Introduction: Silly Anti-Gnat Hat

Gnats can be bothersome on a summer walk. On an early morning bird walk, members of my bird club are often beset by the pests. There are always discussions of how to keep the insects at bay, and ideas include insect repellents, citronella, wide-brimmed hats, and skipping the application of deodorant. A behavioral solution that is often touted is to hold one hand up in the air. The hypothesis is that the gnats will fly to the highest point on one’s body, and if they fly to the hand held high, they’ll avoid one’s face, where they are most annoying.

However, such a strategy is a little silly as far as solutions go. Holding an arm up in the air gets tiresome. It’s not like you can do it for the length of a two-hour walk. Also, it's not easy to hold binoculars steady, or focus them, with just one hand.

If I only had a third hand.

Necessity is the mother of invention! Thus, The Silly Anti-Gnat Hat. With the third arm this hat provides, I can hold an arm in the hand for the duration of the walk, and keep two hands free for working the binoculars.


Sleeve from old shirt



Polyester stuffing

Cardboard for arm and hand



Needle and thread

Step 1: Make Arm and Hand

I cut some cardboard to a length a little shorter than the sleeve and then folded and taped it to create the shape that will fill the sleeve.

I cut another piece of cardboard to make a hand that will attach to the arm. This piece included a couple of finger-sized extensions to support the fingers in the glove. I taped the flat hand and arm to the 3-D cardboard arm. To make the fingers stiffer, I taped another finger-sized layer of carboard to each finger.

Step 2: Assemble Sleeve, Arm, and Hand

I stuffed some polyester filling into the glove to fill it out. I put the sleeve over the arm and the glove on the hand and sewed sleeve and glove together.

Step 3: Tie Cardboard Arm to Hat

I poked holes through the cardboard near the base of the arm. The cardboard arm was a 4-sided structure and I poked a hole through each side. Then I laced string through the eyelets in the hat and the holes in the cardboard, to secure the arm to the hat. Then I sewed the base of the sleeve to the hat.

Step 4: You Don't Have to Do This Any More!

Step 5: Done!

You Are Ready to Keep Gnats Away From Your Face and Have Two Hands Free for Your Binoculars with your Silly Anti-Gnat Hat.

Silly Hats Speed Challenge

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