Make your own Georgian paper hat
William Wordsworth was born in Wordsworth House 250 years ago on 7 April 1770. The only object known to have survived from the childhood he shared here with his beloved sister Dorothy is her tiny hand-stitched baby bonnet.
Why not celebrate his birthday by making and decorating a bonny paper bonnet or cool bicorn hat of your own?
Simply follow the instructions, referring to the pictures as you go.
To make a bonnet
1. Draw a template on a piece of leftover wallpaper or other thick paper, following the measurements on the picture below – this is a job for a grown-up or a big brother or sister. (For teenage and adult-sized heads, scale up the measurements accordingly.)
2. Cut it out and decorate using whatever you have to hand – pieces of fabric, wool, feathers or ribbon, coloured pens, pencils or paints. You might even want to show your support for the NHS by colouring it like a rainbow.
When William grew up, he wrote a poem that says:
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man.’
3. Fold in the tabs (marked on the picture) and tape or glue them to the straight edge to make an arch shape. Your bonny bonnet is ready to wear!
To make a bicorn
1. Cut a piece of paper 56cm long by 38cm wide and fold it in half across the width. Again, wallpaper – or wrapping paper – works well. Lightly fold in half again to mark the centre line.
2. Fold the top (folded) corners down, leaving a short flat edge in the middle at the top. Stick the edges down with tape.
3. Fold the bottom of the front sheet up. Turn the whole thing over and do the same on the other side.
4. Trim the edges to any shape you want, being careful not to cut the hat itself, then decorate using coloured pens, pencils, paints and feathers, ribbons or anything else you fancy.