Fabric covered party hat


  • Party hat – I got Curious George because they were slightly smaller than the others and they had a tab/slot thing holding then together instead of staples or glue or something. And they were cheap.
  • Fabri-Tac or hot glue. Hot glue and I have a sordid past, so I use Fabri-Tac. Fabri-Tac also doesn’t glob up and leave lumps.
  • Something to trace with. I used both a pencil and a disappearing fabric marker.
  • Fusible interfacing – 12″ x 7″, mine was medium weight.
  • Your choice of fabric – slightly bigger than 12″ x 7″, maybe 14″ x 10″
  • Scissors. I used a rotary cutter too, but it’s not necessary.
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Ribbon, bias tape, trim, or twill tape (optional)

Open your hat, being careful not to rip the tab off. You’re going to need to put the hat back together later.

Trace the hat onto your interfacing. I used the pencil for this. Trace the entire bottom curve. On the slot side, stick your pencil in the slot and trace that, but not the outer edge. On the tab side, trace the edge, but not the tab. You’ll end up with something that looks like this:

Take your ruler and extend the slot line in both directions. Then connect the lines on the tab side and extend them out, too.

You should have something that looks like this:

Cut it out and position it on the wrong side of your fabric.

Fuse according to product directions.

Mark 1/2″ from your interfacing on both straight sides and 1″ on the curved edge. I used my disappearing fabric marker for this. See how I did a crappy job positioning and the left corner is missing? It’ll be fine.

Cut out on the lines you just drew.

If you want to add extra embellishments or appliques or something, now is the time to do that. How freaking cute would this be with a cupcake applique for a little girl’s party or even with a number on it?

Fold in half with right sides together, matching up straight sides.

Sew the straight edge with a 1/2″ seam, right along the edge of the interfacing.
Clip the point (don’t cut your stitching) at an angle.
Carefully press the seam open. Try not to crease the edges of the hat.

Turn right side out. Make sure the point of the hat is pushed all the way out.
Put your party hat back together and slip it inside your fabric hat. The seam on the fabric hat should be lined up with the tab/slot part of your party hat.
Fold the fabric edge to the inside of the party hat. Tack it down in 4 spots (evenly, I like to do the back seam, the center front and each side at the elastic). Be sure the elastic is pulled up, towards the point of the hat. Let it dry for a couple of minutes. This will keep things from shifting.
Fold and glue along the remainder of the bottom edge.

You can stop now, if you want. This next part is not necessary, but when your kid rips the hat off in a fit of rage in front of your guests, the inside will look nicer. Pick a coordinating ribbon, bias tape, twill tape, trim, etc. Here were my top 3 contenders.

I went with the bias tape because no one is really going to see it and I didn’t have a little scrap of either of the others.
Starting at the back seam, glue your trim over the top of the fabric raw edge.

When you get to the elastic, pull it back down toward the bottom of the hat before gluing the trim on top of it.

Continue around the hat (be sure to pull the elastic down on the other side, too). Tuck the edge under when you get back to the end. You’re done!

Applique a shirt or onesie to match, if you’re feeling crazy.

Template for the number one here. (Yes, I know it’s backwards…it’s supposed to be.)
Now go take some pictures of your kid showing you just what he thinks of your hat!

***For personal use only. Make ‘em, gift ‘em, please don’t sell ‘em!***

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  1. sweetpea says:

    great idea Char! I love the fabric.

  2. Kari @ Ucreate says:


  3. The Harding Hive says:

    You never cease to amaze me. Brilliant!

  4. What a CuTe blog!! I’m so glad i found it! Thanks for sharing your fun and creative ideas!! I gave you an award…you can view it at: http://www.thecreativecrate.blogspot.com ~play along if you’d like~

  5. Wow, these are beautiful and so much more durable. I love it! I’ll be linking. I totally choked on my tea when I got to the last picture. Classic kid’s birthday. =)

  6. love it, love the cupcake idea too! Nice work!

  7. Small fry & Co. says:

    Great tutorial and idea though all of your ideas are great. Simple but adorable. That’s what we like.

  8. Small fry & Co. says:

    Great tutorial and idea though all of your ideas are great. Simple but adorable. That’s what we like.

  9. Too cute. I wish I'd seen this before my daughter turned 2 in February! I just bought a tee from gapkids that said "birthday girl." It was cute but not this cute!

  10. Man, I have always wanted to make a hat but had no clue how. I was about to spend too much money at etsy for my cuties first b.day and now I don't have to! thanks.

  11. I love the name of your blog. Hilarious.

    We do this hat thing, too. Such an easy way to improve things, huh?

  12. Melissa Stover says:


  13. Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs says:

    This is adorable!!

  14. PeaceLoveApplesauce says:

    These are adorable!
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Thanks for the tutorial. I used it today and instructions were great!

  16. kimberlykikki says:

    i love this!! totally doing it for Sidneys 1st

  17. RedRedReeves says:

    I am so glad that I didn't spend 20+ dollars on Etsy to buy one of these! I am going to get going making one for my baby girl's first birthday in 2 weeks! Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Love this! I made the shirt with the #1 already and am halfway done with the hat (it's late)! My baby will be 1 on Thursday!!

  19. Great (and easy) tutorial! We've got a big group of mamas here in San Diego all working on these for a big first birthday bash in March!

  20. Thank you SEW much! I LOVE this idea!!!!!

  21. I am featuring this tutorial today at seemesew.blogspot.com!

  22. I love this hat! I am hoping to make them for the little guests at my daughters 1st birthday party!

  23. Thank you for posting because now I actually believe I can make my daughters first birthday hat!!!! So happy I found your site! =o)

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