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15 Awesome Hats Made from Upcycled Materials

We love making our own hats. There have often been years at Christmas time where we’ve made hats of various kinds of everyone around us. By Christmas morning, all our friends and family have cozy, fun, and sometimes silly looking new hats on with their pajamas by breakfast. Because we knit and crochet, those are most often the kinds of hats we make for ourselves and others, but sometimes we like to use our other skills like sewing. Other times, however, we like to get even more creative and make things out of upcycled or even unconventional materials. If you’re creative enough, you can make just about anything our of… well… just about anything! Hats are not exception.

Check out these 15 awesome DIY hat ideas and tutorials that will teach you how to make toques, beanies, and sun hats of all different kinds, most of them a lot easier than you’d think!

1. Old shirts to baby pigtail hats


Do you have a pile of old t-shirts sitting around that you don’t like to wear anymore, but that you just haven’t gotten around to donating yet? Well, old t-shirts are useful for all kinds of things and in our house we admit that they even occasionally end up as rags, but upcycling them and crafting them into something useful is always preferable! Check out how The Bean Sprout Notes turned their old shirts into adorable little baby hats in just a few simple steps. We love that the top looks like funny little pigtails depending on how you tie the knots.

2. Old t-shirt kids’ hat


Has your child grown out of all their favourite t-shirts but you’d love to be able to preserve the colours, patterns, and designs they loved so much so that they can still keep wearing them, just in a different way? Turn those shirts into a cute winter hate with ear flaps instead! We love how Infarrantly Creative used different shirts to create the inside lining, some stripes on the outside, and a border around the edges so that the finished product is really funky.

3. Seamstress hat from old jeans


If you’re an experience seamstress, or even just a learning sewing enthusiast, then you probably already know how easy it can be, when you’re engulfed in the sewing process, to suddenly realize that all of the little tools you need are too far away from you while you’re holding something in place. If we don’t keep track of our small trinkets while we’re working, sometimes we even lose them! That’s why sewing accessories like these hilarious little seamstress hats exist. It might not quite be a style that you’d normally wear, but this jester style hat from LiBellein is full of pockets for holding pins, needles, measuring tapes, and all kinds of things. The best part? It’s made of upcycled denim so you can transform that old pair of jeans you’ve been holding onto!

4. Upcycled pixie bonnet from a sweater


There are no two ways about it- pixie bonnets are adorable. If you’ve ever seen newborn photo shoots where the baby is wearing an adorable pointed hat, then you know exactly the kind of hats we mean! They’re often knitted or crocheted, but just in case you don’t know how to do those things, here’s an easy tutorial from Ella Bella for making one that looks knitted but is really made from pieces of an old sweater.

5. Pom pom sweater hat


Are you very intrigued by the idea of making a hat from an old sweater but your baby doesn’t really need yet another bonnet and you’d prefer to make something for yourself or someone else in your family? Then check out how eHow made this simple toque from an old sweater, topping the look off with a simple yarn pom pom ! Don’t worry, the tutorial teaches you how to make that too.

6. Flapper hat made of neckties


Have you always loved period fashion pieces from the decade of flappers that look lovely and vintage, whether they really are or whether they’re handmade? Well, if you make it well enough, people might not even notice the difference! We absolutely adore Lulu’s upcycling lounge‘s idea for making a stylish angled hat from old neckties. Choosing different patterns and colours adds a bit of detail to the look.

7. Embellished straw hat


Are you just beginning to flex your crafting and DIY muscles so you’ve actually been on the lookout for hats that you can embellish and build upon rather than making them from scratch? Then you might prefer this adorable straw hat idea from AngelandAnnie! They’re used silk flowers and feather appliques to add some extra style and colour to a premade hat for more stylish flair than it had originally.

8. Styrofoam cup hats


Are you actually looking for fancy hat tutorials so you can make them with your kids because they love to play dress up? Then these amazing costume hats made out of foam cups are perfect! We love the way Sassy Bags and Rags embellished them with sparkly trim, decorative buttons, and feathers. Your kids will be able to dress up like all kinds of fun characters using these.

9. Newspaper party hats


We probably all remember making newspaper pirate hats as kids but, believe it or not, those aren’t the only kind of hats you can create from simply folding and crinkling newspaper pages! Maya Made, for example, shows you how to make pretty little party hats and jazz them up with paper or material flowers. By the time you’re done, your kids will look like they’re ready to go to a fancy garden party or high tea!

10. Paper plate princess of hearts hat


Even though they’re simple, paper plates might be one of the world’s most useful unconventional crafting supplies. There are just so many things you can make with them and hats are no exception! We love the way Tot Treasures created a pretty princess hat from a plate that your child can decorate and get your help cutting. When you put it on, the pieces in the middle will both hold it in place and also stick up like a crown!

11. Cardboard Minions hat


Are your children as obsessed with the Minions movie as ours are? They just can’t get enough of the little yellow creatures! They’re always asking us to paint their faces yellow and putting on overalls so they can put on funny voices and ask us questions in Minion-speak. To help them out with their dress up afternoons, we made our kids these hilarious little cardboard Minion hats by Craft Passion! The best part is that they’re easy and fun enough to make that your kids can help you out, meaning they’ll already be enjoying the hats before they even wear them.

12. Papier mache sun hats


We’ve always loved crafting with tissue paper because it comes in so many bright colours and, like other types of paper crafts, the options are basically unlimited. That’s why we loved these tissue paper mache hats from Buggy and Buddy so much! Help your kids make adorable sun hats so they can spend their hot days keeping cool and pretending they’re off to the races.

13. Tiny Victorian hats


When you make handmade wares, do you prefer to work in miniature? We love the novelty of making extra small things sometimes too! These hair pins from Make Your Mark aren’t necessarily hats in themselves, but they’re certainly adorable details for a vintage hairstyle.

14. Paper chef hats


Have your kids been playing kitchen a lot after you let them help you out in the actual kitchen, baking cupcakes or making dinner? Then make their kitchen fantasy afternoons come to life by getting them little aprons and making them these fun paper chef’s hats from PBS! They’re surprisingly simple to make for how adorable they are and kids who are a little bit older will have a blast helping you create them as well.

15. Floppy plarn crochet hat


If you’ve never heard of “plarn” and plastic crochet then we are about to blow your whole DIY world wide open! Plarn is yarn made of upcycled plastic bags that have been cut into strips and twisted around each other to make a thick, durable string that’s easily knitted and crocheted. The finished products of plarn projects are water proof and strong! We’re absolutely in love with this plarn sun hat pattern by LARSDesign. It’s perfect for boating and going to the beach in the summer because it will dry off easily if you get it wet!