How to Make a Hat Stretcher

by Will Litton

A well-fitting hat is an ideal accent to any suit of clothes. But sometimes the perfect hat doesn't quite fit and needs to be stretched. Finding the right-sized hat stretcher can be difficult. Make your own hat stretcher and you can stretch your hats to exactly your size.

Items you will need

  • Slab of wood
  • Table saw
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Small galvanized pipe
  • Electric drill
Step 1

Measure the sweat band of your hat and trace it onto a slab of wood. Trace two crescent moon shapes that will press along the front and back of the hat's inside lip.

Step 2

Saw the crescent moon shapes out of the wood with a table saw. Tilt the blade slightly for better curvature.

Step 3

Sand the two crescent moon pieces of wood until smoothly rounded. Rub skin moisturizer into the wood to soften.

Step 4

Place the crescent moon shapes into the lip of your hat and measure out a length of galvanized pipe to connect them at a width that will stretch your hat to your desired hat size.

Step 5

Cut the galvanized pipe to size. Drill holes in the crescent moon wood pieces to accommodate the pipe.

Step 6

Join the wood pieces with the length of pipe and insert the hat stretcher into your hat. Lengthen the pipe as needed.


  • A softer wood, such as maple, works best.


  • If you stretch your hat too far, it might tear.

About the Author

Will Litton was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. Currently, he is a writer, editor, publisher, and comedian living in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Brown University and studies improv at the iO Theater in Wrigleyville.