Sparkle Hat DIY

I am not an incredibly crafty person.

While yes, I can sew on a button and do some basic mending, I don't own a sewing machine and craft projects aren't really my thing. But when I saw Emma's ear bonnet upgrade tutorial, I got the courage to try to make my own hideous white fringed bonnet a lot more attractive. And if I can do it, surely you can do it too!

A couple years ago, I thought that this thing would be a good purchase to use as an "everyday" schooling bonnet and save my nice Pessoa bonnet for shows. Why I thought that white was a good idea, I can't tell you. It's also insanely difficult to find appropriately sized bonnets for large ponies, and it fit well enough and was stupid-cheap, so Mr. Fringey came home with me.

1. What was I thinking? 2. Hey I used to jump big jumps without shutting down in sheer terror!
In short order the white bonnet was stained beyond help and descended to the bottom of my tack trunk, where it was not seen for many moons.

I figured that even if I totally botched the bonnet transformation, I wouldn't miss the thing.

The first order of business was to cut off those godawful tassels. As Emma detailed in her post, this is pretty easy to do, but you do have to be sure to sufficiently sew down/tie off the spots where the tassels are crocheted directly into the body of the bonnet. I also cut off the throatlatch string and sewed the end into a small loop that could be used to secure the bonnet by threading the bridle throatlatch through it.

Next, I dyed the bonnet, because stained, dingy white is not attractive. And apparently some people think that chestnut horses in white bonnets look like bunnies. 


I chose the "Pearl Grey" RIT fabric dye, and doubled the concentration to make sure that I ended up with a more charcoal grey color instead of a lighter grey-bunny-ears shade. 

It was fun to stir a boiling pot of pony hat on my stove, and the color came out perfectly! 

Still wet from the dying process, but looking so much better already!
After the bonnet dried, I sewed down the little threads that were still sticking out from trimming off the tassels, and arranged my sparkles along the edge. I found a spool of bling "ribbon" at my local craft store, with the sparkles set on a flexible mesh backing which made for easy cutting and sewing. The narrow size of the ribbon also allowed me to bend the sparkles right around the bottom edge of the bonnet without having to do any weird cutting/folding sort of nonsense to get the curve right. 

I didn't start out by pinning the ribbon down, but quickly decided that I should do that so that everything stayed where I wanted it to. After some long minutes of sewing and one neck cramp, I had the finished product: 

Uh, wow. Can you even believe that's the same bonnet?!

And it looks FABULOUS on EuroPony!

Dis my Sparkle Hat. Is very fancy.
So, if you want your very own Sparkle Hat for your pony but don't want to spend gobs of money on a custom one, just buy yourself a $6 fringey ear bonnet from Dover, bust out your sewing kit, and have at it! I definitely plan on making more of these, and hope that I can find some nice decorative cording to add to the next one in addition to the sparkles!

Happy Hat-Making!



  1. LOL @ boiling pot of pony hat!!!

    Also I'm pretty sure those are exactly the same crystals on mesh that I used too - tho mine was just on a wider spool and therefore has to be cut to width as well as length. So excited that we match now!!

  2. NICE

    That looks like a craft project I could almost do... dunno about the dying. How hard was it?

    1. The dying kind of scared me when I was first reading the instructions, but it was really not hard. Just mix the dye, boil the water, stick in pony hat, stir around, rinse. If you are starting with a heinous light colored hat, it's definitely worth the extra step to dye it first.

  3. Yay crafting, that came out great!

  4. Wow! That is an impressive transformation

  5. I love this!!! I have some dye I've been meaning to use on a white knit sheet (white is basically the dumbest color ever to have around horses haha) so this is encouraging to me. And I always LOVE adding sparkles!

  6. That looks amazing! I love craft projects but never would have thought to dye it! Good jo!

  7. Holy shit this is gorgeous, I never thought to dye one!! < 3

  8. Love the color (and sparkles!)

  9. This is awesome! I need to buy twenty million bonnets to play with now

  10. This came out so great! If only I could even sew on a button...

  11. This is so cool! What a great idea.

  12. I am doing this thing sometime soon. Brilliant.


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