Introduction: Tiny Hats

In this instructable I'm going to show you how to make tiny fashionable hats from old clothes and random house hold items. Tiny hats are much more versatile than regular sized hats. You can wear them, your cat can wear them, your dog can wear them, even your stuffed penguin sitting at your computer desk can wear them. They are just so much more useful than the big unwieldy regular sized hats. They are basically made the same way cheese cloth ghosts are made: dipping cloth in a water glue mixture and laying it over a mold. I just took that idea and made hats. I have three different designs I'm going to show you how to make. The first one is very simple and makes a very pretty beach hat. The second one is a Fez because fezzes are cool. The third one is a little bit more difficult and makes a baseball cap. I had a lot of fun making these hats and because they are just material molded over random objects, there's a lot of room for experimentation and variation.

Step 1: Supplies - Beach Hat

This first hat is going to be a wide brimmed beach hat. I chose a shirt with bright colored material and purple ribbon. This hat is very easy and only takes a couple minutes to make (plus drying overnight).


  • An old shirt

  • Ribbon or yarn

  • Glue (I find that school glue mixes with water the best)

  • Tape

  • Plastic wrap

  • Stuff to mold your hat on. I used the bottom half of a plastic Easter egg and a cover off a can of bread crumbs. I also used a pringles can to hold the mold so the excess material could hang down instead of bunching up (see step. )

Step 2: Make Your Mold

This part is pretty simple. I just taped the half egg shell onto the center of the bread crumb lid. Once your mold is taped together, wrap it in the plastic wrap. Make sure it is tight around the mold leaving as few air bubbles as possible. The plastic wrap stops the glue from sticking to the mold. Tape can be used to hold the plastic wrap down if it needs it. Put the mold on top on something sturdy that lets the sides of the mold hang over.

Step 3: Cut the Material

Drape the shirt over your mold to get a vague size estimate. You want to cut a piece of material that's a little too big for your mold. The excess material will be cut off later.

Step 4: Glue Mixture

For the glue mixture I usually mix about equal parts glue and water in a bowl. Most of the time I just eyeball it but it's about tablespoon each. Mix these together in a bowl with a fork. Keep mixing until there are no more swirls.

Step 5: The Messy Part

Once your glue mixture is fully combined, put your piece of material in the bowl with the mixture. Use your fingers and squish it around. You want to make sure the whole thing has absorbed the glue. Now, squeegee off some of the glue so the material isn't dripping with it. Lay the material centered over your mold. Use your fingers to smooth it out as much as possible a few wrinkles are fine. How easy it's going to be to smooth out depends on the type of material you use. If there are some wrinkles you can't get rid of try to move them to the back of the hat. There should be some material hanging off the sides all the way around. Once it's fairly smooth, take a piece of the ribbon and tie it around the base of the dome part of the hat. Leave the hat to dry somewhere overnight.

Step 6: Removing the Hat From the Mold and Trimming

After sitting overnight, the glue should be completely dry. If it's not, give it a couple more hours.
Carefully remove the hat from the mold. It is probably easiest to do this by lifting the plastic wrap off the mold with the hat and then removing the plastic wrap.
Once the hat is free, use a pair of scissors to trim the edges of the hat to make it flat and even.

Step 7: Supplies - Fez

The Fez is a little more complicated but still pretty easy.

  • You will need a cylindrical shaped object. I used a used coffee pod.
  • An old shirt
  • Plastic wrap (I reused the plastic wrap from the other hat)
  • A hot glue gun
  • Glue

Step 8: Cutting the Material

You will need a strip of material that can go all the way around your mold and completely cover the sides. For mine it was 6" by 2 3/4" You'll also need a circle that's a little less than two times the diameter of the top of your mold. Mine was about 2" in diameter.

