Introduction: Customizable Fleece Hats

Picture of Customizable Fleece Hats

You want to keep your noggin toasty in the nasty winter weather.
You don't want to wear a hat that looks like everyone else's hat.
You like lions (or dragons).

Now you can combine all of these desires into a simple, yet useful, item of clothing that's infintely customizable and tailorable to your (or a recipient's) tastes.

Disclaimer/apology: Since there's no limit to the variation on this theme, I've only provided the most basic directions. If you have specific questions on how I did certain things, I will be happy to try and explain it in a seperate instructable or through private correspondance.

Step 1: Preliminary Measurements and Layout

Picture of Preliminary Measurements and Layout

You will need:
Sewing machine + standard sewing stuff
Scissors, measuring tape
Felt, buttons, etc for finishing touches

Think about what you want to make.

i.e. The lion hat needs a mane and a muzzle, in addition to eyes, nose and ears. I made the mane and muzzle from felt, since I did not wish to deal with unhemmed edges exposed on the outside of the hat.

Measure your head and add half-an-inch: this will be the length of your fleece. The height of the cloth will need to be 9-10 inches, for an adult.

Cut fleece.

Make ears, tails, spines, et cetera:
Sew your idea on to two pieces of fleece (or one piece folded in half), trim it, flip it inside out.
Place these items to the side.

Step 2: Assemble Pieces

Picture of Assemble Pieces

Grab the ears you want to add (and if you want a ruff, that too), and any spines or such.

Locate where the pieces want to be (spines go at Center Ridge, ears go at Ears, and ruffs go across Ears as well).

You'll sew the like-color edges together (red edge to red edge, blue to blue.)
Make sure you sew the ears and stuff in place as you sew the edges. You may wish to pin these things in place before you start sewing.

REMEMBER: You are sewing this hat inside out, so please make sure your ears and stuff are placed correctly so that when you finally flip the hat right side out, they'll be in the right place.

Step 3: More Details on Attatching Ears/manes

Picture of More Details on Attatching Ears/manes

Here are two photos of my finished lion hat and some clarification (I hope) of how to assemble the mane.

I had first sewn the two seams running from forehead to top-center of the hat, as well as the seam all the way down the back of the hat. This left two seams at the top still unsewn. This is where I put the ears and the mane.

I held the hat right-side-out and figured out how far I wanted the mane and ears to stick up, held it them place between the fabric, and flipped the hat inside-out.
Then I sewed across the entire seam from one side of the hat to the other, pinning down the mane and ears.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

Hopefully your ears and tails and stuff are in the right place.

Have your hat inside-out.
Grab the bottom inch-and-a-half or so of the hat and fold it up, around the "outside".
You're going to hem this thing, so make sure the raw edge is on the inside of the hat, once it all gets flipped right-side out.

Hem with a large zig-zag stitch all around. (This allows the cloth to retain some stretch without tearing the hem-thread.)

Flip your hat right-side out. You're almost done.

Do you need to add a muzzle, eyes, or other facial features to the hat?
Grab your felt. Cut it to shape. Sew it on to the outside of the hat.
Add eyes. A nose. Stuff.

Now trim all the extra thread and stuff, clean up your workspace:
You've got yourself a hat.

Here are some additional ideas:
Roman Centurion Helm
Greek Corinthian Helm

Step 5: Examples

Picture of Examples

Penguin, Roman Centurion Helm, Cthulhu (missing eyes)

Corinthian Helm


Mouse (Yuki, from Fruits Basket)




ExquiseMarquise (author)2012-04-30

There are the jellyfish hat and the yotsuba hat!

Someone asked me for the yotsuba hat pattern.

The pattern is the 5-ends crown given in this instructible. Here is the pattern I drew for Yotsuba's bunches, you should cut it out 8times. It is 7.5cm high and 6.3cm wide.

I advise you now to pin a second layer of fleece down the hat where your forehead will be (where Yotsuba's bangs are). Go on and make the hat normally.

Pin 4 bunch pieces to the hat and adjust to make it symmetrical. When the positions are right, sew a small circle on the centre of each piece, then start sewing the second piece of each bunch on each first piece. Leave a little gap to put some filling, then resume sewing. Your bunches are ready.

Go back to the forehead and draw the bangs. Cut and sew the two pieces of fleece along the edge of the bangs. It should prevent the bangs from curling up too much. You don't have to make another seam than the bottom one.

