Use embellishments to make a simple hat more interesting.
Credit: By Kjetil Ree (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Hats come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Hats have recently made a comeback as a style option for both men and women, most likely as a result of period television shows and movies. Embellished and decorated hats typically cost much more than simple hats. If you want to stretch your budget, or even resell trimmed hats as a business, try adding simple decorations to the hat yourself. You can use these techniques with nearly any style of hat. 

Hat Trimming Basics


Collect materials to use as trimmings before starting. Ribbons in various sizes, buttons, yarn, faux flower picks, holiday garland, glitter, feathers, earrings, broaches, buckles, plastic animals and other small items can be used to trim a hat. Always keep a look out for interesting supplies to add to hats every time you shop. You should also keep hot glue, a thick needle and floral wire on hand for actually attaching the objects to the hat.


Look at the design of your hat. If you hat is floppy, it will need different embellishments than a sturdy hat. A knit cap can have different embellishments than a felt  or a straw hat.


Remove any existing embellishments that date the hat. Items such as out-of-style ribbon colors, pins from past decades and face netting can make a hat look dated and unusable.


Add a strip of ribbon around the brim of the hat. Play around with the widths of ribbon to find the best width for the hat’s height. Berets, beanies and other floppy hats will probably not work with ribbons wrapped around the brim, but some may work with small bows or knots of ribbon.


Plan your design based on the appearance of the hat and the season. You do not want to use heavy greenery on a summer hat or summer-themed items on a winter hat. Group the embellishments that you want to use together on the brim. Play around with the placement of the items. One grouping of items is usually enough, but you may also be able to add a ribbon or bow to the hat to give it a more finished and polished appearance.


Use the seasons or holidays as inspiration  when designing hats. Don’t make the themes too obvious, however, unless you want the hat to be a one-time use hat. If you make some trimming interchangeable, then you can make the designs as thematic as you wish.


Attach the trimming to the hat. For permanent trimmings, sew or glue the trimming in place. For removable trimmings, use pins or Velcro to secure the trim pieces.