Things You'll Need
- Masking tape
- Plastic wrap
- White flour
If you want to work as a forest ranger or simply want to help your kids play pretend, the forest ranger hat is essential. After all, it's an extremely identifiable part of the job's uniform so that when you're wearing it, you are obviously a forest ranger. If you're crafty, you can make one of these hats yourself using straightforward paper mache' techniques.
Unfold and lay out your newspaper. Take two of the longer sheets and fold in half making two long thinner strips. Tape the edge of one folded sheet to the center of the other. Wrap the newspaper around your head, snugly but not overly tight. Tape the newspaper together to hold the ring shape.
Crumple sheets of newspaper and fill the hat ring. Shape the bowl of the hat into the classic forest ranger hat shape. The bowl of the hat should be short and indented on either side of the top.
Draw the shape of the brim onto a sheet of cardboard and cut out. Glue the bowl of the hat to the brim's center. Tape around the seam between the hat's bowl and brim to make it smooth. Wrap the entire mold with plastic wrap. Tape up any rips and overlaps to seal up the hat mold.
Mix your paper mache paste by mixing white flower with plain water. Slowly add the water to the flower as you mix until you have a glue-like consistency. Cut up your newspaper sheets into strips and place next to your paste.
Cover the hat mold with your paper mache. Dip a newspaper strip into the paste and wipe off excess and apply to the hat mold. Continue this until you have covered the hat mold. Use just paste to smooth the paper that is not smooth or won't stick right away.
Lay the hat out in the sun or in a dry area of a well-lit room until the paper mache is slightly dry. Remove the hat mold from inside of the hat. Don't worry about damaging the hat mold as this will be thrown away. Set the drying paper mache out to completely and fully dry out. You will want the hat to dry inside and out to prevent mold and decay.
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.