Here’s a fun way to make use of leftover birthday party hats with that annoying rubber band. Add a little paper and glue and transform them into happy holiday decorations!
2 party hats
8 1/2 x 11 sheet of colored paper
Scraps of colored paper
Glue stick or double-sided tape
Paper punches or stencils (optional)
- To make one decorated tree, start by making a pattern with the extra party hat. First, cut the strap off both hats. Then cut open one hat at the seam and flatten it.
- Hold it flat against the backside of the sheet of colored paper and trace around it with a pencil.
- Use scissors to cut out the shape 1/4” outside the pencil lines.
- Apply permanent glue stick or double-sided tape to the entire surface of the backside of the paper shape. Next, lay the intact hat down, centered on the sticky surface.
- Roll the hat one way and then the other, pressing firmly, until the colored paper is smoothly adhered to the entire hat.
- Now the mini Christmas tree is ready to decorate. Cut or punch shapes (such as dots, stripes and stars) from a contrasting color of paper, and then attach them to the tree using a glue stick. Make the decorations as simple or fancy as desired!
- Tape the flat hat back together to make another tree, or save it flat for a pattern to cover many more trees.
- If extra party hats are not available, craft cones from heavy-weight paper instead.
- Besides paper shapes, the trees can be decorated with felt or foam shapes, paint, markers, stickers, buttons, rhinestones, ribbons, pom-poms, sequins or tape.
- Draw decorations or pictures onto the flat paper, before adhering it to the hat.
- For a really easy project, simply use paper printed with a pattern.
- Stick a decorative food pick in the top of the tree, or make one with a paper shape and a toothpick.
- Make a bunch of trees for a table centerpiece or to adorn a fireplace mantel.
- Add a name to each tree, to make unique place cards for Christmas dinner.
- Coordinate the colors on the trees to match other Christmas decorations or the home’s décor.
- Leave the straps on and decorate the hats to make custom party headwear for any occasion.
- Decorate a hat like Santa’s hat with red paper and cotton balls.
- Embellish several trees with one letter on each, to spell out a Holiday greeting.
- Use cone-shaped drinking cups to make tiny trees.
- To make trees nonspecific to Christmas, decorate them with “snow,” birds or little pinecones, or wrap a hat in white paper and add snowman features.
- Decorate a hat, add a ribbon handle, and turn it upside down to stuff with treats and tissue for a fun party favor or gift.
- Decorate the hats like Santa, reindeer or penguins.
Pamela Frye Hauer is an artist, author and mother of two busy little boys. Her craft and scrapbooking projects have appeared in numerous books and magazines. Her most recent book is "Memories in Miniature."