Decorating Straw Hats

Straw hats, large and small, are fun to decorate as an activity at parties or to hang on the wall. This is a guide about decorating straw hats.

Decorating Straw Hats
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Sunflower hats.Sunflowers painted on straw hats.

Approximate Time 1 hour


  • straw hats
  • paint
  • brushes
  • sealer (optional)


Since everyone's sunflowers are in bloom now, I thought I would share this craft.

  1. Take the straw hats any size you want and paint the center or top of hat brown as in picture, let dry.
  2. Paint the petals on the hat as in picture, let dry.
  3. Paint in between the pedals green and paint on black dots on the brown. Let dry.
  4. You can seal if you like.
Sunflower hats.

By Sandy from Bluff City, TN

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Red straw hat.What says summer more than a little lady bug. Here is a hat that will make you want to go sit in the garden with a large glass of ice tea and just watch the world go by. It also will make a stylish accessory for the summer time barbecues for us ladies that need to wear a hat during the summer to protect our skin.

I hope you have a wonderful time making this little "bug." You can also make this for your favorite little girl by using a smaller hat. This would also make a great hat for a Kentucky Derby party, A Victorian Tea party or a Red Hat Society function.

These are just guidelines. You could change the colors, you could add flowers, you could make the streamers longer in the back. These are easy to make and if you are buying hats at thrift stores you will find many shapes of straw hats.

You can find inspiration for your creations by Googling Victorian hats or Kentucky Derby hats.

Time: One afternoon


  • 1 straw hat (I found mine at a thrift store, but you can buy them at craft stores and at some dollar stores they run about $2)
  • gloss red spray paint
  • black sheer wire edged ribbon
  • small amount of metallic gold wire edged ribbon
  • a small amount of gold beads on wire
  • glue gun and glue or fabric glue


  1. Spray paint hat with the bright red spray paint. Paint both the inside and out. I used some gloss red spray paint that I had left over from Christmas.
  2. To make the hat band: With a piece of ribbon measure loosely around the bottom of the base.
  3. Fold black sheer ribbon in half and loosely wrap the bead wire around the ribbon.
  4. Hot glue both of them to back of hat.
  5. Make one big fluffy bow with the gold and black sheer ribbon and then hot glue this to the back of the hat covering the two ends of the hat band.

By Debra from Colorado Springs, CO

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Decorated mini hatsThese adorable little hats can be hung on the wall, added to wreaths, used as gift bag tie-ons, or as refrigerator magnets. You can also make a few to sell at a craft fair. They are easy to make and allow you to make use of all the bits and pieces of leftover craft materials you have lying around.

The hats, themselves, are relatively inexpensive if you buy them at a craft store, but check yard sales for even cheaper ones. That's where I found mine.

Crafting Time: 30 - 45 minutes


  • small hats - straw or lace
  • scraps of ribbon or pre-made bows
  • small silk flowers and bits of baby's breath
  • bits of lace fabric trim
  • pieces of pre-strung beads
  • craft glue or a glue gun
  • magnetic tape (optional)


  1. Arrange the flowerheads, baby's breath, bits of lace, and beads on your hat.
  2. When your arrangement pleases you, glue your pieces into place.
  3. Glue a loop of ribbon to the back of those you wish to hang or use as gift tie-ons.
  4. Glue a piece of magnetic tape to any you want to use as refrigerator magnets.
Decorated mini hats

By Marie E. Cecchini from West Dundee, IL

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Where can I buy little girl straw hats to decorate at a girl's tea party?

By Quana from Dayton, OH

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Try your local craft store.

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I need ideas for how to decorate a straw hat for a mother's day banquet.

Ruth from Russell

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Find fake flowers at a thrift shop, rinse them up in the bathtub if you don't have a kitchen sink sprayer, and cut them up to hot-glue around the brim.

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I would like to know where I can buy books or get instruction ideas for decorating large women's straw hats for home decor.

By Esther from Dawsonville, GA

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I would tie a ribbon about 1 inch wide around it like for a hat band and tie it in a bow with streamers hanging, like a woman would wear it with the streamers hanging in the back. Then glue some silk flowere wherever you would want to on the hat. It is more of matter of how you like the appearance rather that what a book might show.

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Here's a cute hat made from a straw hat and craft foam.

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Crafts OtherApril 28, 2012
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