Embroider a Baseball Hat Without a Cap Hoop

comments (5) October 25th, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Embroider your statement along the side, back, or front of the cap.
I found this Think Pink cap at my local drugstore. Its perfect for machine embroidery because there were no hard stabilizers used when it was put together.
If you embroider close to the bottom edge of the cap, the facing will hide the bobbin thread on the inside.
Embroider your statement along the side, back, or front of the cap.

Embroider your statement along the side, back, or front of the cap.

Photo: Jen Stern

Of the many Go Pink, Think Pink, and Pink Fundraisers, the ones that stand out for me bring a lighthearted message. My friend Gail told me about a baseball cap she saw proclaiming "No Hair Day." I thought that was a clever and inspirational message. It's easy to embroider a similar statement, whether to support a cause or a sports team. When picking out a cap to embroider on, make sure it's one that does not have any built-in hard stabilizers or hard support. These are difficult to manipulate into the embroidery hoop.

As a side note: One of the most popular questions asked by customers considering the purchase of a embroidery machine in the sewing store where I once worked was, "Can you embroider baseball caps?" The major brands of sewing machines we sold had cap hoop accessories. I was happy to show customers how to use these hoops if they were interested. A cap hoop is either a hoop with a built-in clip to hold the brim of a cap down, or it is an insert that fits into a hoop that can hold the brim down. I discovered, however, that you can embroider on a soft-constructed cap without one of these hoops or inserts. You simply use the standard machine hoop.


  • A softly constructed baseball cap
  • Embroidery design of your choice, which can be customized using embroidery software
  • Heavy cut-away stabilizer
  • Embroidery threads
  • Small, sharp scissors to trim threads and stabilizer

Embroider the hat

To re-create the cap with the "No hair day" message, I used my embroidery software and imported the design into my embroidery machine.

Customize your message
One benefit of embroidery software is that it has more fonts to choose from.

Hoop a piece of heavy cut-away stabilizer. There are different kinds of cut-away stabilizers. Make sure you pick one with some heft; that way your cap will be firmly anchored in the hoop. Draw guidelines directly onto the stabilizer; they will help you get the cap into the hoop straight.

Hoop heavy cutaway stabilizer in the hoop
I like to use a Sharpie marker to draw my guidelines because after it dries, it doesn't rub off onto my fabric.

Decide where you would like to position your embroidery. I put mine along the side, between the brim and the opening in the back. Pull the facing out of the way, and position the cap into the center of the hoop. Use the guidelines to keep the cap straight. I compared the horizontal line with the seam along the bottom edge of the cap. It's easiest to position the cap in the hoop with the brim pointing away from the machine, either to the left or to the back. That prevents it from getting in the way of the moving embroidery unit as the design stitches. Check to be sure the orientation of the design on the screen corresponds with the direction that you positioned the cap in the hoop.

Pin cap into the hoop using guidelines to keep cap straight
Pin the cap directly to the hooped stabilizer to hold it in place.

posted in: embroidery

Comments (5)

AmySews writes: This is just what I was looking for! Just one more question. Would it be the same to embroider on the front center, above the bill?

Thank you!

Posted: 10:01 am on August 9th
Hawgstitch writes: THANK YOU...THANK YOU....THANK YOU.

I am a member of a Harley Motorcycle Group and have just purchased my first embroidery machine. I have been embroidering quite a few things for my riding buddies. Now, I have members coming up to me to have their caps embroidered on the sides and was wondering how I was going to do this for them. I wanted to be able to do this for them. You information is FANTASTIC. I love that you have pictures which makes the instructions a lot easier to follow.

I will soon have money to purchase my cap hoop for my machine.


Posted: 10:29 am on December 26th
jlbucha writes: OH I love your instructions, I too will be doing some caps for christmas.
Thank you for taking the time to share with us.
Posted: 6:16 pm on November 5th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks...good luck and remember to pick soft caps!
Posted: 9:49 pm on October 25th
Sweet_Pea writes: Jen,

Thank you so much for the very informative instructions on how to embroidery on baseball caps. I was also under the impression that you HAD to have the cap hoop to do this. Your instructions were clear and concise and have empowered me to give it a try.

Posted: 2:02 pm on October 25th
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