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Picture of Light-Up Christmas Tree Hat
Who hasn’t ever wanted to wear a lit-up Christmas tree on their head? It’s definitely an attention-getter and you’ll receive lots of comments at any holiday party you wear this hat to. So if you’d like to crochet your own light-up Christmas tree hat for yourself, a family member, or a close friend you’d like to embarrass, then this Instructables project is for you!
 
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Step 1: Materials You’ll Need

Picture of Materials You’ll Need
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You’ll need the items pictured above, as well as a few other things – here’s everything you’ll need to gather:
  • Green yarn. This will make the tree part. I’d recommend a bulky yarn (size 5). I used Lion Brand’s Homespun Forest yarn, article #790-604. I used about half of the 185 yards/169 meters of the skein.
  • White yarn. This will make the snow the tree sits on. This should be the same size bulkiness as the green yarn. I used Lion Brand’s Homespun Hepplewhite yarn, article #790-300. I used about half of the 185 yards/169 meters of the skein.
  • Crochet hook. This should be the right size for the yarns – mine was size K-10.5 (6.5 mm).
  • Embroidery/large needle. This is for threading the yarn. It should be small enough that a bead can fit over it.
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing. I just used 100% polyester fiberfill, but other stuffings would work.
  • Beads. These will be ornaments for the tree. I think the best colors for looking ornament-like are orange, yellow, red, dark green, and dark blue.
  • A small amount of red yarn. Alternatively you could use gold yarn. This will be “ribbon” on the tree.
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Two small pieces of cardboard, at least 6 cm by 6 cm.
  • Battery-powered string of LED lights (and batteries). I used this string of 30 LEDs from Amazon.com.
  • Paper clip
  • Permanent marker

Step 2: Making the Foundation

Make a slipknot and put it on the crochet hook. Then make four chains on the hook.

To make a chain, do the following:
  1. Pull the slipknot a little tight on the hook (but not too tight!).
  2. Pull the yarn over the tip of the hook (going in a clockwise direction).
  3. Pull the hook down through the slipknot so that the yarn you just placed on it is pulled down through the slipknot. The slipknot should slide off of the hook, and you should be left with the “new” yarn on the hook.

After you have made four chains on your hook, make six slip stitches into the second chain from the last (dangling at the end). This will form a small ring.

To make a slip stitch, do the following:
  1. Put the hook into the desired chain/stitch.
  2. Pull the yarn over the tip of the hook (clockwise).
  3. Pull the hook back through both of the chains/stitches that were on the hook.
  4. You should end up with only the new yarn on the hook.

After you’ve formed the small ring, make two slip stitches into each of the six stitches you just made. This means you should now have 12 stitches total. It may look like a small awkward circle, but soon it will turn into a distinct hexagon – see the steps below. Put a paperclip into the last stitch you make so you can keep track of where you are in your rounds.

Tip: If you are new to crochet, you may want to practice with some non-bulky yarn first. It can be tricky to get the hang of bulky yarn, but once you get it it’s great because it crochets up fast and the bumps help hide any little mistakes!

Step 3: Making the Top Branches

You will now continually expand your small ring of 12 stitches until it is the right length for the top branches (the smallest branches). I aimed for a diameter of about 12 centimeters (cm) (about 4.5 to 5 inches), but you could change this if desired. Keep in mind that this isn’t the diameter that the branches will be in the end – they’ll be a little shorter due to the stitches below them pulling them back. Note: Although a single crochet stitch is typically what’s used for making a hat, to get the texture I wanted for this hat I used slip stitches (it makes it firmer and more bunched together than a single crochet stitch).

Here is the pattern to follow for expanding the 12 stitch ring into the top branches:
  • Round 1: Slip stitch (sl st) 1, 2 sl st in the next stitch. Repeat this six times so that you have done a complete round. (When you’re done with this round, you should have 18 18 stitches total.)
  • Round 2: Sl st 2, 2 sl st in the next stitch. Repeat six times (to do a complete round). (You should now have 24 stitches total.)
  • Round 3: Sl st 3, 2 sl st in the next stitch. Repeat six times. (You should now have 30 stitches.)
  • Round 4: Sl st 4, 2 sl st in the next stitch. Repeat six times. (You should now have 36 stitches.)
  • Round 5: Sl st 5, 2 sl st in the next stitch. Repeat six times. (You should now have 42 stitches.)
  • Round 6: Sl st 6, 2 sl st in the next stitch. Repeat six times. (You should now have 48 stitches.)
  • Continue this pattern until the diameter of the hexagon is about 12 cm (4.5 to 5 inches) in diameter. (I measure the widest and shortest diameters and average them.) For me, this was just after round 9 (with 66 stitches total).

