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How to Make a Hat for Barbie Out of K-Cups

Did you know Mattel wanted to sell more Barbie clothing than dolls? That's why her proportions were so wild—the clothes make her look human!

Barbie looks super glamorous in a navy hat made of a discarded K-cup.

Barbie looks super glamorous in a navy hat made of a discarded K-cup.

Are you crazy about Barbie? Do you enjoy making cool things out of unusual materials? Do you like coffee? Why not combine these interests and create accessories for your favorite Barbie dolls out of empty K-cups?

“Barbie hats from K-cups,” you say? “I’ve never heard of such a such a thing!” Of course you haven't heard of them -- I invented them! Stick with me because here’s how to save those used K-cups from being trashed… and use up your paper, fabric, or craft scraps in the bargain!

Barbie loves a good chapeau, so why not make her a full wardrobe of them?

Barbie loves a good chapeau, so why not make her a full wardrobe of them?

Unlike crocheted hats, which while romantic-looking require time, patience, and skill with a needle, these Barbie K-cup hats are easy and fast, taking only a few minutes… but your dolls will be the belles of the block.

Materials Needed for K-Cup Barbie Hats

You will need:

  • Clean K-cups, and the more, the merrier! If you don’t have a Keurig or pod coffeemaker of your own, ask around… people will be happy to hand over their used K-cups. Leave a note asking people not to throw them away – in fact, I did this at my office.
  • Small, sharp scissors
  • Pretty craft supplies – ribbons, feathers, foils, beads, lace, mesh, scrapbook paper, fabric, tiny bows, glitter, wallpaper samples, flowers, crystals, faux fur… basically, whatever strikes your fancy!
  • A glue gun, white glue, or Mod Podge
  • Permanent markers, like Sharpies (optional)

How to Make Them

  1. Measure anywhere from .25 inch to .75 inch around from the flat end of the K-cup using a marker or pen. The easiest way to do this is to place your marker on a table or low book, then hold it in place while slowly turning the K-cup. You will get a perfect line with no mess.
  2. Carefully cut the rest off. Save the other part if you want to add a brim.
  3. Press the tiny round piece (where the coffee came out) back into place (it doesn’t need to be perfect, especially if you plan to cover the top of the hat).
  4. Load the hat up with pretty bits using white glue, or draw directly on it.
  5. Leave as is for a cloche-style hat, or embellish it with a brim made from the other end of the K-cup if you like. The diameter of the base of the hat is about 1 inch and 7/16ths.

For a brim, cut off the edge of the K-cup, then carefully and with a hot glue gun, fit it around the base of your hat and glue the "brim" together. Then attach to the base of the hat. I use Mod Podge for this part, because it gives you a little more time to gently maneuver the brim exactly where you want it. I think hot glue dries too quickly for this.

Decorating Your Hats

If you’re gifted with a pen or prefer to doodle rather than glue, here are some suggestions:

  • Flowers
  • Stripes
  • A contrasting bow
  • Checkerboard
  • A crosshatch design
  • Color-blocking in the style of Piet Mondrian

For those who like trims, I suggest:

  • Cutting a piece of beautiful ribbon and trimming the brim, for a picture-style hat
  • Covering it in glitter
  • Feathers could create a fluffy look
  • Rope-style trim makes a natural brim without even trying

Use your imagination… the sky’s the limit! What about a bridal headpiece, or period-style hats? Cut off a piece of the leftover cup side for a baseball-style brim, or snip the edging in an unusual pattern. The possibilities are endless.

Things to Remember

  • Barbies will larger hairdos will require a wider hat, so measure accordingly!
  • Design your hats with a wide enough brim so you don’t need to pin it into place. If you’ve left an very narrow brim for style, just pin it through the hole in the cup where the coffee came out. Pin it directly into Barbie’s soft and squishy head. (She is very resilient!)
  • Play around with proportion – use cleaned Mini Moo cups for fascinators, or cut out interesting shapes from the inserts of chocolate boxes!
  • If you want to get very fancy, consider spray-painting the K-cups before applying finishing touches.
  • Or, “paint” the K-cups with nail polish, then press an interesting pattern into them with toothpicks, mesh, paper clips, or another material. Be sure to let them dry before letting Barbie wear them! You certainly don’t want to ruin your hard work with Barbie’s errant hairs.
  • Probably the best thing about these Barbie hats is that because they are meant for a doll. they do not need to be sensible. So let your imagination run wild!
"This feathered hat matches my eyes!"

