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How to Make a Papier Mache Hogwarts Sorting Hat

A Magical Paper Mache Sorting Hat

Sorting Hat finishedGrab your recyclable newspaper and wand to transform ordinary rubbish into something imaginary, extraordinary, and magical.

Using crumpled up news paper and lots of paper mache you can make this wonderful sorting hat for your birthday parties or for decoration fun anytime.

Well if you're sure, better be... Gryffindor!
Quick List
Cardboard box
Recycled Newspaper
Masking Tape
Paints and Paint Brushes
Glue Gun (optional)
H20 and Rags

Creating Your Sorting Hat Armature

1 Build Your Armature
Sorting Hat making formWe will start with the base (brim) of the hat. Cut a large circle out of a thin piece of cardboard to use for the base of the hat.
Wad up newspaper and stuff into a plastic bag placing this off center on the base. This bag is filler for the middle of your hat. Use the bag to build up to a cone that will lean forward. Use tape to hold into place.
Build up the bottom by wrapping newspaper around the base of your stuffed bag, secure by gluing or taping. Once you have the desired shape slide your hat into a plastic bag. Now use more tape to define the sorting hat shape.  The hat has the basic shape of a witch's hat with a face.
Cut pieces of cardboard and tape them onto the plastic for his eyebrows and mouth, as seen in our video.
Note. Wrapping your hat in plastic will help prevent the cardboard and newspaper from warping. When using thick cardboard sometimes I leave off the plastic bag. We did not wrap the entire base of the hat in plastic so it would have a natural warped shape.
2 Paper Mache Strips and Paste
sorting hat formCover the sorting hat with 3 to 4 layers of paper mache paste and newspaper.  While covering with newspaper and paste make sure all your air bubbles are worked out to prevent air pockets from forming as the paper mache dries. Once covered set your hat aside for 6 or more hours until it is completely dry. This will be the completion of your first session of paper mache.
Cut out eyebrows and mouth from cardboard to glue onto the hat.
Second Paper mache Session: After these strips have dried continue using paper mache strips and paste to cover your sorting hat with at least 8 more layers. The more layers of paper mache you apply the stronger your final piece.
All 8 layers does not have to be done in one setting but once you stop for the day the hat armature must be allowed to completely dry before starting a new paper mache session. Below you will find the recipes and steps.
If you need once the hat has dried you can lightly sand with sandpaper and wipe off.
3. Painting Your Sorting Hat
Sorting Hat paintingPaint a white coat of paint on your hat giving you a white canvas for painting onto. Madison used white interior flat paint as her base coat.
Use brown acrylic and paint your hat all over. I would water down black paint to very very thin and paint this on in a small section and before it has had time to dry wipe it off. This will allow the details to appear, it looks good. Do a little at a time until you are pleased with the results.
Let this completely dry.
You must seal your paper mache pieces with varnish for protection. Varnish comes in a spray can in gloss or stain, spray on 3 to 4 coats and let it dry.
Paper mache that will knock you off your broom!
Sorting Hat for Madison border_edited-1This is just one way to make a Harry Potter Sorting Hat for your pretend world, party, child, whatever it may be; we would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions to improve this technique.
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