Monday, December 7, 2009

How to make a Santa hat : Your furry friend edition

Here is a confession: I have no Christmas decorations in my house. (Another confession: That's sort of a lie. Last night, I hung our Christmas stockings from the top of the TV.) Christmas decorations are problematic around here, because
  1. We already spent all our Christmas money on gifts.
  2. We both have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas anyway.
  3. Abe is a Christmas-hater. He says "Bah, humbug," and sprints past the storefronts where they're selling wreaths, because he knows I want one.
I make do with other round things.

So instead of decorating the apartment, I made decorations for the cats. The tiny Santa hats I came up with are so cute that I'm convinced it was tiny kittens in Santa hats that melted Scrooge's heart, and not visits from ghosts. (Am I right? Ghosts are not even real.)

Here's what you need to melt the heart of your own Scrooge with Santa hats for your pets:
  • paper
  • red felt
  • white feather boa (and white pom poms, if you prefer those for the top)
  • needle and thread (red and white)
  • scissors
  • elastic (I used hair elastics cut in the middle, which was cheap and awesome, since I have a stash of elastics without hair to put in them)
(Also recommended: Trader Joe's Gingerbread Coffee, which is superior to flavored coffee in every way because it's made with real pieces of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.)

Start by cutting a circle out of your paper. This is to create a pattern for the cone of the hat. I recommend tracing something round, or using a protractor to get a circle that's even all around. Make a cut from the edge to the center of the circle, and fold it around until the cone shape is the width and height that you want. Mark a line where that is, and cut a pie-piece out of the circle that's 1/2 to 1/4 inch larger than the cone you want. Now you're ready to cut your felt, using the pattern you created from paper.

At this point, you'll want to stay-stitch, which means grab your red thread and needle, and stitch all around the circumfrance (by which I mean just the rounded side), about 1/4 inch from the edge. This going to help your felt keep its shape as you work. Don't worry if it's crooked - it'll be covered by the trim.

Next, you form your cone. You'll want to pin a couple places to make sure you don't end up with a big hole in the top of your hat, and then stitch from the bottom up to the tip. At this point, your hat should look like this one. (Kina kept tabs on my progress, because she fell in love with the feather boa and couldn't wait for me to get to that part.)
You're ready to attach your strap. (I used dark elastic because that matches my cats best, and it's brilliant - you can't even tell it's strapped on. so I recommend choosing a color that will blend with your pet.) If you want the seam to be in the back of the hat, fold your cone in half, with the seam in the center. Tuck your elastic into one side like so:And stitch the elastic to the felt on both sides. All that's left are the trimmings! Cut a short piece from your feather boa (an inch or a little more) to top the hat with, and measure around the bottom circumference to cut the piece for the bottom trim. (I used fabric glue on the cut ends to try to manage the deluge of feathers coming off the boa, and that seemed to do the trick.) Use your white thread to stitch your feather trim to the hat. Kina got a fitting before I added the final trim.
And ta da! Franc can't wait to (m)eat the reindeer.


  1. LOL! Those Santa Hats are hilariously adorable on your kitties! I will have to enjoy them on your cats, though because A.) I don't sew, and B.) My cats would absolutely freak if we even approached them with a Santa hat. As you know, our cats are weird. And not at all festive. :-)

  2. Speechless with Christmas wonder, I'm sure.

  3. They are awesome and totally incredible but in a deranged out of control way. I especially love the step-by-step instructions.

  4. Thanks. If you used a bigger piece of felt, you could even make one for YOU, Ben. That's right, I said it. Santa in Haiti, distributing lumps of coal to corrupt government officials country-wide.

  5. I wish I had a tiny kitten to put under a tiny santa hat! Too cute, as usual Karen!

  6. I love your instructions! And I love how you made a fluffy one for the fluffy cat and a sleeker version for the sleek one. They both look so content and happy!!!

    I'm trying to see if I can make one that lets the cat ears poke out of the hat, since I saw a couple of those on petfinder

  7. I absolutely love this!.. Although I'm not so sure my cats do. LOL. but I had to try it, and sure enough, they look adorable! I even made one for my sisters cat, as hes coming to my house for Christmas... hes in for a real surprise. :)

  8. I love this, SO CUTE! I am making an even smaller one for my 10 week old birman kitten! I hope he likes it :D