## The Paper Hat meets the Shrinking Newspaper

### August 4, 2014

The size of the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Scrantonian, the Daily Record and all other newspapers have shrunk, not only in breadth, but also, more notably, in width. An unintended consequence of this is that unadulterated newspapers are no longer suitable for making paper hats.

As a kid I made lots of paper hats out of newspapers. It was just one of those things that I knew how to do. In my twenties, while painting a ceiling, I thought it would useful to protect my hair, so I picked up newspaper, got ready to do some folding and realized that I had absolutely no idea whatsoever on how to make a paper hat. It was some years before I got around to figuring it out again. I actually wrote up a set of directions on how to make this sort of head wear. Then something unexpected happened. The proportions of newspapers changed, rendering both newspapers and my set of instructions completely useless for creating fashion. Nothing, it appears, is sacred.

It took me some time to regroup after this setback. First, I had to look into what was the former size of typical newspapers, which I discovered was 15″ x 22.75,” then I had convert these proportions of yore to use with current newspapers. which are inconveniently sized at 12″ x 22.75.” It turns out that if I take just four inches off the height of the New York Times (or its competitors) I can be back in the hat business. For the newspaper pictured above I cut 3 inches off the top and 1 inch off the bottom so as to preserve Lisa Hanawalt’s cute cat drawing (this is, after all, a post for the internet).

Did you get that? I had to *convert the proportions…*see how math keep popping up in the paper arts? Now comes the fun part, the real reason I wanted to do this post right now. I get to show you how to make a drawing that not only shows you how I converted the proportions without doing any computations, but this drawing will give you the tools you need to use any size paper whatsoever. This drawing can also be used if you live in a part of the world which doesn’t measure in inches, which is like everywhere but here. Here’s the drawing:

Here’s a drawing of a newspaper, which is of course red all over. The original size newspaper that worked so well was 15″ x 22.75″ so I’ve drawn a proportional representation of this size. The inches measurement doesn’t matter, you can just think of the little squares in the drawing as units. So if your newspaper is 40 cm wide, just rename the widths on the drawing as 5, 10, 15, 20 etc and do the same for the height. The diagonal line will define all the sizes that will work for the hat. In the case of the newspapers I am using, I note that they are 12 inches wide, and I see that the corresponding height measurement is just above the 18. Get it? If your paper is 11 units high, then the corresponding width should be about 7.okay? I think it is so cool to be able to draw a picture that provides me with an endless number of possibilities. I think there’s a saying about that: a picture is worth a thousand equations.

Oh, don’t forget to decorate your hat. I recommend thick markers.

August 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

This post really made me giggle and made me run to check our newspaper… Pfeewww still the same dimensions, just half the size it used to be, which makes for really small hats.

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August 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm

So did you actually make a hat??!! I’m glad this post made you giggle -what a great reaction! I had been wanting to do this paper hat post for quite some time. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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August 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Hi Paula. Cathy Cutler (now Prince) from Mo’town. I’m not sure if you know there will be a 40th reunion on Friday, Oct 3. There is a FB page, Morristown 1974 Reunion. Love your illustrations. I’m a librarian so I appreciate the bookmaking skills! Hope to see you, Cathy prince6a@yahoo.com

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August 28, 2015 at 7:14 am

My dad used to fold what he called a pressman’s hat which he claimed the pressmen at the newspaper used to wear to “keep the ink out of their hair” It started in a similar way to your hat, without the cut. but went on to end up in a square configuration, so it looked like a square pillbox hat. I just found the instructions here —> https://rice2mo.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/question-of-the-week-from-my-digital-news-systems-management-course-how-to-make-a-pressmans-hat/

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August 28, 2015 at 8:54 pm

thanks for link to the Pressman’s hat! I’m glad to have it here where I can permanently find it. I will be trying it out soon.

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