How to Make a Three-Point Colonial Hat

statue of george washington image by Rob Hill from

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic round top hat
  • Can of expandable foam
  • Can of cooking spray
  • 1 yard of wool felt in dark blue or black
  • Bottle of white glue
  • Scissors
  • Box of straight pins
  • Plastic wrap
  • 1-inch-wide paintbrush
  • Steam iron
  • 2/3 yard grosgrain ribbon, matching color of felt
  • 2 large rubber bands
  • Hat wire (optional, as needed)
  • Carpet thread and needle
  • 2 feet of 1-1/2-inch-wide ribbon

There are few symbols of our founding fathers more familiar to us than the three-cornered Colonial hat. These hats were the latest style at the time of the American Revolution. Paul Revere wore one. Benjamin Franklin wore one, and George Washington is seldom portrayed without one. It is a simple wide-brimmed hat with a round crown, but it is the three-corner fold of the brim that gives it a distinctive look. Using a homemade hat block, you can easily make a three-point Colonial hat for yourself.

Hat Block

Cut the brim off of the plastic hat using the scissors.

Spray the inside of the hat with cooking spray.

Fill the inside of the hat with expandable foam. Don’t fill it all the way--remember, the foam is expandable.

Let the foam dry, remove the hardened foam from the hat, and use it as your hat block.


Cut two circles of felt to the diameter of the hat block plus 3 inches.

Wet the felt circles thoroughly.

Center the first circle on the block with a pin. Stretch the felt over the hat block, pulling gently until it's smooth all the way to the bottom edge of the hat block. Secure the felt with a rubber band. Remove the pin.

Use the paintbrush to coat the felt with a thick layer of glue.

Stretch a second circle over first one and secure it with rubber bands. Allow it to dry.

Remove the crown from the hat block and trim the excess felt with scissors.


Cut two circles of felt the diameter of the crown plus 4 inches.

Dampen the felt circles and glue them together with a layer of white glue.

Press the brim down using a hot iron with a press cloth. Do this when it is still a little damp.

Cut a hole the size of the diameter of the crown in the center.

Assemble the Hat

Put the crown on the hat block and pull the brim over the crown down to the band line.

Pin the brim to the crown with the edge of the crown overlapping the edge of the brim.

Hand-stitch the crown to the brim using a needle and thread.

Fold the back third of the brim up and attach it to the crown with a small cross stitch. Fold the remaining two sides into a single point. Your hat will be the shape of a triangle. Stitch each side to the crown.

Cut the ribbon to the diameter of the crown.

Stitch the ribbon onto the inside bottom edge of the crown.


  • You can decorate your hat brim with gold braid, ribbon or feathery trim. You can add medals or ribbons to the hat. Look up images on the Internet or in a history book to find a look that you like.


About the Author

Kathy Bellamy was a writer/producer for the Eternal Word Television Network for 17 years. She developed and scripted many of the short interstitials on the lives of the saints, educational segments for children’s programming and on-air promos.

Photo Credits

  • statue of george washington image by Rob Hill from