Pointless Straw Hat to Semi-Useful Straw Basket

Because one can never have enough little baskets, am I right? Don’t answer that.

Part of the fun of challenging myself to write every day is that I get to turn many time-killers into blog posts, thereby procrastinating and meeting my goals all at the same time.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to transform a silly hat into a slightly less silly basket, saving yourself buckets of money in the process.  


  • Tall ladder (optional)
  • Pointless straw hat
  • Scissors
  • Stitch ripper
  • Smartphone camera to document
  • Binder clips
  • Some sort of glue
  • Needle and thread


Three years plus approximately 10 minutes.


Before: pointless straw hat


First you must store a useless straw hat on a high shelf for approximately three years. This period is called “curing.” While cleaning, moving or packing, discover hat (you may want to employ the tall ladder for this part). Remark upon pointlessness of hat due to its open-weave brim that always seemed to aim sunlight directly into your eyes. Further remark that you should really throw it out. Instead, toss it somewhere at eye level while you mull over ways you might repurpose it without alienating your spouse, life partner, or roommate.

Photograph hat for potential before-and-after value.

Let cure one more week. 

Step-by-Step Instructions:


Semi-interesting trim

With stitch ripper, remove semi-interesting trim and set aside.

Photograph each stage of deconstruction, because these are complicated ideas.


Deconstructing Hatty (sorry)

Cut off pointless open weave brim. Set aside for two weeks while you mull over possible uses for it, then throw it away. (Do not skip this step.)

After cutting, immediately misplace pointless brim while simultaneously forgetting to photograph it for online tutorial. Once found, keep it for two more weeks, as above. In that time, intend to photograph it and then don’t bother.


A little wobbly

At this point you should probably steam the crown in order to shape the bottom (which was the top) so it sits flat like a basket instead of round like an upside-down hat. I skipped this step.



binder clips

Use binder clips to hold down unwieldy trim

Now you should futz with the semi-interesting trim, trying to shape it around the top edge of the basket. Secure with binder clips at intervals. Expect trim to gap awkwardly: that’s okay! It’s rustic! Pick out remaining loose threads, or—don’t. Attempt to adhere trim to basket with Some Sort of Glue. After making a mess, realize it’s not going to stick. Sew it on instead. This is an especially good technique if you’re looking to kill a lot of time. [Pro tip: the thread will almost certainly snag on the rough edges of straw. This is to be cherished as part of the process.]




Clean Up:
Pick at bits of cut straw for about one week or until cleaning lady comes. [Hint: do not reveal the source of the straw scraps. The cleaning lady already thinks you’re a weirdo.]


And there you have it! I bet I paid five bucks for that hat on Trinidad, and a basket like this would have run me north of $1.50 in stores, so I’m calling it six and a half bucks in my pocket (don’t lecture me). Not bad for a rainy Sunday morning. #winning