How to Make an IPod Hat




About: I am not attached to labels. Nike, Izod... doesnt matter what it says. If an item has been discarded I just might cut it up and make something out of it...

Need your hands free but still want your music?

This is how to build a stylish 'Castro Cap" with iPod Nano pouch.

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Step 1: Supplies

What you need:

An old sweater, preferably sturdy materials ( I used a wool sweater)
A bright or fun colored material or old T-shirt
sewing machine
thick cardboard ( i used the back of my sketch book cover, you can also recycle a yogurt container )
reinforced tape ( duct tape, strapping tape, NOT SCOTCH )
measuring tape or ruler
iPod (this works best for smaller iPods like shuffle or nano, i havent figured out the 2G touch aesthetics ;op )

I started by building the beanie with a brim on Threadbangers
and then modified my patterns to include other styles of hats.

Step 2: Brim Board

To see a video of this step, please refer to Threadbangers
Trace the brim of another hat onto thick cardboard (not corrugated) or recycle a yogurt container or something that is a sturdy plastic.

Draw the inner edge in a curve.
Cut out cardboard.
Cover with a layer of reinforced tape.

Set aside til step 3.

Step 3: Chop Chop

Cutting your materials:

I use the textured parts of the orginal material to give the hat some flare. In this case I am using the ribbing from the bottom of the shirt and the cuffs of the sleeves.

Start by cutting off the sleeves.
Open the sleeves by cutting off the seam. Stay as close to the seam as possible to get max usage out of the material.
Pin the cuffs together, outsides touching.
Trace the brim pattern and pin around the outside curve.
Sew the two pieces at the curve and trim the excess. It will look like a calzone...
Turn inside out.

Slip the half moon of the brim board into the 'calzone' piece, pull the material tight and pin.
Sew along the pins, keeping the material snug against the board.

Step 4: Chop Chop #2

Next, from the side seam of the body of the sweater at the bottom hem, measure and mark 20 inches.
Then measure and mark from the bottom up 4 inches all the way across.
You should have a strip of material 20in x 4in.
I plan to use both front and back pieces of the sweater, so pin and cut out these strips.

Cut one of the strips into thirds. This will be for the crown of the hat unless you go the simple route.
In this case, cut out a circle 8 inches in diameter.

Step 5: The Crown

You dont have to make the crown the same as I am here. I like to create texture and pattern. If you would rather have a plain crown and you already cut out the 8 inch circle, please skip this step.

The crown in this version of the cap is a pinwheel of 3 pieces. My photos of creating this piece were not so great, so I drew them out to be more clear. I used a circle divided into three to help keep the circle in mind.

Start with the first piece vertically, ribbing to your left.
Take the second piece and line up the corners. The ribbed edges will overlap at about 2 inches.
Pin where the pieces overlap.
Repeat the overlay with the third piece, tucking the last 2 inches under piece #1 to complete the pattern.
Pin where the pieces overlap.
Use a wide zigzag stitch to sew over the overlapping spots, meeting in the middle.
Cut off excess flaps.

Step 6: The Lining / Ipod Pocket

Cut also a 20in x 3in strip of your lining material. This piece is not as wide since the pocket is only as big as the ipod.

You can decide where to cut from depending on how you want the pattern to go.

I used the sleeve and it was kinda wonky, so I did my best to get the stripes to run vertically.

Step 7: The Liner, Pocket, Hatband

This step was a bit difficult since I was creating the pattern at the same time as building the hat. I will break it down as best I can.

Use the bands you cut earlier, the 20in x 4in wool and 20in x 3in liner for the pocket.
Overlap the edge of the liner with the ribbed edge of the band and sew with these increments:

4 inches, skip half an inch, 7 1/2 inches, skip half an inch, 4 inches.

Leave the last 7 1/2 inches unsewn, this is where the brim will be inserted and will be done last.

Next, fold over the edge of the liner and hem, creating a neat edge.

Fold the entire band outside in, pull the liner out straight and sew the edges of the liner only up until the first 1/8 of an inch into the hatband.
Sew also the part of the hatband that is not ribbed, the last 2 inches will be the opening of the pocket.
Fold the liner back to its place inside the hatband, sew one side of the liner seam to the corresponding edge of the band to secure the pocket opening.

Step 8: Pod Pocket

Put the iPod into the opening of the pocket with the screen facing the outside of the hat, pinning the liner so that the iPod is secure in the band.
Sew the liner to the band for the length of the iPod.
Sew the liner to the band on the headphone end, leaving room for the jack to exit the pocket on the inside of the band.

