Friday, September 25, 2009

Beer Can Hat - Part 1

I'm going to attempt to share with the world my pattern for the coveted Beer Can Hat. Some years ago I started making these and spread them around to many friends and unsuspecting acquaintances. I believe they originated during the 70s cheesy crafts era, which I completely adore.

Many a birthday party have I attended bringing a 6 pack of beer, a skein of yarn, a couple compact tools... and a few hours later, left the host with a special party hat and gift made right before his drunken eyes. Now YOU can be that fascinating craft nerd, amazing your friends at parties. Or just drinking and crocheting at home. 

All told, this project takes me about 2 hrs if I'm really paying attention… up to maybe 3 or 4 hours if there's beer and distraction involved.

Part 1 covers materials & preparing the cans.
Part 2 will cover edging and joining the cans into a Beer Can Crown.
Part 3 will cover adding the top and brim to finish the beer Can Hat.

The Cans:

You will need 5 can labels for one hat. Assuming your cans have two labels on them, front and back, you will need 3 cans (if your cans have only 1 label each, you will need 5 cans). 

Choose cans that have colorful or interesting labels... I have used Kern's, Miller High Life (w/ the girl on the moon), Pabst Blue Ribbon, Harley Davidson Beer, Schlitz Malt Liquor and Guinness. Coors is rather boring, but it's what I had available. Obviously the cans should be relatively clean.

The Other Supplies:

- Yarn - one 3oz skein in a color to match your cans
- Crochet Hook - size H or I
- Utility Scissors
- regular household scissors will work fine
- Paper Hole Punch
- very inexpensive at any office supply or drug store

Note: I used tall cans for my sample hat, adjustments for using regular size cans will be shown in [brackets].
1. Cut the Cans

*Safety Note* Yes, you should be careful while cutting the cans. Jagged edges could scratch or poke you. But once the cans are cut smoothly along the edges, they are not sharp at all. You will not slice up your fingers doing this.

To start cutting the cans, choose an area that won't affect your label (such as the warning/bar code area) and stab through the can with one end of your scissors. 

Continue to cut up the side, and then along the top edge of the can all the way around. Do the same for the other side.

You will have the body of the can minus the top and bottom ends. Cut the two labels apart.


Now cut around the labels, leaving no jagged edges and rounding the corners as you go. The edges should be as straight as possible to keep a rectangular shape. Cut as large a label as you can without showing any of the warnings or small print.

Yes, the labels should be close to the same size and shape, but don't get too finicky about it. Imperfections will be covered by the yarn and will not make much difference in the end.  

2. Punch the Holes

Using the paper hole punch, punch holes into the can labels as shown. The holes should be about 1/4" from the edge. Place one hole at each corner, then a total of 5 [4] holes along the tall sides, 4 holes along the short sides. Space them as evenly as possible, about 1/2" apart.

Again, you probably don't need to get out your ruler here. Eyeballing the placement will be good enough for a lovely result.

Move on to Part 2!


cassandra said...

Thannk you so much for this pattern. I have been looking for one like this for a few years now. I'm very excited to try it out.

Laurence said...

This pattern is fantastic! My wife and I have put 2 of them together so far and they came out wonderfully. Thank you so much for posting.

Diane said...

yes, these were from the cheesy 70s...I had one of these that a neighbor's grandmother had made! my sister had one also - although not beer cans, but assorted soda cans. Wow this brings back memories!

Penelope Sanchez said...

I have lots of beer cans at home. I think I have to make use of them.

Kevin Elwood