I've never bought party hats, and after realizing how easy it is to make them -- I never will. Here's my party hat template if you'd like to make your own!
How I did it: I first created a zig-zag pattern in Illustrator at standard letter size (8.5x11). I printed the pattern on one side, then flipped the paper over and printed the template on the blank side. (Be sure to use a thicker paper than the standard computer paper.) I could have printed the template on top of the pattern, but I wanted to avoid having any lines from the template showing through on the pattern. Hey, I'm not the best at cutting!
After everything was printed, I cut out the template (if you are following the template I've provided, remember to cut on the pink lines also.) Then I rolled up the paper into a cone, pulled both tabs through the slit, and slapped some invisible tape on the crease to keep everything in place. Voilá!
But don't get too excited. You still need to add the elastic. Poke one hole on each side, about 1/2-3/4 of an inch up from the bottom of the hat. After you've determined the right length for your elastic, knot one end. Thread the knot-free end through the hole from inside your hat. Now thread it through the other hole from outside the hat. Knot that end. The end.
You can attach anything or nothing at all to the front of your hat. You can add even more bling if you want -- cotton balls around the bottom, a pom-pom at the top. Or literally, bling. Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like diamonds...
Random notes about this project:
- My elastic is too thick. It's what I had on hand so it is what I used. I recommend something much thinner.
- Do you want a custom made party hat template? If you do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk.
- Size the elastic to your head before you start cutting. Don't guess. I did, and the first time I put mine on, I almost strangled myself. Most people probably don't have a larger head than you.
- After you poke the holes for the elastic, place scotch tape on both sides of the hole. Poor man's reinforcements (does anyone still use those things?!)
- I'm really excited to celebrate my Angel Pie's birthday. Sorry, had to throw that in there.