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DIY Surgical Scrub Cap Free Sewing Pattern

Coronavirus is causing a lot of troubles for health workers all around the world. Not only do they have to work much more than usual, but they also have to deal with a serious lack of protective equipment. So when our local hospital recently put out a call for surgical caps / scrub hats I knew I had to help. But there is only so much one can sew, so I decided to make this DIY Surgical Cap Sewing Tutorial so that you can join in, too and make an impact! Help fight COVID-19 and show support to all the brave doctors and nurses on the front lines of the pandemic!

Below you will find my step by step written tutorial, printable scrub cap pattern and a VIDEO tutorial for all the visual learners.

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How to make a Surgical Scrub Hat

Supplies and tools

  • main fabric – 1/4 yard of 100 % cotton fabric (thickly woven, pre-washed) e.g. this cherry blossom
  • secondary fabric – 11″ x 8″ 100% thickly woven cotton peach
  • matching thread
  • pins or clips
  • rotary cutter and a mat(or just scissors)
  • iron and ironing board
  • sewing machine (entry level machine will do just fine, or you can even hand sew this, although admittedly it will take you more time)
  • (OPTIONAL) two buttons (to ease stress on the ears)

Notes: You will need the main fabric as well as lining fabric for this scrub cap. Both should be one hundred percent cotton. A third of a yard should be enough material.

Since you will be using a PDF downloadable pattern for this project, you will need some printing paper and a printer with ink 😉

Some sticky transparent tape (or glue) will be also required because you will need to put the pieces of pattern together before using them.


Printable surgical cap pattern (free PDF download)

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How To Sew Surgical Scrub Cap

Watch the scrub hat video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and SUBSCRIBE over on YouTube to be kept up to date with new videos as they come out.



Prepare your fabrics – take both of your fabrics, pre-wash them thoroughly and dry. You can iron them to smooth out the wrinkles.

STEP 1: Prepare the pattern

Download the pattern and print it out. Cut the pieces out. Then put the pieces together with some sticky tape.

Make sure the pattern is printed at 100% (no scale) on US letter paper. Measure the test lines to ensure the sizing is correct before you cut your fabric!

STEP 2: Cut the fabrics

Fold the main fabric in half and align the side pattern piece on top of it. The marked end of the pattern should be placed on the fold of the fabric.

Place the top of cap on the second fabric and cut it out.

STEP 3: Double fold the cap top

Fold the flat side of the cap piece twice and (finger) press. To do that first fold over 1/4″ inch inwards, then fold another 3/8″ and pin.

(optional) If you want to sew in an elastic for a closer, snug fit, feed the elastic though this casing with a small safety pin, then first baste and then sew at either end.

STEP 4: Pin both parts together

Pin cap top to the cap side. To do that first find the middle of each of the pieces by folding them lengthwise and then create a crease by finger pressing the middle. Place the cap top on top of the cap side with right (pretty) sides together and align the creases you’ve just created. Pin in place. Then continue pinning each 1 inch to the right. Return to the middle and pin the left part as well.

STEP 5: Sew both cap parts together

Using a straight stitch first sew straight edge of the cap top, then sew both pieces together all the way around the curved part. Use 1/4″ seam allowance

TIP: Backstitch at the beginning and the end of each seam to reinforce it and to prevent it from coming undone.

STEP 6: (Optional) Serge/Zig zag the raw curved edge

this step is completely optional but serging/zigzagging the raw edge reinforces it, prevent fraying, and gives it a more professional finish.

to do that start about 2 inches away from the point where both parts meet, zig zag all the way around the curved part and finish 2 inches from the opposite edge

STEP 7: Press seam allowances

Start at the curved top edge, fold over the raw edge 1/4″ inwards and press. Continue folding and pressing the raw edges of the ties, bottom of the cap the the top curved edges.

Now fold the bottom of the ties towards the top, align both edges and press with an iron. Continue folding and pressing all the way around the bottom of cap to the end of the other tie.