"This feathered hat matches my eyes!"

Ideas for Play With Barbie Hats

  • Set up a hat or accessory shop
  • Match a hat to a clutch purse or shoulder bag!
  • Stage a hat fashion show (Barbie’s first job was “Teenage Fashion Model”, after all!)

This is a great idea for kids, too. Just be sure to prepare the cups for them, and pre-cut the craft materials if they are too young for sharp scissors. Use this idea for a Barbie dress-up game or party activity!

"This sleek one reminds me of Catwoman. I'm buying it!"

"This sleek one reminds me of Catwoman. I'm buying it!"

How to Clean Used K-Cups

After cleaning out about thirty or so of these K-cups, I've gotten the prep work down to a science:

  • Remove the foil cover, all in one piece if possible. I poke a finger through the center hole to make it easier, then work around the edge.
  • Remove the coffee filter inside the K-cup
  • Wash with soap and water, then let dry

If you remove the foil cover and inner filter from the K-cup right after your drink has brewed, they will come off much more cleanly. I speculate that's due to the warmth of the glue after brewing.

What to Do With Leftover Coffee Grounds

Want to do something with those grounds? If you can’t bear to throw them away, take them into the shower with you and rub down your extremities with them. It will provide them with a quick scrub and the caffeine will make them tingle!

"This one will be perfect for the Mardi Gras parade!"

"This one will be perfect for the Mardi Gras parade!"

Comments

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on October 13, 2013:

Hi , sandyrj! :)

I'm so glad your brother saved his K-cups for you! That was sweet.

Re: the thumbnails, you should be able to click on them and they pop open (I tried and it does work in various browsers), but if not then you can view the slideshow instead by hovering and clicking where it says "See all 40 photos", then moving back or forth as you need.

Actually, it is there that I show how to cut the brim on a slight vertical angle, then glue together using your hat to check the width. Glue with hot glue (it totally works on this type of shiny plastic), then attach the main hat part.

If you want to make an overhang on the hat or cut a wider or floppier "brim" from paper (as it sounds like), I would go ahead and use Mod Podge to set it up as it gives you a little more time to get the placing just right, which is important for crafty people like us. :)

I really liked using wallpaper samples for the wackier hats, but you can use pretty much anything. Please let me know if you have other questions... and I'd love to see your finished products!!! :)

sandyrj on October 11, 2013:

thanks so much! I knew there had to be a way to make hats so I've had my brother save his k cups for me, but I couldn't get it straight in my head.

I couldn't get the thumbnails to enlarge, so I couldn't see details, but I loved the larger pictures.

I wish you had shown or told how you add the brim from the larger end--do you snip open, fit, and glue to match? is there a special way to get glue to stick to slick plastic? will paper stick to plastic so I can make a wider brimmed hat? any additional instructions would be a big help.

Thanks again!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on January 31, 2013:

Thanks, teaches! I like the pillbox style, but my personal favorite are the gigantic, wacky ones like people wear at the traces or special events. Thanks so much for the compliment! :-)

Dianna Mendez on January 31, 2013:

The hats remind me of the little pillbox hats Jackie O used to wear. Very sweet. You are so creative!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on January 28, 2013:

Thanks, tirelesstraveler! I just might end up making a Mardi Gras costume to go with it. ;-)

Judy Specht from California on January 28, 2013:

Especially like the Mardi Gras hat. Very creative.

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on January 28, 2013:

Lol! I was in the office one day making a cup when I thought of all the used K-cups and wondering what I could do with them... and then it hit me. Barbie hats! It's a fun little project and gets those designing juices flowing.

Thanks for commenting, BB! :)

Brainy Bunny from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on January 28, 2013:

Ahahaha!!! Clevercat, your creativity never ceases to amaze me! I LOVE this idea, and although I'm not a coffee drinker, I may have to make friends with someone who is, so I can try this myself. I have a vision of a red hat with a bedazzled partial veil. And maybe a flower, too — why not?

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on January 27, 2013:

I really hope so. Thanks lightsmotifs for stopping by! :)

lightmotifs from Orange County, CA on January 27, 2013:

So fun! Moms & daughters will have a blast doing this on a snow day.

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