Step 9: Molding the Material

Make the glue mixture from step 4. Start with the round piece for the top and swish it in the glue mixture, dab it off and lay it on top of your mold. Smooth out the top and a little ways down the sides. It won't be completely smooth on the sides but most of the wrinkles should be covered by the next piece. Now, take the longer strip of material and soak it with the glue mixture. Squeegee it out some so it's not dripping and then wrap it around your mold. Smooth it out as good as you can and pull it tight in the back. Use a safety pin to secure it if you need to.

Step 10: Finishing Touches

After the hat is completely dry, lift the plastic wrap and hat away from the coffee pod. Be careful not to deform the hat while you do this. Then remove the plastic wrap and trim the bottom edges if it needs it so hat sits flat.

Next, cut out a small circle of material around 3/8" in diameter and heat up your hot glue gun. Using the hot glue gun make a small blop of glue in the center of the top of the hat and let it cool for a few seconds. Once it's still sticky but starting to get stiff, lay the small circle on top of the glue and carefully shape it around the blop. The glue might still be very hot so it's probably best to do this with tweezers.

Step 11: Supplies - Baseball Cap

This is the most complicated of the three hats I made. You can either make a simple baseball cap or add a propeller and make it extra cool.

For this one you'll need

  • And old shirt
  • Thin card board
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tiny propeller (optional)
  • Toothpick (optional)

Step 12: Make the Mold

Start by cutting out a strip of cardboard 5 1/2" by 1 1/2" and a smaller piece about 1 1/2" by 1".
Form the larger strip into a cylinder and tape it in place. Cut four slits in the cylinder to about half way down the sides. Now, fold the sides like you would flaps on a box but leave them puffed out a little bit (see picture). Use tape to hold down the flaps that are sticking up a little and keep everything in place but still bulging outward.
Finally, with your thumb on the inside, gently press the corners into a hard surface (like a desk) until the top becomes mostly rounded.

Step 13: Finishing the Mold

Now, place one of the smaller pieces partially under the dome part. Decide how large you want the visor to be and trim the smaller piece of cardboard into a visor shape. Keep in mind that you need to make it a little longer than you want it so to can be glued on later. Once you have one cut out, use it as a stencil to cut out a second one out of the remaining piece of cardboard.

Step 14: Cut Material

Like with the beach hat, drape the shirt over the hat and cut a piece that's a little bigger then you need. For the two visor pieces, cut two of material pieces that are a couple times bigger then they are.

Step 15: Making the Hat

For this hat I wanted it to be sturdier than the others so I'm going to glue it right to the cardboard and not use the plastic wrap.
Make the glue mixture from step 4 and soak the large piece of material in it. Squeegee some of the glue off and place it of top of the dome shaped cardboard mold. Use your fingers to smooth it out and make the two creases in the front and back and then tuck the excess material up inside the cardboard mold.
For the two visor pieces, soak and squeegee the smaller material pieces in the glue mixture and wrap them around the two pieces of cardboard. Make one side on each piece smooth and leave the other side with wrinkles. set all pieces on plastic wrap to dry.
Let all the pieces dry over night.

Step 16: Put the Hat Together

Once all the pieces are completely dry, trim any extra off the bottom and any large wrinkles off the wrinkly side off the visor pieces. Use a hot glue gun to glue together the two visor pieces, wrinkle sides toward each other.
Now figure out where you want to attach the visor to the cap and put a thin line of hot glue along the inner edge of the cap and glue it to the visor.

Step 17: Add a Spinner (optional)

After I finished this hat I thought it would be cool to put a little spinner on top of it so I used a little propeller I found that came from some long lost model plane and put a spinner on the hat.
The propeller fit perfectly on a toothpick so I just cut a tooth pick to about a size I thought looked good (around a half inch), put a little dot of hot glue on the top of the hat and glued the tooth pick to it. The propeller fits snugly enough it doesn't fall off easy but it's still lose enough to spin.

Step 18: Show Off Your Tiny Hats

Here are some pictures of our kitten Tobi modeling with the hats.

I hope you liked this instructable and the tiny hats!

Silly Hats Speed Challenge

Second Prize in the
Silly Hats Speed Challenge