DIY Holiday Hats For Every Occasion



All you need to make a party hat for any occasion is a paper plate and a pair of scissors!

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

Really, that’s all you need, no glue or extra bits of anything. These simple little hats can be decorated by kids at a party, or used to play party games. The bigger the plate or the smaller the child’s head, the bigger the brim on your hat is going to be. Below is a picture showing how to make the cuts for the shamrock hat ready for St. Patrick’s Day. The first step here is the same for any of the hat designs. Just fold the plate in half and cut the hole for the head (remember to leave a little part where the center design is still attached to the brim.) It’s best to guess the hole size a little on the small side, because if it doesn’t fit then you can always trim the hole a bit bigger.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates


Once you have the first cut made, you can then decide what you want your hat decoration to be. In this case the shamrock is symmetrical, so keeping the plate folded in half makes it easy to cut the shamrock leaf symmetrically. Once you’re done, open it up and decorate it any way you like. At this point I like to hand the cut out plates over to my crack squad of paint and glitter commandos.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

Next you can see the heart version of the hat. This one is even easier to cut out than the shamrock hat.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates


It works fine with just a colored paper plate.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

Or if you have plain white plates you could paint them.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

I really like the simple circle cut out on pastel colored plates and made to look like sweetheart candy with a marker pen. So quick to make, but very cute.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

As you can see, these can be made to fit any head. Even my six month old can rock them!

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

There are an infinite number of ways you can customize the basic design, so I’ve included a few photos and a pdf design sheet that you can print out to use for ideas.

Here are the designs for the different hats.

Of course there’s the classic paper plate crown that can easily be used for birthdays, dress up play or mardi gras.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

With a couple of extra folds and two staples you can make a spooky bat hat.

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

March Hare ears for Easter?

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

Fourth of July party hats with silver markers and stickers!

Holiday Hats for Every Occasion Made from Paper Plates

The options for these kinds of hats are only limited by your imagination and with kids in the home, there’s no shortage of that!

If you’re having a party, these hats can be used for a couple of interesting games.

Number shuffle.
Divide the kids into two teams (this works best if you have a minimum of five players in each team) Make the basic circle paper plate hats in advance and number them for however many people are in each team. Put the plate hats on the kid’s heads so that they cannot see their own number. Then it’s a race to see which team can line themselves up in numerical order, the only rule being that you can’t tell anyone what their number is, just whose number is greater or smaller than theirs.

Guess Who.
This game used to be with stickers on your forehead, but when you use these hats, you can not only write the name on the circle, but you can also stick a picture of the person on it for kids that cannot yet read. Each person wears a hat with the name and picture of a character/real person on the front that they cannot see. Everyone else can see who they are though. Each person gets to ask “yes/no answer” questions to the group to try and guess who they are, such as “Am I fictional?” or “Am I human?” etc. If the answer to your question is yes then you get to ask another question. If the answer to your question is no then it is the next person’s turn to start asking their questions. The winner is the first person to correctly guess their secret identity.

Hope you have fun coming up with new paper plate millinery. The quickest, easiest and most adaptable party hat for every event in 2012!

About the author

Lindsey Boardman
Lindsey Boardman loves to share the messy art and crafting fun projects she concocts with the help of her two young daughters, her "filth wizards." She documents this fun on her personal blog Filth Wizardry.

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106 Responses to “DIY Holiday Hats For Every Occasion”

  1. Kathy Sykes Jan 22 at 9:16 am Reply Reply

    These are great! sending link to my son’s preschool teacher. She is very artsy!

  2. Sandy Jan 22 at 6:51 pm Reply Reply

    Oh, the dimples! Great idea, adorable models!

  3. Liane Jan 26 at 11:25 am Reply Reply!!! Thank you!

  4. Elizabeth Feb 08 at 4:25 pm Reply Reply

    These are so clever. Thanks!

  5. We made the heart hats the other day with my daughter’s class and they worked out great! Thanks for the awesome idea! I posted about it here

  6. Kit Jan 07 at 8:57 pm Reply Reply

    I’ve featured your heart hat on my Valentine’s Day Party – you can find it here!
    I’d love to use a photo with the adorable models but didn’t want to without asking first :)

  7. kivy Jan 27 at 11:07 am Reply Reply

    this is so cute. by the way is this suitable to use as a party hat? :)

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Jan 27 at 1:17 pm Reply Reply

      i think it’s TOTALLY suitable for a party hat. PARTY ON!

  8. Diane Feb 05 at 2:03 pm Reply Reply

    WOW! What a fun easy hat to make. They are so cute! My granddaughter is having a blast making hats for everyone.
    I’m glad I checked out your web page and got ideas for other occasions!!!

  9. Leslie Ann Feb 12 at 11:52 am Reply Reply

    Such a cute idea! Thanks for sharing – my three-year-old is making her heart hat right now and loving it :)

  10. michelle Jul 16 at 2:34 pm Reply Reply

    I just found this site and now my kids (10, 8 and 4) are cutting up a storm. One of them even figured out how to do a heart without me showing her!

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Jul 16 at 2:37 pm Reply Reply

      excellent! Love to hear this. :)

      • Heidi Kay Mar 06 at 4:36 pm Reply Reply


        I was perusing the web, looking for great St. Patricks Day activities to share with the pediatric therapy professionals we serve, and found your shamrock hat.  So awesome!!  I was wondering if I could have permission to feature the photo on our Instagram feed.  


        As you may know, I am unable to create a clickable link to your post through Instagram but I would obviously credit your blog and  put a link to the specific page the post came from along with suggestion that they visit that page on your blog for directions and more pictures in the description if that works…

        Here is the post that has the image I would love to share 

        Thanks so much in advance!

        • Isabel Kallman
          Isabel Kallman Mar 07 at 8:37 am Reply Reply

          thanks for your interest. as long as you credit and link to @alphamom and put a link to the specific page, you can use one photo. Thanks for asking.

  11. Jill Jan 18 at 9:02 pm Reply Reply

    I gave your site a shout-out for this post. Drop by and check it out.

  12. Katharine Harper Dec 15 at 10:06 am Reply Reply

    This is perfect for a stress-free class set of Christmas hats in a short space of time.

  13. Angie Jan 21 at 3:15 pm Reply Reply

    This are darling. I added the heart hat to “best of the web” in Valentine’s Crafts here: I hope that is OK.

  14. Olin Oct 31 at 9:52 am Reply Reply

    Excellent idea!! Thank you so much!!

  15. Ele Dec 09 at 5:46 am Reply Reply

    Just beautiful!  Cute and simple..

    Love it! 

  16. Brooke Apr 29 at 3:09 pm Reply Reply

    Hello – I am a librarian and would like to use one of your photos on a craft handout for a library program.  I have credited your site like you advised Heidi above.  May I have your permission to use the photo? (Heart Paper hat). Thanks, Brooke


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