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Crafts

Chloe’s Crafts ~ Cover a top hat with fabric

Why, you might ask would one want to cover a top hat with fabric?  If you have been following my blog, you know that I  hosted an Alice in Wonderland – themed baby shower for my niece.  If you check out the invitation here; you will see that the invitation stated that guests should wear a “crazy hat”.   I wanted to have a nice bright and fun hat to wear, and to have some extra hats for guests who may not have come prepared.  This is how I went about covering a top hat.

Gray inexpensive costume top hat from Party City

I purchased inexpensive gray felt top hats from Party City.

 Gray costume top hat with all trim removed

Remove all trim off of the hats.

Creating a fabric covered top hat for an Alice in Wonderland Party

I used paper to cut out a pattern for the fabric, by measuring against the hat.  Always cut out the pieces a little larger than needed, you can always trim more, but you can’t add fabric back onto it.  I purchased one yard of fabric, but had nearly a half of a yard left over.  

Cut one piece to cover the top, and two pieces to cover the brim, one for the top of the brim, and one for the bottom.

make a costume top hat by covering it with fun fabric and trim

Put the fabric on the under side of the brim first.  Cut slits in the fabric where it tucks up inside the hat so that it will lay smoothly.  I used a combination of kraft glue and spray adhesive to glue my fabric on.  Use the glue sparingly and do small sections at a time so that you can smooth the fabric down as you go.

Cut a pattern from paper for the top of the hat and then cut that piece out.

covering a top hat with fabric

 Use adhesive to attach the piece to the top of the hat, making sure you smooth out any wrinkles.  You will want to trim the edges of this piece very near the top edge of the hat.

cover a hat with fabric

After you have adhered the bottom piece to the brim, add the top piece to the brim.

create a fun hat by covering with fabric

This should give you an idea of how the brim should look when you have adhered both piece.  This still need the seam binding added to it.  This is when you will want to wrap the last piece to the hat.  You will have cut a pattern for this piece also.  Glue and smooth this piece on.  You can see that I have not yet smoothed all the wrinkles out of this one.  You will then take the top edge and fold it down even with the top edge and top piece of your hat.  Then glue down carefully.

covering a top hat with fabric

This is the top edge of the hat with both piece folded over, tucked in and glued tidily.

 This is what your hat should look like.  Now for the fun part, time to decorate your hat.  You can decorate yours in any way.  If you are making a Steampunk-type of hat covered in a dark fabric, you may want to add gears and mechanical items.  Since I am made this for an Alice in Wonderland – themed party, I am made mine whimsical and fun.

Here are some of the hats I made this summer:

Create Your Own Fabric Top Hot - Top Hat Tutorial

Create Your Own Fabric Top Hot - Top Hat Tutorial

Create Your Own Fabric Top Hot - Top Hat Tutorial

Create Your Own Fabric Top Hot - Top Hat Tutorial

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about my hats. Have you created your own custom top hats? Link me if you have, I’d love to see your creation!

Written By

Chloe is the creator of Celebrate & Decorate. Chloe is passionate about having a comfortable and well designed home - she also loves to entertain family and friends. Learn more about Chloe. Follow Chloe: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube

26 Comments

  1. That looks so much more doable that stitched hats. I live it!! My favorite is the last one with the keys!!!

    1. Chloe Crabtree says:

      Thanks Tanya! I loved creating these. It was amazing as I passed through the fabric store how many ideas I had for so many hats!

  2. Barbara Ness says:

    I love your website! The information is going to make my hat making so much easier & better! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Chloe Crabtree says:

      Thanks for stopping by Celebrate and Decorate! I am glad you found the hat tutorial. It is really easy! I made all kinds of hats for an Alice in Wonderland Party, and had so much fun picking out the fabrics to use and then adding feathers and buttons to them!

  3. Michelle o. says:

    I love the hats! I wanted to ask, though- how did you do the brim of the hats? On each of your pictures you’ve added a cute brim. Did you just cut one long ribbon, or did you make a kind of circular pattern?

    1. Chloe Crabtree says:

      I cut the fabric larger than the brim and wrapped it under the brim and glued it. I hope that helps!

  4. Hi, i have been trying to find out how to cover a curved top hat with fabric how would you suggest going about that process?

    1. Chloe Crabtree says:

      I think covering a curved top hat will be a challenge if you are trying to do it with one solid piece of fabric. The only other thing I can suggest is finding a knit that will stretch. Spray the bowl of the hat with spray adhesive and stretch the fabric over it and hold it while it dries on the hat. Good luck with your hat!

  5. I am going to a steampunk ball in February and have been trying to figure out a way to do steampunk/gypsy mash up. after seeing this i plan to some crazy quilt blocks to cover the a cheap top hat in, but i think i will wire the brim of mine to help it hold its shape. thanks for sharing this awesome post.

    1. Jessica, Thanks for stopping by Celebrate and Decorate! The hats I began with were stiff enough, I never had any trouble with them holding their shape. They are inexpensive top hats I purchased at Party City. I hope you will share some pictures from your Steampunk Ball! I would love to see what you come up with!

      1. The hat I ordered for this project came in today, and I’m excited to get started. I have one concern. the hat i ordered said it was felt, but it looks shiny and satin like and is really ridged. my only real concern is the brim, it has a curve to it. my question is should i work with it as is, or should i steam and attempt to flatten the brim some/ thanks again for the great tutorial and i will share photos when im done.

        1. Jessica, I am sure it will turn out great! I sent you an email! I can’t wait to see your results!

          1. I love it! It really gives that feeling of Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas!

  6. Hello,

    I have been searching for someone to do this for me and its quite the search! I have a bolero hat that I would like to get covered in a fabric that I own. Would I be able to commission you to complete it for me?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Sharla, Thank you for the interest, I am sorry, but I covered these hats for an Alice in Wonderland party I hosted, I am not really in the business of doing that. Cordially ~ Chloe

  7. Hey! I look now it looks. I purchased a hat and the material feels cheap so I’m glad I found this. I was curious if you had any videos? Im more of a visual learner and I think it’d help a lot of people. Thanks!

    1. Thank you Amy, I am just getting into DIY videos, I will certainly add one on covering a hat with fabric, thanks for the suggestion!

  8. Carissa Smith says:

    Hi,

    How did you cover the middle piece?

    Thanks,

    Carissa

  9. Hi Chloe,, would appreciate if you have a video version so we can see the step by step progress. I am not a crafty person so I only can learn with more detailed instruction, video preferably. Thanks!

  10. This is really cool! What brand/kind of glue did you use, and what else do you think could work?

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