Tutorial: A Cute Bucket Hat

This tutorial shows how to make the cutest bucket hat for your kid. (Like, ever. From the best FREE bucket hat pattern I've ever seen!) An easy sewing project with simplified step-by-step instructions for sewing beginners. Of all the free hat patterns to sew, I link to the best free bucket hat pattern I know- make sure to get one for you too!

free hat patterns to sew

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Remember the bucket hat I made some time ago? Yes, this one. My kid loves it and so do I, in fact it's my FAVORITE piece I've sewn so far for kids! And judging from your responses, many of you like it too, a good reason to help you make it yourself! Do you want to make one yourself? Read on, below is an easy TUTORIAL waiting for you:)

toddler sun hat

Why I love this sun hat (and why you might too):
  • It fits perfectly. (Some hats don't.) 
  • It doesn't keep falling off. (Some hats do.) 
  • The brim is just the perfect size for keeping the little face from direct sun. (Some hat brims aren't.) 
  • Comfortable!
  • So totally cute, cute, cute! (Especially if you get to choose your fav fabrics!)
  • The pattern is FREE! 


To me, it simply looks like the best bucket hat pattern I've ever bumped into! However, I need to admit that the project might not be very easy to sew for beginners (which I see as the only downside of the otherwise brilliant and clear instructions provided).

Well, but then again, why not make things easier, right? ;) You might want to try out what I call the 'inside-out technique' after I learned it from a wonderful book, but that's another story. I'll just show you how I used it as a kind of shortcut to make the project even easier. And if you like it, you can make it this way (the result will be the same as if you followed the original instructions).


EDITED AUGUST 5 2019: THE DESIGNER (NOT ME) HAS STARTED CHARGING FOR THIS PATTERN AND IT IS NO LONGER FREE, UNFORTUNATELY.  SORRY. Regardless, I'm keeping my below tutorial free and when I find some time, I might design my own free pattern for you. The pattern I was referring to is one by Oliver+S that is no longer a free pattern. There are a few alternatives and I'm linking to a few other free bucket hat patterns for you:
  • free bucket hat pattern No1 (link)
  • free bucket hat pattern for toddlers 2-3 years (link)
  • free bucket hat pattern in 11 sizes - new, just found out about it: link


1) Grab the cutest two pieces of matching fabrics you've got in your stash. Or get some adorable ones. I love these gorgeously cute cotton prints I have found at peek-a-boo shop.

2) Use the free Oliver+S bucket hat pattern (here) to cut out the parts:

free hat patterns to sew

3) Sew the two pieces of the sides for the bucket hat together. And the two pieces of the brim, too. In both colors, so you've basically got 4 circular bands:

free bucket hat pattern for kids

4) Now, let's make one color first: pin the 'sides' circular band to the crown (match the triple notch marks!). You'll probably need to use a lot of pins and make tiny cuts into the fabric on the sides' piece to make the pieces match (clearly visible on the photo). Take your time. (Pinning was the hardest part for me as I'm not really a patient 'pinner'):

how to make a bucket hat for kids

5)  From here on, it just gets easier: just sew all the way around. If you've put the pins like on the picture, it will be easy to remove them as you go.

bucket hat sewing pattern

6) Then topstitch around the sides for a nicer look:

how to sew a hat

7) Take the brim piece and pin it to the cap (right sides together!) - you'll just need to put in a few pins. Basically just pin the notches together and add a pin here and there, if you need to:

how to sew a hat with a brim

8) ...aaaand sew all the way around. Easy peasy:

bucket hat pattern

9) To make the seam look prettier, topstitch the brim like you topstitched around the crown (see No 6 above):

how to make a bucket hat

10) Repeat steps 4-9 with the other color, and you've got yourself these two beauties:

reversible bucket hat pattern

11) Put the two 'hats' together with the right sides facing each other. Sew the brims (i.e. the largest circle) together, but not all the way round - leave an opening of, let's say 5 cm. You'll need it to turn the hat (... and here the words promised above...) inside out

free hat patterns to sew

12) Now turn it inside out through the opening and you've basically made it! Fingerpress and close (=sew) the opening. Iron the brim so you get an even outer edge. Pin around the sides so you stabilize the brims for stitching (sorry, only the blue side of the hat available here):

bucket hat tutorial for toddlers

13) Now, the only thing left to do is stitching the brim (see the lines all the way around the brim of the completed hat? Yes, those.) They will give stability to the hat.

brim hat for kids

BONUS HINT on stitching the brim: I used a turquoise thread, which makes the (somewhat squiggly) lines and the (uneven) gaps visible. I just like them as they are (uneven lines have been my signature ;). But there's high chance you will want to hide them, so you can do that by choosing the thread color that will match the fabric. Simple, right?

free bucket hat pattern

And here it comes ... another cute hat for a cute head. Didn't I say it's the best bucket hat pattern I've ever seen? Now go, make one for your kid, too. 

And if you are looking for some adorable new fabric, you can check out these cute fabrics by peek-a-boo. (They've also got gorgeous animal prints!) Now you can start making your kids' stylish DIY hat collection!

