Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern

| Crafts & DIY, Crochet

Crochet Hat Pattern - great for beginners and to donate.

Crochet Beanie Pattern – great for beginners and to donate.

Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern. Last week I had a new and exciting experience – I became a volunteer at our local hospital.  I originally created this blog to have a creative outlet but I had no idea the impact my readers would have on my life.  All the positive feedback and comments have helped me see that I have an opportunity and an obligation to give back .  My new volunteer job is to create and deliver art and activities for the pediatric and geriatric wards and to make hats and blankets for the maternity and neonatal intensive care units.  I delivered my first big package of materials and hats last week and it felt so amazing to be able to contribute to this wonderful cause.

In honour of this new endeavour in my life, I’m including the pattern for what I’m calling my “Caps for a Cause” crochet beanie.  This is a very quick and simple pattern that even beginner crocheters can easily master. I crochet pretty slowly and I can make these hats in about 45 minutes (much less time for a preemie sized hat). These hats can be made in any size from preemie all the way to men’s large so this is a very versatile pattern.

If you’re new to the world of crochet and would like some help getting started, I would suggest some of the great crochet classes offered at Craftsy.


I’d also like to extend a challenge for any of my readers who are so inclined to join me in this volunteer effort. Hospitals are in great need of caps for newborns, preemies, and cancer patients.  Blankets, shawls, wash clothes and toys are also in high demand. Most hospitals have volunteer programs for receiving knitted and crochet goods so I encourage  you to donate if possible – oh, and please share your experiences with me in my comments section.

Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern – download pattern.


  • A soft medium weight yarn. I used Red Heart Soft. Choose as many different colors as you’d like.
  • Crochet Hook – US J10/6 mm. I used this larger hook size for the baby hats so that the hats were a little more airy and stretchy but feel free to use a smaller hook if you prefer.
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Basic Hat Directions:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet (U.S.)

  1. Ch 5 and then join together into a ring with a sl st (keep all your stitches loose). Or use the magic ring method if you prefer.
  2. Round 1: Ch 2 and then make 12 double crochets into the ring. Join with sl st.
  3. Round 2: Ch 2 and then 2 dc into the same stitch. Now do 2 dc in each stitch around and then sl st to join.
  4. Round 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first stitch then 1 dc in the next and the repeat this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join.
  5. Round 4: Ch 2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next TWO stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join.  (*Hats for preemie babies skip to step 7 – note that hospitals ask that hats for preemie’s be a little bit longer so that they can fold back the edge of the hat)
  6. Round 5: Ch 2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next THREE stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join. (*For larger hat designs you’d just keep increasing the number of stitches between each dc by 1 until you get the size you’d like. Example: the next row would be 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FOUR stitches, the next row would be 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FIVE stitches, etc…)
  7. Rounds 6-12: Ch 2, double crochet in each stitch and join with a slip stitch.  Continue this for each row until the hat is as long as you want it. (I usually do 6 rows for my baby hats)
  8. Final row, chain 1 and then sc in each stitch and slip stitch to join (keep this last row loose or else it will make the hat too tight at the bottom).
  9. Fasten off and weave the ends into the hat using your yarn/tapestry needle.

For the striped hat design just alternate different colors for each row (and add a third colour in the second last row of dc’s if you’d like).  For the hat with the second color along the rim, change the color in your last row of dc’s and then keep that color for step 8. I really like having at least 2 colors in the hat design, it just makes it a little more exciting to look at and you can have fun coming up with contrasting colors.

To add the single woven thread through the hat, thread your tapestry needle with a piece of yarn about 24″ long. Starting at the back seam of the hat, weave in the yarn and tie in with a knot and then weave in and out of each stitch around one row. See photo below for exactly where you put your needle through to get the same design I’ve done. When you’re done the row fasten off and weave in any ends.

Looking for more great crochet patterns: Crochet Cat BedCrochet iPhone CaseEasy-Peasy Crochet Beanie, Crochet Infinity Scarf


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Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

Basic Crochet Hat Pattern - Perfect for donating to hospitals.

Basic Crochet Hat Pattern – Perfect for donating to maternity and neonatal intensive care units.

Update: Here’s the pile of hats that Noelle and I took to the hospital on New Year’s day… what a positive way to start off a new year.

Hat donations

Hat donations



55 Comments on Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern

  1. Penny
    September 29, 2013 at 5:18 PM (6 years ago)

    Is there anywhere I can see how to do this. I use to know how now I don’t. I would like to donate to a hospital. Thanks for any sugestions

    • Jamey
      September 29, 2013 at 7:30 PM (6 years ago)

      If you look up “double crochet hat” on YouTube you’ll find quite a few great tutorials.

  2. Jenna
    October 2, 2013 at 5:09 PM (6 years ago)

    This is great! I have been looking for an easy pattern to make hats to donate. Thanks!

