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With springtime around the corner, it’s a good time as any to get in some early spring cleaning! A great place to start would be to sort through the old hats you’ve got sitting in your wardrobe. But wait—before you toss any out, keep your hat on! We’ve put on our thinking caps, scoured the internet, and made a list of seven ways to upcycle and repurpose your existing hats on the cheap.
1. Mattress Catch-All
One of the easiest and cheapest ways (hint: it’s free) to repurpose an old baseball cap is to flatten the bill a tad and stick it upside-down between your mattress and box spring.
The hat’s dome creates a handy little catch-all space for your glasses, phone, dream journal, and pen, and it hardly takes up any space.
2. Scrap and Thread Holder
Sewing and crafting enthusiasts, this one’s for you! Here’s a low-to-no-effort way to upcycle a baseball cap.
Flatten the cap’s bill, turn it upside down, and stick it underneath your sewing machine or serger so the crown sticks out, and boom—you’ve got yourself a holder for catching your sewing scraps and thread!
3. Hard Hat Flower Trees
Yes, you read that right – hard hat flower trees.
Hard hats don’t last forever, but they take up a lot of space and are made from such durable material that it’s hard to just throw them away. If someone you know has a green thumb and you’ve got some old hard hats to spare, this is the perfect gift.
Start by spray painting the hard hats so that they’re a uniform color – or keep them the way they are if you like the mismatched colors and hard-earned sticker decorations. Then create a post by securing a 4 or 5-foot pressure-treated 4×4 to a base.
Another option is simply to plant the 4×4 a foot into the ground, so it’s sturdy. Next, paint the post and drill a few small holes in the bottom of each hard hat for drainage. Finally, screw a hard hat to each side of the post, and fill the crown with potting soil and your choice of plants.
4. Hard Hat Birdhouses
Along that same vein, you can use old hard hats to create a birdhouse for your favorite bird watcher.
Use a 2-inch hole saw to cut out a hole right at the peak of the hard hat and use a piece of sandpaper to make sure there aren’t any jagged edges.
Next, secure the hard hat to a 12”x12” piece of wood by screwing through the hard hat’s brim in even spaces.
Use spray paint to make the birdhouse a uniform color, and then screw it to a tree for a functional and aesthetically pleasing way to reuse an old hard hat.
5. Make a Quilt
This gift idea is a little more expensive and labor-intensive, but it’s a great way to preserve your favorite custom baseball caps.
To make the front of the quilt, cut out the front logo portion of your favorite old ball caps, and secure them to a 6”x 6” or 8”x 8” square of fabric using a zigzag stitch around the edge of your cap patch.
Once you’ve stitched the cap pieces to your squares, sew your squares of fabric together into a quilt, and layer batting between the front and the back. Stitch the layers together, and bind the whole thing.
You can also cut out squares from favorite old t-shirts showing off sports logos or team events.
6. Make Your Own Headwear
If you’re looking to customize a hat or make your own headwear, there are many ways to go about that.
The chances are pretty good that you have an old dad hat or bucket hat lying around, and with a little bit of creativity, you can customize a hat into something special for a kid in your life.
Say you have a red bucket hat. Sew some black felt rectangles to the brim, glue on a couple of big googly eyes at the front, and use fabric paint to draw on some black spots, and suddenly you have a ladybug hat!
If you have a green ball cap, you could easily make a frog hat by adding some googly eyes, light green paint for spots, and a red fabric tongue. The possibilities are endless!
7. Make Your Own Light Fixture
This one is really cool and fairly inexpensive. In fact, if you already have the bowler or top hat, it’ll set you back as little as five bucks!
Everyone knows that felt top hats are the classiest of hats, but it’s kind of hard to find the right occasion to wear them.
If you have one of these hats collecting dust in your home and are ready to breathe new life into it, cut a small hole in the top, and thread a light kit through to make a hanging pendant light. This is a great way to admire your favorite top hat or bowler all the time instead of hiding it away in your closet.
There you have it! Seven great ways to repurpose your old hats into gifts or conversation starters without breaking the bank.