Newspaper Hat for the Kentucky Derby

Ever since touring Churchill Downs and visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum, I've thought it would be a lot of fun to take part in Derby Day. Not in person (I hate crowds), but from the comfort of home, with the hats and the burgoo and mock mint juleps and Derby Pie. However, the Kentucky Derby is traditionally held the first Saturday in May, which is also National Scrapbook Day... and you can guess which one matters more to me.

Enter COVID-19. Back in the spring, when I heard that the Derby would be postponed from May to September, I decided we'd be hosting a Derby party. Silly me, thinking back then that everyone would follow the rules and we'd have squelched the pandemic by now. We're still having our party, but we aren't having any guests. deRosier, Party of Three!

We aren't the only ones without guests. Churchill Downs recently announced that, for the first time ever, the race will be run without fans present.

One of the most important rules for the Kentucky Derby is that all women must wear a hat. Not just any hat, but a dressy, showy, and/or over-the-top hat. I'm not a hat person (and when I do wear a hat, it's my Mickey Mouse ball cap), so I made my own fancy hat out of newsprint and a bunch of other things from the craft room. 

How to Make a Newspaper Hat


  • newspaper or newsprint
  • masking tape
  • Folk Art paint
  • ribbon, faux flowers, pipe cleaners, etc. 


Separate the newspaper or newsprint into individual pieces, then center 3-4 sheets on your head. Press down to smooth them, then ask a helper to tape around the paper, just above your ears. Go around at least twice. 

(I'm smiling in this picture.)

Remove the paper from your head. Tightly roll the edges of the paper up toward the top of the hat to form the brim. It will hold in place. In this picture, you can see that I've started to roll the section by my hand, but haven't done anything with the rest. 

Once the brim is formed, you can gently shape the hat. Then add a coat of paint. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Now it's time to decorate! Anything goes. I started with a sprig of faux roses, then tucked in the ribbon. I curled silver pipe cleaners around a pencil, then added them. I hid the ends with faux ivy leaves.  

I'm ready for the Derby! 

I don't know anything about horse racing, but it's still fun to try to pick a winner. It's no fun betting on the favorite though; I want to root for an underdog. (Underhorse?) Based entirely on the name and the jockey's silks, I'm going with....

There are all sorts of official Derby events and contests taking place online, leading up to the 146th Running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at 7:00 pm EST. Go, Thousand Words!


  1. I'd have to go with NY Traffic ... cause you know! LOL!! I loveeeeeeeeee that hat!! It looks amazing! I never would have guessed PAPER!!!! That is AWESOME!


I moderate comments, so you will not see yours appear right away. Please check back if you had a question; I promise to answer it as soon as I see it. Thank you for taking the time to comment!