Tips while expanding the branches:
You should find that the stitch where you put the 2 slip stitches into forms a bulge/bump over time. (This is one of the corners of the hexagon that forms.) If you get tired of counting the stitches on each round, you could try to just aim for making the “2 sl st” go into a stitch near the tip of the bump.

Once your top branches are wide enough, you’re ready to decrease them (to make the underside of the branches). To do this you will do two consecutive rounds of just single crochet decrease stitches (and no slip stitches or other stitches).

To make a single crochet decrease, do the following:
  1. Put the hook into the desired stitch.
  2. Pull the yarn over the tip of the hook (clockwise).
  3. Pull the hook back through only the first stitch that was on the hook. (This means you should have one stitch and a loop from the “new” yarn still on your hook.)
  4. Put the hook into the next stitch.
  5. Pull the yarn over the tip of the hook (clockwise).
  6. Pull the hook back through all three loops that are on the hook. You should end up with only the new yarn on the hook.

Once you’re done with the two rounds of single crochet decreases, you’re ready to make the second from top branches.

Step 4: Making the Second from Top Branches

Overall, to make the next set of branches, follow the same pattern as in Step 3, but instead of starting with a ring of 12 stitches, you’ll start with a larger ring/hexagon, and you will let this set of branches expand larger than the top ones. Here are the details on how to do this:
  1. Determine how many stitches you have now. This depends on how many stitches were in the last round you made before doing the two rounds of single crochet decrease stitches. Each round of single crochet decrease stitches cuts the number of stitches in half, so, for example, if you had 66 stitches total at the end of the round before doing the single crochet decrease rounds, now you should have about 16 to 17 stitches total (since 66 divided by four is 16.5). Alternatively, you could try just counting the stitches to see how many you have.
  2. Based on how many stitches you have now, determine where to start repeating the expanding process in Step 3. Round up. For example, if you have about 17 stitches, this is close to where you ended up at the end of Round 1 (with 18 stitches). Proceed on to the next round. If you are short a stitch on a side (the “2 sl st in the next stitch” does not match up with a bump), add in an extra “2 sl st in the next stitch” to get to the correct number of stitches. But don’t do this too often or it can create odd bumps.
  3. Continue the pattern to expand the branches until the diameter of the hexagon is about 14 cm (5.5 inches) in diameter. For me, this was just after I reached 84 stitches (three extra rounds compared to last time).
  4. As in Step 3, then do two consecutive rounds of just single crochet decrease stitches.

Step 5: Making the Third from Top Branches

Picture of Making the Third from Top Branches
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Overall, to make the next set of branches, follow the same pattern as in Step 3, but again you’ll start with a larger ring/hexagon, and you will let this set of branches expand larger than the second from top ones. Here are the details on how to do this:
  1. Determine how many stitches you have now. This depends on how many stitches were in the last round you made before doing the two rounds of single crochet decrease stitches. Each round of single crochet decrease stitches cuts the number of stitches in half, so, for example, if you had 84 stitches total at the end of the round before doing the single crochet decrease rounds, now you should have 21 stitches total (since 84 divided by four is 21). Alternatively, you could try just counting the stitches to see how many you have.
  2. Based on how many stitches you have now, determine where to start repeating the expanding process in Step 3. Round up. For example, if you have 21 stitches, this is close to where you ended up at the end of Round 2 (with 24 stitches). Proceed on to the next round. If you are short a stitch on sides (the “2 sl st in the next stitch” does not match up with a bump), add in an extra “2 sl st in the next stitch” to get to the correct number of stitches. But don’t do this too often or it can create odd bumps.
  3. Continue the pattern to expand the branches until the diameter of the hexagon is about 16 cm (6.25 to 6.5 inches) in diameter. For me, this was just after I reached 102 stitches (three extra rounds compared to last time).
  4. As in Step 3, then do two consecutive rounds of just single crochet decrease stitches.

