How To Make A Straw Boater Hat – Diy Cancan Hat Tutorial ^_^

May 5, 2010 by

Cancan hats are another trend that seems to be everywhere right now so here’s a cancan hat tutorial ^_^

Of course they’ve been around for practically forever with various names… straw boater, basher, skimmer, katie, senni etc. Here in Aus they are actually part of a lot of private school uniforms. I’ve always loved them because the remind me of picnics in the park with a nice cup of tea!

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Anyway whatever you call it what I’m talking about is this:

Image found via google, full credit to the owner. I make no claims of ownership and am happy to remove if asked.

Because they’re popular now they are quite expensive. So I decided to DIY my own ^_^

At the top of the hat you will notice that the whole thing is made of a big spiral of straw which it stitches together. Carefully wedge your scissors into the top of the spiral and cut a few of the stitches.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Gently pull it apart, continue cutting stitches if you need to.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Start unraveling the spiral and cutting the stitches as you go ^_^

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Keep going until you get to around this point:

CanCan Hat Tutorial

When you get to here there are two options depending on the type of hat you started with. Some of these sun hats have very straight sides and some of them are basically a gigantic dome.

If you’re lucky enough to have one with straight sides then you can skip the next few steps.

If you have one with curved sides (like me) you will need to continue unraveling the hat until you to get to a point where the part that’s left is completely straight. This point might be different for you hat but mine was just above the ribbon band here:

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Now you should get your needle ready and thread it.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Ok now it’s time to put it back together so the sides are straight and the top is flat!

Because the straw has been in a curved position for so long you will most likely need to bend it straight before you put it back together. Make sure to be gentle when you do this so you don’t damage it. I straightened it by putting it flat on the floor and gently bending it the other way.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Now you need to start winding the straw back into place. You can either do it the right way and stitch it in place or the quick way and hot glue it in place. Either way secure it as you go around.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

You can see that the way I’ve put it back in place is much more vertical than the original pattern.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Keep going until you think your hat is tall enough and then do one more rotation around the top to make sure it is flat enough for the top of the hat not to be on an angle!

CanCan Hat Tutorial

When you’re finished you should cut the excess straw off and secure the ends. I am going to cover the straw end with more decoration at the end so it doesn’t show.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Now let’s make the top! Get your left over straw and arrange it on a flat surface in a spiral.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

You should measure the spiral to make sure it fits the top of your hat exactly and pin it in place.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Now stitch or glue your top in place.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Continue until it is the right shape and diameter. You should stitch the end of the straw around so it forms a circle like this:

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Cut off the excess and this is what you get:

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Do make sure that it fits the top of the hat before you cut the ends so you don’t have a gaping hole in your hat!

CanCan Hat Tutorial

At this point I cut off the elastic string which holds the hat on your head because it was pointless and in the way.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Now on the inside of your hat, glue/stitch the top in place :D

CanCan Hat Tutorial

You should get something like this:

CanCan Hat Tutorial

Hurray it has a flat top!!

Now we’ve made the top shorter and flatter the large brim looks a bit silly! So let’s make it shorter :D

Find the edge and snip the stitches. It should come apart very easily.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

I pulled out maybe 3 or 4 rows of it. Now secure the edge back in place.

CanCan Hat Tutorial

And you get this…

Last step is decoration! I wanted a nice big rosette style thing on my hat so I cut off the long tulle tail…

CanCan Hat Tutorial

And added another one of top. This also covers the join around the hat. Again hot glue or sewing is fine here.

CanCan Hat Tutorial


CanCan Hat Tutorial

And there you have it, an adorable cancan hat that cost me nothing :D And I have another cute hat to add to my arsenal of bad-hair-day-hiding-tools ;)

CanCan Hat Tutorial

What do you guys think? Are any of you going to give the cancan hat tutorial a try?

88 comments so far! Leave another?

Heart It
  • http://frachely.blogspot.com rach

    YOU ARE SO TALENTED (T________T) I’m amazed!!!!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      XD Thank you so much! I swear it’s not talent, just a mind that keeps trying to take things apart and put them together again!

