How to make a scrub hat

Written by louise harding
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How to make a scrub hat
Ditch the disposable scrub hats and sew your own reusable fabric hat. (d look image by Andrey Kiselev from

There are all types of jobs related to the medical field that require employees to wear scrub hats. Scrub hats come in diverse styles: bouffant scrub hat, tieback scrub hat, adjustable scrub hats and the standard scrub hat. Making a standard scrub hat requires moderate sewing machine skills and very little fabric. Once you've mastered the basic pattern, it's easy to sew a variety of scrub hats in seasonal prints or professional-looking solid colours. Because the standard scrub hat has an elastic band, one size generally fits most head sizes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Elastic, ½-inch width by 14 inches long
  • 100 per cent cotton fabric rectangle, 6-inch width by 25-inch length
  • 100 per cent cotton fabric circle, 7 ½-inch diameter
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • 2 small safety pins

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  1. 1

    Fold one of 25-inch-long edges of the fabric rectangle over ¼-inch against the wrong side of the fabric and pin. Sew, on the sewing machine, using a straight stitch. Cut thread. Fold the hemmed edge over 1-inch against the wrong side of the fabric and pin.

  2. 2

    Using a ¾-inch seam allowance and a straight stitch, sew a casing for the elastic around the edge of the scrub hat band. A casing is where the elastic feeds through in order for the hat band to gather, fitting the wearer's head snugly. Remove pins.

    How to make a scrub hat
    Sew a casing for elastic around the bottom of the hat band. (sewing machine image by Peter Baxter from
  3. 3

    Align the two 6-inch ends of the fabric rectangle, right sides of the fabric touching, and pin together. Sew, using a straight stitch and a 1-inch seam allowance, forming a loop with the hat band, leaving the casing ends open. Remove pins. One edge will be hemmed with an elastic casing and one end will have a raw fabric edge. You will close the elastic casing seam later.

  4. 4

    Turn the fabric loop inside out so you're looking at the wrong side of the fabric. Turn the 7 ½-inch diameter fabric circle so the wrong side of the fabric is facing you. Align the edges of the circle with the raw fabric edge of the rectangle loop and pin.

    How to make a scrub hat
    Pin the ends of the rectangle loop. (pins image by Stepanov from
  5. 5

    Sew, the pinned edge using a straight stitch and a ½-inch seam allowance, connecting the hat band to the top of the hat (circle). Remove pins.

  6. 6

    Connect a safety pin to the end of the 14-inch-long elastic. Connect another safety pin to the other end of the elastic and to the right end of the casing along the bottom of the hat band. Thread the safety pin and elastic end into the right end of the casing, pushing and pulling it through the fabric through the casing until the pin/elastic emerges from the left end of the casing. Unpin the one safety pin from the fabric, but not the elastic. Pull the safety pins away from the fabric, still connected to the elastic. Hold in place.

    How to make a scrub hat
    Use a safety pin to guide the elastic through the casing. (safety pin image by from
  7. 7

    Lift the pressure foot of your sewing machine and insert the seam of the hat band. Using a straight stitch and a 1-inch seam allowance, sew through the elastic and sew the casing/seam closed. Remove safety pins. Turn hat right side out and stretch elastic hat band of the scrub hat over head to fit snugly

    How to make a scrub hat
    Cotton fabric is breathable and makes the best scrub hats. (bolts of fabric image by Scott Williams from

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