That's it, you have a yotsuba hat!

pipsqueakboy (author)2012-09-09

Is this kon?

ExquiseMarquise (author)2012-02-27

I love this tutorial. I made a polar bear hat since I only had white fleece and black felt, handmade (I didn't have a sewing machine back then) and apart from the handmade sewing it was really easy.
I did a small inside hem instead of a big one outside because I assumed the back seam would be visible on the back of the head with an outside hem. I also softened the pointy ends on the forehead by sewing a little longer and rounder down.
I am planning on doing a jellyfish hat, a Yotsuba hair hat and a Cthulhu hat (although I am still thinking about how I will put the tentacles, I think in your design it is too obvious they have been added afterwards - sorry) and will definitely put pictures of them as well.
Thanks a lot!

NightElectric (author)2011-12-08

I made a jackalope hat using these instructions. Will post pics.

handyjim (author)2011-09-29

cool ive made a bunny hat ill try and put a picture on as soon as i can.

littledemonplusher (author)2011-07-27

i like the roman hat the best!

Mauigerbil (author)2011-07-26

I would do this with fleece because to me felt is itchy

Awesome101 (author)2011-07-03

i like the cow because haru is my favourite character in fruits basket <3

thnx 4 idea

bass girl (author)2011-01-18

when i first saw the hat, i thought that it was of kon. he is a stuffed anmal from a manga serius named bleah.....i was very happy. even though the hat was a lion, i still think it is kon

chera3 (author)bass girl2011-06-13

I only clicked because it looked like Kon :) Bleach rocks.

AmberRawr (author)2011-02-07

Must... Use... This... To... Make... Pikachu... Hat.

childe (author)2009-10-26

Great instructions!  I used them to make a Gir hat (the robot dog from Invader Zim) for my best friend's ten year old daughter, and I had no troubles at all, despite my slightly wobbly stitching.

I chose to use a second colour of fleece to line the hat (mostly for aesthetic reasons, but also because it gets very cold here in Canada and the extra layer will be useful).  I suggest to anyone who wants to attempt this, definitely sew the two pieces of fleece securely together before you try to do any of the shaping darts, or the pieces will flop all over the place and be a total pain.

I also used some leftover little scraps to "stuff" the eyes on this hat so that they'd stick out and look properly bulbousy.  I think that this technique could be easily used to make noses, beaks, muzzles, ears, etc. that are more 3-dimensional:  just sew most of the way around the piece, then pack it full of stuffing before you sew it completely closed.

bass girl (author)childe2011-01-18

i love gir, so i might try to make a gir hat, thank you for the idea

gemtree (author)2010-12-03

This is totally cool but I want it to look like a mane on my head, not a head on my head. Can you cut it to go around the head more, incorporating the person's face into the design? Like this? (I hope this image add on works)

ryzellon (author)gemtree2010-12-03

Short answer: not very easily, and probably not very satisfactorily.

Slightly longer answer: since a mane is more than just what frames the face, you'd have to do a lot of finagling to get the rest of the hat covered in mane-pieces. Also, even the framing of the face is kind of impossible with this type of hat design without bisecting the entire hat. Even then, the mane would sit across the top of the head, not along the hairline/forehead.

gemtree (author)ryzellon2010-12-03

I was thinking to use furry material instead of fleece. Then bring the material down to frame the face.

Not sure I understand parts of the drawings in step one. Last two pictures do not make sense. Are these other pieces that are cut? What does 5ths and 6ths mean? And I can't figure how the ears are done. I am a bit dyslexic so I need more input to get some ideas.

ryzellon (author)gemtree2010-12-03

The design isn't going to accommodate bringing the material down to the face.

As per the text, the final pair of images on the intro page of these instructions are the top views of the two different patterns.

Ears: take two pieces of felt and stack them. Sew a "C" shape on to them. Trim the felt close to the seam. Flip the "C" inside-out.

gemtree (author)ryzellon2010-12-04

I guess this would call for a different technique entirely, Thanks for the ideas.

Keira_Yagami (author)2009-02-08

change the colors a little bit and It will look like Kon!

Mehehehful (author)Keira_Yagami2009-12-06

Hey I was just about to post that! I love kon. >.<

hawkfrost64 (author)Mehehehful2010-08-06

I was gonna say that too...

