Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Homemade Boonie Hat: No Pattern Needed

Save money on a sun-blocking boonie hat by making one at home.There is no need to buy a pattern either, with a few measurements and drawing tools at hand.

boonie hat bucket hat
Boonie hat, aka bucket hat
Boonie hats are comfortable, if the fit is correct, and they offer a certain amount of sun protection. Boonie hats are made of breathable fabric, and the full brim on a boonie keeps the sun's rays out of the wearer's eyes as well as off of the neck and ears.


Boonie Hats for Sun Protection

Boonie hats have traditionally been designed and provided as military issue, but they have also gained ground with outdoor enthusiasts in sports like hunting and fishing. While traditional boonie hats will be manufactured from camoflage fabric, home-made boonies can be crafted to match almost any outfit, and from any fabric desired.

The added fabric choices make these hats useful for any outdoor activity, from a day at an amusement park to an afternoon of yard work. Warm weather boonies should be made from a light cotton or linen fabric, while cold weather boonies can be crafted from polar fleece or soft flannel. These soft-brimmed hats are not normally reversible, but following the directions provided below gives the option of making a reversible boonie hat.

What You'll Need
  • 1 yard fabric, 45 inches wide or 2 pieces of color-compatible 1/2 yard fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Drawing tools, or a large coffee can and ruler
  • 1/2 yard square pattern paper or newspaper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Tailor's chalk
  • 1 yard seam binding
  1. Measure the wearer's head, going around the forehead and the upper back area of the head. This is the dimension that will be used for the top of the hat.
  2. Draw an oval in the center of the pattern paper, using the dimension of the head. If drawing tools are not available, a large can can be positioned on the paper when drawing the curved ends of the oval. This will be the pattern piece for the top of the hat.
  3. Measure two inches past the drawn edge of the oval, and mark the spot. Repeat every two inches all the way around the oval. This will be the hat's brim.
  4. At the edge of the paper, cut one long rectangle that is one inch longer than the dimension of the hat's top oval.
  5. Fold the fabric, or stack the two layers, and pin the long rectangular pattern piece 1/2 inch away from the edge. Add a 1/2 inch seam allowance by measuring and making tailor's chalk marks 1/2 inch away from the edge of the pattern,all the way around the piece.
  6. Position the remaining pattern pieces on the fabric, and mark out the 1/2 inch seam allowances.
  7. Cut out the pieces by following the tailor's chalk marks.
  8. Fold the rectangles with the right sides together, and sew across the short ends,making a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
  9. Place the top, oval pieces with the wrong sides together. Baste around the edges 1/4-inch from the edges to hold the two ovals together.
  10. Position and pin one sewn rectangle face down to the top of the oval, all the way around. The seam in the rectangle should be centered in one of the short ends of the oval. If two fabrics are being used, make sure the fabrics are matching. Pin the other rectangle to the under-side of the oval.
  11. Sew around the oval, making a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
  12. Turn the rectangles out, and inspect the seam to make sure the edges are completely sewn. If the seams are secure, top-stitch on the edge of the rectangle, 1/8-inch from the seam.
  13. Position and pin the hat brim to the rectangular piece with the right sides together. The inner oval of the brim will line up with the outer edge of the hat's top. Also pin the other section of the hat brim to the inside of the rectangle.
  14. Sew all the way around the edge connecting the rectangular piece to the inner oval's edge. Turn the brim out and inspect to make sure the edges of the seam are all sewn.
  15. Turn the brim edges right side out, and top-stitch the inner edge of the brim,1/8-inch from the seam. Sew around the brim repeatedly, moving 1/4-inch out with each pass around the brim.
  16. Finish the edge of the brim by wrapping the binding around the raw edge, and sewing 1/8-inch from the folded edge of the binding.
A chin strap, grommets or 1/2-inch vents can be added to the finished boonie hat if desired. The hat brim will be slightly floppy, but can be starched if a crisper look is wanted.

Copyright Laure Justice. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication. Originally published on Suite101.com.


  1. Pic would be nice, otherwise good starting platform for what is needed Thanks!Gunneysg

  2. Pic would be nice, otherwise good starting platform for what is needed Thanks!Gunneysg

  3. Hi, Thanks for the comments, everyone! Sorry I didn't see them sooner. I'll have to make up a new one but I'll try to get pictures up in the next few days. I'm considering doing a video tutorial for this too, so let me know if you would like that, as well.


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