New Year’s Party Hat

By  Emma McDonald  for  The Testors Corporation

Ring out the old boring party hats! Upcycle leftover Christmas decorations to bling in new, airbrushed party hats for your New Year's celebration.

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  • Party hat
  • Plastic headband
  • Recycled Christmas items: white shirt box, bows, silver tinsel garland
  • Small brad


  • Testors Aztek A220 Broadstroke EZ Airbrush Set
  • Testors Aztek AC100 Powerful and Compact Compressor-Standard or Airbrush Propellant, 6 oz. can with Air Can Adapter
  • Testors Aztek Airbrushable Acrylic Paint, 2 oz.: Opaque Black, Fluorescent Yellow, Fluorescent Pink
  • Testors Aztek Universal Acrylic Airbrush Cleaner, 4 oz.
  • Testors Aztek Cleaning Drop Cloth
  • Lace fabric
  • Silver glitter
  • Adhesives: double-stick tape, all-purpose glue

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, pencil, scrap paper, straight pin, paper plate, plastic spoon, black marker
  • 1. Deconstruct party hat and use as template to trace onto shirt box. Use a small cup to trace a circle (clock base) and freehand draw two clock hand shapes onto the shirt box; cut out all shapes.

    Step 1
  • 2. Cover work area with Cleaning Drop Cloth. Following manufacturer's instructions, assemble airbrush to chosen air source. Remove red plastic cap and fill Quick Change Bottle with Fluorescent Pink Paint; close cap and thread connector to bottle. The connector then snaps into place on airbrush.

    Step 2
  • 3. Practice airbrushing on piece of paper before applying paint to project. (Note: Trigger turns air on and off. Roller at front of airbrush allows flow of air to be adjusted. To adjust flow of paint, turn ring at top of the paint bottle until you have desired amount of paint.) Lightly press trigger and spray smooth, even strokes of Fluorescent Pink paint onto party hat. (Note: Heavy amounts of paint may warp the cardboard, so keep coats of paint very light.) Let dry and apply additional coats if necessary.

    Step 3
  • 4. Should paint start to dry inside the Quick Connect Cap, simply insert included wire tool into opening of cap and remove any dried paint. If airbrush sit is left idle and paint has dried inside bottle, cap, or siphon tubes, disassemble parts and soak in Universal Acrylic Airbrush Cleaner.

    Step 4
  • 5. To change colors, pop off first bottle and thread connector onto another; snap into place. Replace red plastic cap on first bottle to keep paint fresh. Lay lace fabric over painted party hat. Lightly press trigger and spray light, smooth, even strokes of Opaque Black paint until lace is covered completely.

    Step 5
  • 6. Carefully remove lace to reveal design. Set aside to dry.

    Step 6
  • 7. Airbrush clock face with Fluorescent Yellow Paint. Let dry and apply additional coats if necessary.

    Step 7
  • 8. Apply glue to clock hands and run bead of glue along edge of circle as shown. Cover glue with silver glitter. Let dry. Brush off any excess glitter.

    Step 8
  • 9. Securing all with double-stick tape, reassemble party hat into cone shape, attach tinsel to base and bows to top of hat. Using straight pin to start holes, poke brad through all pieces to form clock and attach to hat. Position clock on opposite side of hat's seam.

    Step 9
  • 10. Cut small slits in sides of hat; slide headband through slits. If desired, use black marker to write, "Happy New Years," or further personalize it by the adding the year or name.

    Step 10
  • Tips
  • 1. Attach folded tape to the bottoms of your shapes to secure them while airbrushing and glittering.
  • 2. Place items to be glittered on a paper plate for easy clean up and use a plastic spoon to sprinkle the glitter.
  • 3. To learn more about this particular Testor's Aztek Airbrush, view a video with details and other helpful basic airbrushing information at