A few years ago, I had to come up with a batch of gifts to give to friends and family — fast! Our backyard garden gnome was the inspiration: I’d make felt gnome hats for everyone. All I needed to make the pattern was a little math and a piece of string.

MAKE Volume 33 features our special Software for Makers section covering apps for circuit board design, 3D design and printing, microcontrollers, and programming for kids. Also, meet our new Arduino-powered Rovera robot and get started with Raspberry Pi. As usual, you’ll also find fascinating makers inside, like the maniacs on our cover, the hackers behind the popular Power Racing Series events at Maker Faire.

Try your hand at 22 great DIY projects, like the Optical Tremolo guitar effects box, "Panjolele" cake-pan ukelele, Wii Nunchuk Mouse, CNC joinery tricks, treat-dispensing cat scratching post, laser-cut flexing wooden books, sake brewing, growing incredibly hot “ghost chili” peppers, and much more.

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Project Steps

Measure circle

  • Cut string into ~12 inch length with loops tied at both end.
  • Place one loop around pushpin and push it into the center of the felt (use cardboard for backing).
  • Place marker in other loop.
  • Draw circle into felt by spinning marker around the center pushpin along the length of string.

Cut felt

  • Cut out the circle of felt.
  • Cut the circle into thirds.

Assemble hats

  • Fold resulting triangles so the straight sides match up and sew them together.
  • Flip them each inside out.
  • Tada! You have your gnome hats.