Straw Hat Crafts: Adding Bead And Bell Fringe For A Musical Hat

How to make a musical straw hat by adding bead and bell trim to it. Do it right the first time with this guide.

Want a fun way to spruce up a plain straw hat? How about adding bead and bell fringe. You won't only be adding decoration to your hat you'll be making it musical too.

First you need a straw hat. Any size, shape or style will do. Most will have some sort of brim, which is where the bead and bell fringe will be attached. You will also need some trim with beads and bells. This can be found at most craft stores, which will have many to choose from. Before shopping for your trim be sure to take a measurement of the brim of the hat. Measure exactly where you plan to attach the trim. Then buy the amount of the measurement at the store. Some trim is sold by the cut (also known as "by the yard" but you can usually buy just what you need) so buy your measurement plus an inch or two (just in case). Other trim is sold by the package so just be sure to buy a package that has more than your measurement.

Now that you've got your basics you can start attaching the bead and bell trim. The most common way is to use glue. You can use hot glue, tacky glue, white craft glue, or super glue (all can be found at either a craft store or a general department store). The easiest and sturdiest to use is tacky glue. Just glue the trim to the hat and let dry. The bells will ring the most if you attach the bead and bell trim along the brim of the hat. Let them dangle down so every time you move so will the bells.

More difficult but most long lasting is to sew the trim to the hat. You will need thread, scissors, and a sturdy needle. Depending on the weave of the hat, you may be able to sew in between the straw or you may have to push through it. If you have to push through it a thumb nimble will be a lifesaver to your finger. Sewing is also the best technique to use if you would like to just attach bells to your hat. If you glue the bells themselves directly to the hat the jingle will be stifled. Sewing them on will allow the bells to move freely so you will have the optimum sound.

You can make your own bead and bell fringe if you can't find anything you like at the store. First buy some beads and bells you do like. Take them home and get ready to sew them onto your hat by finding thread, scissors, and a needle. Then with a threaded needle poke through the brim of the hat. Then string beads and bells on to the thread. When you reach the end of this individual dangle, run the needle back up through the second to last bead and continue doing so until you reach the top of the strand. This means you will have one bead or bell at the end with the thread back through the rest of them. It's that bead at the end that keeps it from falling apart. Once you have done this tie a double knot and move on to your next dangle. Continue this process until you have completed your bead and bell fringe hat.

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