DIY Papale

Hats are great for bad hair days, but not for the environment. Traditional methods often involve harmful processes and materials, from the use of virgin synthetic materials like polyester and nylon to the toxic waste generated in dyeing and finishing processes. Not only do these practices harm our planet, but they also pose risks to aquatic life and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Make your own papale (hat) using lau niu, also known as leaves or fronds of the coconut tree. This eco-friendly craft is sure to come in handy as we spend more time in the sun this summer. Find a large frond, grab your tape measure and scissors, and follow the simple steps below! Check out our tutorial to see how we did it!

  1. Start by measuring your head to find the perfect size of your papale.
  2. Cut your leaf to match your head size.
  3. Shave down the stem enough to make it pliable.
  4. Bend the stem into a circle and create two notches on each of the ends.
  5. Using the notches, attach the ends together using a string to create the base of your papale.
  6. Start weaving in the direction the leaves are pointing. Weave in and out through five leaves ensuring the spines of the leaf always face outward.
  7. After the fifth leaf, pull the end of the leaf into the center of the papale and tuck.
  8. Repeat steps six and seven until you’ve made it all the way around the stem.
  9. Pull each leaf in the same order to tighten the brim.
  10. Push all the leaves down toward the bottom of your papale. Bring four up to the top of the brim and start weaving in the direction your leaves are pointing for the next layer.
  11. Once you’ve weaved through the next three leaves, going under, over, then under again, tuck it into the closest leaf on the brim.
  12. Continue by always keeping four leaves up top as you weave around using the under-then-over pattern, tucking each end neatly. Do this until you’ve gone around the whole papale.

Now, you have a beautiful hat to take to the park or beach with you for some extra shade! Making papale is a great way to use fronds that fall from the trees. If you try this DIY activity, be sure to take a picture and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @stormwaterhawaii.

 Source: Coco Kealohi