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Adding Straps to Sun Hats {velcro or snaps}

 We’re headed to the lake (with nice sandy beaches…ahhh) tomorrow.  So I have been on the hunt for some Sun Hats for the kiddos that have chin straps, for two reasons.  1st, so that my rascally 1 year old baby girl won’t pull hers off.  And 2nd, so that the wind won’t blow their hats off the entire time we’re there.  However, finding hats with straps has been impossible on anything bigger than little baby sizes.  Oh, and it doesn’t help that 2 of my children have huge heads.  I did finally find a bucket hat (with an adjustable neck strap) for my little guy in the men’s department.  It’s a bit big……but there’s no way on this green earth that I could ever squeeze his large noggin into a toddler sized hat.  No way.  The man’s hat is a little big on him but it’s like a floppy bucket hat so you can’t really tell it’s too big.  However, I couldn’t find anything with straps for the girls.  Finally, I realized that not having straps was a crazy thing to fret over.  Why not just add my own?  Okay, done.


I assume many have already come up with this as a solution for strapless hats.  But maybe there are others of you who aren’t thinking clearly like was, and just haven’t processed the thought that you could quickly remedy this problem. 


Just slap some straps on there……and no more flyaway hats (or removable by 1 year old’s).




And whatever method works best for you, use it.  Velcro is perfect for my older girl so she can do it by herself and the snaps are better for the baby so she can’t undo the strap.  Problems solved.  (And remember, snaps are not scary.  Check out my tutorial here…..and you’ll see!)






Originally, I was going to sew fabric into tubes and make the straps that way.  But then I walked past my drawer of grosgrain ribbon and quickly changed my mind.  Such a speedy solution.




But really, if you’d rather use fabric, go for it!  Just let me tell you…….sturdy grosgrain ribbon will save you lots of time. (and turning fabric.  and clipping threads.  and ironing.)





I’m most glad for this solution to help my baby’s super fair skin.  If she knows that the hat can be removed, she’ll remove it……..and then her pale skin has no chance.  So I’m glad the straps are there to keep everything in place.



Ready for the sun?  Check.  Each of the kiddos now have their own little shade while we’re out in the sun for the next few days (plus they’ll be slathered in SPF 50).





Now it’s time to enjoy the sun.  And a few days away from the norm.  Ahhhhhhhh.




Want to add straps to your own Sun Hat?



Just so you know, I bought the pink hat at Old Navy and the floral one at Carter’s.  The smaller sizes of these hats both had straps but I bought the toddler sizes.  And the ribbon???  I don’t remember where I bought it.  I have had both colors in my ribbon stash for about 5 years.  Wow.


First of all, cut two pieces of ribbon that are long enough to have plenty of fold over at each end.  (Read through the tutorial first before cutting, so that you get an idea of how much extra you will need at each end of your ribbon.)  Then, place a pin at both sides of your hat.



From the inside of the hat, find where those pins poked through from the front side, and pin your ribbon right in place.  Make sure you are placing the “right” side of the ribbon against the inside of the hat.  Also, tuck the very end of the ribbon under about a 1/2 inch, to keep the raw ends hidden.



Then sew each end of your ribbon right to the hat, to secure it in place.  I sewed in a square shape, to be sure it was nice and strong.



Ad if you use the same color thread as your hat, your seam will be barely visible from the “right” side.


Now, for the other ends of the ribbon pieces.  Try the hat on your baby and pin under the ends to the desired length.  Be sure that the ribbons are long enough to overlap, and also allow room for growth.  Then tuck under each end of ribbon (to the “wrong” side of the ribbon), then attach velcro to each end.  Attach one piece of velcro to the “wrong” side of the ribbon and the other piece of velcro to the “right” side.



If you’d rather use snaps, remember, check out my tutorial here.  And yeah, I got a little snap happy but I can’t stand when snaps are too far apart and you need something in between.  No problems here. :) 


Also, I would highly recommend folding over the ribbon as far as you’ll be placing snaps.  Then sew that folded over ribbon in place.  That double layer of ribbon will be sturdier for your snaps as you pull on the ribbon to open and close the straps.



And that’s it. 


New straps for your sun hat.




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Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
Adding straps to sun hats {velcro or snaps}
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  2. Phyllis says:

    Any way to add straps to bathing caps? My grand daughter gets swimmers ear and the chin strap would help
    keep the strap in place..

  3. m88 says:

    Hi there, every time i used to check weblog posts here in the early hours in the break of
    day, for the reason that i like to learn more and more.

  4. Amanda says:

    I’m in Australia, so am reading this post at just the right time. Adding some straps is on my to-do list, but another trick for younger toddlers/babies is to thread a piece of thin elastic around where the hat and the brim meet. I used a piece of hat elastic attached to a safety pin and cut a slit into my son’s light-weight swimming hat, and then tied the two ends in a knot that I could adjust as he grew. No chin strap to worry about (especially while swimming), but it stays on like magic!

    Great blog to keep me inspired!