STEP 8: Pin all folded edges

Now pin in place everything you’ve just folded

STEP 9: Sew the bottom of the cap

Take one of the ties and start at the end with the open edge facing towards you. Backstitch a couple of times, then continue sewing along the edge of the tie.

When you reach 2 inches from the curved top part stop and veer off to sew up the curve first. Then stop and with the needle down pivot and sew back to your original line of stitching. continue sewing all the way until 2 inches away from the second curved edge and repeat – veer off again, sew the curve, return to original stitch point.

STEP 10: (Optional) Add buttons /ear savers

You can add buttons few inches away from the start of the ties on either side of the cap. Handsew them or use your machine with the button-attaching foot on.

If you are machine sewing the buttons make sure your stitch width corresponds to the width between the buttonholes. Handcrank the wheel to determine whether you have set the correct size. Set your stitch length to 0 and sew back and forth 9-10 times. Leave the thread tails longer and hand-tie them to make sure the button stays on.

And your cap is ready. Here’s how it looks when worn:

and from the backside

The side view is charming:

Surgical Cap OPTIONS:

  • add elastic on the backside for a more snug fit (check step 4 on how to add elastic)
  • shorter or longer ties – if you want to make the ties longer
  • add buttons ( refer to step 10)

FAQs, Tips and Pattern Troubleshooting:

  • Any questions? Let me know and I’ll answer here

Do you like this? Pin for later:

Scrub hat pin image

Wanna be friends? Click HERE and follow me on Pinterest


Free face mask pattern (fitted, contoured model)

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DIY cloth face mask with fabric ties (pleated)

Surgical face mask with elastic ear loops

Medical face mask (No elastic model, around the head ties – great for medical staff)

Nose wire piece materials

DIY Ear guard

Surgical cap pattern (unisex model with ties)

Hope you find this surgical hat tutorial useful. No matter whether you are sewing surgical hats for yourself or you are sewing to donate, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work and serving others.

#StayHome, #staysafe and #sew with #hellosewing.

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    Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 38 comments
    Debra Oliver - April 30, 2020

    these are wonderful, the first cap tutorial I’ve seen. I used to be a surgical x-ray tech a long time ago and these are adorable. thanks for coming by the party.

    angi - May 2, 2020

    very stylish and well done love the fabric choice as well
    come see what we shared at

      Helen - May 2, 2020

      Thank you, Angi! Could of your delicious recipes caught my eye. I’ll have to try them

    Ann - May 4, 2020

    Wonderful project! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

      Helen - May 4, 2020

      It’s my pleasure. Thank you for hosting, Ann

    creativejewishmom/sara - May 4, 2020

    This is fabulous, thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

      Helen - May 5, 2020

      Thank you, Sara. Your picks are always amazing!

    Shelbee on the Edge - May 5, 2020

    I don’t work in the medical field but this looks like it would be super comfortable and so practical for medical workers! Thanks for sharing your pattern and linking up with me.


      Helen - May 5, 2020

      Thank you Shelbee. Indeed these surgical caps are much appreciated by the awesome doctors and nurses. Plus one can sew buttons on the side of the cap and attach the ear loops to buttons to prevent the dreaded ear burn

    Lillian - May 5, 2020

    Is this pattern unisex? Will it fit a mans head?

      Helen - May 6, 2020

      Yes, it is unisex and it will fit a regular sized man’s head

    Penny - May 18, 2020

    Can you help me figure out how to incorporate a pouch-like thing in the back to hold long hair into a ponytail?

    Migdalia Saez - June 7, 2020

    Can you please me a copy of your with the actual size measurements if it posible in inches thanks Migdaliasaez

    Andrea - June 9, 2020

    Step 4 doesn’t say anything about adding elastic. What might I be missing?

      Helen - June 9, 2020

      It’s optional, that’s why. If you want to add the elastic, add it in step 3, sew at either end of the casing and continue following the rest of the steps.

