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DIY CARDBOARD MAD HATTER

Book Week is a great time for kids to celebrate and show their appreciation for books they have loved to read. Every year the kids dress up as their favourite story character and enjoy an exciting week of costumes and games through their schools, kinder or even local libraries. This year it was an online affair in some of the eastern states of Australia (due to a lockdown) and we managed to pulled together this Mad Hatter Costume from Alice in Wonderland just in time.

Mad Hatter drinking from a cup of tea, in a cardboard costume made from up cycled material

Using things from around the house and up-cycling a costume hat from a previous dress up day, we were ready in no time. At Easter, I had made and designed the Top hat with bunny ears template and discovered that it was the perfect shape and style for our Mad Hatters' hat.

A Mad Hatter cardboard costume made from a downloadable template

All that needed to be done was to remove the bunny ears from the top hat. Add some cardboard packaging hair, a little hat band and the Mad Hatter's famous price tag containing the numbers 10/6 (10 shillings and 6 pence).

Cardboard Mad Hatter Hat Costume made from cardboard and paper packaging

It was such an ideal cardboard costume because I had all the things I needed were already in the house. Even if I had to make the hat again I would still of had everything I needed because I'm a firm believer in up-cycling and keep all my lovely crisp cardboard boxes and packaging.


The materials I used:

  • The Bunny Top Hat Template

  • Cardboard (Single Walled 2-5mm thick)

  • Perforated cardboard packaging

  • Paper Packaging or old newspaper

  • Craft knife and scissors

  • Sticky tac or blue tac

  • Printer and Paper (if you are printing the Top Hat template)

  • Marker Pen


Steps involved;

  1. Download and make the Bunny Top Hat template (Just follow the written and illustrated instructions. There is also a walk through video that helps you with the process. Just remember that you don't need to make the bunny ears. I mean, you can if you want to but you don't have to for this project.)

  2. Once your've made your Mad Hatter hat turn it upside down and stuff it with some paper packaging or some old newspaper (this is so the hat will sit on the head nicely).

  3. Using some old perforated cardboard packaging (I love this stuff so much my friends know to save it for me from their parcels) cut it into smaller sections of about 18cm that can be folded in half to make hair around 9cm long.

  4. Glue the perforated (hair) cardboard at the folded end to the rim of the hat (where the brim and hat's crown meet. Also, glue a layer of the perforated cardboard to the actual brim of the hat (to create the swept up full hair of the Mad Hatter). Repeat this process with another layer of hair/perforated cardboard.

  5. Scrunch and trim the hair to your desired look.

  6. Fold some paper packaging into a 6-7 cm wide strip and wrap it around the crown of the hat. This will make the hat band ( depending on the length of the paper it might take a couple of strips.

  7. Cut a piece of white paper into a crooked rectangle card (around 6cm x 8cm) to create the price tag. Using a marker write 10/6 on the card, place it into the band of the hat and you're done!

Steps to making a Mad Hatter costume hat out of cardboard.

I think you will agree that it looks pretty good and makes the perfect Book Week costume, maybe even a better Halloween costume. Using a little bit of creativity you really can turn our everyday packaging and cardboard boxes into amazingly unique costumes that stand out from the bought stock standard costumes bought online.


If you want to purchase the template for the Bunny Top hat click the link below.






Cardboard Mad hatter costume hat made from up cycled material

by Zygote Brown Designs