How to make a baby's handkerchief hat

Written by mary ellen popolo | 13/05/2017
How to make a baby's handkerchief hat
Choose a handkerchief or piece of material that will suit both a baby and a grown woman. (white batist handkerchief image by Maria Brzostowska from

A baby's handkerchief hat is a bonnet the baby can wear home from the hospital and to her baptism. It is then put away and saved for her wedding day, when it is converted from a baby hat to a handkerchief. Not only will it become a cherished heirloom, it will also fulfil the "something old" wedding tradition. This bonnet is crafted with little sewing; a novice will be able to create this. There are many beautiful fabrics to choose from, making this a lovely gift to give for a newborn.

Use a piece of fabric 10-by-10 inch square. Select a fabric that will work for both a baby's bonnet and a grown woman's handkerchief. Many fabrics patterns suit both purposes or choose a solid coloured fabric.

Lay the cut material, right side down, on your ironing board. Take the right side of the fabric and fold it over towards the left side of the fabric, approximately 3 inches. Select the proper iron setting for the material you are using. Iron a crease into the fold on the right side by pressing the iron against the folded edge. Take the left edge of the folded piece of material and turn it back towards the right side, about halfway. Press a crease into the new fold on the left side with the iron.

Create a hem on the opposite side of the material, by folding it towards the right hand side of the fabric approximately 1/2-inch. Iron the fold to create a crease. Use long basting stitches to sew the hem, which will be cut later to turn the bonnet into a handkerchief. Choose thread colour that will blends with the material since basting stitches are long and can be noticeable on the fabric.

Hold both ends of the thread tightly and pull together so that the material becomes gathered. Tie a knot in the end of the thread. Leave a long piece of thread hanging (about 2 inches) and cut the thread. Hide the hanging piece of thread by sticking it under the hem. This will be used to locate and remove the basting stitches when the bonnet is turned into a handkerchief.

Add decorative lace, baby rosebuds or pearls to the edge the fabric.

Cut ribbon into two pieces, 12 inches each. Sew one end of one piece of ribbon onto each corner of the front of the bonnet to be used to tie the bonnet under the baby's neck.


Instead of fabric, a ready-made handkerchief can be used to make the baby bonnet.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of fabric, a ready-made handkerchief can be used to make the baby bonnet.

Things you need

  • Fabric or handkerchief
  • Iron
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • 2 feet ribbon
  • Word processing software
  • Card stock
  • Printer
  • Decorative edge scissors

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