How to Make a Mad Hatter Top Hat Out of Cardboard

Use various Mad Hatter depictions as inspiration for your hat.
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The Mad Hatter is a character brought to life in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," and has been recreated by generations since. If you're designing a Mad Hatter costume -- either for Halloween, the theater or dress-up -- the most important accessory is a towering top hat. Creating a Mad Hatter top hat is easy. It requires little more than some cardboard and fabric to make your own one-of-a-kind headpiece.

Things You'll Need

  • White Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors Or Razor
  • Pencil
  • Flexible Cardboard
  • Fabric
  • Masking Tape

Wrap a piece of flexible cardboard around the crown of your head where you'll be wearing the hat. Ensure the top of the tube extends at least 6 inches in the air to create the top hat look. Mark where the cardboard meets when wrapped comfortably around your head. Take off the cardboard and cut along the marked line with scissors or a razor.

Roll the cardboard so that its edges meet, and attach masking tape along the seam. You will now have the tube of the top hat.

Place the top of the hat tube on another piece of cardboard. Trace around its circumference with a pencil. Cut out along the marked line to create the top piece of the hat.

Trace the circumference of the bottom of the hat on separate piece of cardboard. Draw another circle that extends about 4 inches around the traced circle. The shape should look like a large doughnut. Use a razor to cut out the outer circle and the inner circle. This will be the brim of the hat.

Lay a piece of fabric on a flat surface, with its right side (decorated side) facing down. Put the hat brim and hat top on the fabric and trace both of the shapes. Place the hat tube on a flat surface so that it's standing up. Wrap the measuring tape horizontally around the outside of the hat tube to note the circumference length. Measure the height of the hat tube as well. Mark the height of the hat tube, as well as the length of its circumference, on the fabric. This will create a rectangular shape that will wrap around the outside of the hat tube. Cut out all the marked shapes.

Slide the hat brim around the bottom of the hat tube. Tape it securely in place. Put the hat top on the top of the hat tube, then tape them together.

Layer the back of each fabric piece with white glue. Place the fabric cut-outs on top of the hat brim and hat top. Wrap the third piece around the outside of the hat tube. Smooth out any wrinkles with your hands.

Tie a thick ribbon around the base of the hat. Create a bow on the side and allow the tails of the ribbon to flow over the hat brim.