How to Make a Top Hat (on the Cheap)

Introduction: How to Make a Top Hat (on the Cheap)

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate...

There's something I've always wanted to try. But it wasn't time yet, the situation was wrong, any number of factors. But today is my twenty-first birthday, and sometimes birthdays push you to try things you haven't before. And so I went for it- dove past my previous limits and tried something new and a little scary.

And I liked it.

Today I am twenty-one years old. Today, I began to learn hatmaking.

When you're trying something new, sometimes it's good to start cheap. So I used primarily:
-parts of a t-shirt

I also used:
-spray adhesive
-fabric glue
-Olfa knife
-some satiny fabric that was lying around
-measuring tape

Step 1: Measure your head

Step 2: Make the standing-up bit

Cut a rectangle of cardboard a little longer than your head circumference and the height you want your hat to be.
Cut a strip of t-shirt a little bigger than the rectangle.
Score cardboard to make it easier to bend.
Bend it in a circle and attach with duct tape.
Add little sections of cardboard on the inside to strengthen.
Be really careful to keep everything on the outside of the circle very smooth. Use spray adhesive to smooth fabric to cover the circle.

Carefully fold in the raw edge on the seam of the hat. Stick excess fabric to the inside of the cardboard circle.

Step 3: Make the top
Trace the outside of the circle onto cardboard and cut it out.
Cover with fabric as in previous step.

Step 4: Make the rim
Trace a rim around where you made the hole for the top.
Cut two pieces of fabric the same size to cover it.
Score the edges and curl them up before attaching fabric with spray glue.

Step 5: Put it together
Use glue to attach top to one end of the cylinder and the rim to the other end.
Cut slits in the rim fabric and glue them to the inside of the cylinder.

Step 6: Finishing touch
Cut a long strip of fabric and use it to cover the edge of the rim (use glue again).
Remember, make hats responsibly.

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    3 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Cool! What you're actually learning here is millinery. Haberdashery is a word that means selling men's clothing and notions. But it does sound like it should mean making hats. Either way, nice work!