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  one way to make a paper hat  
  with these instructions, you can actually make four different kinds of papers hats:
  1. the traditional "triangle" or "napoleon" hat (see the note in step three)
  2. the "corporal's" or "military" hat (see note 1 in step seven)
  3. the "bishop's" hat (see note 2 in step seven)
  4. the "painter's" or "pillbox" hat (complete entire instructions)
from this point, i'd say you have about a seventy-five percent chance of actually folding a proper paper hat based on the directions below. most people can do it, but i've gotten a few emails from people with questions about the steps below. i've tried to incorporate them with this latest revision. if you get stuck, please feel free to write me and i'll try to better explain myself.

step one
fold a piece of newspaper in half.

note: obviously, the bigger the paper, the bigger the hat. depending on the size of the head you wish to cover, you'll have to experiment to find the right-sized paper.
step two
fold the two folded corners to the middle
step three
fold the bottom flap (only the one on top) in half, then up again

note: for those of you looking for the easy way out, or how to make the traditional "triangle" or "napoleon" hat, you can bail out now. all you need to do is fold up the other bottom flap like you did the first one up to the otherside, then open the hat up from the bottom.
step four

flip the paper over so that you're looking at the "flat" back of the paper. fold the two sides in until the meet in the middle as shown in image 4a. then fold the top point down (folding on the line made by the top of the two side folds) as shown in 4b, and make sure the tip of the point tucks under the band. the final result should look like 4c.

note: this step heavily depends on what size and shape paper you're using- varying sizes might produce something different that what the "finished" image looks like. i think you'll see that all the parts are there, although they may be proportionatly different in size from the image.

note 2: it was pointed out to me that hat band, or head size, is determined by where the side folds are made. Make the folds closer to the centerline for small heads, wider apart for large heads. as always, experiment a few times for best results.
step five
fold the two bottom corners in

note: again, paper size will might produce results different from the image. when folding up the two bottom corners, you might find that they don't make a nice point as shown in image six. that doesn't matter. just fold them up so that they form little right-triangles, and then move on to step six.
step six
fold the bottom point in half, then up again so that you can tuck the point in behind the band
step seven

now this is kind of a tricky one. image 7a is what you should be left with after step six. so, grasp the two bottom points of the band (the red dots in image 7b) and pull them apart- one towards you, one away- so that the hat opens up. pull them completly apart so that the sides of the hole you're producing (orange dots in image 7b) meet together in the middle (as in image 7c).

note: again, here's another way out- if you stop after step 7a, you will have made a military or corporal's hat. i think this kind of hat comes off too easily, especially if a little kid is wearing it. of course, you can always punch a couple holes on either side and fashion a chin-strap out of a peice of string.

note 2: also, this is where you can stop if you want to make a "bishop's" hat- the kind that is really tall and comes to a point. to make this, after step seven a, unfold the pointed flap on the top, so that it sticks up. then, just seperate the bottom so it fits on your head, and you're ready to guide your respective flock to eternal enlightenment.
step eight

fold the two edge corners in half, then fold them again so that you can tuck them into the band (8a). then, grasp the orange dots and open the bottom opening again. the opening should now be more or less round, and you should be able to put it on your head. if it's too small (or too big), try it again with a different size piece of paper.

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