How to Craft a 1950s Soda Jerk Hat

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When it comes to making costumes, having the right accessories can make or break the overall impression. Take a soda jerk hat or diner hat, for example. Back in the 1950s, soda jerks worked at drug stores making ice cream treats, much like their counterparts at diners. They almost always wore white clothing, bow ties and recognizable hats. Without that requisite ice cream hat (also referred to as a diner hat), this kind of costume would really be incomplete. This versatile design can also be used as a hot dog vendor hat.


Making a Soda Jerk Hat

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Things You'll Need

  • Card stock

  • Ruler

  • Scissors

  • Magic markers

  • Tissue paper

  • Craft glue

  • Clothespins or binder clips

Step 1: Cut Rectangles From the Card Stock

It should not take longer than 30 minutes to put the hat together. Work on a clean, flat surface to avoid getting any dirt or stains on your creation.

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Put the card stock on the table and measure out two 12 x 3-inch rectangles for the sides of your hat. You can use the markers to write the name of the drug store. You can name it after yourself, like "Frank's Drug Store & Ice Cream Parlor." You can also decorate it a little bit, but ice cream man hats were pretty simple back in the day. Do this before cutting out the pieces.


Step 2: Cut the Tissue Paper

Cut a 17 x 4-inch rectangle from the remaining tissue paper and place it on the table with the longer side close to you. Fold in the shorter sides 2 inches on each side and then fold down the top edge to meet the bottom one. This is going to make the center portion of the hat.


Step 3: Attach Tissue Paper and Card Stock

Place one of the rectangles on the table with the decorated side facing down. Take a piece of the tissue paper and trim it down so that there is 1 inch of the card stock showing on the top and 1/2 inch of the card stock on the sides. Carefully glue only the bottom layer of the cut piece of tissue paper onto the card stock.


Step 4: Glue the Other Piece of Card Stock

Now, place one of the card stock rectangles face down on your surface. Glue your folded piece of tissue paper onto the top of the rectangle. Make the bottom edge of your tissue 1 inch below the card stock's top edge. The tissue paper needs to be centered on that piece of card stock with 1/2 inch of the card stock showing on both sides. Again, only glue the bottom layer of the tissue paper.


You can glue on the remaining card stock rectangle on the opposite side of the tissue paper in the same exact fashion. Glue the outside 1/2 inch on both short edges of the card stock and also on the back side of the card stock. Align the two rectangles and glue their back sides together. Use clothespins or binder clips to hold the soda jerk hat together for at least two hours before wearing it.


Once you have finished, add additional decorations to the hat if you desire.


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