How to Make Ladies Hats

Things You'll Need

  • Untrimmed hat
  • 1/2 yard material
  • 2 meters of ribbon (plus 1 meter contrasting color-optional)
  • Glue gun and glue sticks or milliner's glue
  • Scissors
  • Thread to match
  • A needle
  • Wire clippers
  • Tulle (optional)
  • Artificial flowers (optional)
  • Feathers (optional)

Hats come and go in the fashion world, but they're always a part of it. They can be a statement, an accent to a specific outfit or seasonally practical. You can also create a hat to reflect your personality. Have you ever thought about making ladies hats for your wardrobe?

Find an untrimmed hat (see Resources). You can find untrimmed hats at stores such as Walmart in the crafts' section or from a second-hand shop. Some second-hand hats can be stripped down so that you have a basic, clean hat to work with.

Choose your cloth. Hat cloth favorites include velvet, crepe, brocade, taffeta and cotton, because they stretch. Cut 1/2 yard to cover the hat frame. Cover the top of the hat and pin it to where the base meets the brim. Sew small stitches around the base, making sure the fabric is taut.

Use your glue gun or milliner's glue (Stainless Adhesive or Magna Tac Glue, for example) to glue the cloth to the top of the brim. Do the same for the underside, making sure the cloth is still taut. Trim the inside edges where the crown of the head goes.

Measure your ribbon to wrap around where the base of the hat meets the top. Cut it and glue it, with the two ends meeting in the back of the hat. Choose the trimmings (see Resources).

Organize the tulle, bows, artificial flowers and feathers. Add the tulle first, lightly bunching it around the base of the brim and top, cutting it the same way as the ribbon. Taper the tulle and glue the meeting points in the back. Add the other trimmings to hide the meeting point of the tulle and the ribbon, using the glue.

If the hat needs combs to stay in place, glue them on both sides of the hat to the interior where the crown of the head goes. Leave two-thirds of the comb below the brim-line.


  • Get a Styrofoam head to hold your hats while you work, pinning the hat to the head. Go to a crafts' store for creative supplies. You can add sequins, beads and fake fur for more dramatic hats. Glue the feathers under the base of the flowers, so that the tips are hidden.


  • Use the wire clippers to cut the stems of the artificial flowers, close to the base of the flower. The metal wiring can dull scissors.