How to Make Western Hat Bands

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Customize your cowboy hat with a personalized hat band.
Customize your cowboy hat with a personalized hat band. (Image: cowboy leather hat image by Anton Gvozdikov from Fotolia.com)

Western hat bands add flair and personal style to all sorts of hats, especially cowboy hats. Rawhide leather and conchos, which are silver ornaments often inlaid with designs or rhinestones, provide an accessible method for crafting your own Western hat band. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making your own Western hat bands, so feel free to get creative and add your own personal touches to the design.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 3 leather strips
  • Scissors
  • 1 or more conchos

Measure the circumference of the hat's crown with a measuring tape.

Use a cloth or soft plastic measuring tape for maxium flexibility.
Use a cloth or soft plastic measuring tape for maxium flexibility. (Image: measuring tape image by MichMac from Fotolia.com)

Cut three strips of leather to the length of the crown's circumference, plus an additional 6 to 8 inches.

Align the three leather strips in a row and braid them together. Pull the leftmost strip over the middle strip and under the rightmost strip, and then pull the middle strip over the rightmost strip. Repeat this process until the strips are completely braided together, minus 3 to 4 unbraided inches at each end.

Braid your leather just as you braid hair or craft fabrics.
Braid your leather just as you braid hair or craft fabrics. (Image: braided rags image by Al Mueller from Fotolia.com)

Slip a concho over the braided band, placing it above one of the unbraided ends. Slip additional conchos evenly on the band to your taste.

Secure the braided band around the crown of the hat by tying it off so the unbraided ends rest at the rear of the crown. Trim the ends to your taste if necessary.

Secure the braided band around the crown of the hat by tying it off so the unbraided ends rest at the rear of the crown. Trim the ends to your taste if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try accenting your hat band with other Western-style elements such as beads, rhinestones, feathers or even snake rattlers.
  • You can also braid a band from a wide strip of rawhide, cutting two evenly-spaced lines to make three strips, keeping the band attached at the top.

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