    • Jamey
      October 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM (6 years ago)

      Wonderful, send some photos of your finished hats!
      ~ Jamey

  3. Ali
    October 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM (6 years ago)

    Thank you for this pattern! I have been intimidated to crochet a hat (not the greatest at crocheting in rounds), but I found this pattern easy to follow. Thank you! ~ali

    • Jamey
      October 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM (6 years ago)

      I’m so glad to hear you had success. The best way to do it is just give it a try. I’ve found that YouTube is a great resource if you’re having trouble understanding something, there are some wonderful tutorials. Down the road I’m thinking of creating some video tutorial – I just haven’t got that far yet. Also, one of the reasons I love to crochet is that it so easy to go back if you make a mistake, just rip it out… not like knitting.

      ~ Jamey

  4. Elsa
    October 4, 2013 at 8:54 PM (6 years ago)

    Maravilloso!!! lo que haces Jamey me pone muy contenta y feliz encontrar uan persona
    como vos tan generosa.
    Que Hashem te de mucha salud.
    Con abrazo te saludo
    Elsa Malalel

    • Jamey
      October 4, 2013 at 10:28 PM (6 years ago)

      Thanks so much Elsa!
      ~ Jamey

  5. Myha
    October 7, 2013 at 12:32 AM (6 years ago)

    Nice pattern! I’ll definitely try making some for the local WIC when I receive my new hooks! The hospital I volunteer at doesn’t know I craft (I totally forgot to tell them in the interview) but they already have lots of volunteers who knit and sew things for the maternity ward. Thanks for the pattern!

  6. Helena
    October 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM (6 years ago)

    I am going to do a few to send to the NICU were my twin girls were born 2 months early. The least I can do to in some way say thanks for saving my kids! 🙂

    • Jamey
      October 22, 2013 at 4:49 PM (6 years ago)

      Oh I’m so happy to hear you’re making hats to donate. NICU’s are places where miracles happen. Thanks for your comment.
      ~ Jamey

  7. Rebekah
    October 30, 2013 at 1:14 PM (6 years ago)

    I love this pattern! I have been looking for something like this for a long time. I was wondering if it would be ok by you that I could make two of each so I can sell as a buy one for self and one for cancer patient. I have a relay for life team and this is how I raise money for our team and more yarn but I wanted to make sure it was ok with you.

    • Jamey
      October 30, 2013 at 8:09 PM (6 years ago)

      Absolutely fine with me. Great stuff!
      ~ Jamey

  8. Sue
    October 31, 2013 at 6:15 AM (6 years ago)

    I was looking for a quick & easy pattern to make for the homeless at a Soup Warming Station near my home. I also would make them for the cancer patience, if possible even send them to St. Jude’s for the kids.
    Thank you for sharing and caring!!!!

    • Jamey
      October 31, 2013 at 11:22 AM (6 years ago)

      I love it Sue. What a caring and generous person you are. Carry on the great work!
      ~ Jamey

  9. Barbara
    November 28, 2013 at 7:51 AM (6 years ago)

    So glad that you have allowed us to download this pattern for free. I have many patterns for crochet hats, and love to add to my library….Love the additional accents of the stripes you have added. I have a friend with an infant dealing with cancer and I plan to do a few of these and send them on to them. I plan to also donate several of them ….again thank you!!!!

    • Jamey
      November 28, 2013 at 10:01 AM (6 years ago)

      I’m so glad you’re finding this pattern useful for your friend and for donating. I’m sure your creations will be beautiful and greatly appreciated.
      ~ Jamey

  10. Lisa
    December 1, 2013 at 9:55 AM (6 years ago)

    Love the pattern. Where can I donate.

    • Jamey
      December 2, 2013 at 6:59 PM (6 years ago)

      Thanks for your email Lisa. Just call or email your local hospital and they’ll likely have a volunteer coordinator who can help with accepting your donations.
      ~ Jamey

  11. Nan
    February 9, 2014 at 7:19 PM (5 years ago)

    If making this for an adult. How many rows should I make? And do I do anything different?

    • Jamey
      February 9, 2014 at 7:43 PM (5 years ago)

      For and adult hat, after Round 5 add the following:
      Rounds 6: Ch 2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FOUR stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join.
      Round 7: Ch2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FIVE stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join.
      Rounds 8-15: Ch 3, double crochet in each stitch and join with a slip stitch. Continue this for each row until the hat is as long as you want it.
      Final row, chain 1 and then sc in each stitch and slip stitch to join (keep this last row loose or else it will make the hat too tight at the bottom).
      Fasten off and weave the ends into the hat using your yarn/tapestry needle.

