Making party hats is a fun craft the whole family can enjoy. The best part is that you can up-cycle hats from your last party and make them look completely amazing using just a few simple materials, along with your imagination. We colored designs on brown kraft paper, unfolded old party hats and glued our decorated paper on to form these fun party hats perfect for any celebration.


  • party hats (we recycled old birthday hats)
  • brown kraft paper
  • markers
  • glue
  • hot glue and hot glue gun (adults only)
  • pipe cleaners


  1. You can do this two ways. Option 1—Roll out the brown kraft paper and decorate it with markers, OR, option 2—trace the party hat (unfolded), then decorate the inside. We used both methods.

  2. Unfold the party hat and lay flat on the kraft paper (decorated or not), then trace around the party hat.

  3. Cut out the hat shape from the kraft paper.

  4. Glue the kraft paper onto the outside of the party hat. (Decorate it first, if you chose option 2, above.) NOTE: The kids preferred the method of tracing the hat, then decorating inside the tracing.

  5. Using your pipe cleaners, create shapes: stars, zigzags, diamonds, or even pom-pom-ish sprigs. Attach a small piece of pipe cleaner to the shape by twisting it around the base of the shape or center of the pom-pom, them attach to the opening of the top inside of the hat (folded flat) using hot glue. TIP: So you won't burn your fingers, cut out small strips of kraft paper to press down onto the pipe cleaner shape and hot glue once you apply it.

  6. Close your hat using hot glue and you are ready to go! Optionally, you could replace the elastic band on the hat with ribbon. We left the elastic band and used the hats as they were.

Tell us: For which occasion did you/will you make these party hats?

Caroline Gravino Urdaneta is a designer of creative family projects, a crafter, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie.

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