How to Make a Magician Hat Out of Paper

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You can make a magician hat out of paper.
Image Credit: FOTOKITA/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • 1 sheet black poster board

  • 1 sheet plain white paper

  • Red paint

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Glue stick

  • Compasses

  • Ruler

Whether you're dressing up as a magician for Halloween, putting on a magic show or just really want to look the part while working on your latest magic tricks, a spiffy black top hat is essential. Nothing but that classic black hat will do when you want to dazzle an audience by making a rabbit or string of silks appear. For your first trick, transform inexpensive poster board, paper and a few basic craft supplies into an amazing magician's hat (with no magic wand necessary)!


Magic is all about creating an illusion, so a creative DIY project fits perfectly with the theme. This tutorial reveals the secrets of conjuring up a great-looking magician's hat from inexpensive supplies. It's adaptable to heads of all sizes, and choosing a sturdy poster board will make the magician's hat durable enough to last through Halloween night, your next curtain call or a series of marvelous dress-up sessions.


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When you've finished following these step-by-step instructions to create your amazing DIY magical hat, don't forget to utter "abracadabra" to add a final, spellbinding flourish.

1. Cut paper bands for your DIY magician’s hat

Cut out two strips of plain white paper 1 inch wide by 11 inches long. Paint the strips red and let them dry. Use a glue stick or glue gun to stick the strips together and make one long strip.


2. Cut poster board rectangles to form the top hat sides

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Draw two 7-inch by 12-inch rectangles on the black poster board. Cut out the rectangles and glue them together along the 7-inch sides to make one long rectangle. The rectangle should now be 7 inches by about 24 inches.


3. Prepare the edges for folding

With the rule and pencil, trace 1/2-inch-deep triangles along the top and bottom of the 24-inch edges. Cut the triangles out and discard the pieces. This step creates a triangle-lined edge of the hat, that will fold neatly under the hat's brim and top.


4. Fold the triangles on the top edge

Fold the triangles along the top edge of the rectangle toward the inside.

5. Measure the magician’s head

Measure the head circumference of the person who will be wearing the magician's hat. Use the compasses to draw a perfect circle the size of the head measurement you took on the black poster board. Cut out the circle.


6. Form the shape of the top hat

Form the long rectangle into a cylinder the same circumference as the poster board circle you just cut. Secure the cylinder with tape or glue and trim the excess off the cylinder, if necessary.



7. Attach the top of the magician’s hat

Tape or glue the cut-out circle onto the top of the cylinder, placing it on top of the folded-down triangles. The triangles should be inside the circle so they are not seen on the top of the hat. Both the circle and the cylinder edges should be evenly aligned.


8. Cut out the hat’s brim

Trace the cylinder onto black poster board, then draw another circle 2 1/2 inches larger than the cylinder using the pair of compasses. Cut out the larger circle, which will make the brim of the hat, and then cut out the center circle.

9. Attach the hat’s brim to the hat

Fold the triangles on the bottom of the cylinder outward. Slide the brim of the hat over the cylinder. Tape or glue the triangles to the underside of the brim.

10. Attach the red hat band

Apply glue to the back side of the red strip and attach it to the bottom of the crown of the hat so it sits just above the brim.


If you don’t have poster board available, some alternative DIY materials suitable for making a magic hat include cardstock and construction paper. Note that a paper hat will be less sturdy than one made from poster board.

Customize your magician’s hat with embellishments such as star-shaped or Halloween-themed stickers.


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