How to Make a Costume Pirate Hat for Kids
Whether it’s for Halloween or a casual Wednesday playdate, there’s something truly magical about kids playing dress-up. “It’s not just about getting out there and playing—it’s about kids fully immersing themselves in the adventure itself so they’ll want to go back again and again,” says Lane Huerta, founder of LoveLane Designs, which offers creative, hand-sewn costumes for kids. One pretend-play persona kids keep turning to? Pirates, of course!
For little ones, the only thing more fun than sailing the high seas, gathering gold and chatting with parrots is donning a homemade pirate costume while they’re at it. In her new book, Superhero Sewing, Huerta offers an easy DIY pirate costume—namely, the iconic pirate hat—that any parent can make for their kid. “I love the endless possibilities with this item,” she says. “You can choose whatever color material you like, and add it to your child’s wardrobe of dress-up goodies. Even I’d wear that pirate hat all year long!”
Not super crafty? Never fear, me hearties—this DIY pirate costume accessory can be a no-sew project, if you’d prefer. “Take your time, but don’t worry about it too much!” Huerta advises. “This is handmade after all, and it’s about working together with your child.” So have fun, mateys, and embrace the buccaneer life!
- Two 15” X 20” pieces of different colored fabric
- Needle and thread
- Iron-on adhesive (optional)
- A chopstick or similar tool
- An iron
- Felt in various colors
- Water-soluble pen
- A hot glue gun (optional)
Layer the two fabrics on top of each other with right sides facing together, then pin in place and stitch around the perimeter, leaving the fourth side open. (If you don’t feel comfortable wielding a needle and thread, you can use iron-on adhesive to glue the fabrics together.) Reach in and turn the fabrics right side out. Use a chopstick (or other long, skinny tool) to gently push out the corners.
Press the outer edges of the hat with an iron. Turn the raw edges of the opening inward, then stitch (or glue) the gap closed. If you’d like, you can then topstitch around the edges of the hat.
Fold the fabric in half horizontally, with the fabric color you want for the top of the hat facing inward and the fabric for the hat brim on the outside. Fold the top left and right corners of the fabric inward so they meet in the center.
To create the brim, fold the top fabric layer up, creating a band about two and a half inches wide. Flip the hat over and fold the other layer of fabric up so it matches the width of the front band.
Now it’s time to create your hat decorations. Cut out a small star from your felt and trace the shape onto a corner of the brim. Carefully cut out the star from the top layer of fabric, revealing the secondary fabric color underneath. From your remaining felt, cut out and either sew or glue the various shapes together to create medallions and tails, then stitch or glue the medallions and top edge of the tails onto the front of the hat. (Be careful not to stitch the front and back of the hat together!) You don’t need to sew all of the tail edges, since you want them to flop over the bottom band.
Once everything is in place, pin and stitch the edges of the front and back brim bands together to help give the hat its shape.
Published October 2017
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