Steampunk Top Hat - DIY/Tutorial

For the WGT 2015 I made my own steampunk hat.  Since I am creating a new steampunk outfit at the moment, I needed a new hat as well. And maybe some of you want to make one on your own as well:)

These are the things that you will need:

- a camping mat out of foam rubber for the main part of the hat

-  a pen, a ruler, tape, scissors and a geometry compass.

- some sheets of paper and a measurement band

- for this type of steampunk hat you also require some textile (I choose a brown color)

- some things to decorate it like an old clockwork, buttons and parts of an old curtain

- a hot glue gun

For the hat I wore at the WGT I used foam sheets to make the little metal plates and painted the hat first black and then with bronze color.

The first step is to measure the circumference of your head. My head is around 56cm. You should add around 2cm to give some room for clearance. With the circumference you can calculate the diameter and the radius for drawing the pattern.

If you don´t have a big enough paper sheet for the pattern just clue some pieces together. I think for this hat 4 paper sheets should always be the right number unless you make a small hat for your child or doll.

Next mark the center of the circle and make one or two dots for the radius of your head. Make another dot a bit further outside to create a second bigger circle for the brim. Then use the geometry compass to draw the two circles.

Afterwards cut out the bigger circle. Then carefully cut out the inner circle so that you then have two patterns.


Depending on your head size glue two or three paper sheets together to form the side of your hat. The circumference of your head is the length of the long side of the paper sheets. So in my case it would normally be 56 cm – but I made my hat bigger to fit over my hairpiece. The other side of the paper sheets determines how high your hat will be. Cut the side pattern for your hat as well and then we can start with the camping mattress.

These are the patterns you will need.

Lay the pattern on it and draw them on the mattress. Then cut out the first part of the hat. Afterwards start with the next pattern. Be a bit careful when you cut out the inner circle, especially at the start so that you don´t make a big whole.

Now that we have all the hat pieces when can start gluing them together. Use an underlay so that you don´t mess up your table. Put some glue on the inside of the brim and glue the side piece to it before the glue dries.

Work your way around the entire circle. When you glue the side piece inside the brim piece, your hat will get a bit smaller. If you didn´t add some extra cm to your circumfence you should glue the side piece on top of the brim piece.

The final step is to glue the top piece onto the side piece.


And now we have a pink plain hat.

It´s time to decorate the hat now. For this model I used brown textile. First of all cut around the top piece. You don´t need to be too accurate because you will cover up the ends anyways.

Then use some pins to pin the textile to the sides of your hat. And try out how the textile falls best. Cut away the textile that is too much. Then clue the textile step by step to the hat. First the top piece and then the side piece. For this you should take out one pin after the other.

Where the side piece meets glue it to the hat as well. Then glue it to the brim.

Use an old curtain for the inside of the hat. Cut and form it into a way you like it and then use the hot glue gun again. If needed use a needle and some thread to make some stiches to give the textile a better shade around the hat. I used some stiches around the brim.


Then we can start with the small decorations. I used some parts of the old curtain and a clockwork to decorate my hat. Afterwards I also glued some buttons unto my hat. And a little more of the old curtain. Just put onto the hat whatever you want.

And then we are done.  Maybe you want to try this out on your own. I would love to see some of your results.

You can watch the video as well, if you are unsure about any parts of the crafting process.

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