Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spring Bonnets


I have been making bonnets forever. We have a big Easter parade with the boys wearing the bunny disguises and the girls wearing one of these bonnets. I allow everyone to make both. The boys often like to make mom or grandma a bonnet and personally, I would be proud to wear a bonnet that my son made for me!

The bonnets have evolved from being very labor intensive and unique, (made when I was a young teacher) to super easy and quick. I'm going to show you all three versions but I'll start with the easy and quick so that you don't have to read through the whole blog post if you're happy with simple!


Buy bonnets and lots ands lots of plastic flowers, (the larger the better) at the Dollar store. Take off any ribbons on the hats and remove the stems from the flowers . Cut off the small plastic nubbin that remains so that the base of the flowers will lay flat when you glue them.

Have the kids pick out a hat, flowers and a ribbon (set a limit for the number of flowers or you'll get Beach Blanket Babylon bonnets). Have them place everything in the upside down hat and put it in a designated spot. I love calling them one at a time to design their hat! Using glue, follow their directions. This is an easy job for a parent to do. Cut slits in the side of the bonnet and slip in the ribbon. Attach a bow in the back of the hat. Done!

Happy medium bonnet:

[Do this ahead of time]: Buy a sturdy type of paper bowl and paper plate. Trace the upside down bowl edge around the upside down plate. Cut out, leaving a little bit of an edge. Glue the bowl down to the back of the plate.  Now you have a bonnet!

Let the kids paint. After it has dried, cut a vertical slit on each side of the hat, near the transition to the brim, for a ribbon that we'll add at the end. Next have them pick out flowers and a ribbon and put them in the upside down hat until you or a parent calls them over to make the final creation. Done! This is the hat I prefer because the kids are involved in actually making the hat.

Labor intensive and unique:

Whew! Here goes. I'm tired already...

Mix up a bowl of flour, water and glue. It should be pretty soupy. Using a large paint brush, thoroughly cover a sheet of newspaper with the paste. Get every corner. Try not to use newspaper with color or pictures; they are hard to cover with paint. Lay another sheet of newspaper on top and "iron" down with your hands. Do this until you have three layers. Take the glued together sheets and place them on top of the student's head and smooth down. Giggling will begin.

Tape the newspaper sheets around the circumference of their head, then slide the hat off and place it on a flat surface. Trim the brim to form a circle. Shape the brim and place newspaper balls on the inside of the hat so it keeps its shape. Flatten the brim with heavy books and let it dry overnight.

Paint with white paint to cover the newsprint. When dry, paint with a chosen color.


I have let them drop watercolors onto coffee filters to make flowers. After they have dried, cut different sized circles out of the coffee filters and place the small circles inside of the larger one. They are pretty but a lot of work. Use liquid water color paint for more vibrant colors.

Another option is to cut circles of colorful tissue paper and do the same thing. This is easier and much faster.  If you cut the tissue circles in advance, the kids can learn to make the flowers. Glue the flowers and ribbon on to the hat. Done. Finally!

You need to begin this project in December!

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