  • http://www.chaigyaru.com chaigyaru

    love how you transformed a $2 hat into something so wearable. :D

    i think you could’ve taken more off the outsides but its perfect otherwise! ♥

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      :D Transforming cheap crap into pretty things is one of my favorite pass times! Such is life on a budget XD

  • http://bonjour-glow.blogspot.com Glo-w

    *clap clap clap*
    The price are getting ridiculous now,
    but thx for showing us that even on a budget and with patience u can still be on trend.
    Another job well done^^

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      You’re completely right, they are going for insane prices because they are fashionable! Thank you, I’m glad you liked the tutorial!

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Diy CanCan Hat Tutorial ^_^ | -- Topsy.com

  • http://fyeahlolita.blogspot.com Caro-chan

    WHAT!? You can do that! I <3 you, as I've been looking all over for a boater had and haven't been having much luck. The hat looks great!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      XD Yep you can totally do that! Seriously boaters are way over priced and hard to find now unless you’re an Australian school kid. The round straw hats are eeeeverywhere in thrift stores or holiday places so cheap and so easy to change into boaters :D I so want to see if you do it!

  • http://www.springiette.net Shouri

    It looks awesome! I’m seriously addicted to your blog now, I love DIYness Y_Y

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Aw thank you so much Shouri! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog too, hopefully I can bring you lots and lots of cool diy fun soon :D

  • http://shmuberry.blogspot.com/ Shmoo

    This is sooooo adorable =D

    I agree with Shouri~ To me, you are the DIY reference!!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Squee! Thank you so much Shmoo! You girls all know how to make me feel awesome :D

  • http://rene-memory-list.blogspot.com Rene


    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thank you ^_^

  • Kari

    Wow O.O That’s a crazy good idea! And it looks amazing on you ^.^ I’ve been trying to figure out a good hat for summer, and lamenting how expensive cute hats are! Maybe I should try this on my old 100% paper “straw hat” that I have sitting around XD

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thank you Kari! Yes good hats can be so expensive *_* Oh you should totally give it a try! It’s just coming into winter here but it’s still sunny so a good hat is always necessary! Let me know if you try it out!

  • http://ultragroteskt.blogspot.com/ Alice

    Oh, wow, that’s such a great idea! Actually, I’ve been looking for a cancan hat like crazy for the last couple of months (Because I don’t want to bother my parents by ordering one from the internet, haha), but all I found were these round ones. I do think that I’ll use this tutorial to make one, since yours turned out so cute! ♥

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thank you! Yes if you can’t find anything other than round ones this is a great way to get the hat you want :D Then you can decorate with anything you like!

  • http://mirukut.blogspot.com Miruku

    Unbelievable, that’s so cute! By the way, I really like your writing style. It’s informative, funny and humble all at once!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Oh wow thank you so much Miruku! I always hope that my tutorials are easy to understand and I am a big believer that nothing should be taken too seriously ^_^ It’s so lovely to get feedback like this :D

  • http://sahakiel.blogspot.com/ Libertad

    Violet, you’re amazing; you’ve got tips for everything! Great tutorial (again)! *claps*!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      :D Thank you so much Lib! Haha don’t encourage me or I’ll start giving out tips for lame things like cleaning the house XD

  • http://lavender.james-chow.com lavender

    I started following your blog earlier this year and your DIY posts never fails to blow me away! Though I’ve never the patience to do DIY stuff but I love it when I know I’ll be able to do things with your help. =) So far, I think this is the greatest creation of yours.

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Lavender! I hope you decide to do something, it can be so much fun ^_^

  • http://biggreendinosaur.blogspot.com BGDino

    Take a bow! *round of applause* you are super-ly mega-ly talented!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      XD I’m seriously not that talented! I just enjoy making little things like this ^_^

  • http://naaea.blogspot.com Alina

    OMG! a $2 dollars hat can actually do so much things on it!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      I know, there is so much promise even in cheap things!

  • http://naaea.blogspot.com Alina

    OH , and Violet , can i link you at my blog ? :D

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Oh of course you can Alina! I will add your blog to my links page next time I update too :D

  • http://naaea.blogspot.com Alina

    Yay~ would love you to create more tutorials !
    and knitting! ( i’m trying very hard ! but stuck somewhere ! )

    Seriously love your tutorials to max!

