60-90 min
Session 1 of 0
In Progress

VAL Hatband

60-90 min


Age 8+

What Will You Learn?

We will create a hatband that can easily attach onto a head and light it up! We will measure, cut, and stitch fabric to create it, and insert an LED strip inside. It’s recommended that you consider two great options:

  1. Create this hatband as detailed, super fun

  2. Review the instructions, understand the construction, and then create your own variation!

Attaching LEDs to a hat sounds simple, but there are a lot of ways to go at it! Take a look at the VAL (Versatile, Adjustable, Lightup) Headband instructions for one method. We encourage you to examine the instructions, and then decide if you want to follow along or perhaps do a different style hat! It is helpful that our students have shared their techniques so that everyone can have a look at a multitude of ways to construct wearables!

This construction is ideally done after the designer has come up with a concept or story that they want to communicate, that way it can be customized to a specific purpose. Take a look at the MakeFashion Edu Intro Course for a multi-lesson project on discovering a purpose or theme that you want to communicate with a wearable!

Once this hatband is made you can customize the colors and patterns that the lights inside give off.

Get Inspired

Check out this crazy hat on YouTube

Check out this projector hat! What is it advocating?

Create the Hatband

Step 1

Measure the length around your hat and overlap it by about 5 inches (around 25-28”’) Cut a piece of the wired edge ribbon to that length.

Step 2

Fold the cut edges over about 1” to stop fraying on both ends. (We put fabric glue on the edges for double protection.)

Step 3

Fold the ribbon lengthwise in half and sew the length keeping the stitches close to the wired edges. (A zipper foot works well for this.) Don’t sew the ends. Make sure the tube you just created is large enough to put the lights, connectors or USB cord through easily.

Step 4

Wrap the hat band around the hat and mark the overlap. This is where the Velcro goes. Sew velcro on but only at the top edge by the wire. Make sure you are putting it where it will meet up with the other side. Fabric glue could work for the Velcro as well, but make sure you don’t glue the tube together.

Create the Bow

Step 1

Now it is time to make a bow to hold the battery pack and/or microcontroller. Cut about 16” of the ribbon and fold ends in like you did on the band.Then fold each end in toward the middle about 3”. Open back up.

Step 2

Cut another piece of the ribbon about 4” long. Place it in the center, perpendicular to the longer piece and fold the ends over. Now fold the long ends in again toward the center.

Step 3

Sew along the top and bottom edges to make two pockets.

Step 4

Cut a small piece of Velcro to attach the bow to the hatband. Sew it in the center of the bow, making sure it doesn’t block the pockets. When putting the Velcro on the hatband sew along the bottom edge, keeping the tube opening big enough to slide lights through.

Step 5

Attach the bow to the band. You can leave it flat or pinch the center together for a different look.

Step 6

Put the V.A.L. Hatband on whatever hat you want to tell your story! Use the lights to tell it to the world.

What's Next?

We would love it if this hatband is one component of your wearable story! Advocate for a cause or share your personal story with the world through fashion tech. For the full MakeFashion Edu outfit design course click here!

For a ton of ideas on what to create, have a look at the amazing outfits that have already walked the MakeFashion Edu STEAM Runways, check out the YouTube playlist.

SteamHead 501c3 June 16, 2021
WE ARE A MAKERSPACE AND A MOVEMENT. Our mission is to provide access to quality, relevant education focused on integrating design, technology, and community. Because when people have access to great spaces and resources, they make great things.