I recently attend a pirate themed party over Memorial Day weekend and I wanted to make a couple props for the event. One prop was a hat and the other was a working lantern. Here is how I made my Captain Jack Sparrow inspired hat.
Tools and Materials
- Hat for a pattern
- 4 and 2 mm foam
- Painters tape
- Sharpie Marker
- utility knife
- Contact cement
- Mod podge
- Burnt Umber, Black, and White Paint
- poster board
- heat gun
- craft paper
Making the pattern
Cover half of the baseball hat with blue painters tape and trace a line down the center and then another line down the middle separating the front and the back. Add some registration lines. We will use then when we have to match up the sections. Carefully take the cap off the cap. Try to keep it all together and cut out the front and back section and place it on poster board. You will need to cut a dart in the tape pattern to have it lay flat on the poster board. Trace the pattern onto the poster board, be sure to trace all the markings from the tape pattern onto the paper pattern.
To get the right side of the pattern just flip the pattern and trace it again.
Making the foam cap
Take the paper pattern and copy it to 4mm think foam. Again copy all the marks to the foam.
Cut to the foam with your utility knife. Once the are cut out heat form each piece so they have a curve to them. This will help keep its shape and makes attaching each piece a little easier since you will not have to fight the foam.
Apply a think layer of contact cement to the darts. Wait for the contact cement to dry and glue together the darts.
Glue the front pieces to the back pieces at the M points. Start at the top points and match up the seams, as you work your was down match up the registrations marks.
Glue together the left and the right sections. I started from the front and worked my way to be back. After the glue has had about an hour to dry go back with the heat gun and do some reshaping to the foam. You can sand down the seams with some sand paper if they did not match up correctly.
Making the Brim
Cut out a vary large piece of craft paper. Place your cap on top of the craft paper. Tape, Trace, and cut the craft paper until you get the pattern you are happy with.
Take your craft paper pattern and transfer that to 2mm craft foam.
Glue the bottom of the foam cap to the top of the brim. then glue the top of the brim to the side of the cap making the shape you want. Once you have the sides secured cut out the bottom hole to fit your head.
Seal and paint
Heat seal the foam and apply 2-3 coats of mod podge. When that was fully dried I applied 2 coats of black paint for a base. After that was dried I went over it with many layers of brown paint.I did take paper towels to blot off water and to create texture. I mixed up many shades of lights and darks and just applied until i got this worn brown leather look. I did let the layers dry completely before applying the next one.
After all the paint is dry you can go back and smash the foam to create strikes. This gives it a worn leather look as well.