Got a princess in the house? Here's how you can make a felt and tulle princess hat

November 28 | Guest post by Nikole
All photos by Nikole.

I am the mother of a (surprisingly, at least to me) very girly-girl, and I have very reluctantly entered the sparkly, pink, flowery world of princesses and twirly skirts and all other such fancy things. Since this seems to be all that my wee girl thinks about these days, I'm just going with it, trying to also emphasize the importance of independence, smarts, strength, and a good old-fashioned mess. While it's far from my everyday, fancy is quite fun! So I'm letting my sweet one guide me on this sparkly adventure.

This weekend, we attended a little friend's birthday party. It was a "sprinkles & sparkles" party – a very pink, very girly, very sparkly affair! Thea and I decided that a princess hat would make a fun gift. The hat you see above is what I came up with.

What you need

  • Large piece of paper to make pattern
  • Pencil
  • Piece of string at least 18 inches long
  • 1/3 yard wool-blend felt
  • Medium or heavy-weight fusible interfacing
  • 1/4 yard of tulle or other material (for the top of the hat)
  • Sewing machine (or you could also hand-stitch)
  • Handsewing needle & coordinating thread
  • Felt scraps, buttons, trim, etc. for embellishment

How you do it

1. Make and cut your pattern

Use your pencil and string to make a quarter-circle. I was going for a hat to fit the 20-inch head of a three-year-old, and my radius for the quarter-circle was 14 inches. You may need to make your radius larger or smaller, depending on the size hat you need.

To do this, I tied the string to the pencil, then measured 14 inches and held the string at this spot while I traced the arc of the circle. I then used a ruler to make the lines for the straight edges.

2. Place your interfacing on top of your felt

I only had light to medium weight interfacing on hand, but a heavier weight interfacing is really better for this project, as it will give you a much sturdier hat.

3. Pin and iron your hat

Pin the pattern to the felt and interfacing & cut around your pattern. Following the directions on the packaging of the interfacing, iron the interfacing to the felt.

4. Trim your edges

Trim any uneven edges — if you have any trim to sew on, do it now, so that the ends of the trim will be sewn inside seam of the hat.

5. Cut and stack your tulle

Cut your strips of tulle. I cut the following widths: 1 1/2 inches, 2 inches, and 3 inches. Then I cut the three long strips into shorter pieces of various lengths. Layer your tulle into a stack.

6. Construct the hat

Put your felt interfacing side down and then lay your tulle on top of the felt, with the ends of the tulle close to the top of the hat.

With right sides together, pin together the straight edges of the hat, making sure you catch the tulle as you pin.

Sew the straight edges together. You can trim off any extra tulle if you like, and then turn your hat right side out. You may need to use something to poke out the tip of your hat (I used a large knitting needle).

7. Embellish and decorate

Now for the really fun part — embellishing your hat! I'll show you how I made the flowers you see on this hat, but of course, there are endless options. To make the flowers you see above, I used this template from the craftside blog. You could of course freehand your flowers or google images for "felt flower pattern". You can use a chalk pencil to trace your pattern onto your felt. For each of my flowers, I used one small and one large(r) flower in different color felts.

Use a running stitch to sew a circle around the center of your flower, then pull on the long end of your thread, which will cause your flower to bunch up a bit. Tie a knot to secure, and once your knot is tied and the gathering is secured, you can spread out the flower petals if you like.

Do this for as many flowers as you would like to embellish your hat. Now you're ready to sew them on! I layered a large flower, a small flower, and a flower button. I didn't take photos of this step, but I did sew the flowers & button together before stitching it to the hat.

And that's that! I hope your little one loves this as much as mine does.