How to make a bucket hat DIY with a clear face shield plus a free printable PDF pattern

 In this video sewing tutorial I will show you how to sew a special bucket hat with a transparent shield made from clear vinyl. I made a sewing pattern in two sizes – adult and child. The project is very easy even for beginners. 

The hat covers your nose, mouth and eyes without blocking your view and can be used indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t fog because it’s not very close to the face. The vinyl shield can be disinfected. The hat has thin straps to secure it under the chin on windy days. 

The PDF pattern is offered for free to all subscribers to my newsletter, details are further down in the article. A printable version of this article which also includes the pattern and the .svg files (usable with Cricut or Brother ScanNCut) is available for convenience in my Etsy shop.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself. 

Remember, this is not a medical device, it was not tested in prevention of viruses and bacteria and you have to always follow the guidelines given by CDC. This hat may help in protecting you but neither the hat nor the face mask will protect you 100% in all instances. Be careful and follow all necessary precautions. This is a very useful link and I recommend everyone read it carefully: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

What you’ll need 

Fabric for the hat – medium weight cotton (more about it below)

Fabric for the lining of the hat

Clear vinyl  (more about it below)

Thin elastic for straps

Regular sewing notions 

Sewing pattern – This pattern can be found in my RESOURCE LIBRARY. 

Find everything you need for the project at this link.

I have chosen organic 100% cotton jean fabric – this is medium weight fabric which doesn’t need interfacing. For the lining I used 100% cotton batiste. 

I decided not to use interfacing because I wanted the hat to be comfortable to wear even indoors (for example, when you go grocery shopping) and to be well-ventilated. Cotton jean fabric was a good choice because the hat has to keep its shape well. 

Buy organic cotton fabric here

Organic Cotton Muslin Fabric - Natural - by The Yard

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Features

  • 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Muslin, Made in India
  • Available in Natural.
  • 4.5 Ounces / Square Yard, 58 Inches Wide
  • Care Instructions: Machine Wash Cool, Tumble Dry
  • Total Size is 1 Yard x 58 Inches

Carousel Designs Watercolor Bees Fabric by The Yard - Organic 100% Cotton

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  • ONE CONTINUOUS PIECE - Every fabric order is cut after the order is placed in one continuous piece. The price is per yard of Organic 100% Cotton fabric that is approximately 58 inches wide. Repeat: 15.7" Horizontal by 12.24" Vertical
  • ORGANIC 100% COTTON, SUPER SOFT - Carousel Designs fabric 100% certified organic cotton fibers, which are printed in the USA with certified organic inks. Both the cotton and the inks are third party GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. This is a woven 200 thread count fabric that is perfect for any craft, sewing, or other home decor project.
  • MACHINE WASHABLE AND VERY DURABLE - Our fabric is guaranteed to last through multiple washes while maintaining its luxurious feel.
  • PERFECT FABRIC FOR SEWING - Moms love Carousel Designs fabrics and products. Whether you're making something for your baby girl or baby boy's nursery, or you are sewing a table cloth for a wedding, our fabrics are sure to delight!

Birch Organic Fabrics Birch Organic Charley Harper Bird Architects Wings in Royal Fabric by The Yard,

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Features

  • Fabric Type: 100% Cotton
  • Import Designation: Made in the USA or Imported
  • Fabric care instructions: Machine Wash Cold/Tumble Dry Low
  • 44'' wide. Fabric is sold by the yard and cut to order. For example, order of 1 yard (Qty=1) is 44'' x 36''. Order of 3 yards (Qty=3) is 44'' x 108''.

Carousel Designs Yellow Honeycomb Fabric by The Yard - Organic 100% Cotton

$19.70  in stock
1 new from $19.70
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Features

  • ONE CONTINUOUS PIECE - Every fabric order is cut after the order is placed in one continuous piece. The price is per yard of Organic 100% Cotton fabric that is approximately 58 inches wide. Repeat: 6.86" Horizontal by 5.99" Vertical
  • ORGANIC 100% COTTON, SUPER SOFT - Carousel Designs fabric 100% certified organic cotton fibers, which are printed in the USA with certified organic inks. Both the cotton and the inks are third party GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. This is a woven 200 thread count fabric that is perfect for any craft, sewing, or other home decor project.
  • MACHINE WASHABLE AND VERY DURABLE - Our fabric is guaranteed to last through multiple washes while maintaining its luxurious feel.
  • PERFECT FABRIC FOR SEWING - Moms love Carousel Designs fabrics and products. Whether you're making something for your baby girl or baby boy's nursery, or you are sewing a table cloth for a wedding, our fabrics are sure to delight!

