Introduction: Fiona Hat (Guide to Modifying Style & Color of Your Favorite Hat)

About: Master level cosplay sister duo Labinnak & Mangoloo Cosplays (and Shirtless Mike) have been creating costumes and props from scratch since late 2013. Using knowledge from classes in design and theatre the duo …

Because we have gotten so many questions on how to make the Tales from the Borderlands Fiona hat…. *PEW PEW*… here you go Kiddo, a tutorial for your cosplay needs!

You can also use this tutorial for changing the color of your favorite hat!

*WARNING... if you want to change the color of your hat (especially if its a wool hat) do NOT directly paint it! Instead follow this tutorial to see how to change the color without destroying the texture of the hat*

Round/Flat top fedora hat - *Link to hat I used*

—-> REMEMBER to get a hat that fits your head (w/ a wig if you are wearing one)…

My head is 21.5 inches around and with my wig the hat fits pretty snug!

  • White Spandex
  • Burgundy Ribbon
  • White thread
  • White and white paint
  • Black and white fabric markers

Step 1: Prep

Prep the hat… Remove all the extra stuff from it like ribbons if it has any. Get it to the bare minimum. If the hat is folding in awkward ways then iron it (with my wool hat I used a wet cloth, dabbed the hat then ironed).

Step 2: Modify Style of Hat

Modify the hat…. Start by marking off where you want to cut the piece from the brim. Seam rip only between where you marked. When you lift the seam ripped hem you should see a band…. DO NOT CUT THIS BAND!

….Avoiding the band… make 3 or 4 cuts inward towards your marked lines. Push clear band back to where lines are and fold cut brim on top of band. Sew in place and trim off excess of the hem.

Step 3: Cover

Stretch spandex over crown and sew. Be aware that there will be creases… make sure you distribute the creases around that. Sew spandex in place then you can bring the creases down a bit to where the ribbon will cover them.

Not all creases will be hidden (without really bending the hat out of shape!)… no worries bro… when we get to painting we got tips that will help make it all work!

Step 4: Cover Brim

Trace brim onto 2 layers of spandex (remember to give yourself some seam allowance!). Sew 2 layers together, trim edges, cut a small hole in the very center of the circle thing you sewn together (so you can turn it inside out!)

*Essentially it should look kinda like a donut with a bite taken out of it*

Gradually make the hole bigger to get it to fit onto the brim. As soon as it fits… don’t cut anymore! You will need to sew that sucker to where the brim meets the side band.

Don’t forget to sew the fabric to the hat on the underside! ***If the fabric is loose on the brim then do a slip stitch around the edges to bring the fabric closer to the interior brim of the hat.****

Step 5: Watered Down Paint

Paint hat with white and black acrylic paint mix (mostly watered down white… like seriously just a small dot of black to get a very light grey). Don’t keep the color consistent… you want it to look discolored. The key is to make it look painted/drawn (ironic…). See picture below to see the difference between painting and not paint. Clearly you want to paint all of it!

Note…. paint will also make the hat a bit more stiff. …..No floppy hat…. BOOYA!

*plus when Fiona is running all over Pandora it makes sense for the hat to not be entirely white*

Step 6: Ribbon

Paint ribbon (BEFORE YOU PUT ON HAT!) Give it a gradient look. More black on the bottom and have it fade out. *Remember to water it down so the ribbon doesn’t get super stiff and is easier to do the gradient look*

Step 7: Attaching the Ribbon

ONCE RIBBON IS DRY…. cel shade ribbon with black fabric markers along the edge (get the topside and along the actual sides… yes I know that the sides are so tiny… but it gives it a flawless lined look). Use white fabric maker to go along (the part where there is the least black paint).

Before moving on…. Go back over the black lines AGAIN! (sometimes when you are highlighting with the white pen… you go over the black lines… doing the black lines a second time corrects this). And finally glue the ribbon to the hat!

Step 8: Cel-Shading

Cel-shading stands for toon shading. Think the comic book look. This is the aesthetic we will be using on the hat.

For those who don't know how to cel-shade we included a bonus tutorial on cel-shading so you can make your hat look that much more cooler!


Same deal as the ribbon. Edges… but for the hat its a little different… you are only completely going around the brim x2 lines. Bottom line is on the actual seam… then draw an additional line above the seam line.
The rest of the black lines are winged.

Don’t feel you have to copy the lines as the appear in the actual game. The hat actually turns out better when you outline your own flaws… *as weird as that sounds … its true…* See a spot where your fabric is folding a bit like on the creases on the side band or maybe on spots on the brim… draw a line! But don’t over do it! Be selective about which lines you put in.

And of course put a few tiny dots and curved lines in there for the imperfections.

Another tip for when you are crossing two different materials….


And another… for shading.… lightly draw with the black fabric marker in the spot that you want to be shaded… then apply water and blend the black into the material.


Once all the black lines and imperfections are added… time to HIGHLIGHT with your white fabric marker. Highlighting brings out the black lines. Start by going around the TOP of the BRIM… along that inner edge of the black line (you can see this line in the picture below). Also use the white to trace around the lines you drew (be aware that not every line is highlighted or fully highlighted).
Don’t forget to correct any spots where the white crossed the blacked lines. Go over a second time with black fabric markers!


Step 9: Be Fabulous

You are done! Now go vault hunting or something!


Hats and Headpieces Challenge

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