Quinn works seasonally at Murdoch's in Bozeman. Seen here, she is rocking her DIY painted cowboy hat.
When I saw my first DIY painted cowboy hat, I knew I had to give this a try. Quinn, a clothing department associate at Murdoch’s in Bozeman and summertime wrangler, deserves all of the credit. She painted a cowboy hat with blue chevron on the underside of the brim, and it looked really sharp! She wears it so well, too.
DIY: Customize a Painted Cowboy Hat
- Gather Supplies:
- A straw hat
- A bowl
- Acrylic paints
- A variety of brushes
- Paper plates or an egg carton
- Stencils (if you aren’t exactly an artist)
- Something to cover the table if you think it might get messy, like newspaper or a drop cloth
- Put your hat upside down in the bowl. It will help you move and stabilize your hat while you’re painting it and letting it dry.
- Squirt a generous blob of paint onto a paper plate for your first coat.
- Using a 1-inch brush, apply your base coat to the underside of the brim, being careful to fill in the little crevices.
- Hold your hat in the middle to avoid getting paint on your fingers. Along the edges, be careful not to accidentally get paint on the other side of the brim. Or, do like Quinn, and paint the brim’s trim piece on top and bottom. You can see in the photo she has a small blue lining on the top side of her brim.
- Let this coat dry. The paints I purchased said to let dry for an hour, but mine dried outside in the sunshine in less than 20 minutes. Touch up any thin areas, or if your paint is watery, apply a second coat.
- Start adding details. I chose a polka dot pattern and applied it using a stencil foam brush and stencil.
- On the front of the brim, I had to be sure my stencil curved to fit the shape of the hat.
- I chose random areas of the stencil to fill in any gaps in the pattern.
- Let the pattern dry.
- Add another layer of details. I chose to try free-handing some flowers.
- Let it dry, and head to a country music concert or rodeo!
Total time: appx 2 hours, including drying time. This would be such a fun idea for kids to try this summer, or as birthday party activity. You could jazz it up for little girls with glitter or blingy rhinestones.
Other design ideas to try:
- Red, white & blue stars and stripes
- Paw prints or dinosaur tracks
- Tribal print
- Bandanna pattern
- Follow the straw weave and paint rainbow colors
- Blue sky and clouds
- Find a shirt, boots or scarf that you like and mimic the pattern
- A favorite sports team or school mascot for tailgating
Share your ideas and pictures with Murdoch’s on facebook! We’d love to see what you come up with.