How to Make Safari Hats Out of Paper Bags

Things You'll Need

  • 1 paper bowl
  • 1 piece poster board
  • 2 large grocery brown paper bags
  • Scissors
  • White school glue
  • 1 paper cup
  • 1 disposable paint brush
  • Masking tape
  • Tapestry needle with a large eye
  • 36 inch length of brown yarn
  • Pencil

Make your own safari hat out of a brown paper bag for a costume for a play, Halloween or just for fun. Complete the outfit with shorts, a beige shirt, a pair of binoculars and a camera. Making your hat will take some time and patience, but the materials should be available for almost free in your craft closet or kitchen.

Turn the paper bowl upside down in the middle of the poster board. Trace around it with the pencil. Then make a larger concentric circle three inches from the line made by tracing the bowl. Cut out the larger circle. Then cut out the middle formed by the smaller circle. The poster board circle will become the brim of your safari hat and the bowl will become the hat itself. Tape the brim to the bowl using masking tape on the inside and the outside edge of the poster board.

Separate the seams of the brown grocery bags. Lay the unfolded bags flat on a table. Cut the bag into strips that are one inch wide. These strips will become the safari hat's fabric.

Dilute three parts of white craft glue with one part water. Stir to make the glue thinner. Use a paint brush to spread a thin coating of glue on the bottom of the poster board brim and just up about one inch into the inside of the bowl.

Press the end of a brown paper bag strip against the glue on the inside of the bowl. Continue pressing it on the bottom side of the poster board brim. The strips will hang out from the outer edge of the brim. Paint more glue on the top side of the brim and up the sides of the bowl to its base (the top of the hat). Fold the paper bag strips over the brim and keep pressing the paper down flat. Smooth out any wrinkles. When a strip is used up, carefully layer a second strip on top. Keep adding paper bag strips until the entire hat has been covered with them.

Allow the hat to dry thoroughly. Glue another strip (or two) to create a hat band at the point where the bowl and brim meet. When this is dry, thread an 18 inch length of yarn through the band on the right side of the hat. Thread another 18 inch length of yarn through the band on the left side of the hat. Use the yarn to keep the hat on.


About the Author

Lesley Barker, director of the Bolduc House Museum, authored the books "St. Louis Gateway Rail—The 1970s," published by Arcadia, and the "Eye Can Too! Read" series of vision-related e-books. Her articles have appeared in print and online since the 1980s. Barker holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Washington University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University.