Cloud9 Fabrics Organic Ed Emberley Favorites Scribbles Green Fabric by the Yard

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Features

  • Designed by Ed Emberley for Cloud9 Fabrics this GOTS certified organic cotton print fabric is perfect for quilting apparel and home decor accents. Colors include green and white
  • 100% Organic Cotton
  • Washing Instructions: Machine wash cold with like colors, gentle cycle, only non-chlorine bleach when needed, tumble dry low, remove promptly, warm iron if needed
  • Country of Origin:United States

And the lining is very thin cotton batiste – 100% cotton also. 

Prewash your fabric in hot water before sewing and iron it. Cotton fabric may shrink after laundry so you don’t want surprises.   

For this project I recommend 4 gauge or 8 gauge clear vinyl (the higher the gauge the thicker the vinyl). The vinyl is flexible but durable material, it’s waterproof, it’s sturdy without being rigid, it’s easy to sew, easy to clean. Some vinyl is even UV treated. 

For my project I used clear vinyl I had for years (I didn’t even know what gauge was it) and it didn’t have any smell. But the vinyl I just bought to make more hats has some plastic smell, not very strong, just a faint odor, but I hope it will go away quickly if I put it outside for a few days. 

But you can also use clear plastic you already have at home. I used clear vinyl from a big garment bag to make my trial hat. Some of my readers used medium weight vinyl shower curtains and some used a cover for a tablecloth: that’s the feedback “It was very easy to work with and oddly you can crunch it in the hat if you don’t want it down and take it down and the wrinkles seem to fall right out”.

Some manufacturers say that their clear vinyl can be machine washed cold and tumble dry low, others say that it can be clean by wiping down with warm water and mild soap solution. 

Buy clear vinyl here

LA Linen Clear Vinyl 54-Inch Wide by The Yard, 4 Gauge

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Features

  • 100% Vinyl
  • Our Vinyl is shipped folded or rolled with a thin layer paper to prevent it from sticking to itself during shipping
  • To get creases out, please put on a flat surface for a few hours behind a window in the sun.Do not force creases out as this could crack the vinyl.
  • Multiple yard order will be shipped in one continuous piece.
  • All orders 10 yards and OVER will shipped on a Roll. All orders UNDER 10 yards will be shipped folded

Plastex Fabrics 8 Gauge Vinyl Fabric by The Yard, Clear

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Features

  • Fabric type: 100% Vinyl Face/100% Poly Backing
  • Import Designation: Made in the USA or Imported
  • Fabric care instructions: Wipe With Damp Cloth
  • 54'' wide. Fabric is sold by the yard and cut to order. For example, order of 1 yard (Qty=1) is 54'' x 36''. Order of 3 yards (Qty=3) is 54'' x 108''.

Mybecca Super Clear All Purpose Recyclable Vinyl Gauge 8 54-Inch Wide- Extra Durable Sold Folded by Separate Yard

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Features

  • PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU ORDER MULTIPLE YARDS BY PRIME (AKA: 1 or 2 day Fast Shipping) IT WOULD BE CUT SEPARATELY BY THE YARD. Width:54''(138cm), 36 ''(45cm),
  • Thinner gauge vinyls usually contains a protective paper (interleaf).
  • 100% RECYCLABLE PVC VINYL FLEXIBLE AND EASY TO WORK WITH - Our special Interleaf-Paper backing prevents the vinyl from clinging and provides guides to help you measure, cut a straight line, sew, heat or tape with ease. Once installed our vinyl is so pure it's practically invisible.
  • USAGE: protective sheet for tables and other furniture, raw material for craft projects, plastic liner. This versatile plastic is ideal for everyday household use and a practical choice for craft projects.Ideal for everything from giving your porch or deck a makeover to creating clear tablecloth covers. EASY CARE: Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth to maintain and keep the vinyl looking brand new.
  • EXTREMELY DURABLE - Start any DIY project with confidence. Our clear vinyl will outlast rain, sleet, snow, wind, or even the messiest of children!

