Hats Off!  Using Architecture as Creative Inspiration

Beautiful Corinthian columns

Once upon a time, I worked for a historic preservation organization.  I attended many tours and social events in historic properties not usually open to the public. Traveling to these events was entertaining and informative because my colleagues would point out various house styles and identify architectural features.  They would get excited about such features as, roof forms, paint colors, windows, porch supports, and decorative details.  I learned a lot and often think of them whenever I see an interesting house style.


My favorite part of the job was creating and implementing children’s educational programs. One program involved making really tall architectural hats. First, we walked through a neighborhood to examine columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian) and their capitals (the design at the top of the column).  We also took photographs to help us remember the details. 

Ionic Column:  Using Architecture as Inspiration

We used poster board to create the brim and crown hat pieces.  For the crown, we rolled poster board into cylinders and placed them on our heads for sizing.  We  inserted the cylinders into the brims and adjusted as needed.  (We cut notches on the crowns in order to attach them to the brims).  We decorated the hats with paper scrolls, leaves, spirals, flowers, fruits, animals and many other ornaments.  Inspired by architecture, our creative column hats were a big hit! 


Recently, I spent some time walking around our nation’s capital, and the architecture reminded me of the hat project.  Perhaps it’s time to make a hat of my own. . . 

Did you like this article?  

Share it!

Using architecture as creative inspiration

Contact Information

Debra Lemieux

If Then Creativity



Follow :