DIY Custom Embroidery on Hats

Recently we had our annual family trip to Panama City Beach for Spring Break. We typically spend a lot of time here because it's a quick 5 hour drive from our home. It's become our vacation location. To kick start our trip I wanted to make some fun hats we could wear during our time in the sun. I found some blank hats online from Buck Wholesale that had the style and quality I look for in a hat.  For the embroidery design I used a couple built-in designs from my Brother PE800 Embroidery machine. I loved the palm trees design and it was a good size for a hat. The gecko hats were designed by my sons who love to catch lizards and call themselves the Gaming Geckos. Embroidery on  hats can be a simple way to customize them for special events like bachelor/bachelorette parties, family reunions, teams, and businesses just to name a few... Below I will share with you how to embroidery on a hat with a Embroidery Machine. 

-Buck Wholesale hats: I used these here here & here
-Brother PE800
-Embroidery Thread
-Adhesive Tear Away Stabilizer
-Embroidery Hoop (5 x7)

DIY Instructions: Video here

Hoop PaceSetter Medium Tear-Away Stabilizer so the adhesive side will be up once you remove the top layer. 

Remove the top layer to expose the adhesive. Tear completely away.

Use the hoop template and mark the center dots.

Draw a line down the center to match the dots with a pen or marking tool. This is to keep everything even because no one wants a crooked design. 

Picking out the hat and design: It's ideal to have a hat that is somewhat soft and pliable with higher front panels, this one here was the best for embroidery of the 3 I used. 

For the embroidery design you will want one that is small enough to fit in the center of the front panels of the hat. It's a good idea to print your design out to get the proper measurements/placement before embroidery. Because I’m using a built-in design I created a sample template on some fabric to see how it would look on my hats.  Try the hat on with the template and mark the center of the design and sides. From here you can see if you need to alter the size and where to exactly embroider on the hat. As you can see later on I changed the lettering (from my sample) to be curved above the sunset design. This will also be necessary for when you pin the hat onto the hoop. I typically start the design ¾” above the brim, which is pretty standard.

Flip the flap that runs along the bill of the hat towards the bill (or visor). You can use painters tape and or pins to secure. You will also need to flatten the bill to get the hat to stay down on the hoop.

Place the cap onto the adhesive stabilizer matching the center lines. My hat had a seam right down the center which made it easy to keep everything centered. Adjust the hat to be even and flat by pressing with your fingers rather than pulling/stretching. Pin and or baste stitch into place on the outsides making sure the pins are not near the design outline and the inside flap is towards the brim.

Place your hooped hat onto the Embroidery System/Machine. Adjust your design on the machine making sure the design is centered and won't hit the pins.  The PE800 touch screen makes it easy to adjust the size, placement, and rotate the design. From here I can make sure the design will be exactly where I want on the hat.  

Begin machine embroidery. 

Remove from the hoop and remove the Tear-Away stabilizer from the backing. Cut any jump stitches. 

Now go make one for everyone you know. 

***In collaboration with BuckWholesale.com


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  4. Wow; these are really cool & lovely caps; especially the "Gaming Gecko", really loved it and it was good to learn about the overall process that how they are stitched so neatly. Keep sharing and posting.
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