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Bunting, badges and bowties: 1913-style hat


Activity inspired by the Glorious Days exhibition

Make a glorious 1913-style hat

Suitable for ages 5+. This activity was designed to be made with the help of an adult.

Children are invited to make a hat, inspired by the National Museum's Glorious Days: Australia 1913 exhibition, featuring artworks, costume, music and newsreel footage from Australia as it was a century ago.

In Bunting, badges and bowties we are going to blend the ‘old’ with the ‘you’ and make some funky fashion accessories from 1913. Once you are dressed to impress, take your photo and send it to us at

Three children wearing handmade cardboard hats.

To get started, try to imagine what life might have been like 100 years ago?

  • Do you think that people dressed the same as they do now?
  • Can you imagine how life would be different without the Internet?
  • Imagine what type of hat you might like to make? Will it be a top hat or a boater?
  • How will you decorate your hat? How will you make your hat reflect your personality?

What you will need:

  • Cardboard. One piece of A3 cardboard and a longer piece 65cm x 14cm (for a boater-style hat) or 65cm x 22cm (for a top hat). Tip: you can join two pieces of cardboard together to make a longer strip.
  • Some decorative paper
  • Tissue paper to make decorative flowers
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Scissors

What to do:

  1. Collect all of your materials and spread them out.
  2. Cut the longer piece of cardboard to size: 65cm x 14cm for a boater or 65cm x 22cm for a top hat. This will be your hat body.
  3. On the top and the bottom of the hat body, cut a series of 2-3cm triangular tabs, or V-shaped notches. This will help give your hat its round shape and give you an edge to glue onto.

4. Fold all the triangular tabs over, top row back and bottom row forward.

5. Print out the  hat template circles and glue them to your piece of A3 cardboard.

6. Cut out the circles. Tip: Circles can be tricky, so ask an adult if you need help. Keep the central circle because it will be the top of your hat.

7. Now put your hat together! Take the hat body and join the ends, so it makes a cylindrical shape. Staple at the top and bottom.

8. Slide this circle into the hat rim. The tabs you folded out should be at the bottom to glue the rim to the hat body.

9. Now glue the top on to the tabs you folded in at the top of your hat body.

10. Congratulations, you have just made your hat! Now the decorating fun begins. You can use ribbon, pattern paper, felt or any of your favourite craft materials.

11. Try your hat on and look in the mirror!

If you would like to share your creation with us, send a photo to

We'll add your creation to our Flickr stream, where you can see some great examples of hats other people have made and decorated as part of Bunting, badges and bowties.

Activity sheet

 Bunting, badges and bowties activity [PDF 199kb]

 Hat template circles