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How to Shape a Campaign Hat

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Here are some techniques useful for fitting a campaign hat to your head and make any other shaping alterations. (Legal Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility for anything resulting from doing this. :) )


1. This can be done with the BSA campaign hat or the military issue (I use the later with the BSA chin strap and hatband added).


2. Soak the hat completely in cold water. This is best done by filling a bucket or sink and submerging the hat.


3. Place the hat on your head immediately and get it so the right point points forward, it sits as far forward on your head as you want, etc.


4. If you want the brim flat, let it dry about five minutes on your head. Then CAREFULLY remove it by holding the crown and place it in the hat press.


5. If you want to shape the brim a bit (a la 1911 cavalry style), then, when you get the hat on your head wet, gently and gradually bend the front of the brim downward a bit. This takes a little effort. When you remove the hat as in part 4, sit it on a towel on a table, preferably with the front of the brim hanging off the edge of the table.


6. If you want the "Montana Peak" style, you can work the brim more into a point while it is wet.


7. You might put the hat back on CAREFULLY while it is drying to make sure the changes you have made are holding.

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Ah yes. Ok. You need a mold to do it "properly."


You can wet the hat as described, shape it by hand as it dries, and hold in place by appropriately placed towels. A bit tricky, but it can be done. Basically you need to get it into the right position and then keep it there as it dries.

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  • 1 month later...

This is how we did it in the military:


BTW - I am not recommending this - this worked for us but may not work for others. Do this at your own risk.


With the hat dry, give it a good brushing with a stiff brush.


Shape the crown as best you can getting the peak and 4 indentations as uniform as possible.


Using a whole can of UNSENTED AquaNet hairspray (the sented type would attract insects), spray the underside and inside of the hat until completely soaked. The hair spray would be dripping from the hat.


Set the hat on a smooth surface such as a formica counter top and allow it to completely dry.


Use a spatula or paint scrapper to remove the hat from whatever surface it is on. The hat will be VERY stiff.


If you want the hat to keep its shape and be water resistant/waterproof:


Place the hat on an object such as a 1 gallon can, spray the outside of the crown and top of the brim with ScotchGuard. Do this carefully and evenly. Avoid breathing the fumes. This is best done outside such as on a covered patio or porch. You will have to spray several coats of ScotchGuard on the hat. Allow to dry. You may have to brush the hat again if the ScotchGuard leaves a whitish/greyish dust.


When this is all done you will have a stiff, water resistant campaign hat that will keep its shape and be water resistant.



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