Read the full tutorial before proceeding. 

Step 1

This pattern can be found in my RESOURCE LIBRARY

Download the pattern pieces in the size you need – adult or child. 

Have in mind please, I am not a professional pattern designer so the pattern is hand-made: after I made the pattern on paper, I scanned it and converted to PDF files, so some printers may print it with some kind of a dotted background. But the pattern is perfectly usable to make the bucket hat with a face shield.  

1 – Crown  (cut 1 piece on fold from main fabric and 1 piece on fold from lining ) – there are 2 PDF pages you have to join. Join them with a scotch tape. 

2 – Brim (cut 2 pieces on fold from main fabric) – there are also 2 PDF pages you have to join. Join them with a scotch tape.  

3 – Top (cut 1 from main fabric and 1 from lining)

4 – Shield (cut 1 piece from clear vinyl) – read more about it below

For my hat I cut the pattern pieces with my Cricut – that’s why you see this colorful paper. I made SVG files for the pattern to cut with a Cricut and if you would like to get SVG files contact me by email and I will send you the files. 

Seam allowances are included and they are ⅜ inch (or 1 cm)

Step 2

Pin the crown edges right sides together and stitch the crown at center back. Do this for the main fabric and for the lining. 

Pin the brim edges right sides together and stitch each brim piece ( you should have 2 of them) at center back. 

Step 3

Press all the seam open. 

Edgestitch the crown along the center back seam. 

Step 4 

Pin the top to the crown matching symbols (that divide the pattern pieces in 4 equal parts). Clip the crown in 3-4 places between the symbols. 

Stitch and press seam allowances toward the crown. Cut the seam allowances of the top (circle) piece with pinking shears close to stitching. 

Do the same for the lining piece. 

Edgestitch the crown along the seam. 

Step 5

Stitch 2 brim sections together along the outer edge. Trim seam allowances close to stitches with pinking shears. Turn the brim right side out.  Baste along the seam and press. 

Make a stitch along the inner edge of the brim ( ¼ inch or 6 mm from the fabric edge). 

Step 6

Pin the brim to the crown, matching symbols. Pin straps at the side symbols. 

Stitch making sure you stitched over straps a few times and press seams allowances toward the crown. 

Step 7

Place the hat and the lining right sides together and make a stitch at the brim section. Leave a few inches for turning the hat to the right side. 

Turn the hat to the right side and close the opening by hand. If you want to know how to do an invisible stitch by hand sewing check out my tutorial Invisible stitch: how to use it for fixing a tear and sewing invisible “blind” hems

Step 8 

Now let’s start making the clear protective shield. 

Cut the pattern piece 4 from clear vinyl on a single layer. 

You can use a rotary cutter and a cutting mat but vinyl can be cut by scissors especially that it’s only one piece. In the finished item no vinyl edges can be seen. 

If you need to take wrinkles out of vinyl – use an iron on medium settings, sandwich the vinyl piece between cotton fabric pieces and press for a few seconds. 

Clip the center point of the straight edge.

Step 9

The curved edge of the vinyl shield has to be finished with a bias tape. 

You can make a bias tape yourself from the main fabric as I did. But you can also use a ready-made bias tape that coordinates with your fabric. 

The length of the bias tape is around 32 inches. I made the bias strip 2 inches wide (or 5 cm). 

I like to use my bias tape maker to make my bias tapes. For this project I used a 2.5 mm metal bias tape maker. You can read how to do it in my tutorial Bias tape tutorial – how to use a bias tape maker.

Step 10

Now we need to attach the bias tape to the vinyl piece. It’s better to fix the tape over vinyl before sewing. You can do it with sewing clips called Wonder clips. Or you can do it with glue as I did. 

I like to use this glue – the Ultimate. It dries clear and doesn’t gum my needle too much. 

After glue dries out make a stitch attaching the bias strip to the vinyl shield. 

Use a straight stitch of your sewing machine – set the stitch length to 3 mm. 