Happy sewing :)


Sometimes life gets in between and there's simply no time to make something (let alone a hat!), no matter how much you'd like to sew. Happens to me sometimes too :) -

Want More Free Patterns+Tutorials?

Get email updates and never miss out on new patterns, printables and tutorials. If you sign up at THIS link, you'll also get the Fabric Hanging Basket Template for FREE, right now. A cute and easy-sew!

free pattern for a fabric hanging basket

Or, if you feel like it, browse through my other PDF patterns. You might find a few really cute and easy new PDF patterns for your projects. Like this cute earflap beanie pattern:

sewing pattern for an earflap beanie hat for kids
Get the Earflap Beanie Pattern HERE.


  1. Love your pattern & tutorial!!! It is exactly what I'm looking for. I just have one problem. It is too small for my grandson who thinks he is the great big game hunter & wants a hat like this that they wear on the T.V. shows. Do you have a larger one or could tell me how to enlarge this one? Thank you for this great tutorial & for any help you can give me. God bless.

    P.S. Could you please email me any help you can provide? Thank you.

    1. Glenda,
      hi! Thanks for commenting, I'm sending you an email right away. Damjana

  2. Hi, how long did it take to sew the hat?

    1. Hi, glad you asked - just sewing - it won't take you more than an hour. When I was taking photos of the process, it took me way more, though. (but you don't need to do that :) Enjoy! Damjana

  3. Amazing tutorial! I will share this blog to my friends and encourage them to make bucket hat for their kid. A color pink bucket hat for baby girl would be nice. :)

    1. White+Warren,
      thank you so much for your comment! So there will be a bunch of your friends' kids running around in little colorful hats, how cute! And yes, a combination of pink hues would be great! Must try it out myself too, for my little baby girl - but first I need to stack on girly fabrics. (With a boy in our home, I've only been buying blue and green for the last three years, LOL). Have a great day,

    2. Thanks! It's true colorful hats are very cute. I'm glad that you appreciate my comment. Looking forward to read amazing blogs from you :)

  4. Thank you! Your tutorial is so simple that I could make a cute jeans hat for my 3 months old son (I printed the PDF a little smaller scale to 94% because my baby 's head measures its only 41cm diameter). Greetings from Chile!

    1. Lulamon,

      I'm so happy to hear that! Your son is lucky to have a crafty mom (and a brand new and unique jeans hat ;)
      Have a great day,

  5. Just made a hat for a happy 4 year old to match a shirt... She love's it and I made it in a few hours. Your tips are very helpful. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! Eva

  6. Did you not use the interfacing?

    1. No, it wasn't needed. THe two fabric layers were just enough for me.
      However, try out a version with interfacing if you'd like a sturdy hat.

  7. Hi Damjana,

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I just want to make two of those hats for my sons but I am not sure whether the pattern includes seam allowances?

    Regards from Germany :)

    1. Hallo Mareike,

      no, I didn't add any seam allowances to the hats I've made so far. If I remember correctly, they are already accounted for (didn't find any instructions about that at Oliver&S' site though...) Allerliebste Grüsse nach Deutschland! <3

  8. Thank you so much, I made the hat today for a one-year old (used small pattern), turned out so cute. Regards from sunny South Africa

  9. thank you, this is the easiest and straight forward tutorial for amateurs like me! regards from MAlaysia

  10. I've been using this pattern for a few years. My Daughters-in-law love the hats I make for my Grandies each Christmas. But one Grandson's headsize is just about bigger than the large pattern now. Can I enlarge it do you think. Or would that not work?

    1. Lois, it should work just fine if you only need to grade the pattern one size up. This link might help: https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/02/easy-guide-pattern-grading/ - just look up the SECOND METHOD -shift method. Happy sewing!

  11. I love your tutorial, so much easy to follow and understand! Just one question though.....Did you press the wrinkles out of your fabric before sewing the pieces together. I just completed sewing the sides of the hat to the crown, on both pieces, and since I did so much pinning and maneuvering of the fabric while sewing and trying to get the pieces to fit together correctly, they are wrinkled. Should I press them again before continuing and adding the brim pieces?

    1. Hi Ashley,

      a great question. It will certainly be way easier to iron out any wrinkles now, before you add the brim. Happy sewing,

  12. Dear Damjana, I need bigger size, can you help me with that?

    1. MareMare hi,
      thanks for dropping by - there are 3 sizes of this free pattern, up to 6 years. Unfortunately, I have no information about the adult size being available, but you could try using the largest size in the pattern and enlarging it when printing (I'd try 110%)? Hope this helps, xoxo

    2. Hvala :)
      Pozdrav iz Istre :)

    3. O, tako blizu! Vesela sem, da me spremljate!

  13. Napravljena :)
    Ne znam kako staviti sliku :(

    1. MaraMare,
      super, da ste ju več napravili! Slike se ovde na blogu u komentarima ne da staviti, ali ako ste na FB ili Instagramu, možete dodati hashtag #applegreencottage i ja ću je poiskat. Hvala, xoxo,