  12. Trish
    February 13, 2014 at 8:11 AM (5 years ago)

    I’m in the middle of my first adult hat using your pattern. I’m on round 9 based on your comment above. Right now it looks like a flat round potholder. If I continue to round 15, will it come together into the hat shape. I’m afraid I’ve done something wrong. Thanks for the help and the pattern!

  13. sherry
    March 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM (5 years ago)

    Hi i was wondering how you would feel if i sold the hats i make at a craft fair and give what i make to a family who’ s daughter has died and it will help them pay for her funeral. If that is ok could you please tell me how much to sell them for thank you

    • Jamey
      March 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM (5 years ago)

      Of course you may use the pattern for this. Thanks so much for asking and my heartfelt thoughts go out to the family.
      ~ Jamey

  14. Kim
    March 25, 2014 at 9:21 AM (5 years ago)

    Bringing the hat pattern to my Stitch N’ Bitch club tomorrow! Going to challenge the girls to make some hats for our hospital. Thanks for the pattern!!

  15. Jessica H
    May 26, 2014 at 10:15 AM (5 years ago)

    I love this pattern thank you! This will help greatly with the #CLICKforbabies program I donate to.

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  16. Odette
    June 23, 2014 at 4:49 PM (5 years ago)

    Hi thanks so much for this easy pattern for hats. I’m doing hats and scarves for the homeless and this pattern is a big help.

    • janie
      November 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM (5 years ago)


  17. Vona
    July 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM (5 years ago)

    I have talked my boss into letting the employee who crochet or knit, to letting us crochet hats for hospitals for preemie and newborn babies, cancer caps for our local cancer center, and hats and scarves for our local domestic violence center for the women and their children

  18. Mary
    October 8, 2014 at 9:47 PM (5 years ago)

    As the mother of a preemie, I can’t tell you how precious our daughter’s little peach hat was to us while she was in the hospital. We still keep it as one of our most valued possessions. You have motivated me to learn to crochet so I can give back to my local hospital.

  19. Meghan
    November 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM (5 years ago)

    I love the woven contrasting color idea. I’m always looking for ways to “spice” up my plain hat pattern. I am a big fan of the extended single crochet or the half double. Both are easy take up about the same space as a single (just a little more) and look good on both sides. I think I’ll try this weaving technique using the tails of my stripe color. Thanks!

  20. Gloria
    November 24, 2014 at 10:19 PM (5 years ago)

    I love this idea. I am going to make lots and lots of hats for the hospital. I am also going to try to make bigger sizes for cancer patients. Thank you for this wonderful idea.

  21. Debbie
    December 29, 2014 at 9:49 PM (4 years ago)

    As a beginner of trying to make easy beanies your pattern seems very easy to follow. I will be trying it. I can’t wait to the out come and may be donating too. Such a good cause.

  22. Donna
    January 17, 2015 at 7:18 PM (4 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing the pattern. My sister has brain cancer and I made her several chemo caps. She kept what she liked and donated the rest to her fellow chemo patients. She told me she sees the caps from your pattern on others who receive treatment at the University of Iowa Hospital.

    • Jamey
      February 12, 2015 at 8:43 AM (4 years ago)

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks for the comment – I love hearing where my caps are being used. I hope your sister is healing now. She’s in my thoughts and prayers.
      ~ Jamey

  23. Susan in Texas
    January 18, 2015 at 10:11 PM (4 years ago)

    Jamey –
    I have a program called “Kaps for Kids”. I make hats for kids when I see one w/o one, I give them one. I go to charity daycare centers, armed w/the book called “Bartholomew Cubbins and the 10,000 Hats”.
    After reading the book in the center of a bunch of kids – I put on MY “Magic Top Hat” (with a false bottom), and ask the kids if they think there will be more hats under it when I take it off – like Bartholomew Cubbins. So, verrrry slowly I remove my hat – and we all sigh with relief – NO hats under the top hat! – But — wait – There are more hats inside the hat!!! The squeals of laughter and the giggles tell me the joy I have brought them. And Thennnn – I bring out my BIG bag of crocheted hats – all sizes, shapes, styles and colors. I dump them in a pile in front of me, and tell the kids that they may each pick ONE hat from the pile to keep for their own. The noisy pile of kids joyously digging for just the right hat, tell me I can never stop doing this! What a beautiful day!
    I also make hats, scarves, and laprobes for Homeless and Nursing Home residents – Our forgotten elderly, who are just as excited at receiving the items. What a wonderful God we serve – to bless us with these talents!!!!
    I also make washable SANITARY NAPKINS and Baby Diapers for girls and babies through “Little Dresses for Africa” a charity program.
    I am going to use your cap pattern using double strand for homeless hats. Thanks for sharing!!!
    People who want to help, can always donate YARN. You can never have too much yarn! 🙂 🙂 Of course my husband does not understand that – he thinks I have far too much yarn – I just tell him it is like having too much chocolate – now, THAT he understands!

