DIY Felt Hat for Costumes

As a theater kid I had to come up with some costumes for various roles I played. Unfortunately I have never had unlimited money to spend on making my costumes amazing. As such, I learned how to make my own hats for costumes. Sometimes hats are the icing on the costume-cake! This tutorial is great for theater, cosplay, or even a Halloween costume!

What You’ll Need:

  • Several cereal boxes or other thin cardboard
  • Felt in the color of your choice (1/2 a yard is good for a mini hat)
  • Duct Tape (Color doesn’t really matter)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ruler (a tape ruler and a flat ruler)
  • Ribbon (for the hat band so coordinating color to the felt)
  • Fabric scissors and hefty cardboard scissors
  • Feathers (Optional)


  • First you will need to prep the cardboard so that you can use this to be the body of the hat.


  • Cut a slit down one corner of one side of the box so that it opens flat (as depicted):


  • Cut all the tabs off so that you have one solid rectangle, but don’t throw them away you will need them later.


  • Determine the desired circumference for the hat, do this by measuring. I had to add a tab to make mine the proper length.




  • I want the top of the hat to have some curvature so I measured the middle point and marked it:

Inst 1

Inst 2

Inst 3

  • Using a pencil I connected the significant points with a bent line (as depicted).


Inst 4

  • Cut on the line. Note: I marked on the hat which side was going to be the top.


  • Tape the two short edges together to make a cylinder with the cardboard.


  • Make sure its taped inside and out.



  • Now its time to make a more sculpted look for this hat. There are many different ways that you could sculpt this hat but I went with a fairly basic style.
  • To “sculpt” the hat I am going to measure, mark, and cut slits into the hat.
  • Using a pen and a straight ruler make vertical lines on the cylinder at desired increments.


  • Make a series of diamond shaped markings all the way around the hat, placing them about 2 inches apart.


  • Make a series of thin slits about an inch away from the edge on both sides (the slits should be vertical) cut the slits where you make the diamond shaped markings.


  • Once you have done this all the way around the hat, get some duct tape ready and squeeze the middle of the hat so that the diamond shaped slits close. Then wrap all the way around the middle of the cylinder with the duct tape so that the slits remain closed and the shape is a sort of corseted one.


  • Next, lay the cylinder on a different flattened cardboard cereal box, to begin making the brim of the hat.


  • Trace a good oval around the cylinder. So that you know what the circumference of the cylinder is.


  • Next using a ruler, draw a larger oval around the original oval.┬áMake sure that it is at least three or four inches larger than the circumference of the original. Also trace a smaller oval inside making it about a half inch smaller than the original circle (this is how we will attach the brim to the hat later).


  • Cut out the largest oval, making sure that you don’t cut any other part of the brim yet.


  • Next cut out the inner most oval on the smallest oval’s line, then cut slits into the smallest oval so that they stop at the first oval’s marking. Cut slits all the way around, spacing them about a centimeter apart. It should look like teeth almost.


  • Fold every other one up and leave every other one unfolded.
  • Next, we will attach the brim to the cylinder to create the hat base.
  • Place the cylinder in the center of the teeth so that all of the upward facing teeth are on the outside of the cylinder.


  • Duct tape them firmly all the way around. It should look like this.


  • Flip the hat over.


  • Now press the teeth all down, duct taping them to the inner wall of the cylinder.


  • It should look like this on the inside when complete.


  • The hat base is starting to take shape! Now we just need to put a lid on it…
  • Trace the top of the hat onto another flattened cardboard sheet.


  • Draw a larger oval around that one (about a half inch larger). Cut it out, then cut “teeth” into it just as we did for the brim of the had. Fold half of the teeth up and leave the other half unfolded. Be sure to alternate folded and unfolded.


  • Insert the downward folded teeth into the top of the cylinder and tape them down.


  • It should look like this when it’s complete.


  • I decided that the brim needed a little more shape, rather than being flat. So I bent the cardboard on both sides of the hat up so that it would have a little bit more body. Next, I wrapped two rubber bands around the hat to make sure that it would hold its shape.

  • I left the hat like that for a couple of days so that it would have time to really be shaped.
  • Afterwards, I removed the rubber bands and began working on the final leg of creating the hat… covering it with fabric.
  • I chose a black felt because it is a thick fabric that covers over the less smooth parts of the hat.
  • Lay the hat base on the felt and use a white fabric marking pencil to trace around the edge of the brim, leave at least a half inch around the entire thing.


  • Cut out what you traced and lay it on the underside of the brim.


  • Feel where the hole is and mark all the way around it with a marking pencil (I used pins in the picture below but I recommend a marking pencil).
  • Cut out the hole.


  • Slip the felt “donut” over the top of the hat.


  • Use hot glue to glue it down (be careful not to burn your fingers with the glue like I did). Also carefully glue down the edge so that they wrap around the brim and are glued to the underneath of the hat (as depicted below).


  • Using felt scraps and cot glue smooth out the body of cylinder so that when covered tightly with fabric it will not appear bumpy.
  • Cut a length or felt and cover the cylinder with it. Make sure that it is taller than the cylinder so that there will be some overlap.


  • Glue the overlap onto the top of the hat an cut any excess so that it lays as flat as possible.



  • Trace the lid of the hat onto the felt, cut out the piece and hot glue it over the overlap to cover it up.


  • It is so exciting how nicely this hat it coming together! To completely finish covering it with felt we need to cover the underbelly of the brim. trace out an almost exact measure of the brim (as exact as you can).
  • Glue it onto the under-brim.
  • Cut a slit in it where the hole for your head should be.


  • Completely cut it out and glue the extra up into the inner wall of the cylinder.
  • Last but not least we need to decorate the hat to give it that extra pizzazz!
  • First hot glue a ribbon around the bottom of the hat to make a hat band (I used ribbon and lace).


  • Next take a feather (or two) and hot glue them onto the side of the hat where the ribbon seam is. I used naturally sourced turkey feathers.


  • Using a wire and a bead I made a curly cue. They are about 4-5 inches long.


  • Make three of them…


  • Decide how you want them to be arranged and then hot glue them onto the side of your hat, right beside your feathers.


  • Next make a bow from the ribbon and glue it over the top of the feathers’ quills and the curly ques.

That concludes the hat making tutorial. As always, glamour shots! Please make sure that you like, comment, or even subscribe for more tutorials! Thank you for being so supportive and I hope that you enjoyed this DIYCraftZibby post!

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