Run a few stitches in the liner around the hemmed edge in different places of the band to keep the liner in place. This doesnt have to go all the way around since you have the option to store the wire inside the hat.

Step 9: Attaching the Crown

Lay the crown right side up on a flat surface.
Flip the hat band inside out and place the rough edge down on top of the crown.

If you skipped the patterned crown and just have the circle, this part is easy.
Pin around the edge and sew.

If you did the pinwheel, line up one of the seams with the line of the pocket opening for aesthetics.
Pin the band in a circle as equally as possible to the crown. You might have to fuss with it a bit to get it to look right.

Sew and remove any excess material.

Step 10: The Brim

Here it is, the last step!

Insert the flap of material of the brim between the liner and the band.
Overlap the outside edge of the band on the board of the brim by 1/4 of an inch and pin together, including the liner on the inside.

Sew as close to the board as possible, stretching the material when you need to, keeping it tight.
Stitch another line above this one about 3/8 inch, and once again 3/8 inch above this.
Now the brim is secure. Trim excess material and...

You're done! Insert iPod and enjoy!

Step 11: Loading the IPod

As I mentioned earlier, the iPod hat is best for longer trips without much fiddling with the Pod, walking the dog, bike rides skate boarding. Anything that you can throw on a playlist and go.

How to load the hat:

Slip the pod into the pocket, push it all the way in.
From the inside, plug in the headphones.

You have two options from here:
1) thread the earbuds through the hole directly behind the pod pocket. This option allows you some control when switching music. You can take the pod out, switch your playlist, push it back into the pocket and gently tug, the cord will rethread itself.

2) thread one ear bud through the hole behind the pocket, thread the other through the liner to the other hole you left on the other side of the hat.
Wind up the remaining wiring and store in the liner.
Adjust the length of the earbud wires accordingly.

Now youre completely hands free.

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    39 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 10

    very cute. I won't be making one but I love the bling attitude that went into it. I make british driving hats and I add flames and butterflies and hearts and ?? all kinds of craziness. Keep it up!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is GENIUS!!! But one flaw is that you have to take the ipod out if you want to use the clickwheel

    8 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yah, i know that sucks. i am trying to devise a way to add a clear piece of plastic to the outside of the pocket to keep the wheel available...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Why not just cut a hole? I think the clickwheel doesn't work when it is touched, but when there is an electrical connection with something conductive for the ipod nano 4th gen


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    If the fabric is not a knit, that would work fine, but since I used a knit I would have needed to hem the edges of the hole to prevent fraying. I was thinking of sewing in something thin like one of those clear screen covers, it still conducts the electricity...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i think that the ipod will constantly think the clickwheel is being pessed if you do that unless you find a way to add a spacer between the ipod and hat


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i forgot to add this, but i would think thin self-sticking foam sheets would be a good spacer (i don't know what they are called)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    since there is not contact to conduct the electricity (like your finger) it wont bother the iPod at all. try it with an eraser of a pencil, you will see what i mean and, yes perhaps there is room for a whole liner


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    a even simpler way to fix this is to get those head phones that have a little clicky thingy on them (dont know what they're called, my mom has them) and it will let you change the song and even pause the music for you without you having to get the ipod out of your hat


    if you were to felt the wool sweater first  (can often be achieved by machine washing on hot/cold) the hem wouldn't be necessary


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Good news! I made a hat :DDDD!!!! Word to the wise: Measure your head. 20 inches was not big enough for my head.

    1 reply

    Um I know this is going to sound dumb, coming from a instructable site but could you make a video of making one?
    That'd be VERY thankful.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i bought a nike running hat a while back that was very similar.... the only difference is the nike had built in headphones. not worth the $30 when i compare it to yours.


    i thank you highly for posting this item i have been having trouble whith the teachers at my school but since i made this everything is going to be alright


    9 years ago on Step 11

    Yup, I'd agree the pretty freakin' awesome.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I agree, why not just use velcro on any hat? my daughter has been doing that for a couple of years now, and as for the velcro leaving a hard to remove sticky residue? it's not that serious. a Q-Tip and a drop of alcohol gets off whatever stickyness is left, if any...That way it can be used with several different hats instead of just one style and it's a lot easier :)

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    it just seems to me that the ipod or mp3 player would be safer tucked away into a pocket. the design is still under construction. maybe there is a way to make the whole pocket removable


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     and also is less tacky (no offense to plaidsocks) I just can't see the velcroed on ipod looking good even if under the hat and even if in some custom "sleve"

    I really like this


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Last night I sat down and came up with a prototype of what I think is a more useful and versitile way to make an ipod holder to use on any hat, cap even on a bandana, without having to do all the extra sewing, it's quite a blessing in fact.