Whether you're new to learning how to crochet a hat or just looking for a super fast project, this free crochet hat pattern for beginners is astonishingly easy.
If you can crochet a rectangle, you can make this simple unisex beanie pattern!
Get the full free pattern and video tutorial below or purchase the ad-free, printable PDF here.
This easy crochet hat pattern + tutorial contains affiliate links.
A True Beginner Crochet Hat Pattern
Need a last minute gift? Just learned how to crochet? Snowstorm blowing in? Whatever your situation, this extremely easy crochet beanie pattern has you covered.
Crocheting a hat usually requires a decent amount of counting and increasing or decreasing. But not this time!
With our beginner-friendly approach, you’ll lean on the most basic crochet stitches to create a simple hat from a rectangle. This makes this pattern easy enough to attempt as your first crochet project ever.
Why you'll love crocheting this easy hat pattern!
How to Crochet a Hat in 1.5 Hours
Here's a quick overview of the process you'll use to crochet a hat:
Step 1: Measure your head circumference.
This method of hat making allows you to finish the entire project in about an hour and a half. (And when I say an hour and a half, I mean start to finish. Including the time it takes to find the remote and cue up a movie.)
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A Winter Crochet Beanie That Looks Knit
I've been really into crochet stitches that look knit lately. (If you are too, you'll love this collection of 15 free crochet patterns that knit and this how to crochet the "knit stitch" video tutorial.)
So when I set out to design this super easy beanie pattern, I decided to give it a ribbed look that resembles the vibe of a classic knit cap.
This is the crochet beanie I'd want if I were going ice fishing in Minnesota followed by dinner at my favorite ironic hipster hot dog stand. Ha.
Creating the Crochet Ribbing Stitch
How do we make crochet look like knitting? In the case of this chunky beanie, it's quite easy.
In this pattern, we're using typical double crochet stitches. Instead of inserting the hook under both loops of each stitch though, we're just working under the "back" loop only (abbreviated "blo"). This creates the nice ribbed look that mimics knitting.
How to Modify this Basic Hat Pattern
Once you understand the basic concepts of how to crochet a hat from a rectangle, you can easily modify the style of your beanie.
Here are a few pattern variations to try:
Pin it! click to pin this pattern for later ⇨
Size Chart for Crocheting Beanies
The classic style of this beginner crochet hat pattern is is perfect for men, women and kids. Choosing the correct size is quite simple. Measure your actual head circumference right above your years to know which hat size is right for you.
TIP: If you don't have a flexible measuring tape available, wrap a piece of yarn around your head without stretching it and measure the length of the string.
This hat is designed to fit with 2-3 inches of negative ease. What this means is that the finished hat will be a few inches smaller than your actual head circumference. This allows the hat to feel comfortable without sliding off your head.
Adult Small: Young teen (hat has approx. 18” circumference, unstretched)
Adult Medium: Most women and men (hat has approx. 20” circumference unstretched)
Adult Large: Larger heads (hat has approx. 22” circumference unstretched)
Want to make this crochet beanie pint-sized for your favorite kiddo? You can find this same style of free hat pattern for kids here. This smaller version of the pattern includes preschool and child sizes.
Best Yarn for Chunky Beanies
This easy hat pattern uses a category 5 weight yarn (sometimes also called "bulky weight"). Using a chunky yarn makes this hat quick to whip up and creates the classic winter beanie look.
These are a few of my favorite chunky yarns for fast crochet patterns:
Lion Brand Hue + Me - A gorgeous color palette and low maintenance care instructions make this my go-to chunky yarn.
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Tonal - This painterly yarn has been discontinued, but works great for this pattern if you get your hands on some.
Lion Brand Scarfie - A lofty wool-blend yarn that creates a soft ombre look as you crochet.
How to Substitute Yarn
Would you like to swap out the category 5 yarn to use a different weight yarn? No problem! Simply follow the gauge swatch instructions to determine how many stitches you will need to crochet a rectangle with the same dimensions as the pattern below.
PRO TIP: Holding two strands of worsted weight yarn yarn together is a great substitution for the chunkier category 5 yarns used for the beanies pictured.
Step-By-Step Video Tutorial
Are you a complete beginner crocheter or maybe just a visual learner? I've got you covered!
