Sew an Easy Santa Hat or Elf Hat for Any Size of Doll

  • 01 of 11

    Make an Easy Santa or Elf Hat for Your Favorite Doll

    Santa hat and elf hat handsewn from stretch velvet for 1:12 and 1:24 scale dolls.
    Santa and elf hats made in 1:24 and 1:12 scale for a Polly Pocket doll and a BJD "Mina". Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    This knit Santa Claus hat can be modified for use by an elf, or made from patterned or plain fine knit fabrics to make ski hats for any size or shape of doll. As shown here the hat has been made from four way stretch velvet, material which stretches in both directions, which makes it easy to put on and take off a doll. The hat requires only scraps of stretch velvet or another fine knit. I used the same type of velvet for the white trim and pom pom on my hat, but you can also use yarn, or the...MORE type of short rayon wigging used for dolls to trim the hat if you wish.

    As shown here the Bhat is on a 1:24 scale Polly Pocket doll and a 1:12 scale BJD.

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  • 02 of 11

    Cut Your Fabric To the Correct Size for the Santa Hat

    How to determine how much fabric you need for a santa hat for a doll.
    A section of stretch velvet is wrapped around the head of a doll to determine the width of the fabric piece needed for a custom santa or elf hat. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To determine how much fabric you need in order to make a simple Santa hat, first check that you have a fabric that stretches in both directions. You will need a piece of fabric large enough to fit around the head of the doll, and long enough to make the hat size you prefer, whether upright for an elf, or 'folded' for Santa. You will also need a fabric with similar stretch for the white trim on a Santa hat.

    To go around the doll's head, use the direction with the most stretch, usually across...MORE the grain from selvedge to selvedge.

    Once you know which way your fabric stretches best, wrap a section of the fabric with a straight edge, around the head of your doll, making sure you take the fabric over any hair that will need to be under the hat. Do not stretch the fabric as you wrap it around the doll's head. If you prefer you can use a section of ribbon or string to determine the length of fabric you will need.

    Cut a section of stretch fabric, I used stretch velvet, the width you need to fit around your doll's head without stretching. Cut the piece long enough for the length of the hat you want, either folded for Santa, or unfolded for an elf. You will make up the stretch slightly by sewing the seams, so the hat fits slightly tighter than the fabric you start with.

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  • 03 of 11

    Add "Fur" Trim To the Santa Hat Opening Edge

    Sewing a band of white trim to a dollhouse scale Santa Claus hat.
    A narrow band of white stretch velvet is stitched to the edge of a red rectangle of stretch velvet to begin making a Santa Claus hat for a doll. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    Cut a strip of white trim from your white stretch fabric, slightly wider than twice the width you want your "fur" trim strip on the opening of your Santa or elf hat. This trim strip should be cut so the length of the trim strip has stretch in the same direction as the opening of the hat, which is the fabric you fitted around your doll's head. Both pieces, laid on top of each other as shown in the photo, should stretch along the length of the trim strip.

    Lay the fabric right sides together (velvet...MORE pile inside) as shown in the photo on this page, and stitch just inside the edge of both layers of fabric, using a simple backstitch, or a simple hand sewn or machine zig zag stitch or serger overcast. For smaller dolls and finer knits you may have to sew your fabric on top of a piece of tissue paper to keep the pieces from stretching as you sew. You can pull the tissue paper away after you have completed the seam.

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  • 04 of 11

    Fold the Trim Strip to the Inside of the Hat Over the Trim Seam

    Fold edging over the seam of a santa claus hat and trim.
    Once stitched to the red rectangle of the Santa Claus hat, the white trim is folded over the seam and trimmed to the desired width for the 'fur' edging. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    When you have finished sewing one edge of the white "fur" trim to the Santa hat, fold the trim strip back over the seam you just finished, so that the "right" or finished side of the trim is showing. Check the width of your trim area on the finished side of your hat and trim the edging strip so it is wide enough to cover your seam edge from the previous seam.

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  • 05 of 11

    Finish the "Fur" Trim Edge of a Miniature Santa Hat

    Hemming the trim on the bottom of a dollhouse scale santa claus hat.
    To finish the white edging on a miniature santa hat, the velvet is trimmed and folded over the seam where the red and white fabrics join, then catch stitched or hem stitched to the seam allowance. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To finish the white edge of your Santa hat you can either sew the raw or unfinished edge of the white trim to the seam where the red and white trims are joined together, or you can turn over the edge of the white trim and hemstitch it carefully to the Santa hat covering over the seam as you hem. The folded hem stitch works for larger hats, but for smaller scales, you may not want the bulk of an extra layer of fabric.

