Black Poster Board (Approx. 3 - 4 sheets per child)
Tracing Paper or Thin Copy Paper
A Pen or Pencil
A Flexible Measuring Tape
For each hat, cut out a large circle from the black poster board; each circle should be about the size of a 12" record (remember those?).
Mark the center of each circle.
On a piece of tracing paper or thin copy paper, draw an oval that would accommodate a head that's 19" around.
Repeat this process on 3 more sheets of paper, expanding the oval by 1" on each to create a total of 4 different-sized patterns (i.e. 19", 20", 21", and 22" in circumference, respectively).
Cut out the oval patterns, write the size of each one somewhere on the pattern, and then mark the center of each oval.
At the Party:
Measure the child's head with a measuring tape.
Use the pattern that most closely matches the child's head size to trace and cut an oval from the center of one of the 12" circles (image A). The circle will be the hat's brim, and the oval you cut out of it will be the hat's top.
Cut a rectangle of poster board that's 1" longer than the child's head measurement and about 12" high, or as tall as you'd like the hat to be (image B).
Roll the poster board rectangle into a tube, and insert it into the oval hole in the hat's brim. Once the rolled poster board is in about halfway, let it uncoil until it securely fills the oval opening.
Staple along the overlapping edges of the tube so that there's a staple in it every inch or so (C).
Push the brim of the hat to the bottom edge of the stapled tube, and then squeeze some glue into the gap between the inner edge of the brim and the outside of the tube to keep the brim in place. Turn the hat upside down, and tape the bottom of the brim to the inside of the tube in a few places to secure it until the glue dries (image D).
Line the top edge of the tube with glue, and press the oval top down onto the glue. Flip the hat upside down again, and add a few pieces of tape inside the hat to secure the top to the inside of the tube (image E). Your top hat is complete!