DIY: 40’s-Style Cute Kitty Beret (for Halloween…?)

Now that the weather’s cooling down, I want a cute little hat to wear – not something chunky and heavy just yet, but something that adds just a little bit of warmth.  Something polished, and maybe even a bit kitschy.

And I just LOVE me some kittehs!  I am such a crazy cat lady.  I used to volunteer in Hawaii trapping feral cats and adopting the kittens out to loving homes.  Then I got Cat Scratch Fever.  True story.  Anyway.

Cat-themed merch was all over the runways and is now in stores for Fall (check out this lovely printed Wildfox sweater and Romwe’s knockoff oh-so-similar version).  So, inspired by berets I’ve been seeing in my Japanese magazines, I decided to create my own Kitty version.  And it’s my first foray into wet wool felting and hat-making.  So stick with me and I’ll show you how!

You Need:

cheap pirate hat  /  soft black felt, enough to cover the crown of the hat (optional) and for ears  /  felt glue

Tools: scissors  /  cutting blade  /  clothespins (not pictured)  /  teakettle + boiling water (optional, not pictured)  / tape  (not pictured) /  rubber gloves (optional, not pictured)

How To: 1. Use the craft knife to cut around the crown of the hat.

2. Separate the crown from the brim.

3. Use scissors to refine the edge and smooth it.

Now, you can build your kitty ears on the crown of the pirate hat as-is, but I wanted a more finished, rounded-edge beret look to my hat. The next steps are optional. You can skip to Step 13) if you like your hat the way it is.

4. Cut a piece of felt large enough to cover the hat completely.

5. Cover your hat with felt glue. Do not put glue on the sides of the hat yet, just the top.

6. Press the felt on firmly to bond. It helps to do this over a curved surface, like your knee. Use clothespins to pin the edges to the hat edges, tucking the extra felt to the inside.

7. Heat some water to boiling in a teakettle. Wearing gloves to protect your hands, place the hat edges in the steam for a few seconds, and pull away. This will heat and soften the felt, and make it pliable.

8. Firmly press and pull the felt over the edges of your hat to mold the new layer onto it.

9. Allow to cool and dry with the clothespins still on the edges.

10. Once dry, tuck the excess felt under itself at the outer sides. This will create the “poof” of the beret-shape. (You may have to hit it again with the steam to smooth out excess felt and prevent a lot of wrinkling and folding.  And mine is still a little wrinkly regardless…I’m sure I could have done a better job with multiple re-steamings.)

11. Now spread glue at the edges to secure the tucks.

12. Pin again to secure the edges until the glue dries.

Now the beret-style of your hat is done!  Time to add the ears.

13. Cut two triangles out of felt for your ears.

14. Use the cutter to slice a small V on the top of the hat, to one side.

Closeup of the V; the point of the V points towards the back of the hat.

15. Push a triangle of felt into the cut from the inside of the hat.

16. Pull the tip through to the outside.

17. Pull it through to your desired height.

18. Trim the felt on the inside of the hat, and add some glue to it.

19. Tape the excess felt onto the glue until it dries.

You’re done! I hope you enjoy your new Cute Kitty Beret Hat!


10 Comments on DIY: 40’s-Style Cute Kitty Beret (for Halloween…?)

  1. Ryoma Sakamoto
    10.27.2012 at 3:10 am (3 years ago)

    It is very cute.
    It is lovely.

  2. Elmedina
    10.28.2012 at 5:48 am (3 years ago)

    Beautiful photos! :)
    Elmedina recently posted..Smile!

  3. Sarah Miller
    10.28.2012 at 8:17 am (3 years ago)

    I know I love all the kitty stuff! It’s really stylish! Cute hat!


  4. San Diego Foodie
    10.29.2012 at 4:49 pm (3 years ago)

    That’s cute and classy! Where did you get all your creative juices!!! I’d love to make a beret like that.

  5. Love
    10.30.2012 at 12:29 am (3 years ago)

    That`s so adorable. Kitty beret hat is so IN this season.
    Even here in Japan it`s everywhere. from accessories to clothes.

    I want to try this one too.


  6. Denise
    11.01.2012 at 2:28 pm (3 years ago)

    This is too cute! I love it!!!


  7. Lisa
    11.04.2012 at 8:39 am (3 years ago)

    This is so cute!! And made from a pirate hat – genius.
    Great tip about heating the felt to make it more pliable.


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