I wear hats a lot, ask anyone who knows me & they will tell you I'm seldom without a hat I'm even wearing one in my Instructables profile picture.
Over the years there have been quite a variety of styles & in my collection today I have everything from simple woollen skull caps, canvas panamas, fur lined ones with flaps for really bad winter days & of course the obligatory Fedora as worn by Indiana Jones, but my favourite has always been the high crowned wide brimmed hat we all know & love as the Stetson or cowboy hat.
I have over a dozen of them some cost only a few pounds some considerably more, some are straw some are cloth, others are wool felt & one is leather but they all have one thing in common a hatband.
I have often been disappointed with the hatbands that come with a new hat, they are usually just a plain strip of fabric or even a cord with a knot in it, I prefer something with a bit more style to it, nothing too elaborate but certainly better than a bit of cord.
I have found that bands to suit Stetson hats can vary widely in quality & price & to tell the truth I seldom found one I liked that seemed to be worth the asking price.
With this in mind many years ago I took to making my own & being the guy I am almost all of them have been made from materials I salvaged from things that otherwise would probably have ended up in a landfill.

All of the bands in the next few steps were made from salvaged/re-purposed materials.
My better half Joanie volunteers in our local Marie Curie Cancer Care charity shop, they are a wonderful organization whose efforts have benefited tens of thousands of people for over sixty years if you have never heard of them you can find out more about them here.
The shop sells things donated by the public, clothes & accessories being a large part of these donations, they often get carrier bags filled with belts of various kinds which are of course always welcome but occasionally they get one which is a tangled mess of those fashion belts which are essentially knotted cord or leather laces sometimes with beads or other decorations.
Once in a while they have so many it really gets to be a chore untangling them all so Joanie pays a few pounds for a bag full of them rather than have them sit around the shop & brings them home for me to make things from.
With the exception of a little glue some packing string & two conchos salvaged from some motorcycle saddle bags a few years ago all the materials I have used came from those belts.

This will be a sort of combination 'ible, part photo 'ible of hatbands I have made in the past followed by a step by step 'ible of a new one made to show some of my methods.

Step 1: My crushable straw "festival hat"

This hat was bought a few years ago from a charity shop for the princely sum of 50p (around 80 cents US).
I lacked a band of any kind & looked kind of naked but it was sitting on a shelf still with it's original shop tags on & at that price I couldn't just leave it there so using the excuse that it was a hot day & as I had been to a meeting I was currently hatless I decided to give it a new home.
Being a lightweight crushable straw hat I didn't want anything that would be too heavy so I opted for a simple plait consisting of three pairs of brown cord, once this was done I then threaded two white cords (actually packing string) which sit between two of the brown sets, on these I added a few random beads just to give it a bit of colour, I smeared a little UHU clear adhesive onto the cords to give them a little support.
As you can see the plaited section only goes around approximately two thirds of the hat & is brought together at the back with a loop of cords knotted at the back, I did it this way because I found the hat to be a little loose & with a knotted band I was able to pull it in a little but still be able to loosen it if I wish.
This band has been on for about two & a half years now it has been worn a lot & so far has survived perfectly well.
pretty cool and very creative <br>
very cool
Thanks I'm glad you like them. <br>I may do an 'ible on some of the more complex ones when I have time but it's really a case of having a new hat that needs a band or an old hat one that needs a new one.

About This Instructable


8 favorites


Bio: I am dedicated to re-use, recycling & salvaging materials to make things for our home & garden, not just for financial reasons but also because I prefer ... More »
More by Nostalgic Guy: Matchwork tins and boxes. Cheap and easy hat steamer. Basic hat stretcher from workshop leftovers.
Add instructable to: