3 Easy Hand-Painted Hat, Cap & Bandana Ideas

by Dariacreative
10 Materials
20 Minutes

Many people think that the best clothes for custom painting are denim jackets and jeans. But with this video, I will prove to you that caps and hats are perfect for painting. I will show you how to customize a bandana, baseball cap, and bucket hat, give you more ideas for headwear customization, and share tips on how to paint on headwear.

Tools and materials:

  • Plain bandana
  • Plain box hat
  • Plain baseball cap
  • Fabric chalk
  • White fabric paint
  • Assorted color fabric paints
  • Fabric marker (optional)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scrap fabric
  • Iron
Sketching designs in chalk

1. How to custom paint a bandana

Bandanas are about the most affordable kind of headwear you can paint. Try to find the plainest bandana you can.

Fold your bandana into a triangle, and sketch out your design on one side of the bandana using chalk. 

How to custom paint a bandana

Before you start painting your bandana, put a piece of cardboard between the two layers so your paint doesn’t bleed through.

If you are painting on black or dark bandana, remember that the color will be absorbed by the black of the bandana. So always paint a white base layer before adding other colors.

If you are painting on a white bandana, you may want to do two layers of paint to get a vibrant color. You can also use fabric markers on a white bandana – they are especially useful for doing lettering.

Tip: a good design tip when sketching out your bandana design is to use a lot of repeated design elements. That helps to fill the space and give a more consistent look.

Painting on a bandana

Let the base layer dry and then go over the base layer with your color wherever you want it.

Adding paint splashes

For an extra element, add some paint splashes.

DIY bandana painting ideas

Take a look at your design and decide if you want to add any more elements. That will depend on how busy you want your bandana to be.

Sketching a design on a bucket hat

2. How to custom paint a bucket hat

Sketch your design on the front of your bucket hat and then go over it with your base layer of white paint (on a black bucket hat.)

Tip: It’s not so easy to use design transfers on hats, so you’ll probably be hand drawing your design. So, if you are a beginner with hand-painting headwear, choose more simple designs. 

Colorful bucket hat painting ideas

For my bucket hat I used lots of color!

DIY bucket hat painting

Your bucket hat brim can also be part of your painting canvas.

Sketching a design on a baseball cap

3. How to custom paint a baseball cap

I went wild with my baseball cap design! Follow the same sketching a painting process as you did with the bandana and the bucket hat. Don’t forget the brim.

Painting with a palette knife

I used red paint and a palette knife on this design to create the effect of a defeated tiger.

Adding red paint splashes

And then I added red paint splashes.

Fixing the color with heat

4. Fix the color on your custom-painted headwear

To fix the color on whatever you have painted, put a piece of fabric over the headwear once the paint has dried, and then iron it for 5 minutes.

Custom-painted baseball cap

Here is my final custom-painted baseball cap with a defeated tiger design.

Custom-painted bucket hat

 And my bucket hat with a fun design and lettering on the brim.

Custom-painted bandana

And my finished, very busy, custom-painted bandana.

Hand-painted hat, cap & bandana ideas

All of these pieces of hand-painted headwear were so easy to make, and all so affordable. I hope to try one, two, or all of these customized headwear projects, and leave a comment to let me know what kind of designs you made

Suggested materials:
  • Plain bandana
  • Plain box hat
  • Plain baseball cap
See all materials

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Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Debra Debra on Sep 30, 2022

    Nice! You are such a good artist! I like the saying on the bucket hat: Just Happy Thoughts