Watch a full step-by-step video tutorial of this beginner crochet hat pattern below. Then scroll down a bit more to find the written instructions and photo tutorial.
(Note: If you're running an ad-blocker, you'll need to disable it to view the video player below.)
More Fast Crochet Patterns
Maybe your countdown to Christmas is on or you just love a quick satisfying crochet project. Here are our most popular free patterns crocheters turn to when they want super fast crochet projects.
Easy Crochet Hat Pattern
Alright, let's explain this concept in written pattern form. Here is exactly how to crochet a winter hat for beginners.
Design + Construction Notes
• This basic beanie pattern is worked back and forth in rows. The rectangle will be rotated for seaming which means these rows will become the vertical ribs on the hat.
• To adjust this crochet hat pattern to fit a child, chain fewer stitches at the beginning and work fewer total rows. Get the detailed kids free crochet hat instructions here.
• After Row 1, the double crochet stitches are worked only under the back loop (blo) of the stitch from the previous row. This is always the loop farthest away from you, regardless of which side of the crocheting is facing you.
10 stitches = 4”
just over 4 rows = 4”
Checking your gauge is important because it will influence how your hat fits. That said, if your gauge is slightly off but you're happy with your hat height, just adjust the number of rows to achieve your ideal hat "tightness" fit.
Remember: It's always okay to change your hook size to help you achieve the pattern gauge!
Abbreviations and Glossary (US Terms)
These are the crochet terms you'll find in the beginner crochet hat pattern below. If you don't yet know how to read a crochet pattern, just follow along with the video tutorial above. It'll also walk you through how to crochet a hat step-by-step.
ch – chain
dcblo – double crochet through the back loop only (see photo below)
tch – turning chain
st – stitch
sk - skip
RS – right side
WS – wrong side
rep – repeat
- This beginner crochet hat pattern is written in size small with medium and large instructions written in parenthesis. S (M/L)
- The chain 3 at the beginning of each row doesn’t count as a stitch.
- When only one number is given, it applies to all the pattern sizes.
- To make more of a slouch hat than a beanie, add 7-12 chains to your foundation row.
- To create a color-block hat with a different colored brim: Work approximately 11 sts in one color, then switch colors mid row and complete the row in the second color. Work back and forth switching colors in the middle of each row. Both colors should stay attached to your project throughout.
Begin by checking your head measurement. This will determine how many rows are included in your rectangle. (Reference the size chart above for more details.)
Foundation Row: Chain 37.
(For a two color hat, switch colors after 11 chains and work the remaining 26 chains in your second color.)
Row 1: Skip the first 3 chains, dc in the fourth ch from the hook and each ch to end of row; turn. (34)
Row 2: Ch 3, dcblo in each dc to end of row; turn. (34)
Rep Row 2 16 (18, 20) more times to create a total of 18 (20,22) rows. If you're not happy with the way the rectangle is fitting around your head at this point, adjust the number of total rows. Be sure to finish with an even number of rows.
Fasten off, leaving a 24” yarn tail.
Dimensions of Finished Rectangle
Rectangle dimensions should now be approximately:
Adult Small: 18” x 14.5"
Adult Medium: 20” x 14.5"
Adult Large: 22” x 14.5"
Determining "Wrong" Side of fabric
If you’re right handed: The tail of your final row should be on the bottom left when the WS is facing.
If you’re left handed, the tail of your final row should be on the top left when the WS is facing. (See photo above for reference.)
Seaming Rectangle Into a Tube
To best disguise the join, seam is worked only through the chain stitches and the loop of each double crochet stitch that is closest to the seam.
Lay rectangle horizontally with WS facing up. Use stitch markers or safety pins to pin long sides of rectangle together, if desired. Thread tapestry needle with tail from fastening off.
Step 1: Work from the top of double crochet stitch into top of corresponding chain.
Step 2: Then work from bottom of next chain into the bottom of the next corresponding double crochet.
Continue like this through the top of one double crochet to the top of one chain and then through the bottom of one chain and the bottom of one double crochet. Repeat until end of seam.