  24. Cherie
    January 22, 2015 at 6:37 PM (4 years ago)

    Hi Jamey,
    I recently started crocheting again and have been making baby caps to donate. I am so glad to have found your pattern and will definitely give it a try. I will let you know how I make out. Thank you for posting.

  25. Nancy Carroll
    February 8, 2015 at 6:57 PM (4 years ago)

    I have been knitting for preemie babies for several years. I knit sweaters without seams, so they don’t chafe, as well as little sets of hats, mittens and booties. I have been donating them to the NICU in the hospital where both of my children were born. It’s a wonderful feeling to watch the nurses ooh and aah over the tiny garments and to know they will keep some tiny baby warm when they need it most. I moved across the country a couple of years ago and am ready to start again. This morning, to my surprise, I found a box in my closet labeled “baby yarn” that was, instead, filled with preemie sweaters, etc. — some ready to go, some needing to be sewn together. Now, I just to find a hospital nearby that takes care of preemie babies. I encourage anyone who can knit or crochet to donate your garments filled with love to someone in need, whether it’s hats for preemies or mittens for school children.

  26. LaShaun
    February 25, 2015 at 4:13 PM (4 years ago)

    I crochet for cancer and donate hats. I love your patterns. I will crochet these hats for cancer patients. I love, love, love doing it for a cause.

  27. Jeannette Toelken
    February 28, 2015 at 7:17 AM (4 years ago)

    This is a great opportunity to share a act of love for our little ones.I have crochet hats and scarfs for the homeless here in Westchester Ohio for many years. We have a childrens hospital right here in Westchester can’t wait to get started. When I am finished how do I get in touch with the hospital to deliver. Thanks jamie

    • Jamey
      March 11, 2015 at 8:30 AM (4 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing Jeannette – I love it!
      ~ Jamey

  28. Raychel
    August 6, 2015 at 11:50 AM (4 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this great pattern, I found it searching pattern to donate to Project Linus 🙂

  29. patty smith
    September 4, 2015 at 2:41 PM (4 years ago)

    Congratulations! Last year I made 50 hats for the homeless in Berkeley. I hope they were liked and it made me feel good.

  30. Donna Douglas
    November 6, 2015 at 10:41 AM (4 years ago)

    I am a cancer warrior. I have made over 500 cancer caps since I was diagnosed 3 years ago. I make mainly hats for men as there are many donations for women. I am currently making Angel pillows to help people who have had breast or lymph node surgery. I also make carriers for walkers.

  31. janet from Ont. Canada
    November 8, 2015 at 7:33 PM (4 years ago)

    i make and donate hats for preemie babies, thanks for the pattern, i am going to try some for cancer patients as well

  32. Jacqueline Gibson
    November 12, 2015 at 7:55 AM (4 years ago)

    This is an awesome way to help the little ones smile. I’d love to participate.

  33. Anonymous
    November 14, 2015 at 1:32 AM (4 years ago)

    Good jobs God bless you

  34. Kristen
    November 16, 2015 at 11:20 AM (4 years ago)

    I just found your site and I currently make these almost exact hats. I like the 1/2 double crochet vs. the double crochet for a slightly warmer hat. I love this pattern, it’s super easy. Currently I am making these types of hats for a mission trip to Romania. I am hoping to have about 50 to bring over for the kids there!! Then I hope to make some for hospitals. Thank you for sharing your patterns and ideas!!

  35. Anonymous
    November 23, 2015 at 3:53 PM (4 years ago)

    Thank you so much for the patterns. I making her some hats that will be needed soon. Its people like you who care that make a differce.

  36. Lori
    December 31, 2015 at 5:23 PM (3 years ago)

    I’ve been making hats for people who have lost their hair to chemo for about three years, from my best friend to friends and relatives of friends. If I have any not promised, I donate them to Knots of Love (knotsoflove@com) and they distribute them across the US. If anyone has any extra hats, check out Knots of Love.

    • Jamey
      January 25, 2016 at 11:11 AM (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much Lori for sharing this amazing organization. I encourage everyone to donate if they can.
      ~ Jamey

  37. Theresia Kattman
    June 3, 2016 at 1:20 AM (3 years ago)

    Thank you! I love this pattern it’s so easy to follow, I’m donating to a life center!

  38. tj kollis
    August 5, 2018 at 2:29 PM (11 months ago)

    Really loved creating this for my donate to a cause

  39. layasa
    September 28, 2018 at 11:21 AM (9 months ago)

    Wow!! Nice caps with colorful pattern.

  40. Jalisa
    November 27, 2018 at 6:38 PM (7 months ago)

    Hi! I just finished a baby hat using your pattern and I did it in med/dark gray with a dark red band around the bottom and I tried out the red stitch. It turned out wonderful! Thanks so much for the pattern! I was curious what the circumference of your caps is around the bottom?


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