How to monogram a straw hat

By on April 26th, 2022
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Guess what next weekend is?  It’s Mother’s Day! EEEEEEEK.  And, if you are anything like my – you have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what to the special mothers in your life. Maybe it’s time to monogram a straw hat?

Hey – I’d be doing it myself if I hadn’t already used up the idea a few years ago. My mom and mother-in-law are both REALLY hard to buy for! They are in the mid-70s, have everything they need, and (fortunately), have the means to buy just about anything they want (within reason). So, a few years ago, I decided to make them some monogrammed straw hats for Mother’s Day.

And – they absolutely loved them.

In fact, the gifts were such hits that my sister, friends, and sister-sin-law requested monogrammed straw hats, and I ended up making several more throughout the summer. Even my husband (who usually doesn’t get too excited about my embroidery projects) requested that I make one for his secretary. 

Sound complicated? It’s actually not. Monogramming a straw hat is a cinch. Read on to learn how.

Why a monogrammed straw hat makes a great gift

Although I’ve given this gift to death, and it won’t be my Mother’s Day gift this year, a monogrammed straw hat is a pretty perfect gift, because…

Monogrammed straw hats are useful

Most moms will be outside at some point this summer, and most have enough common sense to protect their skin from the sun.

Monogrammed straw hats are one-size-fits-all

A monogrammed straw hat fits anyone. You will have no concerns about finding the right size.  Straw hats are pretty much one-size-fits-all.

Monogrammed straw hats are really inexpensive

There are several available on Amazon for under $20, for example: FURTALK Womens Beach Sun Straw Hat UV UPF50  or this cute floppy hatI’ve also found straw hats at Target, Walmart, etc…

Monogrammed straw hats are made with the recipient in mind

Duh! Who doesn’t love something made just for them?

A monogrammed straw hat is not too difficult to embroider

The brim of a straw hat is nice and flat, which is where you will do the embroidery. So, if you want to embroider on a hat, a wide-brimmed straw hat is not a bad choice.

Monogramming straw hats is unlike embroidering on a baseball cap which can be challenging to embroider since the embroidery usually goes on the front of the hat and it’s curved.

Challenges associated with monogramming a straw hat

I will admit there are a few challenges when it comes to monogramming a straw hat:

Straw hats are kind of big and bulky.

While they may be flexible – they also are comprised of quite a bit of material that you have to support while the embroidery is going on.

The straw hat will want to move while you are embroidering

If the hat moves while you are embroidering, your stitches will be wonky. So you need to keep that hat in place while you are monogramming it.

Hooping that brim of the hat would be nearly impossible. Therefore, I would suggest floating the hat brim on a piece of sticky back tear away stabilizer to hold it in place. You can also pin it if the hat material and shape will accommodate the pins.

Another way you can ensure the hat will stay in place while you stitch out the monogram is to incorporate a basting stitch. This is a temporary stitch that you can use to help keep the hat stable during the embroidery process. Many programs like SewWhat-Pro – can generate basting stitch shapes that go around the edge of where your monogram will go.

When you are finished with the basting stitches, gently pull on one thread until the entire basting stitch is removed.

You may want to use a smaller needle

In order to embroider on the straw hat – you’ll need to use a sharp needle that is made for light weight fabrics – like a size 65/9 or 70/10.

You will want to keep the stitches from getting lost in the hat texture

I would suggest (at the minimum) to use a water soluble topper over the hat brim before you start monogramming.

Some people actually use a piece of craft foam (or embroidery foam made specifically for this purpose) to keep the stitches prominent and not lost in the texture of the brim.

How to monogram a straw hat

Supplies needed

wide brimmed floppy hat – there are a lot of different styles available including ones made of cloth and some made of course straw material and everything in between.

sticky back stabilizer

disappearing ink pen

water soluble topper or a craft foam sheet 

a suitable monogram font, such as one of these.

machine embroidery thread


Set up your monogram

Choose an attractive monogram font and set up your monogram file using your embroidery software. It is much easier to stitch out a monogram if you already have the monogram sized properly and assembled into one file rather than creating the monogram on the fly using your embroidery machine.

There are a couple of ways to set up your monogram file. If the font you are using contains BX files, you can build the monogram in the free program Embrilliance Express and save it out in a format that your machine reads. Of course – you can also do this in the paid version of Embrilliance Essentials.

You can also build a monogram from the built-in fonts contained in SewWrite. Or, you can assemble a monogram from fonts of any format using SewWhat-Pro.

Whatever method you use to build your monogram, save it in an appropriate size and format and transfer it to your embroidery machine.

modified letters for monogram in Embrilliance

Hoop your stabilizer

Hooped sticky back stabilizer with sticky exposed

Cut a piece of s sticky back stabilizer that will fit inside your hoop. Then secure it tightly in your embroidery hoop with the shiny side up.

Score the stabilizer along the inside edges of the hoop to create a tear in the paper topper, allowing you to peel it away. Finally, mark the center point of the hoop on the sticky stabilizer using a  disappearing ink pen.

Locate monogram position

Mark the intended center point of the design on the hat using a disappearing ink pen. Make sure that the monogram will actually fit on the brim. Extend the lines you drew on the hat brim horizontally and vertically.

Float the hat and prepare it for embroidery

Stick the brim of the hat on the adhesive stabilizer lining up the center point on the brim with the center point on the stabilizer.

Lay a piece of water soluble topper on top OR use a craft foam sheet as an alternative to the sulky in the color of the thread. The craft foam sheet prevents the stitches from getting lost in the valleys of the straw hat and keeps the stitched letters looking solid.

Learn more about machine embroidery with foam.

Stitch out your monogram

Start stitching out your monogram. Be sure to pick a really pretty monogram font for monogram to give the hat some class and style. 

Be sure to choose a thread color that suits your recipient. You could even make a custom band for the hat in a cute fabric that coordinates with the stitching.

You are done! That wasn’t so bad – was it?

Plus – now that you have your perfect Mother’s Day gift. Unfortunately – I still don’t have a gift this year – so be sure to send some ideas my way!

Good Luck & Happy Stitching & …

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU MOTHER’S OUT THERE! I’m talking to you – the one in the sewing room in the middle of the night making magic happen with your embroidery machine!


How to monogram a straw hat

Want to remember this? Post “How to Monogram a Straw Hat Using Your Embroidery Machine” on your favorite Pinterest board! 

how to monogram a straw hat
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