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How to Make Your Own Disney Hats for Your Next Disney Park Vacation or Cruise

Updated on April 7, 2014

Why do some people make their own Disney hats?

First of all, those sold in the official stores (You know, the Disney Store at your local mall or that store in one of their parks?) are out of budget for some people. A lot of people wear them to blend in with the Disney atmosphere, but some, if not few, people would sigh and be just tourists with plain hats (and that's fine - there are a lot of them, so they aren't alone).

Secondly, most hats aren't wide brimmed. Many travel experts and melanoma (skin cancer) experts advise people to wear the said hats in the Parks or outside on the ships. They are designed to protect each area of your head, including the front, back and sides. Most of the "ear hats" - hats with Mickey ears and a base - are less likely to have that type of protection.

Disney Hats Spruce Up Any Disney Vacay!

Last, but not least, some people wear the same hats some others are wearing, even though some of them are embroidered. Some people like their hats unchanged, but some fear that theirs might get lost because of that reason.

And that brings up the question: how can people make hats that make their Disney vacation special?

Me, rocking out with that Pluto hat I bought from Downtown Disney years ago. Though I rarely buy those hats from there or the parks anymore, I love how they help me blend in with the atmosphere!
Me, rocking out with that Pluto hat I bought from Downtown Disney years ago. Though I rarely buy those hats from there or the parks anymore, I love how they help me blend in with the atmosphere!

Buy Your Hats

What I mean by that is that you buy hats that can be found on the cheap. I'm talking about plain hats found at your local craft store. Other places to find them (plain or not) for less are consignment or thrift shops. That's right - they aren't just for those who are super-frugal or opposed to sweatshop-produced items anymore. You might encounter a few Disney hats in those stores, and you might either let them be or jazz them up!

If you are concerned about UV rays and melanoma, then go ahead and buy bucket hats. They are not-only wide-brimmed, but also flexible so you can easily fit it into your backpack (or if spending days at the Parks, in those compartments where items are stored in certain attractions).

Know how to crochet? Here's an idea!


Want to make your hats really pop and stand out? Then add some bling!

You can use glass or acrylic flatback rhinestones, glass hotfix rhinestones,and/or metal hotfix studs or nailheads to dress up your hats. If decorating ones with children, feel free to use low-lead or lead-free bling. If you are a serious person over 12 who wants mega sparkle, then don't hesitate to glue or heat-set quality leaded glass rhinestones from the high-end Swarovski crystals to the cheaper but still sparkly Korean machine-cut ones.

Add as little or as much bling as you want. You can adorn your Disney hat that has been lying around in your house for years or that you've bought from the thrift store or garage sale. Spell out your initials or even arrange the stones or studs into a Mickey icon. You can also make an outline or a silhouette of your favorite Character.

This is a hat I bought at Walt Disney World in about 1995 or 1996. I updated it with clear rhinestones and silver rhinestuds to make it more personalized.
This is a hat I bought at Walt Disney World in about 1995 or 1996. I updated it with clear rhinestones and silver rhinestuds to make it more personalized.

Use it as A Pin Collecting Display

If you are an avid Disney pin trader, chances are that you might have a lanyard to store them. A plain old hat can hold the rest should it run out of room. Just remember to only adorn your hat with those you are willing to trade - people might want to trade one of theirs for one of yours!

If you happen to get a button for free, thanks to the fact that it's your first time in the Parks or it's your birthday, feel free to pin it on the front of your plain hat! What a quick adornment!

Use it As an Autograph Book

Most anything can be an autograph book. Some buy it from the park stores and some take notebooks from big-box stores, festoon them, and call it their own. Plain white hats can work too! Just take them off when it's your turn to have your favorite Characters sign, hand them a fine-tip permanent marker, and let them sign. Not only it's a cheap souvenir to remember your magical vacation, but also it's more personal.

If desired, use as many colors of permanent markers as you want! It doesn't have to be all black!

Om nom nom nom...
Om nom nom nom... | Source

Patch it with Appliques

Embroidered appliques add fun and interest to a plain hat for a low price. For fabrics that can withstand heat, use an iron (I suggest a quilting Iron for those tricky spaces, especially decorating the front of a bucket hat.) to apply them. Otherwise, use fabric glue to attach them. You can find a good deal of Disney themed appliques in your local craft or sewing store.

Here's A Bit of Whimsical Inspiration!

Add the Ears!

Not only does it save money, but adding your own Mickey ears in any color you want dresses plain hats! Stiff felt comes in all colors, allowing you to go beyond black for a fun, spunky look!

Cut out two circles, trimming off one side each slightly to create a base for attaching to the hat. Use a hot glue gun to attach the bases of the ears to the sides of the hat. For extra stability, try covering foam circles each with a bit of one side cut off with felt. It's not just a matter of saving money by making your own, but it's also a matter of suiting your own personal style.

Making your own Disney hats for your next vacation to Walt Disney World, the Disneylands around the world, the Disney Vacation Resorts, or anywhere you go while sailing with Disney Cruise Line isn't just mostly cheap. It really gets your creative juices flowing and makes your creations stand out.

Oh, and if you prefer buying from the official stores, go ahead.

Disclaimer: the customizable hats are for personal use only and not for resale. In other words, don't sell the ones you already have on online auction sites to avoid legal problems.


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