    The photo on this page shows the trimmed section of white stretch velvet being...MORE catch stitched to the edges of the seam in order to reduce the bulk of the "fur" trim layer.

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  • 06 of 11

    Sew the Santa Claus Hat Seam

    Back stitch used to sew a seam on a miniature Santa Claus hat.
    A simple back stitch is used to stitch a slightly curved seam from the trimmed edge to the top of a miniature Santa Claus or Elf hat. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To sew the hat together, lay the finished 'fur' trimmed edges together so they match, and fold the red rectangular section of the hat fabric together, so the right sides of the fabric are on the inside of the fabric. Using the backstitch, sew a slightly curved line from the "fur" trimmed edge to the top corner by the fold, starting with a seam line no more than 1/8 inch wide at the 'fur' trimmed edge.

    Trim the seam roughly 1/8 inch away from the stitching. Treat the seam edges with a fabric rated...MORE glue or Dritz Fray Check if there is any danger the fabric might unravel.

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  • 07 of 11

    Check the Fit of the Santa Hat on Your Doll or Figure

    Elf hat on a 1:24 scale Polly Pocket doll.
    Side view of an elf hat on a 1:24 scale doll showing the shape of the hat seam. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    With the main and trim seams sewn, carefully turn the miniature hat right side out. A cuticle stick, rounded toothpick or skewer or knitting needle will help to turn the point at the top of the hat.

    Gently test fit the hat on your doll's head, checking that the curve of the seam works for the style of hat you want, and the hat length and fit are correct. If everything works,proceed to the next step to make a fabric pom pom.

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  • 08 of 11

    Cut the Parts for a Matching Fabric Pom Pom

    Parts used to sew a fabric pom pom for a Santa Claus hat.
    A rough circle of stretch velvet and a scrap for filling it are used to make a small fabric pom pom suitable for a Santa hat. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    You can use commercial miniature pom poms from a craft store to finish your hat, or you can make a standard miniature pom pom from yarn. For my hat I wanted the pom pom to match the "fur" trim so I used scraps of white stretch velvet to make the pom pom. To do this you will need to cut a small circle of stretch fabric, roughly twice the size of your finished pom pom, and a scrap of fabric to fill it. See photo.

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  • 09 of 11

    Sew a Miniature Pom Pom From Stretch Fabric

    Edges of a fabric circle are stitched over a fabric scrap to make a miniature pom pom.
    The edges of a circle of stretch velvet fabric are pulled over a scrap of the same fabric using a needle and thread, to make a "pom pom" for a doll scale Santa Claus hat. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To sew your pom pom from fabric, fit your scrap of fill into the fabric on the wrong side, and sew across the edges of your fabric circle, gathering the edges together over the filling as you sew. (see photo). Take small stitches and pull the fabric evenly across the edges as you sew to gather your circle and filling into a small round ball.

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  • 10 of 11

    Sew the Pom Pom To the Top of Your Santa Hat

    Finished pom pom for a half scale doll Santa Claus hat.
    The finished pom pom made of stretched velvet is ready to sew to the 1:24 scale Santa Claus hat. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    With the hat right side out, use small stitches to sew the base of the pom pom to the tip of the hat. When the pom pom is secured, wrap the end of the thread from the needle tightly around the base of the pom pom and take a last stitch inside the hat, tying off the thread on the inside of the hat.

    Use the same method to fix the pom pom in place if you are using a commercially made pom pom or one you have made from yarn.

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  • 11 of 11

    Set the Fold On Your Miniature Santa Hat

    Brenda Breyer rider doll in a custom fitted santa hat.
    1:8 scale Brenda Breyer rider doll with a santa hat made from stretch velvet. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd
    For some reason, elf hats can be pointed upright or folded, while Santa's hat is always shown with a fold. Hats which are made in larger sizes will fold naturally. It is the larger elf hats which may need to be stuffed with quilt batting to stay upright. Smaller scale Santa hats will be too stiff to drape or fold on their own. These tiny hats may need to be held in place by folding them carefully in position then taking a small stitch through the side of the hat into the inner edge of the...MORE top of the hat, to hold the hat in a folded position.

    Experiment with scraps of fabric and work out how you like your elf or Santa hats to sit on your doll's head.

    Have fun!