Unfortunately, my appetite for a plethora of different hat styles outstrips my budget for such things. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as trends and my own tastes change. Even if I had T-Swift Money I likely wouldn’t be able to keep up with myself.
If you’re a bit like me with an unsatiable felt hat obsession and an unaccommodating budget, like any obstacle in life: try a new approach. Hat looks can be unlimited with a creative determination and a handful of versatile accessories. Here’s a couple of quick examples to get your imagination revved up.
I decided to try out a couple of quick ideas on this lovely little Charlie 1 Horse “Old Hag” felt that I featured in our fall fashion looks on Instagram last year. I chose this lid for a little creative accessorizing because: (1) I love the bone color, and (2) this is an entirely affordable felt option for just about any wardrobe.
So, Step 1: choose a hat to hack. Done.
Step 2, strip her down … a process I haven’t pictured here because as a respectable Christian woman I just couldn’t expose a hat in that condition in good conscience. I appreciate your understanding.
Step 3, dig into some of your on-hand accessories. Start seeing scarves, earrings, bangles, fabric scraps, and rings in a new light. Imagine their potential to be repurposed into hat bands and decor. I was lucky enough to have a box of custom turquoise and silver pieces on loan from Spoiled Cowgirlz to paw through. I settled on a few different items I felt could be fun for a couple of different updates on this hat, including a distressed bandana with silver and turquoise scarf slide, a turquoise and silver beaded choker and a set of … actual hat pins.
Step 4, make your naked hat respectable once again.
Now, if you wanted to get really serious about this style, I would probably recommend at least pressing the bandana so you have nice creased edges. You could even trim it down to a size that’s a little less bulky if you’re TRULY committed. But, you get the basic idea.
For the second look and a little bit fancier remix, I pulled out that turquoise beaded necklace and the set of actual hat pins. If you’re short on hat pins you could always substitute other pins, broaches or even straight-backed earrings.
Should you decide to go the earring route, I highly recommend using another pin or sewing needle, or even go raid the vet room a smaller gauge needle, to punch your initial holes through the felt. Regardless of your approach be sure you watch your fingertips and be prepared to apply a little elbow grease.
In this case, where I am substituting the beaded necklace for the hatband, the length of the necklace wasn’t equal to the circumference of the crown. Honestly, I’m willing to wager that you’ll rarely have a perfect fit for this situation.
There are really only two ways this can go: the necklace is too short and you have a gap in the back to fill, or the necklace is too long and you’ll need to take a wrap or two, and still have a gap in the back to fill. So, you’ll need to set your perfectionist tendencies aside and be graciously resourceful.
A couple of options I found are to scare up some leather lacing, or even some clear hair elastics will do in a pinch, to bridge the gap. Here I’m showing where I raided my husbands leather shop for a little upcycling of a bit of leather from a busted bosal hanger. Which I actually kind of love.
Just be sure you have your new “hatband” tightly secured, so you don’t go losing bits of yourself all over like a cowgirl version of Cinderella.
Now, wasn’t that simple and fun? I know I’m not the first girl in the world to employ a little creative license to update her hat, and I’d love to hear and see what you’ve tried. Have you added a scrap of lace, leather braid, feathers or flowers to your own hat? Drop me a comment or send me a message, I’d love to feature a few fresh ideas!