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How to Make a Fruit Basket Hat

Updated February 21, 2017

The 1940s starlet Carmen Miranda, known as the "Brazilian Bombshell," made wearing a fruit hat an art and a highlight in the world of American kitsch. For Carmen Miranda, her head became the basket that normally holds and displays extravagant bouquets of fruit. Whether you are making a goofy hat as a nod to someone's love of farming or want to dress as Carmen Miranda for a costume party, a head dressing of a variety of fruits is essential.

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  1. Collect a variety of fake, plastic fruits and at least one type of artificial foliage to use as filler. Possible foliage for a fruit basket hat includes grapevines, banana leaves or apple blossoms.

  2. Acquire a hat that fits snugly. Any snug-fitting hat will do, as long as you can puncture it with a needle and it's a suitable complement to the fruits.

  3. Wrap a colourful scarf around the base of the hat, stitching the ends to the hat to hold it in place.

  4. Compose and determine the arrangement of the fruits beforehand. Consider how juxtapositions of different sizes, colours, shapes and textures work together. Place the larger, heavier fruits at the centre-top, where they will not create imbalance in the weight of the hat.

  5. Poke two holes approximately 1/4 inch apart in the underside of each piece of fruit, using a sharp needle or a nail and hammer.

  6. Stitch the fruit to the hat, looping a needle through the inside of the hat and through the holes in the fruits. Start with the larger fruits and gradually attach smaller and smaller fruits. Knot the threads on the inside of the hat. If any fruits seem loose, poke two more holes and stitch them to the hat at second points.

  7. Look for places where the arrangement looks bare and attach foliage filler. Knot the ends of the foliage stems to the hat in inconspicuous locations under pieces of fruit.

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Things You'll Need

  • Artificial fruits
  • Artificial foliage
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Nail and hammer (optional)
  • Upholstery thread

About the Author

Mason Howard

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.

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