Custom Party Hats (and not just for kids and cats!)

My friend Noeleen,snarling on her birthday and wearing a photo of herself snarling at a previous birthday.PS: I’ll have you know, Noeleen authorized the public distribution of the photo above in exchange for my bringing coca cola cake to her boyfriend’s NYE party…!!BARGAIN!!

Oh, how I love me some party hats. I jump at any excuse to make them and wear them…

Birthdays = Party Hats
New Year’s Eve = Party Hats
Good haircut = Party Hats
Bad haircut= Party Hats
Visit to the dermatologist = Party Hats
Discovered the cat likes Barry Manilow music = Party Hats

There is never a bad occasion. Never. And I’m not just talking about kid’s parties either; adults enjoy part hats just as much, if not more! Well, maybe not all adults. Maybe just the cool ones.

The nice thing about party hats is they lend a sense of occasion to any location. When my friend Noeleen had her birthday party at a restaurant last summer, decorations weren’t really an option. Too much fuss. So, we brought the party to the table and wore the decorations on our heads. So what if the other tables looked at us funny? Fun was had by all!

My family wearing Abigail themed party hat’s at Abigail’s first birthday. Note every adult on the property that day was wearing one of these hats. The only ones *not* wearing them were Abigail and Old Rusty (Old Rusty the dog, not Old Rusty the Uncle)

Not long ago I was down South celebrating Abigail’s first birthday. Of course, there needed to be custom hats. And of course, everyone wore one except Abigail. Apparently, baby does not like anything touching her head, not even a custom party hat! Oh well, she had plenty of fun looking at all the adults looking like goofy Carmen Miranda types.

As long as we are on the subject of Abigail’s’ birthday, can we all just take a moment to admire my niece? I mean seriously. Just look at that pudding face!

There are lots of ways to make custom party hats, but I find the easiest, sturdiest, and least expensive bases are those latex foam visors you find at craft stores. I try to stock up when they are on sale, buying a bag of ten for $4.00 or so. You can also use disposable paper party tiaras from earlier parties, or anything that will sit securely on the head. I have even used paper cups in the past….just make due with what you have.

Embellishments are unlimited! The secret is to find one or two lightweight elements that take up a lot of space + one or two sparkly/unique elements that will stick out from the pack. The foam rubber is especially nice because you can piece it with pipe cleaners or silk flowers, but glue and duct tape will also get the job done.

Think about incorporating…

  • Photographs
  • Letters and Numbers (Hello 2011! Or what about celebrating Alex’s Birthday by putting one big A on one hat + L on another, etc etc.)
  • Plastic bottles cut into flowers
  • Coloring book pages
  • Feather boas cut to bits
  • Silk flowers
  • Paper doilies
  • Holiday tinsel garland
  • Small toys
  • Tulle netting
  • Monopoly money
  • Playing cards

Just about anything in your waste bin that doesn’t smell or stick to your show can be used to make nifty hats!

Y’all have fun!

PS: Just as I was about to post this, I saw this wonderful article from Tatertots & Jello featuring 20 fabulous party hats. Check it out!

Bubba, Kerry and Abigail celebrate the day in style! Abigail was fascinated by all the adults wearing hats on her birthday, but they only one she would put on her own head that day was the pink monster (a gift from Uncle John). Kerry took the party hats home afterwards –she thinks they will come in handy in the doctor’s office. Can’t you just imagine your childhood doctor administering shots in a kickbutt hat like this?!


  1. says

    You are a goofball genius! Love this idea, and great tip to use those visors. But I must correct one thing. Cake face, not pudding face.

    Wait – unless that was pudding cake.

    She is a little angel and the Abigail hats are beyond cute.

  2. says

    Can I just tell you how much I LOVE your blog!!! AND custom party hats, well I’m gonna swoon, then make some!! They kind of remind me of the hats all the ladies wore in the ‘induction’ scene of “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”

  3. Nikki says

    Lord beat a hammer! Those are some cute hats and what a C-U-T-E baby that is. I wish I knew where you lived so I could come over uninvited. I’ll bet your family suppers are a fun time!

    First time on your blog but it won’t be my last!

  4. says

    Um, you are officially invited to my birthday party, and you don’t even have to bring a Coca Cola cake–although you are welcome to! Although I don’t know WHERE it will be this year (in early March), I do know that it will involve ridiculous party hats! I love these!

    Hope you have a fabulous new year and hope to see pics of that coca cola cake (I’m curious now) and the party!

    xo Mary Jo

  5. says

    Your niece is GORGEOUS and the hats are so quirky and sweet and what a great idea keeping one for the doctors office – seriously great idea!!!!!!

    Okay a coca cola cake you have GOT to share that recipe – I have never heard of one living in the antipodes but I have rather a thing for Coke 🙂

  6. Anonymous says

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  7. says

    What a fun idea! Definitely keeping this in mind….I don’t know what for, but they are definitely on the to-do list!

  8. says

    Love it Peaches. In our house we have the tradition of making a crown for the birthday boy/girl/person, but i think your idea is even better….can’t wait to try this one! xoxoxoThanks for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  9. says

    That was sweet. I guess I need to try this birthday party idea for my daughter’s birthday next month.


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