The Walrus and
the Carpenter

The walrus and the carpenter

This is one of the illustrations made by John Tenniel for Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (1872). I’m sure you recognize the episode of the walrus and carpenter shedding tears as they walk along the beach eating friendly oysters. Read the first verse of the poem aloud. Sing it. Give yourself a beat and rap it!!

The carpenter is wearing a box-like hat traditionally associated with many crafts, not just carpentry. It even became an emblem of printers in the newspaper industry, worn to stop ink getting in their hair. The hat was also often made and worn by painters. Ask me and I will tell you the reason for my personal attachment to it :-)

Start with one double sheet of newspaper, with the folded edge along the top.

Fold down, fold up, fold in, fold over, crease, open out, open up, tuck under, tuck in, flap...

Folding diagrams
  1. Fold down the corners A and B along the dotted lines.
  2. Fold the top layer of the bottom edge in twice as shown.
  3. Turn this stage over.
  4. Fold the ends in along the dotted lines at A and B, ensuring that the distance AB coincides with your head measurement.
  5. Fold the corners X and Y inwards.
  6. Fold flap over twice as shown, tucking MN in beneath PQ.
  7. Fold point A inwards beneath PQ.
  8. Insert thumbs into the bottom opening and open out until...
  9. ...A and B meet. Fold in the tips X and Y beneath A and B.
  10. Finally open out again and (11) protect your head from sawdust, paint or printers’ ink

Mission Experiment with different materials (rigid or flexible). Vary the dimensions. If you are brave, try modifying the design or finding alternative uses for it. It isn’t just a simple hat; I use mine to keep keys in and as a fruit bowl. Be inventive and have fun.

After the holidays, please send me a selfie with your "hat" plus a very short summary of your experiments.

Continue to next subject -->