Step 6: Making the Base Branches

Overall, to make the next (and last) set of branches, follow the same pattern as in Step 3, but again you’ll start with a larger ring/hexagon and these branches will be larger than the ones above them. However, this time you will not decrease the branches nearly as much. Here are the details on how to do this:
  1. Determine how many stitches you have now. This depends on how many stitches were in the last round you made before doing the two roounds of single crochet decrease stitches. Each round of single crochet decrease stitches cuts the number of stitches in half, so, for example, if you had 102 stitches total at the end of the round before doing the single crochet decrease rounds, now you should have about 25 to 26 stitches total (since 102 divided by four is 25.5). Alternatively, you could try just counting the stitches to see how many you have.
  2. Based on how many stitches you have now, determine where to start repeating the expanding process in Step 3. Round up. For example, if you have around 26 stitches, this is close to where you ended up at the end of Round 3 (with 30 stitches). Proceed on to the next round. If you are short a stitch on sides (the “2 sl st in the next stitch” does not match up with a bump), add in an extra “2 sl st in the next stitch” to get to the correct number of stitches. But don’t do this too often or it can create odd bumps.
  3. Continue the pattern to expand the branches until the diameter of the hexagon is the diameter you want the wearable part of the hat to be. To figure this out, measure the widest circumference of the person’s head, subtract 2.5 cm (1 inch) for an average fit, and divide this number by pi (3.14). For example, an average adult head has a circumference of about 58 cm (23 inches), which would give a target wearable diameter of about 18.5 cm (7.3 inches). For me, I aimed for a diameter of 19.7 cm (7.75 inches), and this was reached at 120 stitches (three extra rounds compared to last time).
  4. Then, instead of doing two consecutive rounds of single crochet decrease stitches, do only one round of making only every other stitch be a single crochet decrease stitch (and the others regular slip stitches). This will just make the base branches a little “puffy.”

Step 7: Making the “Snowy Hill”

Now that you’ve crocheted the tree part, you’re ready to crochet the “snowy hill” that the tree is standing on. This is the part that a person will actually wear around their head. You’ll basically expand the hat a little until it’s the diameter you want it to be, and then just slip stitch until it’s the desired length. Here are the details on how to do this:
  1. Cut the end of the green yarn and tie it to your white yarn. Hide the knot on the inside of the hat (by pushing it in there).
  2. Determine how many stitches you have now. This depends on how many stitches were in the last round you made before doing the round of single crochet decrease stitches. Since you only made every other stitch a single crochet decrease stitch, you should have 75% of the stitches that you had before doing the round of decrease stitches. For example, if you had 120 stitches, you should now have 90 stitches.
  3. Based on how many stitches you have now, determine where to start based on the expanding pattern in Step 3. Round up. For example, if you have 90 stitches, this means you have 15 stitches on each side of the hexagon (90 divided by six is 15), so in the next round you will want to slip stitch 14, make 2 slip stitches in the next stitch, and repeat this six times. If you are short a stitch on sides (the “2 sl st in the next stitch” does not match up with a bump), add in an extra “2 sl st in the next stitch” to get to the correct number of stitches. But don’t do this too often or it can create odd bumps.
  4. Continue the pattern to expand the branches until the diameter of the hexagon is the diameter you want the wearable part of the hat to be, which you figured out in Step 6. You can try wearing the hat as you make it to see how it fits.
  5. Once the hat is the diameter you want it to be, continue just doing slip stitches all the way around until it is the length you want it to be. At the end, you can use the embroidery needle to thread in the white tail of yarn.

Step 8: Adding the Lights

To evenly distribute the lights between the four “levels” of branches, I laid the string of LEDs on the outside of the tree first to get an idea of how to spread them out, starting from the bottom. I only put lights on the “top” side of each branch level. After figuring out the spacing, I took a permanent marker and made a small mark where the string went from one level to the next.

To attach the LEDs to the tree, I first attached the battery pack. I used some green yarn to tie it into place on the inside of the second-from-top level of branches. I basically just threaded green yarn on the underside part of the branch level (so the top wouldn’t get pulled down) and looped it several times around the battery pack this way. I made sure that I could still access the switch on the side. Note: This means that when you need to replace the batteries, you’ll just need to cut this string of yarn to get to the battery pack (and then tie it back in place). Make sure you leave slack between the battery pack and the first LED so you can get the pack out easily if you need to.