    Roxanne Loyst - July 11, 2020

    Hello I am looking for the instructions for adding the elastic. I don’t see it above.

    My daughter is in Australia and she says alot of the nurses are wearing the caps with the tie at the front. Similar to the poster of the lady showing her muscle…. seen it adverised for cancer.

      Helen - July 12, 2020

      Hi Roxanne, adding elastic is described in step 3: “If you want to sew in an elastic for a closer, snug fit, feed the elastic though this casing with a small safety pin, then first baste and then sew at either end.”

      As for tying the cap at the front – I looked up the advertisement you mentioned but am not sure whether this is a different pattern. Maybe you can make the ties longer and tie them at the front if you prefer?

      CAROL L - January 2, 2022

      She is called Rosie the Riveter, from WWII Women took traditional men’s jobs due to them being active in the war at the time. There is even an organization for her …
      Her picture is used to depict strong women…strong enough to do a man’s job, care for the home during wars and today, do whatever she wants to do, “WE CAN DO IT”
      I couldn’t get the photo to load,but do a search and you’ll find lots of pictures
      The ‘hat’ she is wearing is simply just a bandana used at the time for women when they did housework… it’s just tied in a knot at the front instead of the back.

    Deb Hackett - September 6, 2020

    Your pattern is great, one of many, put the right one. thank you for the well done tutorial and other directions.

      Helen - September 6, 2020

      Thank you, Deb!

    Priyam - September 13, 2020

    Great tutorial! #KCACOLS

    Hannah - September 14, 2020

    Useful post, thanks for sharing 🙂 #dreamteamlinky

      Helen - September 15, 2020

      You are welcome, Hannah

    Helen Copson - September 15, 2020

    This looks really handy, thank you for sharing. #KCACOLS

    Emma Peach - September 17, 2020

    Great project and a lovely fabric! Thanks for linking up with me!

    Emma xxx

      Helen - September 18, 2020

      Thank you, Emma. Thanks for your nice comment

    chickenruby - September 17, 2020

    That’s a fab design, I’ve shared over on twitter. Thanks for linking with #pocolo

      Helen - September 18, 2020

      Thank you! Glad you liked it!

    Malin - Sensational Learning with Penguin - September 23, 2020

    These are super helpful instructions, I think even I could manage this and I hardly ever do any sewing. For a great purpose as well! Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope you come back again next time x

      Helen - September 24, 2020

      Thanks for commenting, Malin. The scrub cap is an easy sew, I’m fairly sure you can make it

    Jasmine - September 25, 2020

    This is a great tutorial thanks for sharing it #KCACOLS.

      Helen - September 25, 2020

      Thank you for commenting, Jasmine

    Glenda - October 11, 2020

    thanks for sharing, I’ve just made my 1st one, easy to follow. I’m 6 months in to Chemo, & my hair is now really, really thin, so good timing.

      Helen - October 11, 2020

      You are welcome, Glenda. I’m sorry to hear you have to go through this and I’m glad to hear that my pattern helped

    Tawnie - December 8, 2022

    Thank you for a wonderful pattern and easy to follow steps! I made several for my son’s girlfriend that is an RN. I added buttons on the side for face masks to loop onto. I’ll keep making this pattern anytime she needs more!

      Helen - December 11, 2022

      Thank you for your kind words, Tawnie! I’m glad to hear you find the tutorial easy to follow and liked the pattern

    Krista Edman - December 27, 2022

    Hi there,
    Not sure what I’m missing, but I can’t seem to get the pattern link to work. When I click on it, nothing appears and the tab at the top of the screen says something about where should I send your file…

    I would really like to use your pattern for my daughter who is home on winter break from nursing school. Any help is appreciated!

      Helen - December 29, 2022

      You should enter your name and email in the field that says “Where should I send your file”
      and you will receive the pattern by email (and some of them also load in the browser)
      hope that helps


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