How to make a bucket hat

Updated July 25, 2017

With basic sewing skills you can make chic bucket hats to set off summer and winter ensembles. Bucket hat patterns have few pieces and are easy to fit. The only difficulty is choosing from many possible fabrics and embellishments to make your hat unique.

Choose a bucket hat pattern. Fabric stores, craft shops and online sources offer a variety of inexpensive and free options.

Or design your own pattern. Bucket hats have a circular top, a band and a brim. Create the top by tracing the bottom of a saucepan that fits over your head. Measure the length of the band by wrapping a flexible tape measure or piece of string around your head--don't make it too snug or too loose. Measure the depth of the band by calculating the distance between the top of your head and your eyebrows. Make the brim as wide or narrow as you like, with the inside measurement the same length as the length of the band. Incorporating a curve into your brim pattern will produce smooth results; keeping it straight creates an undulating look. Don't forget to add seam allowances. Experiment using paper or scrap fabric until you have a design you like.

Buy materials in quantities recommended by your pattern. Consider whether your bucket hat is for warm or cool weather.

Thrift stores and your closet provide additional, inexpensive fabric options. Worn out jeans and old wool coats can be cut up and recycled. Consider using different fabrics of the same weight for various components of your hat or making a new fabric from patchwork.

Browse embellishments to place on the band. Consider ribbon, lace, and costume jewellery.

Cut, pin and sew according to pattern directions.

If you make your own pattern, first sew band to top, then sew brim end to end, forming a circle, then sew brim to band. Remember to snip curved seams at regular intervals and press between steps, to steam out ripples. Sew together another top, brim and band using an interfacing fabric, then attach the interfacing to the hat with right sides together, leaving a small opening to turn hat right-side out. Turn hat right-side out, sew opening closed, and press. The interfacing lines the hat, hiding and preventing itchiness from exposed seams.

Add embellishments.


If making a bucket hat from scratch daunts you, consider purchasing one from a thrift store and refashioning it using dye, lace, trim, costume jewellery or other embellishments.


To avoid injury, follow manufacturer's directions when using sewing machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket hat pattern
  • Fabric (heavy or lightweight, according to season, in amount required by pattern)
  • Interfacing (amount required by pattern)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Embellishments
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