The Fabulous, Floppy Sun Hats

Hat again
It all started with a text from my sister-in-law.  We were getting ready to go on a cruise to celebrate my in-laws 50th Anniversary in a few days, and the whole family was texting back and forth…”Are you bringing towels, or will they have those there?”  “How many dresses/swimsuits/shorts do we need?”  “Are 9 pairs of shoes too many?”  [Sidenote:  I brought 13 pairs of shoes for a 4 day cruise, so I think 9 is perfectly reasonable.]

Then my SIL sends this text:  OMG I have to have this hat.


The picture was quickly followed by this one, which I found pretty disturbing, despite the advice from the hat….


$435???  After I recovered from the sticker shock, my first text back was:  I could totally make that.

So I did, and you can too!  Now, nobody will pay you $435 for your cheap knockoff of this hat, but everybody will like it!

The supplies are easy.  For one hat you need:

  • 1 great big floppy sun hat
  • 1 bottle of Aleene’s No-Sew Fabric Glue- $2.99 at Hobby Lobby
  • 1 4-yard roll of sequin decorative trim- $2.99 at Hobby Lobby (the glue and the sequins were both 50% off the day I went!  Whoop!)
  • some chalk (optional)

Procuring the hats was not easy.  I wanted great big huge floppy hats for all 4 of the lady cruisers. I finally found what I wanted at Belk–a Nine West hat that was originally $44 marked down to $19!  I am sure you can find better prices, but I was in a time crunch AND I needed 4 of them.  Belk only had one, but they called around to their other stores and I was able to pick up 3 more from a different location the next morning.  SOLD!  With only 2 days until Cruise Day, my options were limited.

The first step is to decide what your hat is going to say. It turns out nobody I was making them for wanted “Do Not Disturb”  after all.  When you think about it, that’s probably not the message you want to put out there anyhow.  Maybe on your hotel room door, but not on your head, in public, in a party atmosphere. Take note, Anthropologie.

I came up with “Well Hello,” which makes me think of my friend Sue and laugh.  My oldest SIL struggled with her decision between “Yeah Baby” and “Bust a Move” and finally chose the former.  My youngest SIL, who had found the original hat in the first place, wanted “Whatever” (or maybe she meant that I should come up with something for her, but “Whatever” is what she got).  My MIL did not get a choice–her hat was going to say “Bombshell” because it’s cute and fun and my FIL refers to her as “The Blonde Bombshell,” which I think is adorable.

All you have to do is use the chalk to freehand what you want the hat to say.  Believe it or not, this is the most difficult part.  The chalk is hard to see on the straw surface.  Probably the better option would be just to make some marks on the center and edges of where you want the text to go, and then freehand with the glue.  The only problem is that you should only do the glue for about 2 letters at a time, since it gets tacky pretty quick.


The next thing you want to do is pull off a few sequins so that you have thread hanging out.  You are going to bury that thread edge in the glue under your first row of sequins so that the edge doesn’t come loose, causing sequin loss.


Use one single strand for each word.  When you get to the end of the word, repeat the procedure of removing some sequins and burying that thread tail underneath the last sequin. TA-DA!  Easy easy easy.

A few words of caution…

  • Though the glue does dry clear, use just enough to affix the sequins to the hat.  Big glops of glue are not really that noticeable once dry, but we are going for a quality piece of work here.  Less is best!
  • There is a pretty obvious front and back to the sequin trim.  Make sure you have the exposed thread side down in the glue.  My first hat (mine, the tester) has almost an entire word in upside down sequins.  You really can’t tell unless you look closely, but I know it is messed up and it really drives me nuts.
  • Because you are probably going to use cursive (you don’t have to, though), there will be times when the sequin strand has to overlap itself.  Just have your glue handy and put a dab down on top of the sequins that are going to be covered up.


Too much glue AND upside down sequins! Honestly, you can hardly tell, but UGH!

That’s it!  I made all 4 hats in about an hour and a half, and I let them dry overnight.  Here they are:


I wish I had taken the time to take a better shot.  At this point they are still wet and you can see some chalk.  But.  I was in a hurry.  And you get the idea!

So try it!  Or I will be glad to make one for you for, oh, I don’t know, 2 or 300 bucks. Just kidding.  If you really want me to make one, shoot me an email and we’ll talk, but I know you can do it yourself!

I’m not much of a hat person.  I love the idea of hats, and I do buy them, but I rarely ever actually wear them. Aside from a cruise, I don’t think I will wear this hat very often, but it’s still so much fun to have!  I think it would make a super cute little girl hat with pink sequins. Or maybe I could make one that says my son’s High School team on it to wear to his next blazing in the sun Cross Country meet.  College Teams would be awesome, too!  Or how about a “Welcome Home” redeployment ceremony hat?  Who knows?  There are lots of fabulous ways to use this idea, of that I am sure!  Share yours in the comments below!


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