How to Make a Nurse's Hat

DIY nurse hat

The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $20

This DIY nurse's hat is a relatively quick, intermediate sewing project for costume-makers. The hat is perfect for children who love to play dress-up or for a Halloween costume. You can even shrink the measurements to sew a tiny nurse's hat that fits a doll. Nurse's hats are typically starched, but this one uses interfacing to keep the front edge standing up. Follow these simple steps to make your own nurse's hat.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric glue


  • 1/3 yard white fabric
  • 2/3 yard heavyweight iron-on fusible interfacing
  • White thread
  • Red felt
  • Thin elastic (optional)


  1. Prepare the Basic Pieces

    Cut the fusible interfacing into two 12-by-20-inch pieces. Iron them to the back of the white fabric. 

    Next, cut two rectangles of the white fabric measuring 11 by 19 inches each. Cut a 5-by-7-inch rectangle out of the two lower corners of each piece. The 7-inch side should be along the long edge of the rectangle. (If you are making this hat for an 18-inch doll, cut 5-by-8.5-inch rectangles. And then cut 2.25-by-3-inch rectangles from the corners.)

    Sew around all of the edges with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving a 3-inch opening on the bottom of the "T" shape. Then, clip the corners.

    DIY nurse's hat piece

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  2. Top Stitch and Press the Nurse's Hat

    Turn the hat right side out, and roll the seams between your fingers to open them. Iron the hat, including the opening, making sure the seam allowance is pressed in evenly.

    Top stitch around the edges with a 1/8-inch allowance.

    Then, fold the "T" edge up, so the horizontal edges are 1 inch below the long edge. Press with an iron.

    ironing the front fold

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  3. Sew the Back of the Nurse's Hat

    Fold a small pleat in the "T" shape, and sew it with a horizontal line. 

    Bring the inside corners of the long edges to the back of the hat. Pin them in place at a slight angle near the bottom and the pleat. Sew the corners with small vertical lines.

    attaching the sides of the hat

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  4. Add a Red Cross to Finish the Nurse's Hat

    Cut a 2-inch square of red felt, and cut a 1/2-inch square out of each corner to make a cross. Attach the cross to the front of the hat with fabric glue. (If you are making a doll hat, start with a 1-inch square, and cut out 1/4-inch squares from the corners.)


    Traditionally, hairpins would hold a hat like this in place. If you're making this for a child's costume or a doll, or if you just want to skip the hassle of hairpins, add a thin elastic chin strap. Put the hat in place, and measure the elastic based on the head size of who will be wearing it, cutting it a little shorter so it can stretch when worn. Sew the ends to the sides of the hat.

    felt red cross on nurse's hat

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson