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Ways to Decorate a Cowboy Hat for Teens

By Kim Blakesley ; Updated June 13, 2017

Distinguish yourself by decorating your cowboy hat with items and colors that express your personality. Every cowboy hat has the possibility of changing out or removing the hatband. Teen themes include possible addition of paint, changing the hat shape or attaching numerous items such as charms, feathers, beads or conchos.


Paint a straw cowboy hat to express your personality. Select colors specific to your favorite sports team, school colors or even your favorite colors to paint your cowboy hat. Patterns vary as much as your personality. Stripes, emblems, objects and designs are all appropriate. Use an acrylic-based paint, artist paintbrushes or spray paint to complete this project. When painting, use thin layers of paint to avoid drips. Tape off areas with painters tape to create sharp design lines.


Shape a straw cowboy hat, using hot water. Remove the hatband. Soak your straw cowboy hat in hot water for 15 minutes. Remove the hat from the water. Roll the brim and crease the top of the hat to form a more defined indentation. Place the hat in a safe location to dry. The cowboy hat will take up to 24 hours to dry, depending on the humidity and temperature of the room. Alternatively, shape a felt hat with steam. Hold the opening of the hat over the steam until the felt becomes soft. Roll the brim int the desired shape or crease the top, using your hands. Repeat the process until the desired shape is achieved. Spray with a fabric stiffener. Set the hat aside until it is completely dry.


Add embellishments to your cowboy hat with items such as beads, buttons, feathers, conchos, charms or bows. Create a design from the items on a flat work surface. Ensure the design will fit on your cowboy hat in the desired location. Sew or use hot glue to attach one item at a time to the surface of your cowboy hat. Sample themes for teens include country western, unusual designs, school mascots or symbols for favorite pastime activities. Shapes include hearts, stripes, flowers, waves and zigzags.

Hatband Tails

The majority of cowboy hats on the market have a hatband that encircles the main body of the hat. Change out the handband with items such as scarfs, strings of beads, braids or chains to express your personality. Another way to add a tail to your cowboy hat is by attaching items to the hatband. For example, use long strands of beads, feathers or ribbons to give your cowboy hat a distinctive look.

Brim Adornments

Embellish the outer brim of the hat with metallic string, strings of beads or chain. Ensure your chosen item is long enough to go around the entire brim. Use hot glue or sew your embellishment to the top and bottom of the outside brim. Another alternative is to paint the outer brim with acrylic paint or spray paint. Mask off the area to get a crisp line. Tape plastic or paper over the rest of the hat to avoid overspray when spray painting.

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