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Derby is coming, so it’s time to get fabulous and dapper! But there’s no need to break the bank in order to dress up this year. We can make some striking, one-of-a-kind derby hats from plastic bags and newspapers. So, gather together these things that you would otherwise throw out, and let’s get you prepared for the event of the season.

Participants should bring any brightly colored plastic bags they have, old newspapers, and anything else that they’d like to put on a derby hat.


  • plastic bags of all colors
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • broadsheets of newspaper
  • string or yarn
  • hot glue guns



Layer three full sheets of newspaper one on top of the other, rotating each so that together they cover as much area as possible. Use rolls of tape to stick these together in their centers.

Place your taped-together sheets and center them the head of the person that this hat is for. Have the person use their hands to cinch down the sheets around their head in order to make the “bowl” of the hat. Tie string and then wrap masking tape around the bottom of the bowl that the person has created. This will create the crown of the hat.

Take the hat off of the person’s head, and roll up the outer edges to create your desired brim shape. Use masking tape to secure what you have rolled. Trim excess newspaper away as necessary.

Tie a long strip of plastic bag around the base of the crown of your hat. Safety pin and/or tape this strip/ribbon in place in three distinct places. Tie a knot securely.

Cut plastic bags of different colors into circles and squares; then layer these together to make flowers.

In order to make plastic bag bows, cut the handles off of a bag. Around the center of the resulting rectangle, knot a thin strip of plastic bag. Then fluff and trim the resulting loops on either side of the tied strip to create a bow shape.

Hot glue flowers, ribbons, and bows to your hat.

Wear your hat!


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