I have been living in straw hats lately and this Prada inspired, DIY raffia embroidered straw hat is my new favorite! It was so easy to make and such an affordable way to update this (slightly dated) summer chapeau. The tulle adorned straw hat was already in my closet and the raffia was only a few dollars – but even if you have to spring for a new straw hat, the total price for this DIY raffia embroidered straw hat is still a far cry from this ($1700+) Prada straw clutch that inspired the look.
Here’s the before – there were little shiny satin ribbon rosettes too:
- Plain straw hat (like this one or this one) – you can find them for cheap at Target, Walmart, Winner’s, etc
- Raffia ribbon (I bought mine at Michael’s, online you can find pretty much any color, like this powder blue or this bold aqua – I saw the Prada bag with pink raffia too)
- Craft glue or glue gun
- Large needle
- Rubber band or rubber gloves (don’t laugh, you’ll see why)
- Second set of hands!
How to Make a DIY Raffia Embroidered Straw Hat:
The first step is to embroider the polka dots with the raffia. Measure roughly where you’d like your polka dots arranged and figure out how many. The raffia comes off the spool fairly squashed but you can fluff it out while stitching. Simply stitch the raffia on to the crown of the hat – each of my polka dots was two stitches – and then tie each one off individually underneath. If the needle is difficult to pull through, wrap it with a grippy rubber band (the kind you find on broccoli and keep for no reason whatsoever) or a pair of rubber gloves, which will give you the grip necessary to pull through the weave. A straw hat that’s woven looser than mine will make this job easier. With the stitches secured, you can fluff out the raffia a bit more to make the polka dots more dimensional.
For the band, my Mom helped me and we cut over 150 strands of raffia, a few inches long each, and tied them to a single strand of raffia in a knot. It helps if one person holds the raffia taught while another ties on the fringe pieces. When we had enough to go around, she went back and fluffed out and adjusted each piece of raffia and then trimmed the edges.
This was simple, but a little repetitive – perfect for a rainy weekend or on the deck in the sun with a glass of wine. We used a hot glue gun to affix the raffia band in a few spots to the straw hat.
When the band was secured in place, we just tied off the ends and hid them within the others. One final dab of glue and a little trim for those last two raffia ends and my DIY raffia embellished straw hat was complete.
I had been wanting to do a DIY embroidered straw hat for so long and I just love how this turned out – it’s so pretty! I kind of want to make one in every color now. It might be inspired by Prada (so fancy), but it’s still casual enough to wear to the beach. We finally launched our sailboat this year (after a two year hiatus) and my father in law gave us a cute little 13 foot aluminum boat to use as a tender and, hilariously, we’ve been having so much fun even just using that! We missed boating so much. We’ve taken our little boat out on Lake Superior for kicks and one day we stumbled across the greatest beach just packed with almost a thousand feet of driftwood, piled high and mine for the taking. I spent hours filling our little boat and this hat is now my “driftwood beach hat”.
You will have a lot of raffia left over if you attempt this DIY sunhat, so let me plant the seeds of some of DIY knock offs you could make, like this $450 Lanvin Raffia Necklace (so cute and so make-able), this striking raffia bib necklace, or this beautiful raffia embroidered tote (thrift a plain tote and make it your own!). I’m also loving this DVF raffia fringe bag (which could really add a new spin to an old, forgotten bag you already own) and the idea of adding some raffia tassels to dress up a plan pair of slides. It won’t be difficult to use up the rest of the spool and, in a pinch, it makes for cute, beachy gift wrapping ribbon!