Harry Potter Style Party: DIY Sorting Hat

When my friend said that her daughter wanted to have a Harry Potter Themed birthday party I squealed.  Yes, I actually did. No lie. SO, I volunteered to help a little with ideas and decor.  Well, I'm not going to lie, I'm terrible at decorating. BUT the one thing I'm good at is creating things out of nothing.  

I searched for ideas, and we decided that she had to have a sorting hat! My friend actually had a fantastic idea of recreating the sorting of the Hogwarts houses.  I mean, it doesn't matter how good I am, I could never make the sorting hat actually speak (and if I did, I couldn't tell you, because I can't reveal these sort of secrets to muggles... but you didn't hear that from me).  

My friend baked cupcakes and filled them in with four different frosty colors to signify each house.  You take a bite, If you get yellow you are a Hufflepuff, blue is Ravenclaw, green is Slytherin, and Red is Gryffindor. GENIUS!


I love DIY projects.  This particular one was exciting to me because I'm a huge potterhead.  I checked pinterest, and other DIY ideas and kind of came up with my own.  

I used materials I already had around the house.  I figured that it had to be sturdy since kids were going to be taking in off and on, so I used cardboard form a large box for the brim of the hat, and...a cheetos box for the crown part... I mean, I figured it was going to get covered anyway, so why not.  Obviously, you can use cardstock or thin cardboard.  

Originally, I was going to use regular glue to keep all parts together, but I soon realized that regular ole Elmer's glue was not going to be enough for this project...So I used duct tape.  Yep.  Best idea I've ever had.  Here's what I did:

1.  MEASURE the circumference of your head, or your kid's head and draw a circle on the cardboard.  Make sure it's big enough!!!! this step is VERY important as you can't fix it later if you make it too small. 

2. DRAW a even bigger circle (brim) around the head-circle.  Cut.  It should look like a donut.   Try it on to make sure the opening is big enough.


3. USE a large sheet of cardstock paper and fold it in a cone shape.  Make sure that the base (bottom) of the cone shaped cardstock is the same size as the head-opening that you'd previously cut.  Don't worry if the cone looks good or not... we are going to dent it and shape it in just a minute.  I used duct tape to keep the cone together.  It worked great.

4. CUT 1 inch slits all around the base of the cone to make little flaps. about 1 inch apart.  Insert the cone shape into the head-opening until the flaps are at the bottom.  Fold the flaps outward and glue/duct tape the flaps to the brim of the hat.  You can use the duct tape to your discretion to make sure the hat is sturdy and secure.  I used small pieces of cardboard to create the face of the hat (eyebrows and mouth).


5. NOW the fun begins!  Try to mold your cone by wrinkle it in strategic places.  The top, and some on the sides.  Then, let's paper mache! I ripped regular white paper in pieces and glued one by one on the visible surfaces of the hat until it was completely covered.  Then I applied a layer of modpodge to the entire hat.  This gives it a "leathery" texture.  

6. THE CREASES of the sorting hat are iconic, so I had to get creative.  I used regular sheets of white paper and wrinkled them and then glued them to the bottom, between the brim and the cone part.  make sure it's secure and dry before the next step.


7. PAINT the hat!  Using two tones of acrylic paint, I was able to create texture to the hat.  I used dark brown to cover the entire hat first, and then I used a metallic bronze color to paint strategic places only.  Paint with bronze over the face (eyebrows, nose bridge, mouth), and on the outer part of the creases.  

Let it dry before you paint the bottom part of the brim.  

The results will vary depending on the paint color, but overall I think this is a great way to add a little extra fun to your Magic-themed party! (and cheap!)


I love DIY projects! tell me about your projects and I might try them too! please comment below or share this post! thanks!