Fitting a Baseball Hat on a Head

Fitting a Baseball Hat on a Head

The picture tutorial shown below demonstrates how a baseball hat can be fitted onto a head to give the natural look that the head is actually inside the hat rather that the hat sitting on top of the head.  This method is the one used by Lynn Doughty to fit cowboy hats onto his figures and can be used for fitting any kind of hat.

1.  Patterns used.


2.  First carve, paint and finish the head.  Then cut off the top of the head with a band saw, scroll saw or disk sander.


3.  Carve the outside of the hat but do not carve anything on the inside yet.



4.  Place the hat on top of the head exactly the way you want it to look.  Then carefully mark around the head on the underside of the hat with a pencil.


5.  Carve out a shallow area in the bottom of the hat staying inside your pencil lines.


6.  Continue carving and adjusting the underside of the hat until it fits over the top of the head the way you want it.


7.  Once the hat fits, carve the inside of the hat bill with a # 3 gouge to give it a rounded look.


8.  At about the center of the head drill a 9/64″ hole about 1/2″ deep.


9.  Insert a 5/8″ long 1/8″ dowel into the hole (the 9/64″ hole and 1/8″ dowel allow for a little play when fitting the hat for the final time).  Blacken the end of the dowel with the pencil.



10.  Refit the hat onto the head and press down firmly.  The graphite on the end of the dowel will leave a black mark on the inside of the hat.


11.  Replace the 5/8″ long dowel in the head with a longer 1/8″ dowel and glue it in place.


12.  At the black mark inside the hat drill a 9/64″ hole being careful not to drill through the hat.  Fit the hat into the head  (usually I only set the hat down over the head 3/6” to 1/4”… Just above the top of the ears) just enough to give the impression that the head is up inside the hat and not that the hat is sitting on top of the head.  Glue the dowel into the hat as you make the final adjustments fitting the hat on top of the head.

Tip:  Paint and finish the head and hat BEFORE fitting them together.



Our first comment today comes from Phyllis from Pennsylvania with some invaluable advice on taking photographs of your wood carvings.  Phyllis writes:

“Hello CarverBob, my friend,

These 4 photos are a picture of a Grinch carving I did last year. It is carved in cottonwood bark, which I really love to carve.

The subject isn’t about the carving but about taking pictures of your carvings. So many times on FB I see pictures of carvings that have a very busy background and it is sometimes very hard to make out the carving. The 4 pictures I posted give you somewhat of an idea which backgrounds might look better and which ones make the picture too busy.”


“Think about your picture before you post it, see if the background suits the carving and if people can actually make out the carving and it’s details. Sometimes I actually have to tilt my phone to get a better picture also.

That being said, I am not a professional photographer, but I try my best to make the photo turn out great.



Excellent advice, Phyllis!  I, too see so many otherwise great carvings displayed in photos having cluttered backgrounds.  I see them taken on tables with lamps and pictures in the background, or on workbenches with paint bottles, brushes and assorted other stuff in the background.  Many carvers don’t think of how the background affects the look of the carving, and your photos illustrate that perfectly.

You can see in the first two photos with the cluttered backgrounds how difficult it is to see the carving.  The clutter detracts from the carving.  On the other hand, in the second two photos with the plain, uncluttered backgrounds the carving shows up clearly.  So you can easily see what a difference the background makes when taking a photo of your carving.  Think about that the next time you are photographing your carvings.

Thank you so much for sending in that fine information!  I’m sure there are a lot of carvers out there who can benefit from it.

Our next note comes from Susan Rindchen who comments on carving extreme pumpkins and the ‘Extreme Pumpkin Carving’ book I reviewed in my last blog.  Susan writes:

“I have carved pumpkins for yrs. I have carved every one in the book. I bought the book when it was first published. I used to carve my pumpkins with my wood carving tools. Now I carve with a knife and clay ribbon tools. I find they work better. Try carving a pumpkin it is fun to carve.”

Thank you for writing in, Susan!  You must be a very accomplished  pumpkin carver by now, and we would love to see photos of some of the pumpkins you have carved.  I have dabbled in carving extreme pumpkins (I’m not very good at it yet) and have also found that the clay ribbon tools work best.  I believe the world renowned pumpkin carver, Ray Villafane, uses ribbon tools when he carves his magnificent pumpkins.  Any carver who wants to have some fun and try something new should pick up a copy of ‘Extreme Pumpkin Carving’ and a set of clay ribbon tools and give pumpkin carving a try.

Let the chips fly!  Tell your wood carving friends, and spread the word about Wood Chip Chatter, and don’t forget to click the ‘Comment’ button at the bottom of the page to send in your questions and comments so we can keep Wood Chip Chatter active and keep the conversations going! 

And remember, we need your photos!  I’m sure you all have some terrific carvings to share and photos of your carvings will help to liven up the blog’s appearance and make it more interesting.  Perhaps we can start a carvers photo section!  Email your photos to

Keep a sharp edge and keep on carvin’!

Courtesy of Wayne Smith

Published by carverbobk

I’m a self taught award winning wood carver who has been carving since I was a teenager. I enjoy instructing other carvers, especially beginners.

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