CrazySheep (author)2010-03-29

The grey mouse.... Yuki?! :D

Duct Tape Dude (author)2010-02-15

This is great! Would you happen to know how to make Headcrab legs or Metroid Claw thingies or Cthulhu tentacles...I have plans to make it far far FAR less cute than it should be....anyone with answers will get creds in an upcoming 'ible.

Raekea (author)2010-01-27

<3 Cthulu <3

Raekea (author)2010-01-27

:D Cthulu! Yes! HP Lovecraft rocks!!

Zotlink (author)2010-01-24

 I tried to make the pattern 3 times already and it's never fit together properly... can you please clarify the instructions a bit? I REALLY want to make this hat :D

Zotlink (author)2010-01-24

 How do we know how far down the little ridge/spike things are supposed to be?

owenebs (author)2010-01-21

haha! awesome instructable!
to me the lion hat looks kinda like pedo bear! im so gonna make that hat now!

leifbus (author)2009-12-08

 Awesome design!

I am trying to make a goat design, any ideas on the face?

I plan on stuffing the horns, I'm just not sure about the face.

LaurenOrSatan (author)2009-11-29

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been looking all over for instructions for it. I saw a hat like the lion one in a store for $35 and I was sad because I couldn't afford it. I decided to make my own but didn't know how. Now I do! Thank you!!!!!

kgpelcz (author)2009-11-09

I love this!!! Wow, thank you so much!! my friend just had a baby,and i'm a poor college kid, so this looks like the perfect thing to make without breaking the bank!!

sabrina2 (author)2008-09-26

This is so cute. I would love to make a lamb or sheep -any ideas would be appreciated Thanks

lorwad (author)sabrina22009-10-18

I think you could do a lamb with curly fleece (Hobby Lobby has a fleece that makes excellent bears) and with tear-drop shaped ears.

Gage987 (author)2009-10-12

cthulhu eats souls cthulhu hat eats heads

bluegorrilla (author)2009-10-07

cool gooing to make one in school colors to look like a mohawk

AlSparta (author)2009-07-30


maxwell_edison (author)2009-06-05

two words: domo hat

9ATICA (author)2009-04-04

I had tried to make a lion but i decided not to, so i made a bear. The guy in the pic isnt me.

animerika (author)2009-03-13

I definitely want to try this, a cute instructable <3

TeenDreamSequence (author)2009-02-15

With some left-over fleece from a hat I made for a friend(before I discovered Instructables), I made a dragon hat following your instructions(after discovering this awesome site). I was surprised at how little time it took to make it, not to mention how much better it looked. Once I clear off my memory card on my camera, I'll try to add a pic or two.

vickithebee (author)2008-12-03

Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! I have made a pink kitty hat and a dragon ruff hat. So quick and cute!

MissMercurial (author)2008-06-18

Wow, this would have been AMAZING to find when I made a hat to look like Kirara/Kilala from Inuyasha last year as a gift! Too bad I only found Instructables like last week XD. Hopefully this will make future projects come out a lot better :D (Although I rather liked the hat I made...I'd post pictures but I gave it away before I took pictures ;__;) Thanks for posting a really clear tutorial~ !

container_gardener (author)2008-06-13

This is great! I always wanted to know how to make one of these hats. I'd like to try it sometime. Thanks.

bookwormforever (author)2008-01-21

You rock! I had leftover fleece from a Christmas present I was making, so I made some hats. I made a pink bunny for my daughter and a little girl hat for her best friend. Since then, I've made a white baby bunny for a friend's newborn daughter, and a yellow lion cub for another friend's newborn son. I still have fleece left, so I'll hang onto it and make more hats until I am totally out. I'll post pictures when I have time later. I cannot thank you enough for the clear, easy instructions and suggestions.

Let me try to put some pictures in here:

Here's the little girl hat:

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-21

wow, you're good at sewing! do you think you can make a master chief helmet? (the guy from the halo games..)

ryzellon (author)GorillazMiko2007-12-24

Erh. I think that'd be much harder to do. Maybe I'll give it a try, but right now I'm nowhere near a sewing machine--you'll have to wait till next summer, probably.

PalmTheFront (author)2007-12-24

How did you manage to get the crest that far up on the helm? Is that just running up the back seam? Also, would it be possible to make the mane on the helm with red/burgundy fleece, instead of felt? Thanks!

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