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Summer’s officially here and it’s HOT! And sunny. Which means that a big summer hat is a must. So today I’m showing you how to decorate a straw hat in a really easy, colorful way!
The secret to this modern hat embellishment is: pompoms made from colorful cotton yarn, with a matching yarn braid running around the hat’s crown.
This is what my sun hat looked like originally. My family and I were in Paris in an unusually hot and sunny July, and I was forced to purchase a big straw hat with a wide brim to keep from burning to a crisp. The only decoration it had was the phrase “All the Good Things” written across the brim in pink sequins.
Two things that I really don’t like are 1) pink, and 2) meaningless phrases on clothing. As a result, “all the good things” because a running joke for the rest of our trip, and I started brainstorming ideas to redecorate my hat when I got back home.
All it took was some colorful cotton yarn left over from making summer necklaces made into big pompoms and braided into a sort of cord. Perfect!
(Incidentally, these are the necklaces, which are light and perfect for hot weather!)
So, are you ready to learn how to decorate a straw hat with colorful yarn pompoms? Let’s get started!
- straw summer hat*
- seam ripper* (if you need to remove sequins)
- DK weight cotton yarn* in different colors (I used the Italian Alessandra Filati’s Lupo di Mare yarn)
- 2 1/2″ pompom maker*
- beige thread*
- blunt hand needle with a wide eye*
- cord lock* (if adding the optional chin strap)
How to remove sequins from a hat
1. If you need to remove sequin lettering from the brim of your hat, just flip it over and you’ll see the thread holding the sequins on. Stick the point of your seam ripper under the thread and rip it. As you break the thread, you’ll find that it pulls out of the brim and the sequins come right off.
(Do you know why seam rippers have that little red ball on them? It’s so you can do something really cool with them! Read here how to use a seam ripper correctly with this great trick that even a lot of advanced sewists don’t know!)
How to decorate a straw hat with cotton yarn
2. Use your pom pom maker* to make three big pompoms. Follow the instructions on the package. (I will soon be adding a video tutorial on how to make pom poms!)
When you trim the pompoms, leave two long strands, as you can see above.
3. Calculate about twice the length of yarn needed to go around the crown of the hat. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
4. Make three bunches of about 10 strands of each color, all the same length. Tie a knot at the end of each bunch. (top picture above)
5. Stick a safety pin through the three knots and then into something that won’t move as you work. (Here you can see my knit T-shirt rug.) Then braid the three bunches of yarn. (bottom picture above)
Attach the braid and pompoms to the hat
6. Wrap the braid around the crown of the hat, without twisting it, and tie a double knot. Then trim off the yarn ends.
7. Use the beige thread and hand needle to sew through the braid to the inside of the hat, then back out again a few times, then knot the thread on the inside. Repeat in a couple of other parts of the braid to hold it in place.
8. Thread the hand needle with one of the yarn ends on a pompom and sew through the braid a few times near the knot. Repeat with the other yarn end, then tie the ends together tightly. Trim the ends.
9. Repeat step 8 with the other two pompoms, securing them and hiding the braid knot.
That looks amazing, doesn’t it? So colorful and perfect for summer!
Hats with big brims can easily blow off your head. So why not add a simple chin strap to hold it in place?
Make a chin strap
10. Measure a strand of yarn about 2 times as long as needed to go from the inside brim, under your chin, and back to the other side of the brim. Cut another two strands of yarn the same length from the other colors.
11. Tie the strands together at one end and braid them to the other end. Tie another knot.
12. Fold the braid in half and stick the folded end into a cord lock*.
13. Use the beige thread to sew one knotted end to the side of the inside brim.
14. Try the hat on and see how long you want the chin strap to be. Remember that it needs to be a bit long to let you put it on and take it off.
15. Tie another knot if necessary to the correct length, and sew it to the other side of the inside brim.
Now you can tighten the chin strap so that you won’t risk losing your awesome new summer hat!
So, what do you think? Do you prefer the hat before or after?! I definitely love it so much more now after this easy makeover!
Go out and enjoy the sun!
Now head on out and have a great day outside without worrying about burning your face in the hot sun!
If you made the chin strap but don’t want to use it all the time, no problem! Just stick it up inside the crown of the hat before putting it on!
Do you love this unique colorful look? Then check out how to make it yourself!
Now that you know how to decorate a straw hat, sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! The Newsletter is sent out every week with lots of great ideas and links to a different free sewing pattern every week!
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