    Will always be your reader!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Aww you are the sweetest girl ever! I will definitely make more tutorials ad hopefully some knitting ones too :D

  • http://hhmas.blogspot.com Anna

    I LOVE IT!
    Your tutorials are GREAT. I got sooo inspired everytime I check your DIY-tips.
    Seriously, your blog is one of my favourites nowdays :—DD
    keep blogging, thank youuu~ ♥

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      :D Thank you so much! Yay It’s so awesome to know my tutorials are actually inspiring people! Thank you so much for reading and I promise to keep blogging lots :D

  • http://sugarblueburlesque.com/_blog/Burlesque_News Clara Cupcakes

    What a great tutorial! I will definately have to try this for our vaudeville show what we will need a lot of boaters. I would never have thought of this myself. Thankyou so much.


    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Oh yes I bet this would be much cheaper than buying lots of boaters! I am trying to imagine the kind of burlesque that involved boaters, it would be adorable!

      • http://sugarblueburlesque.com/_blog/Burlesque_News Clara Cupcakes

        Just imagine 10 pin curled girls in red striped sailor shirts, white short, straw boaters and two toe shoes, tap dancing. That’s pretty much what I have in mind!

        • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

          Ooooow that is going to be awesome!

  • http://www.thefashionatetraveller.blogspot.com trashtastika

    Haha! I knew it would be an amazing transformation – you rock the DIY once again! You & I should get together for a series on cool things to make out of daggy straw hats :) I’ve bought vintage/2nd hand straw hats and totally unravelled them to make a different hat, like an EGL mini-tophat. (Lucky for me I’ve got a 2nd hand cheapo kids boater that I’m gonna wear as a tilt hat)

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      XD Thank you! Oh we should totally get together for a crafty series, that would be awesome! I love mini top hats, I bet it turned out adorable!

  • http://www.nakasnet.blogspot.com Naka

    i wanna make one now :p but i should be revising tehe :3

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Haha no Naka revise and make sure to get good grades! Then lots of sewing as a reward after ^_^

  • http://fiona306.blogspot.com fiona06

    at least you made full use of you ‘life on a budget’ xD

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Haha that’s very true ^_^

  • http://wonderlandfantasmica.blogspot.com/ Miss Matched

    Violet, I do adore your tutorials! I am only recently new to following your site, but it is very helpful. Your bunny slippers are being attempted over here, simply adorable.

    Keep up the good work!

    Miss Matched

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Oh yay! I would love to see your bunny slippers when you’re finished! If you send me photos I can add them to the readers gallery :D Thank you so much for commenting!

  • emily

    Hey violet! gossh! you are immensely creative! that is definitely something i never would’ve thought of. i love your tutorials and your…EVERYTHING. keep up the great work =)

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thank you so much Emily! :D you are so sweet! I will definitely keep blogging ^_^

  • http://universal-doll.com/ Mitsu

    Jesus! Really. The MacGuyver of Himegal strikes again! Seriously your creativity knows no bounds! Wow such great work and I love the sweet pink accents. <3

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Wooo MacGuyver! I am seriously changing my tag line from “Tales of an Ingenue” to “The MacGuyver of Himegal” LOL! Aside from that, thank you so much, your comments always make me giggle! <3

  • http://hikaria.wordpress.com Tiff

    Lol oh my God I can’t believe this is popular now! And to think I spent some much time paying out the BBC boys for their stupid boaters lol! I love Mitsu’s comment by the way ‘the Macguyver of himegal’ sounds about right :P.

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      I know right?? I went to school up north in Townsville and there was only one school that had them and every other school made fun of them all the time because of their doofy hats! Haha I like the sound of “the MacGuyver of Himegal” XD You girls are all so awesome!

  • http://www.fourfeetnine.com aud

    you are a DIY goddess!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      XD No just have too much time!

  • http://naaea.blogspot.com Alina

    HEY Violet!
    I’m so into DIY now because of you!
    Hope to see more of your tutorials and will always support you ! :)
    Will be re-reading your blog after my exams ( end of May ) !
    And try out all the tutorials one by one in my 1 month holiday in June!
    You’re so sweet!

    Your reader ,

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Aww that’s so cute Alina! Oh wow you’re going to do all of them? I can’t wait to see how it goes, good luck with your exams! <3

  • http://www.cheeserland.com cheesie

    WTF VIOLET. You just made me feel stupid buying expensive can can hats fml.

