If you’ve ever tried to take a picture of a knitted hat, you know how tricky it is to get them to stand up. The solution is some kind of display prop, but if you don’t have one, or you do have one but it’s covered in hats, I figured out this trick. Takes about 2 minutes to slap this thing together.

Make a cylinder out of a rectangle of firm paper or card stock, taping the seam. The circumference should be about 18 inches, but adjust for your hat if needed.

Cut vertical strips into the top of the cylinder, about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide.

Push the strips towards the center, making sure they overlap like the iris on a camera. If you push them together, they seem to want to overlap perfectly all on their own.

Tape the top of strips down.

Trim the base to the desired height.

Et voila! And the great thing is, you can wear this as a hat when you’re finished with it. No no, please don’t do that.

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