Turning Your Old Pants into a New Hat - dummies

Turning Your Old Pants into a New Hat

By Miranda Caroligne Burns

It might seem a little strange to put your pants on your head, but this is a project that will do it up right! Stretch pants can be transformed into a variety of hat shapes, so feel free to play around with this concept. In its most basic form, it resembles a skull cap.

This project is easy and can even be done without a bit of sewing! You just cut off the pant leg and tie off one end. Cut off the extra length for a skull cap or keep it in long strands. Add in more fabric and other adornments if you like. One of the great things about this project is that if you screw up, you have another pant leg to try again!


  • Stretch pants
  • Rubber band
  • Tape measure
  • Needle (for hand sewing) or sewing machine
  • Thread that matches the stretch pants
  • Scissors


1. Prep. Wash and dry your stretch pants according to the label instructions.

2. Marking the cut line. Fold the stretch pants in half, hip to hip, and lay them flat. Using your tape measure as a straight edge and your tailor’s chalk, draw a horizontal line (parallel with the waistband) just below the crotch.

3. Cut. Cut through all four thickness along the line you just made with your tailor’s chalk.

4. Repair. Fix any tears, holes, and stains as needed.

5. Try it on. Put the cut edge of the pant leg on your head like a hat, folding the edge for style and security. A standard stretch pant should fit fine; however, if it is too small or too big you can either add in a length of fabric or take in a seam.

6. Fit the crown. With the hat on (inside out for a skull cap), gather the extra fabric on the top into a ponytail of sorts and secure with a rubber band. Remove the hat.

7. Cut two inches away from the rubber band. Be sure to cut the ponytail side of the rubber band, not the skull cap side! Cut the length of fabric tied off with the rubber band into 4 equal lengths, stopping 1/2 inch from the rubber band.

8. Tie. With the rubber band still in place, make two knots in the fabric lengths, tying opposite sections together. Pull the knot tight.

9. Finish. Turn the skull cap inside out to finish.

Instead of finishing the edge, you can leave it raw. Many stretch pants are made of a material that will not fray or run. It is a good idea to just hand-sew the edges of the cut seam, or tie a knot in the existing threads of the seam so that it doesn’t open up.