How To Make a Bonnet

Creating a bonnet for a play costume or a history lesson can be a fun way to bring the past back to life. This simple hair covering was worn to cover the hair and ears and provide some shade to the wearer's face without flying away. To make this historical hair covering, follow these steps.

Step 1

Materials required.

  • Pattern
  • Fabric
  • Piece heavy muslin
  • Needle and thread
  • Ribbon tie
  • Scissors 
  • Materials
  • Pattern
  • Fabric
  • Piece of heavy muslin
  • Needle and thread
  • Ribbon tie
  • Scissors

Step 2

Start with the pattern. You can purchase a pattern at your local craft store or create your own with a brown paper bag and pencil. If you are creating your own you will need to search the internet craft sites for the bonnet style that best suits your needs.

Step 3

Select the fabric. Your bonnet will look best if you choose a fabric that is washable and somewhat wrinkle resistant. Traditionally bonnets were made using fabrics with small floral patterns.

Step 4

Use the pattern to cut out fabric pieces. Remember to leave about ¼ inch around the pattern for sewing the seams.

Step 5

Assemble the brim. Start with the heavy muslin piece for the brim. The thick and sturdy nature of this fabric helps the bonnet keep its shape to shade the face. Once the muslin is shaped then cover with the outer fabric and sew the pieces together.

Step 6

Add the back and sides. Sew the pieces together inside out so that the seams will be on the inside once the bonnet is finished. This is a good time to check for fit before the bonnet is finished. If a child will be wearing the bonnet you may need to adjust a little and trim the sides or back piece down before attaching the drawstring tie. The sides and back of the bonnet tend to be floppier in look so they won't need the thick muslin under layer unless you are looking for added warmth and a defined shape.

Step 7

Add ribbon for the drawstring tie. Fold over the bottom ½ inch of the bonnet and sew a seam so there is a gap for the ribbon. Thread the ribbon through the tube created.

Step 8

Slip on the bonnet and head out to show it off. Your bonnet is ready to wear. Put it one and shape the back and you're all set for that costume party or a history show-and-tell!! 

The sunbonnet is a traditional head covering that protected women's hair and ears from the sun and wind. Consider creating your own bonnet whenever you have the need for a historical costume.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: