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SVG Cut File Design of Top Hat


My first project for the Robin’s Nest design team was a wedding themed altered art project. Their Wedding Collection was the designer paper to be used for the project. The papers had a black or parchment base, with gold or silver swirl details. There were also three vellum papers and one sheet of tags. Finally, there was a package of rub on images. I decided that the project would be a mini top hat centerpiece.

I couldn’t wait to try making paper roses from the glitter vellum and on the reverse of the sheet of tags was a beautiful sheet of love words in hand script, which I also used for paper flowers. I decided to use the silver swirled papers for the bride’s and groom’s mini top hats, using the parchment base for the bride and the black base for the groom’s.

But the first step was to create the SVG cut file for the top hat. I took the basic measurements of a candle that was about the right size for a mini top hat. That give me the a starting circumference, about 11.8 inches, for the top of the hat. I wanted the side of the hat to tapper inward toward the brim of the hat, so I reduced this circumference slightly, to about 11 inches, for this measurement.

Next, I needed to draw the side of the hat in IllustratorR. This is just a rectangle, with the height of the hat (short sides of the rectangle) to be 4 inches. The long edges of the rectangle will shape the hat top (11.8 in) and brim opening (11 in).

  1. Using the Rectangle tool, we will draw a rectangle with a height of 4 inches and a width of 11.8 inches.

    We need to reduce the width of the bottom edge to 11 inches, to fit the opening of the brim.

  2. Select the bottom left anchor point with the Direct Selection tool and move the point inward .4 inches. Repeat with the bottom right anchor point.

    We need to curve this piece a little or our top hat will be slanted.

  3. Curve the bottom edge (11 in) up a little, and curve the top edge (11.8 in) up the same amount.

    Next, we will add the fold over tabs that we will glue to the circles when we assemble the hat.

  4. Draw tabs with a height of .25 inch and width of 1 inch along the shorter edge (11 in) of the curved rectangle. Repeat this step for the longer edge (11.8 in).

  5. To finish the side piece, we need to add a fold over tab along one short edge. This tab will be glued to the other short edge of the hat to form the circular “wall” of the hat.

Now that we have the cut file for this part of the hat, I made a test cut from card stock and measured both curved sides of the rectangle. This gave me the adjusted circumference for both top and brim.

Going way back to my school days, I determined the diameter of the circles for the top of the hat and the inside opening of the brim. Finally, I added 1 inch to the brim’s inside diameter and doubled this amount to get the diameter for the outside circle for the brim.

Using the Eclipse tool, we will draw the three circles using the three diameters for the top and brim. The diameter for the top piece of the hat will become the height and width values for the Eclipse tool. Repeat to draw the inner and outer circles for the hat brim. Center the smaller circle inside the larger to create the brim.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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