How to make a black felt scarecrow hat

Updated April 17, 2017

Scarecrows are made from discarded old clothes that are stuffed with straw to resemble a human shape. The clothes are usually tattered and worn, and the same goes for the hat -- the floppier and more lived-in looking the better. Felt is the perfect material for a scarecrow hat. It holds its shape just enough to be recognisable as a hat, yet is soft enough to look like it's been sitting out in a field and visited by flocks of crows that were probably more amused than scared. This simple black scarecrow hat project requires minimal sewing and uses inexpensive, everyday materials.

Cut a 60 cm (2 feet) diameter circle out of the felt. Measure 22.5 cm (9 inches) in from the outside edge all around the circle and mark with chalk or pins. Cut out the inside circle, leaving a doughnut shape for the brim. Remove the pins.

Baste the edges of the circle and brim together along the cut line with a needle and thread. Basting stitches are used to temporarily sew fabrics together until the right fit is achieved. Carefully turn the hat right side out so the seam is on the inside. Check for fit on the costume wearer. If the hat is too big, gather up any excess felt into pleats spaced evenly around the seam. This will help achieve a floppy look.

When you have the right fit, turn the hat inside out again and stitch securely along the seam. Trim excess felt along the seam edge, leaving a 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) seam allowance, then turn right side out.

Cut irregular notches and jagged semi-circles around the outside edge of the brim to make the black felt scarecrow hat look moth-eaten and worn.


Create a hat tie with ribbon or a long shoestring. Wrap the string around the back of the hat where the crown meets the brim and thread the ends through holes on both sides of the crown. Use an old blanket, sweater or other heavy material that will hold its shape instead of felt. Glue straw to the inside of the brim so it sticks out in clumps to represent the scarecrow's hair. Glue straw to the inside cuffs of old garden gloves and the scarecrow's shirtsleeves and trousers to complete the costume.


Make sure the hat brim doesn't obstruct the wearer's vision. If so, just cut off part of the brim, which will add to the old, floppy-hat effect.

Things You'll Need

  • 60 cm (2 feet) black felt
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Needle
  • Black thread
  • Pins
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About the Author

Donna Eigen has written, produced and managed communication programs for global, government, university and nonprofit organizations since 1980. Eigen has taught graduate business communication and is a certified facilitator in work force diversity, leadership, team building and effective presentations. She has a Master of Arts in communication and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.