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How to Shape a Felt Cowboy Hat to Bull Rider Style

Bull-rider style cowboy hats have shorter crowns.
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The crown and brim of a felt cowboy hat can be shaped into multiple styles. The bull-rider crease is a style that gives the hat an almost flat top. This crease has been known in the past as the Rodeo Cowboy Association Crease and is a variation of the Canadian Crease. The top of the crown is pushed inward to create the crease, which results in a shorter crown. The sides of the hat's brim curve upward in a gentle roll.

Fill a large pot half full with water. Heat the water to boiling over high heat. Turn the heat to medium when the water begins to steam.

Hold a felt cowboy hat over the steam. Turn the hat slowly to ensure that the entire crown is exposed to the vapor. Remove the hat from the steam when the felt has softened.

Spray a hat-stiffener spray over the top surface of the hat. Turn the hat as you spray it to ensure even coverage. Let the stiffener sit on the hat for 30 seconds. Brush over the hat's surface with a soft brush to remove any excess stiffener.

Push the top of the crown down to create a 1-inch to 1-1/2-inch tall ridge around the edge. Pinch gently around the edge of the crown to enhance the ridge.

Place the hat on a wig form. Gently press the hat onto the form to create a rounded bump in the center of the crown. Do not allow the center to rise above the outer edges. Allow the hat to dry.

Shape the brim by steaming, as in Step 2. When the felt has softened, place your hands at either end of one side of the hat's brim. Position your hands so your thumbs are on top and your fingers underneath the brim. Gently bend the brim upward in a rolling motion using your thumbs as a hinge point to create a gentle curve in the brim. Repeat on the opposite side.

Set the hat back on the wig stand and allow it to dry for one to two hours. Do not move or wear the hat until it is completely dry.

Things You'll Need:

  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Felt cowboy hat
  • Hat-stiffener spray
  • Soft brush
  • Wig form


  • Wear gloves when working with light colored felt cowboy hats to avoid causing smudges and stains from the oils on your fingers. Be careful when working over hot steam. Wear clean oven mitts or cotton gloves if the temperature is uncomfortable.
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