How to easily make a glowing EL wire (cowboy) hat
This entry was posted on July 6, 2013.
|Making an EL Wire Cowboy Hat Guide
Check out our EL Wire Starter Kits to get glowing on your own creation.
This is a guide to making your very own glowing EL wire cowboy hat. Being that we are from Calgary the cowboy hat is everywhere here, but you can definitely use other types of hats for this if you aren't in to the whole cowboy look. (small sidebar, not everyone from Calgary wears cowboy hats. I'm not the biggest fan but it can be fun to go cowboy a few times a year!).
Notes on Materials:
The cowboy hat we used had holes all around the brim and the main part of the hat with leather strips running through them. This hat is recommended as it allows you to weave the EL wire in and out of the hat saving you from having to bust out the needle and thread to sew. Any other type of knit hat or hat with holes in it can work with this guide. The sound react kit is recommended as it looks amazing, especially if the hat is being worn anywhere there is music. The 2nd EL wire kit is for the super version of this hat, which we will show below.
Notes on Design:
We chose a simple design for the sake of demonstration but your imagination is the only limit with this project. First thing you will need to do when thinking of a design is measure it out to ensure you will have enough wire. Going back and forth / over and under with the EL wire uses it up faster than you might imagine. Our example below goes around the brim of the hat and the extra wire is used in the top of the hat for some extra height.
How To Make:
1) Start at the back of the hat and figure out where you are going to keep the 'driver'. Best spot in a cowboy hat is at the top of the 'bucket' as there is usually extra space up there. I recommend attaching the driver first so when you are finished you don't find out that the wire doesn't reach. Try to leave around 6" of wire at the beginning to reach the driver.
3) Repeat the steps all the way around the hat, ensuring you keep the wire tight so that it doesn't stand up or look crooked. Be careful not to pull on it too hard or bend it when you are weaving it. All corners on the wire need to be round, no 90 degree bends or the wire WILL break. The wire is prone to looping/bending when you are pulling it through the hole so be careful! Once you get to the back depending on the amount of holes in the hat you may have to double up a hole.
4)You should have at least a foot or more of EL wire left at this point and it allows you to get creative. you could hide it away but thats no fun, best idea is to use it on the top of the hat. In our example we made a ring around the middle of the hat to give the hat a more detailed look. The process was the exact same but you can leave more space between going in and out of the hat for a more continuous line of EL wire. At the end tuck away the end back into the hat to keep it from hanging out.
5) Now we have to attach the driver to the hat (if you haven't already). Easiest way to do it is to zip tie or just tie it to the top of the hat as cowboy hats almost always have extra room at the top. Try to keep easy access to the battery compartment. More creative folks could sew or glue in a small holder for the driver.
Here is a video of the EL Wire Cowboy Hat pulsing to music.
Video of the deluxe EL Wire Cowboy Hat
Thanks for checking this guide out, plenty more to come!