With the battery pack in place, I started inserting the LEDs into the tree (from the inside). I pushed them out just far enough so the light would show. Because the hat is slip stitched, the holes are small and tight, so they should hold the LEDs in place. I only put them on the top sides of the branches.

Step 9: Attaching the “Ornaments”

Picture of Attaching the “Ornaments”
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To attach the beads (which represent ornaments), I took a long piece of green yarn, tied it to the embroidery needle, and threaded the beads in place, mostly working from the inside of the tree. I tried to evenly space them on the underside of each level of branches. When threading, I just made sure to only go into, and out of, the tree right next to the bead – the attaching green yarn blended right into the tree!

Step 10: Making and Attaching the Pom-Pom

Now take the two small pieces of cardboard and roughly draw a circle on each with a diameter of 6 cm (about 2.4 inches). In the center of each circle, draw a smaller circle with a diameter of 1 cm. Then cut out the large circle and the smaller one – reach the smaller one with the scissors by cutting a narrow, V-shaped slit into it. See the pictures. Stack both cut-out circles on top of each other, aligning the slits.

Now take your white yarn and start looping it from the inside to the outside of the circle, using the slit to get the yarn into the center circle. See the pictures. Try to evenly loop the yarn around the circle, and don’t wind it too tightly. Once most of the circle has yarn wound around it (and you can’t fit more into the smaller, inner circle), cut the yarn from the skein, leaving a tail of about 30 cm (12 inches). Then take the scissors and carefully cut in between the two cardboard circles, cutting the looped yarn. Once it’s all cut, use some of the yarn to tie a few knots around the inside of the two cardboard pieces (to keep all the yarn pieces held together). Then carefully remove both pieces of cardboard. Use the scissors to even out the sides of the pom-pom – this process will also fluff it up.

Now you’re ready to attach your pom-pom to the tree! First get rid of the existing green yarn tail at the top by threading it into the hat. Then attach the pom-pom to the top by threading it in and tying it in place. You may want to thread it in a few places so it is not loosely attached.

These instructions are based off of a great video on making pom-poms using yarn.

Step 11: Attaching the “Ribbon”

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A lot of Christmas trees have yellow or red ribbon, so I added a little red ribbon to mine in the form of a long chain of pretty red yarn I had. So, you can just take a long length of yarn (red or gold/yellow) and chain it until it is the desired length. I attached it to the top with a knot, and then loosely ringed it around the tree, placing it on the top of each branch level. At the bottom I just threaded it into place. More attachments could be used, but it seemed to stay in place pretty well.

Step 12: Stuff the Hat

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To help the tree keep its upright form, I stuffed it with some 100% polyester fiberfill. This was quick and easy – I just had to be careful of the LEDs and adjust any that I bumped.

Step 13: Enjoy Your Light-Up Christmas Tree Hat!

And that’s it! Flip the lights on and show off your new Christmas tree hat! The lights have a steady illumination setting and a twinkling setting!

Oh my god, what a cool idea! You explained how to make a crochet hat and a crochet Christmas tree all in one instructable!
Teisha (author)  lindarose921 year ago
Thanks for the praise, lindarose92! I'm glad you like the hat -- I wanted to make something entertaining yet (somewhat) practical.
Amazing!!
Teisha (author)  jessyratfink1 year ago
Thanks, jessyratfink! I'm glad you like it!
I second that - thanks for sharing! I would probably lose the hat every time I walked through a door, but that would be worth it.
Teisha (author)  Dominic Bender1 year ago
Thanks for checking out the Instructable, Satrek! I'm glad you like it. I'm not too tall (5'5") and so I don't have any problem going through doorways while wearing the hat -- maybe it could be modified to be a shorter version for taller people who want to look silly too :)
This is the awesomest hat ever! When I first saw this, I did not process it was a hat and still thought it was amazing, then I processed it was a hat and it went to new heights of awesomeness!
Teisha (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago
Thanks, Penolopy Bulnick! What's neat is it actually works pretty well as a non-hat decoration around the house too. It's currently looking cute on one of our book shelves. But I think it's even more fun to wear around and see people's reactions! :)
Raitis1 year ago
This is like the most ridiculous (in a good way!) Christmas themed thing I've seen this year. Would suit me well, lol!
Teisha (author)  Raitis1 year ago
Thanks, Raitis! That's what I was aiming for. I'm glad you like it!