Paper Baseball Caps

I'm happy to report that my dressed-up Graduation Bottle was a real hit at the graduation party. If you have any current graduates in your circle of friends, I suggest you give it a try.

It was so much fun to do that the idea has been rattling around in my mind ever since. There's just something cheerful about putting a hat on an inanimate object and humanizing it a bit. Sort of like putting eyeballs on produce, or faces on eggs.

So with my son's baseball season in full swing, the next obvious hat of choice for me was a baseball cap. And the bottle options to top them with are wide open. So I whipped up the estimates, threw together a prototype, and this is what I came up with. Follow along if you'd like to make some yourself. They're really quite simple.

Initially, I sat down to experiment with the template. I started with a rectangular piece of paper that was 8" long and a little over 2" wide.

I cut out a curved "tooth" pattern, then punched a small hole in the tip of each "tooth."

I picked a brad that was an appropriate size and fed it through each of the holes as I gathered the points together, until I had secured all of the points in the center.

I secured the brad, glued the tab at the cuff of the cap, and arranged the panels.

Then I started working with the brim of the cap. After cutting out the brim, I applied some glue to the tabs and positioned them inside the front of the cap.

I was pretty pleased with the prototype, but decided to make just a few adjustments for the final design. For one thing, I realized that most baseball caps have 6 panels, not 8. Also, I wanted it to look more like a baseball cap, rather than a farmer's hat (the taller ones.)

If I had taken any engineering in school, I probably would have known the rules of physics involved with adjusting my template, but since that wasn't my area of study, I just had to go with trial and error. For example, I found that lengthening the teeth made for a taller hat. Sharpening the angle of the teeth left gaps. Rounding the angle of the teeth made the hat more flat, like a beret. Anyway, I eventually came up with something I'm pleased with, and I'll file all the rest of the experimenting under "learning experience."

So this is the template ready for you to use, with either 8 panels or 6 panels, and a cap brim that will work for either one.

Begin by printing out the template. I started with a printed template that was about 8" long.
I found that paper was too thin and felt was too flimsy, but cardstock worked really well. I haven't tried craft foam yet, though I believe it would probably be too bulky on this small of a cap. Craft foam would probably work great if you decided to make larger caps.

First, carefully cut out the "teeth."

Punch a small hole in the tip of each point.

Begin gathering the tips together, lining up the punched holes.

Insert a brad into the holes to secure the points in the center.

Continue until all the points are secured.

Spread the tips of the brad to secure in place. Do this loosely at first so you can continue to adjust the panels as needed. Also, if your brad is long, you might need to curve the ends of the brad to prevent it from distorting the shape of the cap.

Overlap the tab at the end of the strip of paper and glue it in place to complete the ring of the cap.

Adjust the panels as necessary, tighten the brad, and you should have something that looks like this.

Next, cut out the brim of the cap.

Fold the tabs back to the guideline.

Apply glue to the tabs only.

Align the brim with the front of the cap and press the tabs in place inside the cap.

And with that step, your cap is complete! Isn't that simple?

The 8-panel and the 6-panel are very similar, so it's really just a matter of personal preference, though I believe the 6-panel is more typical of real-size design.

Just put a spot of tape or glue inside the cap and it's ready to be placed on your bottle of choice.

You can also personalize the caps by printing something on the front panel, like the team name or logo, or a player's number. I would suggest you do this to the template before you even print it.

The template can be adjusted to make any size cap. So you can do really small ones to place over a Reese's cup to use as a party favor, or larger ones to use to hang from the ceiling for party decorations. In fact, I'm sure there's an endless list of purposes for this and I would dearly love to hear yours. So please share your comments so others can see too.

And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page

I'll be linking to some of the fabulous link parties listed on the right sidebar ... but really, that's a LOT of parties! I probably won't get to them all, but you should stop in and visit a few yourself.
While you're at it, stop by my home page and add a few links there too!