Picture of Pillbox Hat
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The Pillbox hat is making a comeback! You can make one (or 2) for next to nothing. I saw the movie "The Help" and it takes place in the early 60's, the dresses and hats are beautiful and I was inspired to make a hat from that era. This would be a wonderful gift for a Mother, Aunt, Sister, Daughter or friend.  The supplies you will need are: cereal boxes, hot glue gun and glue sticks. needle and thread, a pair of old jeans. I did use a sewing machine but only on the lining, that could be sewn by hand if necessary. I found an old blue wool skirt at the thrift shop for a dollar. I wouldn't recommend purchasing expensive fabric for your first hat, cut up an old shirt or skirt and get the process figured out. You will need 1/4 yard netting, other fabric scraps for the lining and fabric roses. I bought a couple of feathers to add to the decorative trim. 1 yard of 1" wide blue ribbon was sewn on the edge of the netting, but that is optional. You will need 2 hair combs to glue between the hat and lining to keep the hat in place. Use your imagination for the decoration on the side of the hat, add as little or as much as your heart desires. When choosing garments to cut up for this project, keep in mind that you want the fabric to be medium weight, not too light and not too heavy. Any woman would be thrilled to receive a beautiful hat because we all enjoy dressing up once in awhile.  Try choosing a print for the hat and a solid for the fabric rose. When you think of all the color combinations and different ways to decorate the side...maybe a bow instead of the netting? The possibilities are endless!

I have always had issues with a small head, so have a difficult time finding hats that stay on me. Is this a "One Size Fits All" pattern? If so, where do I make the size adjustments to make it smaller?

katvanlew (author)  linda.l.stradley10 months ago

It would be a good idea to measure around your head and cut out the piece that goes around the head first and then cut the top of the hat to fit that. Make a sample out of the cardboard and see if that fits, keep adjusting until you get the size you need and make a pattern before you cover it with fabric.

wrenv1 year ago

I love hats and have trouble purchasing them in my size (tiny head). Seems that men's hats come in multiple sizes, but those who make ladies hats think we all have the same size head! Although a man's hat can be dressed up with ribbons, flowers, or feathers, it will be nice to have a hat that is designed for a woman! (and made by me!)

Thanks for this well written and illustrated instructable.

Will check out the other viewer's suggestion about the oatmeal box.


cblount21 year ago
Absolutely awesome. I'm gonna get my sis n sit down n make us some hats. These are gorgeous!!!
khuntkk2 years ago
Such great instructions and ideas. I have a early 60's themed conference that has encouraged us to wear something during that era and needed a pill box hat to match a modified dress that I worked on. I used the part that I cut off to make a matching pill box hat. I only had to buy the netting ( in the clearance bin) and ribbon (with a coupon). I made a solid black one as well to wear for the "retro cocktail" banquet night. This was fun! Thanks again for the great pictures and easy instructions.
flyingpuppy2 years ago
This hat is pure genious!
Love this project -- great instructions/photos! I made one for my little chihuahua <3
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katvanlew (author)  CentralCaliGrrrl2 years ago
Oh my goodness! that it just adorable! Thank you for sharing!
wow! This is really nice, i love the blue one you made :)
sunshiine2 years ago
I love this! I will add this to my wish to make list! I have everything I need. Thanks for sharing.
My great grandmother used to use the end of an oatmeal box because it was already the perfect shape. She'd just cut it to the height she wanted.
scoochmaroo3 years ago
This is very well done, and a great way to make something spectacular from objects you have around the house, rather than investing in specialty materials. You've obviously put a lot of thought and time into this! Thank you so much for sharing.
This is awesome! Who would have thought that could turn into such a great thing. Using just a fraction of the imaginative energies you have, you can save yourself some cash.  I think what I read in the article "Discovering new uses for cereal boxes" is true, we can use cereal boxes for all kinds of tasks. This is so great!
This is just so adorable! I've been thinking I've been wanting a special hat, but I don't like to waste money on it. This is just perfect!