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How to Make a Tricorn Pirate Hat

Updated February 21, 2017

Wear a tricorne pirate hat and look just like your favourite movie pirate. You can make a tricorne hat from an inexpensive foam costume hat or a wide brimmed felt hat. For the ultimate pirate hat use a wide brimmed leather hat. With the proper trim any of these hats would be suitable for any type of pirate, from a scruffy ship wreak survivor to dandy pirate captain.

Spray paint a foam hat to make the colour uniform. You may also spray paint a felt hat to change the colour. A light spray of brown paint on a black hat or black paint on a brown hat will give it a worn look. This also works on leather hats.

Measure around the hat brim and divide this number by three. If you wish to wear the point of the hat in the back, start in the centre front and mark this distance around the hat on each side. Also mark the centre front. If you wish to wear the point in the front, start in the center back. This will divide the brim of the hat into three parts.

Lift the brim of the hat up at each of these points and tack the brim to the crown of the hat one inch below the edge of the brim. To tack means to sew with several short stitches all in the same place. If desired, add a matching shank button or a gold button over the tacks.

Add folded ribbon, held in place with a gold button, to one side of the hat to make it fit for a pirate captain. If you wish to be a fancy pirate, trim the inside edges of the brim with a feather boa or lace ruffles. You may add gold trim around the edge of the brim on either of these hats. If you want to portray a poor, scruffy ship wreak survivor, cut chunks out of the brim to distress the hat.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam, felt or leather wide-brim hat
  • Spray paint
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Shank buttons
  • Ribbon
  • Feather boa
  • Lace
  • Gold trim
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.