Cardinal and Pope Craft for Catholic Kids- Make a Zucchetto

Well we all know what today is- the day we start anxiously awaiting white smoke! A new Pope is officially in the works. 🙂 I wanted to do some kind of Papal activity with the kids besides the paper bag puppet, and we decided to make Cardinal and Pope hats.

Pope bag craft with a zucchetto on a black background entitled "Pope Craft for Kids - Make a Zucchetto"

You know that little hat that the Pope wears? Not the big miter one, the little one. It looks like a skull cap, or like a beanie. Well, in the Catholic church, that little hat is called a Zucchetto. When Cardinals wear them, they are red, however, the Pope wears a white one.

"pope hat" "skull cap" "beanie" red zucchetto hat on a black background.

You can read more about what Cardinals wear here. These little hats are super easy to make and the felt only costs about 25 cents per sheet, so you could make them with a whole class!

Supplies Needed:

  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue

Yep, that’s it. 🙂

Start with a piece of felt, and trace a circle around a cereal bowl. You can trace the circle with a marker or a pencil.

Bowl on red felt with a Sharpie to trace a circle.

Cut around the circle you traced.

Cut out red felt circle for Zucchetto

Fold the circle in half, then in half again. Snip one side. (This is just an easy way of making one cut to the middle of the circle.)

How to cut the cardinal hat, scissors cutting the cardinal hat.

Also, cut a long skinny strip. You’ll end up with 2 pieces that look like this.

Red felt with strip cut out from center to edge.

Fold the little strip in half and glue it in the middle for the little thingy on top of the hat.

Post continues after this brief information about the Catholic Icing Monthly Membership

Monthly Liturgical Membership

Catholic Liturgical Monthly Membership

Perfect for families! Each month you gain access to printable activity pages, crafts, home altar pieces, and more.
Never has living the liturgical year been so easy and affordable!

The strip of felt glued folded over in the middle of the hat.

Now, put hot glue on a triangle section of the felt and place one side over the glue so the triangle section overlaps.

Hot glue on the edge of the Zucchetto to attach the hat back together.

This will give your hat sort of a shallow bowl shape to go on the head.

Finished red and white Zucchetto on a black background.

Isn’t it adorable?! And because it’s felt, it actually sticks to hair quite nicely and stays.

Child wearing Zucchetto

So fast and easy, too! Julian will switch to the white hat when we learn the news. 🙂

Child wearing Zucchetto

These would also be great for an All Saints’ Day costume.

Be sure to check out my round-up of Pope activities for kids here. You’ll find more Pope fun here tomorrow, so stay tuned!

If you are looking for ideas for All Saints’ Day costume ideas for kids, be sure to check out my Saint Costume Directory!

Children Saint Costume Directory, baby dressed in religious costume.

You can find even more Papal resources for kids here! This post includes Pope printables, crafts, snacks, and more. 


  1. Thanks so much for another creative and fun tip!
    I also wanted to thank you for the HH Sta of the Cross CD recommendation. I bought it when you shared it on your blog last week and we love it. It arrived within 2-3 days.
    Thanks for that.

    Enjoy your papal activities and have a lovely day

  2. darling project and simple enough for my lil’ boys to complete.

  3. Thanks Lacy! You can also use tan-colored felt, without the little thingy on the top, to make a tonsure for a saint costume (eg Saint Anthony of Padua).

  4. This is adorable, Lacy! This whole change in the Vatican has left the door wide open to discuss the Pope and the Vatican in general with my students and this is great!

  5. Thanks for another awesome craft! I love that a number of crafts we do from your site (and book:) are so simple but spark such awesome conversations (like the trinity snowmen!) with my 4 and 5 year olds! Even why they wear them and what the color symbolizes. My DD (the 5 yr old) asked me to make a red crown since she said she “can’t be a cardinal but still wanted to be a ‘princess of the church’!” Lol! Kinda random but still sweet:) Thanks again!!

  6. After taking a break from talking about the pope over Easter, I was teaching about what a pope wears to some of our Catholic School students. They wanted to make Mitres and I told them that would be too big of a project. Then they said “can we make a zucchetto?” And I instantly remembered this post! Thanks so much!

  7. options how to says

    Hello there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or
    plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Thanks!

    • I have a web person I hire for stuff like that. I used to do my own web design, but haven’t had the time lately.