  5. devis mutuelle de poitiers says:

    Excellent de trouver quelqu’un avec des façons de voir créatives sur ce secteur. Je vous remercie une fois de plus :D

  6. Natalie says:

    Super fast and easy. Thanks!!

  7. Elke says:

    This is great!!! A little off the subject, I recently purchased that exact swimsuit/hat combo on your baby for my 18 month old. Same exact suit and same exact hat to match! I also found the matching water shoes for the hat. We both must have great taste!! :)

  8. Judy says:

    What a bright, happy tutorial! So simple! I might have to do this with DH’s hat!

    Judy @

  9. Devorah says:

    Hi I love following your blog!

    I sell hats and accessories and i thought of my sunhats for your younger one. the sun hats are about 18″ in diameter so like you mentioned it’s hard to find for your older one with straps.
    Anyway you can add any appliqué I have to the hat you want. Check it out at

    I also have a blog called

    1. Devorah says:

      Sorry I meant

  10. Jennifer says:

    Just did this! GREAT idea. My daughter is very fair skinned as well, and big-headed, so any hats I found that worked for her didn’t have any strings to keep them on her head. This was so quick and easy and the perfect solution to my problem! Thanks

  11. Sarah (Damn Good Food) says:

    Great idea! And I think the ribbon makes the hats even cuter.

    One of my kiddos has a huge noggin too so I totally understand how challenging it can be to find hats. :)

  12. Becca says:

    Love this. I did find some great hats last year at The Children’s Place for my boys. My littlest, who’s 4 wears his almost daily. It helps that it is camo. He’ll do almost anything for camo.

  13. Sarah says:

    Hey! What a great idea!!! I love all your creative refashions and tutorials! I’ve been following you for a while and have even made a ton of things you’ve showed how! :) I’ve never been brave enough to comment but I am stepping out! lol :) Thank you for all these helpful hints! You’re so funny and its such a pleasure to read your emails! I always open yours first whenever I check my email and am always disappointed when theres not a new post from you! :) lol :) I started a blog of my own and would love it if you’d check it out :)

    I also love your photography! everything is always so bright and vivid! :) I try to take pictures like that with my NIkon D50 but the lighting in my sewing room is poo poo! ;) lol! :)

    Thank you for being so encouraging to me! Even if you’ve never met me you always brighten my day when I see a new update from you :) THANK YOU!!!!
    Some day I will need probably every one of your tutorials and I’ve already referenced you many times while I’m sewing :) Anyway, sorry this is so long! lol :) Have a fabulous day! :)

  14. Sarah says:

    Love it!

    Just in case you don’t have the time or, ahem, skills to add your own straps, iPlay makes some cute summer hats for boys and girls and they have velcro-type closure straps.

    My Boo-Boo *still* pulls his off :)

    Their website is

  15. Shannon Staker says:

    I have followed your blog for a while now and LOVE it! I’m reaching out to my fellow bloggers to try and raise some awareness for and also to ask for some donations to help a fellow blogger out who is in need of our help! You can find more information here! I would appreciate anything you could do to help! Thanks, Shannon

  16. lisa says:

    Great tute! My son just discovered over the weekend that he can pull his hat off. I usually try to distract him, but I don’t think that solution will last very long. Thanks!

  17. Jennifer says:

    Great idea! My little one is super pale so it’s best to keep those adorable little sunhats on. She also has the same cute, blue, tutu swimsuit your baby has. I love it!

  18. Jennica says:

    This is perfect timing! My little girl just got 2 hats (no straps) for her birthday but she will not keep them on. No more problem now :)

    1. Anonymous says:

      I cannot sew. Will try with hot glue gun…!

  19. Hannah B says:

    I made my little guy a sun hat, but it needs straps. Why didn’t I think of ribbon like that? :) Great idea! I even have perfect ribbon to match!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I did this with my little guys winter hats they had the longer pieces to go over ears and that’s where I sewed the ribbon.

  21. Misty says:

    Haha. We are leaving for the beach on Saturday and this is seriously on my to-do list in the next two days, because I have already been realizing my little one won’t keep a hat on. Great timing lol. I was going to do the fabric tubey thing, too, but now I think I’ll take the easy way out. Yours look good.

  22. Robin @ says:

    Great idea! Aria will leave the hats on if there are straps but no straps and that hat is totally coming off. Thanks for the tutorial!

  23. Emily says:

    My little ones never kept a hat on straps or no straps. They actually seemed to take a strap as a personal challenge or something and took them off faster! I have a need to know, dire importance, question! Did you buy the littlest ones suit with the ruffles or add them? Because that is Darling!!

    1. Carissa says:

      I believe those tutu swimsuits are sold at Target in both pink and blue…

    2. Emily says:

      Thank you! Been staying away from Target lately, I see too many things I “need” ;)

    3. AL says:

      Yes, I got the same one for my baby. They are super adorable!

  24. Monica J says:

    I was actually going to do this for my own sun hat after it blew off the other day at the park. (Chasing after your hat is so embarrasing!) I might use thin elastic, though so it’s. Less obvious. Thanks for posting!

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