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17 Free Surgical Scrub Hat and Nurse Cap Patterns {uniform}

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17 free DIY nurse cap patterns with practical tutorials for making your own scrub hat.  Choose a fun fabric print and the surgical scrub cap tutorial that works best for your sewing skill level.

I just love all of the colors these nurse caps are made out of.  It really spices up an every day uniform.  These can be made for a nurse, food service worker, doctor or anyone else who wears a medical uniform and needs a scrub cap!

Thanks to all the Tip Junkie Facebook requests… I’ve made things super easy for you.  These free tutorials, videos, and patterns are listed in order of  hair length.  Starting with long hair with styles like ponytail scrub hat and ending with short hair like the fat quarter tieback surgical hat.

free women's scrub caps patterns for medical uniform

Looking for a medical cap pattern?

I’ve gotten a few requests over on the Tip Junkie Facebook page for free patterns for a surgical hat.  You know I aim to please so here are several Dr. Scrub medical cap patterns for a medical uniform. {aka the scrub hat}

These free patterns would also make a fun homemade gift or stocking stuffer for the holidays, birthday, or just for fun.

What is a scrub cap?

What is a scrub cap?  A scrub cap is typically used in the medical profession to cover and hold secure the hair. Like scrub medical uniforms and gloves, scrub caps helps to maintain the sterilization of the operating room as well as surgery sites free from contamination.

These caps can also be used for food service workers, dental profession, or anyone else who wears scrubs.

They are also called:  nurse caps, scrub hat, surgical cap, medical cap, surgery hat… they have lots of names.  {giggle}

Different Types of Scrub Hats:

These are the main styles but there are variations of these styles as well. Which makes it fun!

Tieback ~ The tieback is the most common style as it is a unisex pattern.  This style is patterned close to the head with ties at the base of the neck to hold in place.  The ties gives it an easy adjustable fit.  This style works great for men.

Pixie ~ Very similar to the tieback is are pixie scrub hats which are also unisex and sewn for shorter hairstyles.  It’s named after a ‘pixie haircut’ which is a very short and close to the head.  It uses elastic or a flap in the back that securely holds your hair down.

Hummingbird ~ A classic European style medical cap with a toggle-cinch closure in the back. This style is ideal for shoulder-length, curly hair.

Bouffant ~ The bouffant scrub hat is designed for those who have a fuller head of hair.  It has additional capacity perfect for women with curly and thick hair.  There is also a ‘chef’s cap’ style within this style that’s a cross between pixie and bouffant.

Ponytail ~ The ponytail scrub hat starts with a pixie style but has additional fabric at the base of the neck for long hair to secure a ponytail.  This style is ideal for those with really long hair.

1. DIY Medical Cap Free Sewing Pattern

DIY Scrub Cap Free Sewing Pattern Click this button for the free pattern

We start out with Kimberly… oh my gosh look at that ambre ribbon in the background.  I just want to play in her sewing room. {giggle}

Kimberly says you can learn how to sew using her free PDF pattern that also includes a step-by-step video.  Sew a gorgeous women’s scrub cap with a free pattern that’s super easy to use.

What Type of Fabric Do I Sew?

When choosing your fabric to sew surgical caps for a medical professional, choose a cotton or poly/cotton blend as it has much better bacterial protection for surgery.

Sewing Pattern Tips & Tricks:

I’ve been getting so many amazing tips and tricks from readers.  I’m so grateful for our community! Here are a few problems that the medical staff are having and thought you would want to know so you can adjust your patterns, if needed.

Avoid Pressure Ulcers… add buttons to caps!

I just adore your amazing women who are serving the medical community.  I got this suggestion from Len Lindsey on the Tip Junkie Facebook page and thought I’d share it.

“I’m going to add BUTTONS to the medical cap so they can connect their masks, instead of their ears.

Let me explain. I’ve been sewing face masks for nurses using the elastic available… UGH! Now the nurses are getting pressure ulcers on their ears due to constantly wearing their masks. Therefore we are looking for a better nurse cap pattern.