Tie a simple sewing knot by inserting needle in crochet fabric to create a loop of yarn, then inserting needle through loop of yarn and pulling tight. This will prevent seam from puckering in next step.
Do not cut yarn tail yet.
Closing Beanie Top
Using tapestry needle and strand of yarn leftover from previous seam, whip stitch around the top of the hat. Work one whip stitch into each row end.
Pull yarn tail to tighten circle as much as possible. Then use the attached tapestry needle to sew up remaining small opening in top of hat if necessary. If you plan to attach a pom pom, do not trim this tail or remove your tapestry needle quite yet.
How to Attach a Pom Pom to a Crochet Hat
At this point, you have two finishing options:
Option 1: Create a yarn pom pom with a large pom pom maker or a 2.5” piece of cardboard. Learn how to make a yarn pom pom here.
Option 2: Use a faux fur pom pom that compliments your chosen yarn. Learn how to create your own DIY faux fur pom poms.
In either case, use remaining tail and attached yarn needle to join pop pom to hat top. If using a yarn pom pom, it can be helpful to whip stitch into the center of the pom pom a few times to help secure all the small pieces of pom pom yarn.
Fasten off and weave in any remaining ends. (There shouldn't be many!)
Pop your new crochet hat on your head and get to work on making one for everyone you know!
Share Your Stitches On Instagram
Tag us (@MakeAndDoCrew) to show off your makes!
A Tapered Beginner Crochet Hat Option
This pattern uses chunky yarn and equally simple techniques to create a classically tapered hat. And it's written in seven sizes! (preemie, baby, toddler, child, tween, women and men)
FAQs About Crocheting Hats
Absolutely! The 1.5 Hour Beanie pattern is ideal for crochet beginners because it's nothing more than making a large practice swatch. It will take you longer than an hour and a half to complete, but it is a very approachable first crochet project.
Hats can be crocheted from the top to bottom or bottom to top. In the case of this beginner crochet hat pattern, we avoid all this entirely by crocheting one simple rectangle.
This easy hat pattern begins with a typical chain of 37 stitches. The first row is worked in double crochet. The rest of the hat is working in double crochet, but only through the back loop of each stitch.
A crochet hat should generally be 2-3 inches smaller than the circumference of your head (measured right above your ears.) This "negative ease" allows the hat to feel comfortable without falling down your forehead.
More Free Crochet Hat Patterns
From messy bun beanies to easy crochet bucket hat patterns, we've got lots more ways to keep your head covered. If you loved this pattern, here are some more modern crochet beanie patterns to try out!
See more free crochet hat patterns →
Invitation to our Facebook group
Come discuss winter hat patterns and lots of other crochet projects and techniques in our Make & Do Crew Facebook group. Here thousands of helpful crocheters answer each other's questions and share their stitches. Come join us here.
That was so fun! Now what?
How to Crochet a Hat Step-By-Step with Pictures
- Lion Brand Wool-Ease Tonal Weight: 5/ bulky - 124 yds, 4 oz – 2 skeins
- COLOR: Smoke 635-149
- COLOR: Slate Blue 635-107
- Tapestry needle
- Size L (8 mm) crochet hook
- Stitch markers or safety pins
- Fur pom pom or pom pom maker/small piece of cardboard
Abbreviations + Glossary (US Terms)
- ch – chain
- dcblo – double crochet through the back loop only
- tch – turning chain
- st - stitch
- sk – skip
- RS – right side
- WS – wrong side
- rep – repeat
Want some company while you crochet?
Get support (and camaraderie!) in the Make & Do Crochet Crew Facebook Group. Search “Make and Do Crochet Crew” on Facebook.com.
Permissions + Copyright
Please do not publish or share this pattern as your own. You may make items to sell with this pattern. In exchange, please link back to this page. Do NOT use my photos as your own sales photos.
Basic crochet hat making process
- Step 1: Measure your head circumference.
- Step 2: Chain 37 stitches.
- Step 3: Skip first 3 ch, double crochet in each remaining ch; turn.
- Step 4: Crochet a rectangle based on your head measurements, working through the back loop of each double crochet stitch only.
- Step 5: Join the finished rectangle into a "tube."
- Step 6: Cinch one end of the tub closed.
- Step 7: Add an optional pom pom.