitches.

Fold down the loose 1/2 inch of loose felt at the top so it is at right angles to the body. Lay the crown piece over this so the edges line up. Sew the pieces together 1/2 inch from the edge, all the way around. Trim any excess from the edge. Turn the hat right side out.

Snip the inside of the brim circle 1/2 inch deep on four points of the circle, and snip four more times 1/2 inch deep between the first four for a total of eight cuts. Slide the brim piece over the bottom of the hat body, and line the inside edge of the brim up with the edge on the bottom of the body. Sew the brim to the body all the way around with the stitches lining up with the eight cut points. Trim extra felt off of the seam.

Turn the hat over and smooth out all of the seams.

Tips & Warnings

  • To determine the circumference of your circle, measure straight across the middle of the circle from edge to edge. Multiply this measurement by 3.14. The resulting answer is the circumference.
  • To draw circles with the drawing compass, the point of the pencil and the point of the compass arm should be half of the circles diameter. For an 8-inch circle, the points would need to be 4 inches apart.
  • Cutting the inside of the brim eight times helps the felt even out. It is not necessary to make these cuts, but the felt of the brim will gather much less this way.

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