No Sew Fabric Covered Birthday Party Hat Tutorial

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I love a good hat. And I've always had a special place in my heart for classic, cone-shaped party hats. So silly, so festive, so fun! My mom still has one from my childhood, in fact. Nothing special, just a hat I took home from a Chuck-E-Cheese party I attended, but I played with it all the time.  So when I was designing the Tykki-dyw butterfly party and found my inspiration fabrics, I knew I wanted to use those fabrics somehow to make some fancy party hats. I'm so in love with how they turned out!

I've made many different variations on this birthday party hat over the years.

A very special first birthday party fabric hat.

Some pretty, lacy pink party hats.

Train themed party hat!

Strawberry themed party hat!  Why is it that I only found strawberry fabric after I was looking for it for my daughter's Strawberry Picnic first birthday party?

I made these ones for the Balloon birthday party.

Ready for the tutorial and all the details?  Head to page two.


No Sew Fabric Covered Birthday Party Hats Tutorial

Materials for No-Sew Fabric Birthday Hats:

  • poster board
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • fabric
  • adhesive spray
  • ribbon
  • stapler
  • elastic cord
  • tulle
  • needle and thread
  • any embellishments (like the butterflies, optional)
1) Print out a template for the cone shaped hats. I used a template that doesn't seem to exist any more, but it looked a lot like this one.  It was the perfect size and shape. Trace the shape on your poster board and cut out the cardboard foundation for the hats.
2) Use spray adhesive (outside! It's really sticky!) to glue fabric to your hat. Be sure to leave close to an inch of extra fabric around the edges.
3) Fold the fabric edges in and use a glue gun to secure.
4) Use the glue gun once again, this time to glue the fabric-covered poster board into a cone hat shape.
5) Cut a 16" length of elastic cord. Tie a knot in each end, leaving at least a half an inch of tail past the knot. Use a stapler to staple the cord to the hat, making sure to staple below the knot.
For extra security, you can put a bit of hot glue over the staple, knot, and the tail of the elastic cord.
6) The hat looks pretty darn cute at this point, but adding a few embellishments really puts it over the top. Glue a ruffle of ribbon along the bottom. This, happily, also covers up the staple on the outside. I had a lot of straight satin ribbon and pleated it myself, but you can buy pre-ruffled ribbon edging at any fabric store.
7) Make a pom-pom for the top of the hat. Cut a 2.5" wide strip of tulle 72" long (the full width of the fabric). Use a needle and thread and a simple running stitch to gather the tulle. Once all the tulle is on the thread, squish it down to the end, where it will catch on the knot in the thread and make a lovely round tulle puff.
Use the glue gun to glue the tulle pom pom to the top of the hat.
Glue on any embellishments--a butterfly, a number, a flower--if desired.
These hats fit all ages at the party, from two to adult. I'm just glad the birthday girl loved hers!
Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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