Someone suggested that we add a button on each side to a surgical hat to secure the mask. This is working!

However, we don’t have a scrub cap pattern to make them in bulk. We have plenty material, and supplies we just NEED a PATTERN FAST. We must support our medical staff in any manner we can. Do you have a pattern I can get in a flash?”

Oh Len, I wish.  Hopefully someone in the community will be able to help us out and leave a comment with link to a tutorial.

Thanks NANA!  She left a comment that this is a great pattern for adding the buttons to hold face mask ear loops.

Make mask with elastic behind the head, instead.

My neighbor Jane is a rockstar seamstress and I asked her if she had a pattern for Len.  Jane said sadly she doesn’t.  However, she’s been making masks using elastic that goes BEHIND the head, not the ears.

In the meantime, here are some more traditional free surgical hat tutorials that I’ve found.

Surgical Caps for Long Hair

If you’re making surgical caps for someone with long hair you are in luck!

  • ponytail scrub hat
  • bouffant scrub hat
  • hummingbird

These are the styles for medical staff who have long hairstyles.  Scroll down as I’ve included patterns for each style.

2. Ponytail Scrub Hat Patterns

Scrub Cap Pattern & Tutorial With A Ponytail PouchClick this button to watch the video tutorial

If you have long hair you’re going to love this gorgeous scrub cap pattern with a ponytail pouch. Super practical.  Ponytail pouch is so fun to say.  HA!

Larissa also created a slide share, in case that helps even more to make these women’s scrub cap pattern with ponytail pouch.

3. Contrast Ponytail Scrub Hat

Fold Up Ponytail Scrub Hat Click this button for the free pattern

Jill hooks us up with instructions on how to make a medical cap for someone who has medium to long hair.

Tip:  If you leave off the ties, it can be used by someone who doesn’t need to hold their hair back.

4. BlueSky Pony on Craftster

BlueSky pony scrub cap on Crafster
 Click this button for the free pattern

Just in case you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, Dr. Puggle uploaded her beginner tutorial for a women’s scrub cap based roughly on the BlueSky pony scrub cap on Craftster.

5. Hummingbird Classic Scrub Hat Free Pattern

Hummingbird Classic Scrub Hat Free Pattern Click this button for the free pattern

“The Hummingbird” is a classic scrub hat that has elastic and is a European style with a toggle-cinch closure in the back.  Perfect for for shoulder length curly hair.

I found this tutorial for Laurie who left this in the comments:

“Hi! Looking for a pattern for a European style scrub cap for shoulder length curly hair with a toggle-cinch closure in the back. An ER nurse friend  asked me if I could make her one or two. I can’t find a pattern.”

Here you go Laurie!  {btw: love your name}  I hope this is the sewing pattern you are looking for.

What is a Bouffant Scrub Hat?

I didn’t realize how many different kinds of nurse cabs there are!  Wondering what a bouffant scrub hat is?

I’ve got your back.  A bouffant scrub hat is made with an additional mini “belt loop”.  Why? You ask.  It’s to prevent long hair from getting caught.

6. Bouffant Scrub Hat Pattern

Bouffant Surgical Scrub Hat PDF sewing pattern tutorial Click this Button to Buy the Pattern

I could not find a free bouffant pattern, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging. So here’s one from Seamingly Smitten.

It’s a Bouffant Scrub Hat sewing pattern with a downloadable PDF file you can buy for $4.00 on Etsy.

7. Bouffant Scrub Hat with Elastic

bouffant scrub hat pattern for long hairClick this Button to Buy the Pattern

‘Head and Hair’ also has a bouffant scrub hat sewing pattern on Etsy you can purchase for $1.40

Her PDF file can be downloaded onto your computer. It contains step-by-step with photos and easy for a beginner.

Tip:  This specific pattern is given to the seam allowance = 0.5 cm.

Surgical Caps for Medium Hair

If you’re making surgical caps for someone with hair that’s not super long but also not short, these are the patterns you might want to consider.

