Abe Lincoln Birthday Party Part 2: Stovepipe Hat Photobooth


As I mentioned in my part one post, our main objective with Abe’s first birthday party was to get together with a few close friends and family and get a cute picture of Abe with frosting smeared all over his face.

But I thought it would be also be adorable to take pictures of all the kids in a stovepipe hat, photobooth fashion, as is all the rage these days.

I looked at hats online, but all the ones I could find in kid sizes either had really bad reviews or were too expensive. So I thought I’d try my hand at making one instead. I just kind of made it up as I went along, and I’ll tell you how I did it, even though my results were….less than perfect. Because I feel like my basic technique was fairly sound.

I used:

black posterboard
black duck tape
scotch tape


I read that the typical top hat in Lincoln’s day was 6 or 7 inches high, so of course I made mine 8 inches. Because the taller the hat, the funnier it would look on a baby, I reasoned. First place I went wrong was in waiting until Abe went to bed and using the head circumference I had from his check up earlier that day instead of using his actual head to figure out how big around to make the hat. The second place I went wrong was in having such a big age range of kids at the party that there wasn’t really a good way to make a hat that would fit everyone well. Anyway, I cut out a strip 8 inches high and Abe’s head circumference (plus some extra for overlapping and taping it) long:

lincoln-hat2In retrospect, I should have made it bigger, since it turned out it wouldn’t fit on anyone’s head except Abe’s, and he was the only one who refused to wear it for pictures.

Then I scotch taped it together and covered the seam with duck tape:

lincoln-hat3Next up I cut out a circle for the top and did the same thing: scotch tape inside and out to hold it together, then covered it up with duck tape:

lincoln-hat4 lincoln-hat5(there’s a copy of Sherman’s March that Ari’s reading for his Georgia history class visible in the background there. We’re pretty well immersed in Civil War history for all ages around here these days).

Next I traced around this bowl to make a brim:


Then I just folded it in half to cut a circle out of the middle for the head to go through. I tried to make the crease light, but since I was covering so much stuff up with duck tape anyway, I didn’t worry too much about it. I attached the brim to the hat like so:


And then used some more on the opposite side, finishing up with a kind of band around the bottom:


If I had it to do over again, I’d probably go a little more buck nutty with the duck tape and cover the whole “pipe” part of the hat (and get it a little neater) to make a more consistent surface.

You’ll notice Abe isn’t in any of the pictures up there. Yeah. Abe really hates hats:

abe-b-day7small abe-b-day8small


I was out today and saw a baby a little younger than Abe wearing an adorable striped pilot’s cap and not trying to yank it off at all, and it almost made me cry. Abe! Why won’t you let me help you live up to your full potential for cuteness?! Why?!

This has been a very big blogging week, with a tile floor reveal AND an Abe Lincoln party. I don’t know what I’m going to do next week; whatever it is is bound to be a letdown. I apologize in advance.

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Abe Lincoln Birthday Party Part 2: Stovepipe Hat Photobooth — 8 Comments

  1. Haha so cute! This is a great idea for a classroom. I would have loved to make one and take the kids picture for President’s Day when I taught 1st grade. Pair the pic with some creative writing on Lincoln. Bam you’ve got yourself a lesson.

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