If you can’t keep equal distance while topstitching check out my tutorial How to sew straight: this tiny presser foot can create remarkable results

More info on glue here

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Features

  • This item is a Crafters Pick NOM492220 The Ultimate, 8 Ounces
  • Purpose of use for Arts, Crafts and Sewing, Craft Supplies
  • This product is manufactured in United States

Step 11

The shield is ready to be attached to the hat’s brim. 

Start attaching the vinyl piece from the center front. Mark center front on the brim with a marker. You can use Wonder clips for this but pins can be used also. The vinyl will have small holes from pins but they are not visible. Keep the seam allowances around ⅜ inch or 1 cm. 

It’s not really comfortable to pin the vinyl but I did it little by little. 

Step 12

Sew the vinyl shield. Keep the vinyl side up and the fabric side down on the needle plate. Stitch length is 3 mm. Use a straight stitch. 

If your sewing machine doesn’t want to move over vinyl – use a teflon presser foot ( I use it to sew leather all the time), or walking foot, or Rotary even foot (read about the foot in my tutorial Presser foot guide: what is a Rotary Even Foot and how to use it.

Step 13

Now it’s good to put a few rows of stitches on the brim to make it a bit harder so it keeps its shape. 

And this is the result.

How to make a removable face shield

 

To make the face shield removable you will need a separating zipper – better use one that is softer and doesn’t have big plastic or metal teeth but has nylon teeth.  The length of the zipper is 20 inches (51 cm) or more (you can cut it). 

Like these in the images below. 

More info on separating zippers here

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Features

  • Customize your project with a unique zipper.
  • Great for any crafting or apparel project
  • 14 inch Zipper

Meillia 10PCS 40CM Separating Nylon Coil Zippers Bulk #5 Jacket Zippers for Jackets Coats Sewing Crafts 10 Colors Mixed

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Features

  • TYPE – #5 separating nylon coil zippers with silver pulls
  • LENGTH – the teeth length is about 40CM, the overall length is about 45CM
  • QUANTITY – 10pcs in 10 different colors, 1pcs each color
  • MATERIAL – nylon coil teeth, metal pulls, polyester tape
  • MebuZip zippers are used for sewing, jackets, coats, bags, handbags, crafts, etc

First of all, mark the center point on the brim and mark also the side points on the brim. 

The zipper ends should go about ⅜ beyond those side marks for easy fastening/unfastening. If you have a long zipper (22 inches or more), don’t cut it yet. But mark the zipper length necessary for brim. Mark also the center point on the zipper. 

Start pinning the closed zipper from the center point to the sides. We are going to sew the LEFT SIDE of the separating zipper to the brim, so pin only left part of the zipper. 

Open the zipper and remove the right part of it. 

Make a stitch attaching the left part of the zipper to the brim. 

Attach the shield to the right part of the zipper. Make sure you didn’t mix up the right and wrong sides of the zipper (for example, try to close the zipper and start attaching the vinyl shield). Unfasten the zipper again and continue attaching the shield. 

Make a stitch, zipper side down, vinyl side under the presser foot. If your regular presser foot doesn’t work, use a teflon foot, or walking foot.

If the vinyl will get stuck on the metal throat plate use tissue paper under the vinyl

Close the zipper with the attached shield. 

Now you have to finish properly the zipper ends. 

I had the zipper bigger than 20 inches so I cut it – now I need to sew stoppers so the zipper pull doesn’t slip off. Just make a few stitches by hand on both sides of the zipper. 

 

After that just sew the ends so that they are not visible from the right side. 

And now I can wear the hat with the face shield or without. 

Some Feedback  from my readers

LuAnn Molinaro Leahy 

“I had no problem. Great pattern. My plastic was a medium weight used to cover a tablecloth. It was very easy to work with and oddly you can crunch it in the hat if you don’t want it down and take it down and the wrinkles seem to fall right out. Love it.”

If you are interested in my other fast and easy sewing projects check out these tutorials:

Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to this tutorial later when you are ready to sew your own bucket hat with a protective shield and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration! 

Ready to take the next step in your sewing journey? Check out more step-by-step tutorials from my blog and don’t forget to share ! 

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