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DIY Cowgirl and Cowboy Costume Accessories And Inspiration For Halloween

how to make a cowboy hat

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Elizabeth Miller. Find them on Instagram at @Lizzy_7979. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

Are you still looking for a costume for Halloween? In the last few weeks, we’ve posted guides to making your own fairy wings and witch hat with inspiration for accessories for both costumes. Another easy Halloween costume idea to throw together at the last minute is a cowboy or cowgirl costume! Whether you’re going for a more traditional Western outfit or want to replicate the look from the Barbie movie, this article is for you! Here are some easy DIY accessories and a tutorial on how to make a cowgirl hat!

Clothes for the look


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♬ Music Sounds Better with You – NEIL FRANCES

The cowboy and cowgirl look is super easy to replicate, you can probably find these pieces in your closet. Alone they are not super cowboyish, but together, and with a few accessories, you’ll have the perfect look! 

For a shirt, go with a button-down or a henley. Almost any color will work, but the best color pallet is those with earthy tones. Think cream, leather shades of brown, sunset orange, dark red, and lake blue. Having a collared shirt is great, but if you don’t have a collar, accessorize with a bandana.

Then, of course, you’ll need another layer. Depending on the style, layer with a vest for a more traditional look, or a jean jacket for a more modern look. Dangle fringe is also an important element to the cowgirl look, so if your jacket does not have any, consider picking up some fringe trim from your local craft store. You can safety pin a strop down the back of the sleeves to keep the fringe temporarily.

For pants, absolutely wear chaps if you have them. Otherwise, wide-leg pants will do. You can also use dangle fringe along the outside side seams to add to the look and match your jacket!

And last but not least, finish off the look with cowgirl boots and a hat.

How To Make A Cowgirl Hat

If you don’t have a cowgirl hat but want to make your own, here is a tutorial. You’ll need:

  • A pencil
  • Cardboard, if you want the rim of your hat to curl up, then I do not recommend using corrugated cardboard
  • Hot glue 
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Optional: paint

First, you’ll need a long strip of cardboard. The strip should be able to wrap around your head plus an extra inch or two and the height should be how tall you want the hat to be. Shape the strip so the back curves around your head, but the front should have a slight point to it, like a teardrop. This helps give the hat its iconic cowgirl look. 

Then, trace the teardrop shape onto cardboard to make the top of the hat. If you have a craft knife, do this in the center of the sheet so you can use the hole to make the rim as well. Cut out the teardrop, and glue it to one end of the tube.

Then, glue the rest to a flat piece of cardboard. Trace and then cut the ovular rim to the hat.

Lastly, if you wish you can carefully bend the rim so it curves up. Use brown paint to give it a uniform, leathery look, or use a fun color if you’re going for a colorful cowgirl look.

Neckwear Accessories

Some of the most iconic cowgirl accessories are bandanas, shoestring ties, and collars. As mentioned above, bandanas pair well with henleys because they don’t have the bulk of a folded collar. If you are wearing a button-down, opt for a shoestring tie instead. 

To make a shoestring tie if you don’t have one, all you need is a shoelace and a broach. Put the string around the back of your neck and secure it loosely in the front with the pin of the broach. If you can, go with a black or brown shoelace that has metal aglets so they weigh down the ends and an oval broach.

For a more feminine look, a cute DIY is a granny square collar/shawl. You’ll need seven granny squares. Arrange them into a three-by-three grid, leaving out the middle and one of the corner spaces. The middle is where your head goes, and the missing corner is the front. Add a little ribbon to tie the two corners together, and you have a cute collar-like mini shawl!

How will you be decorating your cowgirl hat? Let us know in the comments!

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