Lucky EL Wire Hat




Introduction: Lucky EL Wire Hat

In this Instructable, I will show you how to make an EL wire hat.

In my particular case, I made this hat for Saint Patrick's day.

I am currently attending Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Saint Pat's is a big deal here, so I decided to use science and technology to make a Saint Pat's themed hat.

You can use the steps here to make an EL wire hat for any occasion. You could make a heart for Valentines Day, pumpkin for Halloween or a tree for Christmas to name a few.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or message me and I will get back to you.

I hope you enjoy!

Step 1: Materials Needed

To make this project, you will need a few things:

First of all, you'll need to buy some EL wire. I used
  • I bought the "5 Foot High Bright Long Life Hella Phat Plug and Play Unit" in green. This item comes with everything you need to start glowing.
  • A hat (preferably with a rim which makes it a lot easier)  (I got really lucky by finding this green hat at goodwill)
  • As always, a trusty Sharpie ;)
  • An ice pick
  • Scissors
  • Fishing line, string or flexible wire (Fishing line doesn't block very much light at all)
  • Batteries for the El wire driver
  • Any color or type of fabric (about 6 inches by 6)
  • Flexible cardboard
  • A sewing needle, threader, and thimble
  • A hot glue gun

Step 2: Make a Driver/Battery Compartment

To attach the driver to the hat, I made a cardboard case that the driver can be slipped into.

First, I cut out a large flap of cardboard off of a soda case, then I cut, folded, and it hot glued it into a pocket a little bigger than the driver.

Step 3: Attach Compartment to Inside of Hat

To attach the compartment to the inside of the hat, first find a flat-ish surface.
Now put hot glue on the cardboard and place the compartment on the flattest surface on the inside of the hat.
Now put a bunch of hot glue on the cardboard, and on the hat near the compartment and then pat down the fabric.

Step 4: Poke a Hole Through the Hat

Here's a really easy step (yay!)

Using an ice pick, poke a hole through your hat where you want the EL wire to start.

(easy, wasn't it?)

Step 5: Mark Wire

Place the driver in the newly attached compartment and poke the EL wire through the hole. 
Shape your wire around the basic outline of the hat and use the Sharpie to mark where it overlaps its self.

Now you can try bending different designs with the excess wire and find out which one works/looks best. I had about 30 inches of wire left to make the design with after I went around the hat.

Step 6: Bend EL Wire Around the Hat and Sew It Down

I sewed the ring of wire (not to be confused with ring of fire :P ) to the hat at four different points (loop and then tie on the inside) with the fishing line.

Step 7: Sew Down the Design

This step is made much easier if you have someone to help hold the wire in the shape of your desired design.
Mine was relatively easy as I just made my clover by bending the wire into three loops and sewed the center point a few different times, alternating which wires to sew down.

Now that you're done, plug in the batteries and check out your awesome new hat!


Step 8: Wear It and Have Fun!

Yay! Now you get to wear a cool hat with your design on it, go to parties, get compliments and have a lot of fun!

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    cool, but do you like that EL Wire high frequency pyyyyyyyp sound next to your ears? :D how to avoid this?

    The Porsche Fan
    The Porsche Fan

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hello and thanks!
    The noise really isn't a problem, unless you're sitting in a room by yourself or something. lol Whenever I've worn this hat, I've been hanging out with people or at a party where there is noise. The location of the inverter (above your head) basically eliminates noise anyway because the hat doesn't go down past your ears. Where the hat touches my head forms a "seal" of sorts by way of contact, muffling the noise. Great question though :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Cool project - I went to St. Pat's there in Rolla in the 80's - had a blast. I'm sure you'll be popular at St. Pats this year with that hat!!