How to make a Kids Derby Hat

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Each year, the kindergarten classes at many Kentucky schools celebrate the Kentucky Derby by running a stick horse race and letting the kids decorate their own Derby Hat. This is a chance for the students to be creative and show off their own personal style with a long standing Kentucky tradition. I searched all over the internet for how to make a kids derby hat and came up with very few tutorials and ideas. Here’s what my son decided to do for his Kindergarten Derby Hat.

How to Make a Kids Derby Hat

how to make a kids derby hat

I needed to find a hat idea that would let him use the horse theme but not require flowers or ‘fluff’. We ended up choosing to use a ball cap that he could wear all year with some horses racing around the top of the hat. It was important that we not destroy his new hat. Hot glue or tape could potentially leave marks on his hat. That’s when I thought of floral wire.

Materials used for Derby Hat
Materials used for Derby Hat

I found some foam horse shapes at Walmart to use for decorations. Since we really only needed the foam horses, we will be able to save the rest of the foam shapes for future crafts.

The great part of using a ball cap is that there are already holes in the top. This was perfect for threading the floral wire and forming a frame on top of the hat. It is lightweight and will easily hold the horses in place. The wire is plenty long enough to loop it from the bottom so there is no sticky pieces in the hat area.

Here is the frame on top of the hat and the inside where I threaded the wire through.
Here is the frame on top of the hat and the inside where I threaded the wire through.

It was an easy matter to pop a hole in the stick horses and just tie them on with a little piece of thread (or fishing line).

Kindergarten derby hat
Attaching the horses to the frame

My son really wanted the horses to look like they were running on a dirt track, so we just added a strip of a paper sack around the frame.

Kindergarten derby hat
The finished product!

What do you think? He has his Kindergarten Derby Hat and then will be able to enjoy his LEGO Ninjago hat for a long time.

How would you have created a Derby Hat for kids?

I asked this question on the Hobbies on a Budget facebook page and got some other great ideas.

  • Amy suggested using a firehat or construction hat and painting it to look like a jockey hat.  Then adding goggles to get the look of a jockey!
  • Dorthy suggested making a  circular hat brim out of cardboard or poster board and make a race track around it – you might find horses, etc to put on it at Dollar Tree.
  • Michelle thought a little more outside the traditional box and thought about making a volcano with dinosaurs and trees along the pathway to the top
  • Aimee’s idea was to find a  straw hat.. hot glue plastic horses and play money around the hat. Maybe he will allow one rose for the winning horse??

Are you making a Derby hat for  your kids?  I’d love to see your creations!  Enjoy the run for the Roses this weekend!

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