    It is sooooooooooo cute! I love all your DIYs!!!!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      XD Hahaha sorry Cheesie! I’m glad you like the end result though heehee!

  • Jaede

    Yep !!! I think this is something I will try. I’m now on the look out for a cheap hat. Violet you’re the best !

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Oh awesome! I can’t wait to see yours :D

  • http://riechanster.blogspot.com Riechan

    I think I had one of those round ones with a red ribbon when I was a kid… I wonder where that went :D
    Lovely tutorial!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thank you!

  • http://peebot.tumblr.com pauline joy

    Violet! Your DIY imagination & creativity knows know bounds! I don’t even know how you’ve been able to come up with so many clever projects. Thanks for posting this!

    I am so impressed with your creativity! I love it!!!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Aww thank you for such a lovely comment and thank you for reading! ^_^ I will definitely keep going with the tutorials!

  • kimmm

    i totally miss your lolita days!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Heehee I’m surprised anyone remembers my lolita days!

  • http://bijinbaby.livejournal.com miu


    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      ^_^ Thank you!

  • http://www.superkawaiimama.com.au Super Kawaii Mama

    I think it is entirley possible that you should be made the next Australian of the Year for your AMAZING DIY pieces! You never cease to amaze me with the way your mind works and your wallet doesn’t have to. I think I’m going to have to write a memo to HRH the Queen now…

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      ROFL! I told you we would take over the world one day :D I’ll be eagerly waiting by the post box for my telegram from the Queen!

  • http://cherristory.blogspot.com/ Tori

    I would totally pay you to make one for me, lol XD
    Awesome idea!

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Aww that’s so sweet of you!

  • http://lamaisondepoupee.blogspot.com Becky

    Lovely tutorial~ The cancan hat is gorgeous!
    All your tutorials are amazing! You really know how to use what you have to make the best of them :)

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thank you so much Becky! I love making pretty things out of what seems like junk!

  • http://ruffandtumble.livejournal.com/ Ruffandtumble

    Loved this tutorial and went out and did it myself. Heres the link to my blog where i posted my hat transformation.


    I included a link to your tutorial. Hope thats okay. Many thanks for being inspiring. love your work. xx

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Oh that’s fantastic! Would you like me to add one of the photos with a link to my Reader’s Gallery? You did such a great job!

  • http://www.modernvintagegirl.com Angel Cutsforth

    Hi Violet,

    Here is a link to my hat that I did according to your tutorial. Unfortunately I didn’t take a before shot.


    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Oh that is LOVELY! I will add you to the gallery and make a proper comment as soon as I get the net back up properly >_< Seriously love it and you look fantastic!

  • http://www.essenceofsilk.com Rachel

    I love the hat. It’s really cute especially on a hot summer day.

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Thanks very much ^_^ I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial :)

  • abc

    I think the hat is adoreable but your outfit and hair are a shame, sorry just being honest.

    • http://www.bluecranedesign.net Violet

      Haha thank you for commenting about the hat! As for my hair and outfit, I wasn’t aiming for anything other than comfortable so I think it’s a fine look :) You’re most definitely entitled to your opinion and thanks for taking the time to comment honestly anyway ^_^

  • Savannah Alexander

    Thank you for this tutorial! My little boy and girl will be Mary Poppins and Bert from the Jolly Holiday scene for halloween this year so I need a skimmer hat for my little guy but haven’t been able to find one at a reasonable price for a halloween costume. This will work perfectly! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      I’m glad to help, that sounds so cute!

  • Lesley

    OMG this is amazing!!! you make it look so easy..I want my hubby to be jay gatsby and need this hat! however like you stated I found one at a costume shop and it was $89!!! yikes…same thing, “its made in italy” yadda yadda…so where did you buy this hat? I didnt see that? THANKS!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      I bought the round top hat from a thrift store, they are everywhere here. You can also often buy them from dollar stores. Hope that helps! :D

  • Deb

    What an adorable hat; so clever. I’m working on a kids book, and I was surfing the web to find out how the main and her friend could make boater hats to wear to a tea party, and that’s how I found your hat. Your method is too complicated for nine year olds, and even I would be a bit terrified to try it, but I’m totally impressed. Kudos to you!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      That is such a cute idea Deb! I hope your book is going well :D Thank you so much for your lovely comment!