As part of planning my son’s 5th ‘Cops and Robbers’ birthday party, I put a ton of time and energy into The Police Hat. The wearing of one by each child, I was convinced, would be central to 15 five year old boys’ willingness to run around the yard and actually play cops and robbers.
(As it turned out, the very act of gathering together 15 five year-old boys in a yard guarantees that they will run around, chase each other and have a great time).
Needless to say, my vision was to have personalized police badges and hats all lined up on a check-in table out front so that, as each boy arrived, he could acquire his ‘costume’ and run in to the party. There would also be a ‘sack’ for each one containing cop essentials such as handcuffs, a plastic whistle and a little foam ball gun – all inexpensive party favors that I ordered from Oriental Trading.
The badges were easy: I used a blank badge template I found via Google, added each child’s name via GIMP, pasted them 6 to a page in Microsoft Word and printed them out on gold construction paper. After laminating the entire sheet of badges using my trusty laminating machine (a shockingly inexpensive discovery and now indispensable desktop accessory), I just cut them out and attached them to the child’s shirt with a safety pin.
Here is the badge template in case you’re interested.
That hats required a lot of searching online, and there are a surprisingly limited number of how-to’s on police hats out there that are any good – so what I ended up doing was taking the best of a few and combining them into my own version, which I will share with you here in case you ever need one for your own purposes. It was a very easy project, but since i was making 15 of them at one time it was extremely time-consuming. In fact, even after all of the planning and pre-cutting of templates, etc, I didn’t get the hats done in time for the party. And you know what? It didn’t even matter. But they turned out cute, so hopefully this tutorial will be useful.
Before we dive into the tutorial, please consider a free two-week trial of this sponsor’s daily devotional:
DIY POLICE HAT TUTORIAL
- Blue construction paper – if there is a Michael’s nearby, they have an entire aisle dedicated to papers that you can buy by the sheet. I selected a blue paper that is a little heavier than typical construction paper to make sure it would stand up and stay strong. I would say it’s more like a card stock in terms of weight. But plain blue construction paper would work just fine, and I’m thinking you could even laminate it to reinforce it for strength.
- Black construction paper – same notes as above. In this case the black paper I chose was slightly textured, which is totally not noticeable in the finished product but, well, it was also on sale
- Gold or yellow construction paper – if you want to add embellishments
- Elastic – you’ll have to guague how much you need, but I would say it’s safe to estimate 24″ per hat, which will give you plenty of room to knot it on each side and/or size it appropriately once it’s on the child’s head. I think I ended up using about 19″ when all was said and done. I think any kind of elastic would work for these: the thin black is asthetically pleasing, but for solid long-term hold on the head you might use elastic banding instead.
- Hole Punch
- Glue Stick
I have saved these as individual .pdf files so that they are actual size when you print them out on a normal sized piece of printer paper. Print them and use them as your template. Here is the bill of the hat. Here is the top part of the hat.
Once you have cut out your pieces, take the Bill of the hat and fold the back part of it in half — see the dotted lines in the photo.
Stand your newly-folded Bill upright, and place your Hat upright on top, so that the bottom of it is centered in front of the folded part of the Bill: this is where you will attach the two pieces. Glue stick the back of the Hat and adhere it to the folded portion of the Bill.
Use your hole punch and punch a hole on each side of the folded portion of the Bill: this is where you will attach your elastic.
Loop your elastic through one of the hold, knot it, and size the hat on the child’s head. The fold of the bill should lay flat-ish on the child’s forehead (see final pic). Once you know how tight it needs to be for a secure fit, loop the other part of the elastic through the second hole and knot accordingly. Trim excess elastic. PERFECTIONIST NOTE: When knotting the elastic on both sides, try to tie the knot so that it lies on the ‘inside’ of the hat. Less visible from the front of the hat.
Now you can decorate the hat however you like. I applied a thin strip of the black construction paper over the seam where the hat connects to the bill, just to smooth it over. I also traced a nickel on gold construction paper to create the circular ‘buttons’ for each side. Finally, I found a cute ‘police’ clip art set via Pinterest, which is where i found the little Police badge for the hat. For other fun ideas, DEFINITELY do a Pinterest search for ‘police hat.’
So this completes my very first online tutorial and I hope it has been useful to you – please feel free to leave me feedback, further ideas for embellishments, additional ideas, etc in the Comments below!