DIY Mini Canotier Picnic Party Hats

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Every good party needs a party hat. And attendance at any lake-side picnic requires sporting a canotier, or a boater, hat. My all-time favourite hat (I have a thing for hats as I am frequently susceptible to "bad hair days"), the canotier was first seen in public fashion towards the end of the 1880's and was worn by sporty-types, cyclists and recreational sailors - hence its name 'Boater' in English. It was immortalised by Renoir who painted happy, sun-loving Frenchies all wearing canotiers in his two paintings 'Le Moulin de la Galette' and then 'Déjeuner des canotiers'.

Auguste Renoir - Le Déjeuner des canotiers

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Le Moulin de la Galette

For last Sunday's picnic I combined the two to create party boater hats and then took along some supplies so my friends could make them, too!

DIY Mini Canotier Picnic Party hats

You'll need
 + One piece of yellow, straw-coloured scrapbooking card*
+ Scissors
+ A ruler
+ A compass
+ Sticky tape
+ Double-sided tape
+ Some brightly coloured or patterned washi tape for decorating
+ A headband or some ribbon

Full instructions after the jump... xx

Prepare the template
Before starting, if your piece of card has a '"wrong-side" make sure that this is the side you have facing up.
Close to one edge draw a circle with a 7.5 cm radius. Using the same point in the centre make another circle with a 4.5cm radius. Then using the ruler, at the opposite edge make a at mark 1cm then 4cm then 5cms away from the edge all the way along, then connect the marks to make three straight lines.

Prepare the pieces 
Cut out the larger circle. Then, very carefully make a straight snip through the larger circle to the inner circle and cut it out. Leave to the side and then cut along the furthest marked line to the edge to make a strip that will have two marked lines on it. So now you have a circle, a ring with a snip in it and a long rectangle.
Take the rectangle and make short snips, one centimetre apart, along the edge up to the marked line. Turn it around and do the same on the other side. Start folding the little tabs just created along the maked line then turn it around and fold the tabs along the other side in the other direction. Your piece of card should now have a Z shape.

Put your hat together.
Over lap the rectangular piece at the shorter ends so the the pencil markings are on the inside. The tabs that fold into the centre will be the top and the tabs that fan out will be the bottom. Place the ring piece, "right-side" facing up, over the top of the fanned out tabs and wiggle the two pieces together so that the inner piece overlaps and the edges of the ring meet. Very carefully tape the inner piece together with double sided tape then turn the hat over and tape the tabs to the underside of the ring. 
Place short strips of double sided tape around the other set of tabs at the top and press the circle piece of card on top. Turn your hat over again and tape the tabs to the underside of the circle.

Decorate your hat!
Take the patterned washi tape and carefully tape it to the length of the bottom edge of the inner strip along the brim. Then snip to pieces the width of the brim and cut out triangles at the bottom. Tape these to the snip in the brim to cover it.
Take the headband or ribbon and tape the to join of the inner piece and the brim on the underside at the front of your hat.

Now, fix yourself a Pimms cup and take yourself off to a sunny lake to row a boat and read some poetry.


*The measurements of this DIY are suited to a piece of scrapbooking card 30.5cm by 30.5cm. If you'd like to make a larger hat (which look awesome, by the way) feel free you but you will need to up the size of the card and think back to your primary school days of compasses and the value of pi. Getting the measurements right for this DIY took much longer than I'd care to admit!


  1. Awesome DIY! I think I was in the moon that day cause I totally missed out on Olivia's jewelry and on the little hat workshop...
    I'm gonna have to try this diy out :)

  2. Thank you lovely! Please let me know how it goes if you do it! The pretty washi tapes are from Merci! xx