New Year’s Recycled Gift Box Hats

How do you ring in the New Year? Kathy Barlow of Home Workshop recently sent me a note with pictures of the stylish Recycled Gift Box Hats she crafts up for the big event.

When I started to dig into Kathy’s site, I found that not only is Home Workshop a curated site with style, it serves up a heaping helping of inspiring home design ideas with eye candy images, videos and profiles of creative artists and craftspeople. It also encourages collective crafting for worthy causes, gives a mindful and gentle nod to living a healthy, green life, and is chock full of DIY projects.

So, hat’s off to Home Workshop and without further adieu, let’s ring in the New Year with a guest post from Kathy Barlow:

“I grew up in a social family where holidays were a big deal and neighborhood parties frequent. Now that I’m the hostess, I try to focus on ways we can celebrate and also be kinder to the planet.

Here’s an uplifting New Year’s Eve fact: Did you know that now that the modern Time’s Square New Year’s Eve Ball is illuminated by 32,256 LEDs, and consumes only the same amount of energy per hour as it would take to operate two traditional home ovens? (I’m so glad I switched over to LED Christmas lights.) Learn more about the ball here.

We often host family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties – wild fun for kiddos and parents alike. For our 2011 celebration, my cousin Liane and I created sparkling New Year’s Hats by recycling gift boxes. You know, those old, tired holiday cardboard boxes that housed the striped shirt from Mom, or the fuzzy purple sweater from Aunt Sue. Sometimes these gift boxes are re-used numerous times and due for a new transformation. Here’s how we keep those boxes in the loop and keep them out of the cardboard recycling bin:

New Year’s Recycled Gift Box Hats
Note: From one shirt-sized box (top and bottom) you can craft four hats!


- An old shirt-sized gift box
(solid colored is best – ours was white)
- Home Workshop PDF Pattern
- Scissors
- Utility knife and cutting board (optional)
- Pencil and pen
- Stapler
- Ruler
- Non-toxic craft glue
- Paintbrush to apply glue
- A few colors of glitter
- Bobby pins

Next: Directions to make the New Years Gift Box Hat…


1. Print one copy of our PDF pattern. It contains two hat designs. Cut out the patterns and cut the two designs apart.

2. Carefully detach the glued corner joints of your gift box.

3. Place one pattern inside a box top or bottom and align the bottom of the design with the long edge of the bottom of the box, where it meets one of the long sides. Position it a couple inches from the end of the box. (See photo.)

4. Trace the outline of the sides and top of the design, and then cut out around these edges. Leave the bottom of your hat design attached to the box side – this will become the hatband.

5. Cut the hatband box side in half horizontally. (Measure with your ruler first or just freehand cut it.) This will give you the second piece of hatband, to make your hat big enough to fit a head.

6. Secure second band piece to the first with several staples, overlapping the band pieces about an inch or so.

7. Flip the hats over to decorate the outside (solid colored side) of the box. We decorated ours in three colors of beautiful glitter.

8. The “spiky” hat has some optional 3-D details, that an adult can cut out now with a utility knife on a cutting board. Carefully cut down each side of the little triangles and then fold each triangle slightly forward.

9. Transfer the “jewel” and “2011″ details to the cardboard. It’s easy to do by making quick, pencil rubbing “graphite paper” on the back of the pattern detail, then tracing over the front.

10. Now apply glue and glitter to your details. We worked one color at a time. For smaller areas like the numbers, we applied glue with a toothpick. For larger areas we used slightly thinned-down glue and applied it with a small paintbrush.

11. Lay the hats flat to dry. Then get set to party! Use a bobby pin or two to pin the hatband together in the back and to attach to the lucky wearer’s head.

Read more details of this year’s New Year’s Eve Party that celebrates the beauty of winter (including some fun and funky snow sculptures) at Home Workshop

Photo Credits: Kathy Barlow for Home Workshop


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener8 years ago

Cool idea!

Mable Ecker
Mable Ecker8 years ago

I think I'll try this for 2012.

Heather D.
Heather D8 years ago

This is a cute idea. Thanks!

Victoria S.
Victoria S8 years ago

Cute ideas, I'll try to remember it for next year :-)

Fran Baca
Fran B8 years ago

Never would have thought of this. Thanks for sharing such a creative idea. These would also work well for those who celebrate three kings and/or mardi gras.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman8 years ago

Very creative, thanx

K s Goh
KS Goh8 years ago

Thanks for the article.

donna colby
donna colby8 years ago


Girl U.
.8 years ago

Cool idea, thanks!

Priscilla G.
Priscilla G8 years ago

Great idea thanks.