FREE Crochet Pattern for a Messy Bun Hat Using YOUR Favorite Crochet Stitch!

I love to make hats. They are relatively easy, quick, and can vary so much! I recently had a ton of requests for those messy bun, or ponytail hats. Honestly, it was more of a challenge than anticipated to come up with a good pattern for these hats. Normally, I would start at the top, increase, then add length. I have an amazing pattern for basic beanies that has been praised and complimented up and down! You can find that pattern for free HERE. And I am proud of the tight, hole-less start of my hats. But a pony tail hat needs a rather large hole at the top, and I found difficulty in trying to figure out how to leave that hole large enough for a bulky wad of hair to fit through it. I also really wanted to incorporate some elastic, so that you could fit the glorious messiness through the hole snuggly without leaving a large portion of you head exposed to the elements.

I came across this one pattern that started at the brim and worked up. But I very much disliked the stitches that were used (too time consuming, and frustrated my fingers), and it did leave too big of a non-stretchy hole at the top. But, I was inspired, made a few changes (ok, several changes), frogged way more than my patience could tolerate, and came up with my first messy bun hat pattern, The Oceanside (Because what else are you going to call a hat that uses a shell-stitch pattern.). And it was so easy to do, and worked up so quickly, that I made two others: Starry Nights and Dual-colored. And I realized that this pattern was actually really amazing, because you could use almost any stitch you wanted to. Then my brain started going into overload mode, and I had to step it back a bit. Instead of coming up with a quatrillion different patterns, why not have one pattern that has a quatrillion different options and can cater exactly to your preferences as the artist? And I came up with this 100% personalized pattern that you can make using virtually ANY crochet stitch. Try it, I bet it’ll work!


  • Size K (6.5 MM) crochet hook
  • Yarn in desired color – worsted weight, or work with two strands throughout
  • Tape measure
  • Elastic hair band
  • Desired embellishments – buttons, ribbon, jewelies, pretties, etc.

Gauge – you will be happy to know that the gauge is not important for this pattern! As long as you use your measuring tape, check sizes as you go, and make the necessary changes, this hat will be perfect!


RND 1: Ch 61, hdc in second stitch from hook and all the way across (60). Adjust the stitch count as needed to have a length of 20″. Being careful not to twist, ss to first to join into a large circle. Ch 1 (I like to turn after every RND, but you don’t need to)

RND 2: Alternate BPHdc and FPHdc all the way around (60). Ss to first to join and ch 1.

BPHdc – Back Post Half Double Crochet – YO, insert hook around the back side of the next hdc stitch, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook.

FPHdc – Front Post Half Double Crochet – YO, insert hook around the front side of the next hdc stitch, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook.

RNDs 3-5: Repeat RND 2. The brim should be measuring 1.5″ in height. Add or remove RNDs as necessary.


Use whatever stitch pattern you want to. Pictured I have the shell pattern in two colors, but I’ve also used the star stitch pattern, a v-stitch pattern, and BPDc pattern for similar results. Just repeat whatever pattern you choose until your hat reaches a height of 4.5-5 inches. It’s not a perfect science. One of the joys of using such a large hook means that there is quite a bit of stretch and give to the material, which is great for larger heads as well. After you get the desired height of your hat, you are ready to move on to the closure/top/ponytail hole.


This part is fun and only takes 3 RNDS to complete, you ready?

RND 1: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around: *Dc, skip 1 stitch* (half of your stitch count. If you didn’t add any stitches to the brim, you should have 30 dc stitches). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2, dc all the way around (30), ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 1, grab your elastic hair band and work around it and the hat, repeat the following all the way around: *sc, sc2tog*. Ss to first to join and finish off. Enjoy your new hat ☺

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