How to Make Paper Pilgrim Hats

    by Kim Hoyum

    About the Author

    Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.


    Use construction paper or poster board to create engaging and crafty Thanksgiving or Pilgrim hats. Add them as decoration to a Thanksgiving dinner table, or make them in conjunction with talking about the Pilgrims and the early history of the United States. Paper Pilgrim hats can be made in two different fashions, one for boys and one for girls.

    Things You'll Need

    • Black construction paper or poster board (for boys)
    • White construction paper (for girls)
    • Gold construction paper or poster board (for boys)
    • Stapler
    • Glue
    • Markers
    • Paper clips
    • Paperweight
    • Hole punch
    • Scissors
    • String or yarn (for girls)

    show more

    Boy's Hat

    Mark the dimensions of the hat on the black paper or poster board. It should be 10 inches tall and 14 inches wide. Also mark a 2-inch-wide strip of black paper for a headband, making it twice as long as the hat is wide, about 28 inches.

    Cut out the basic shape of a Pilgrim hat with scissors. It should be a truncated pyramid with a wide brim. Use your first one as a template to trace others, if necessary.

    Place the hat in the center of the headband so that the hat brim overlaps below the headband. Staple the hat and band together and fold the brim upward so that it forms a little shelf-like hat brim over the wearer’s eyes. Make the bottom of the band level with the crease that forms the brim.

    Cut a buckle shape out of the gold paper or poster board and glue it onto the center of the hatband with white glue or a glue stick.

    Fit the headband to the wearer’s head using two paper clips for adjusting and securing the band, placing the hat shape at the forehead.

    Girl's Hat

    Fold a 12-by18 piece of white construction paper lengthwise about 2 inches from one edge to begin a girl's Pilgrim hat. This will be the front of the hat.

    Fit the hat to the wearer’s head. Bend -- do not fold -- the hat in a half circle over her head with the shorter ends of the paper coming down to the jawline. Mark the paper where it will meet the jawline.

    Cut two slits at the back of the paper on each side, about 6 inches up from the jawline marking, but at the back of the head, opposite from the folded front. These pieces will fold in to create the bonnet shape and should divide the paper into thirds. Cut the slits about 6 inches long.

    Bend the paper in a half circle again, as if to be worn. Fold down the middle section of paper between the two slits you cut at the back and crease the fold.

    Fold one of the other thirds of the back of the hat over the middle section and glue it into place. Glue the remaining third section over the first two and glue it as well. Allow the glue to dry with a paperweight or other heavy object on the glued sections.

    Punch two holes with a hole punch in the corners of the front of the bonnet, underneath the folded brim. Tie a piece of string or yarn to each hole, which can then be tied together to fit underneath the wearer’s chin.

    • The dimensions given for the boy’s Pilgrim hat can be scaled down for smaller children.
    • When allowing the girl’s Pilgrim hat to dry, place it face up to avoid crushing it.
    • Make either hat out of felt for a more permanent craft.
    • If very young children are working on the hats, don't allow them to use sharp scissors or strong glues.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images