What a fun project this is. Making Mother’s Day Hats out of Styrofoam cups and leftover trims and ribbons. They can be for Mother's day or any time you feel like making a pretty hat.
Use only the small 6 1/3 ounce size cups. The larger size dosen't melt right. They can be painted before or after they go in the oven.

CAUTION: Please have your parents help you with this project since it uses a hot oven. Also be sure to turn on a vent or open a window because this will give off a smell.

  • Small 6 1/3 ounce Styrofoam Hot and Cold Drink Cups
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic Paint, assorted colors
  • Pot Holder
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Ribbon, Lace, Flowers, etc.
     You can make your hats look different by cutting off or leaving the lip on the cup. It's your choice but I like them with the lip on myself. Try them both ways to see which you like.

Cut cups

     The first step is to paint the cups with acrylic paint. You can paint them a solid color or with a pattern but if you use a pattern I would make it big since these hats get pretty small.

Painted cups

     Now comes the fun part, the shrinking. First roll up some aluminum foil into small balls about the size of a large marble. Put the cups on a cookie sheet and place one foil ball under each cup.

Cups before baking

     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. You might want to do a test run of your cups, unpainted in the oven. If you have old cups it takes less than a minute for them to shrink. If you have new cups it takes a lot longer. Something about the molding process has changed over the years and that affects the way the cups will melt.
     Just keep your eye on them. That’s the fun part. If you have a window in your oven you're set. I had to keep the door open a small crack to see in. Just be ready with your oven mitt. They shrink fast and you want to take them out quickly!
     Place the cookie sheet and cups in the middle of the oven for about 40 SECONDS! That's right this happens really fast so start peeking in on them after 40 seconds and take them out when they get to the size you want.

Cups shrunken

     Don't be upset that all your hats aren't perfect. Some just have to be scrapped, and other imperfections can be hidden with lace, ribbons, silk flowers, trims, buttons, beads, sequins, etc. Use tacky glue or a low temperature glue gun. The regular glue guns might be too hot.
     Now comes the fun part of decorating your hats. You can use about any material to make them fancy, funny or plain. Be creative and have fun.

Pink Hat Violet hat

White hat 

Napkin holder

     After your creations are done use them as place setting notions at your Mother’s Day Brunch, tied around napkins, or make a hat tree from a bare branch stuck in a vase and hang them on the tree.
     The idea is to just have fun and surprise your favorite Mother or Grandmother with a pretty memento they won't soon forget.

     Send us a picture of your creation and we'll post it on our web page at RunnerDucklings Kids Corner.

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