  • chef’s cap
  • gathered cap

These styles are good for women with medium hair length who wear scrubs and would like a cap to match their medical uniform.  Scroll down as I’ve included a pattern for each style.

8.  Chef’s Cap

Chef's Cap pdf Sewing Tutorial on Etsy

Click this Button to Buy the Pattern

This nurse cap is a little different style called a ‘chef’s cap’.  I couldn’t find a free pattern, so if you have one upload it and share the link with us in the comments {high fives}

You can buy this pattern from ADesignByAngie that includes a Chef’s Cap PDF Sewing Tutorial on Etsy for $4.00.

9. Gathered Nurse Cap for Beginners

Super Easy Surgical Cap Pattern Click this button for the free pattern

Perfect for a beginner seamstress.  This is a super easy pattern and basic supplies are all you need to make this classic bouffant surgical cap.

Supplies Needed:

  • basic sewing tools
  • quilting 100% cotton fabric – fat quarters
  • twill tape 2” wide or 1” wide would be good too

A huge thanks to Agnes for putting so much work into her DIY Surgical Cap Free Pattern and updating it for us.

Free Bouffant Surgical Cap Pattern with printable PDF patternClick this button to watch the video tutorial

Debbie shares her Free Bouffant Surgical Cap Pattern video on youtube and you can fill out a quick form where she will email you the free pattern in a PDF document.

Medical Caps for Short Hair

If you’re making surgical caps for someone with short hair or bald these are the patterns you’re looking for.

  • tieback
  • pixie

These are a few good options for medical staff who have short hairstyles.  Scroll down as I’ve included patterns unisex styles perfect for men and women.

10. Fold Up Pixie Scrub Hat Pattern

fold up pixie scrub hat pattern Click this button for the free pattern

This free Fold Up Pixie Scrub Hat Pattern is hand-drawn but the resulting nurse cap is unique with a fold up making it adjustable to head sizes.

Tip: If you have a lot of hair or a bun that sticks far off your head make this part of the pattern longer and wider

To get this pattern:

  • Click the button {directed to original blogger who created it}
  • Then click her hand drawn pattern image.
  • “Save As” image to your computer
  • Print the image out.
  • Then re-draw the image to the correct size.

That’s the best we can do.  The blogger who created it uploaded it in 2012 and isn’t an active  any longer.

If this is the pattern you really want I would suggest printing out a PDF from another pattern, then follow her instructions on how to accommodate the fold up style.

11. Pixie Womens Scrub Cap

Pixie Scrub Hat Sewing PatternClick this Button to Buy the Pattern

I just couldn’t resist showing you this Women’s European Style Pixie Scrub Hat Sewing Pattern.

I love everything about it.  You can purchase this nurse cap Pattern PDF file from BlueBird on Etsy for $6.50

Tip:  This does not have a rear tie for adjustable fit as I believe it uses elastic.

12. DIY Fold Up Medical Cap

DIY Medical Nurse Cap for WomenClick this button to see the DIY tutorial

Instructables is such a great site.  Here’s a sewing guide that provides a free printable surgical hat pattern you can use to easily sew your own.  This pixie pattern uses an 1/2 inch wide Elastic Band in the back.

Tieback Nurse Cap Patterns

We’re back to the most common of surgical hats, the tieback and the pixie.  Here are several different patterns that can accomodate unisex patterns.

13. Hand Sew Your Own Surgical Cap

Reversible Women's Scrub Caps With Free Pattern And SVGClick this button to see the DIY tutorial

Michelle uploaded her ‘how to make your own scrub cap’ pattern in 2006 and is a favorite of mine.  I love the bold color pattern.  She says 2 yards will make 4 hats.

Since Michelle was a medical student at the time, she knows her way around a medical uniform.  So I’m sure this nurse hat is comfortable and easy to get on and off.

Even if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can hand-sew this simple scrub cap before your favorite TV show is over.

Note:  Michelle stopped blogging in 2018 and is not available to email you her pattern.

14. Scrub Cap Printable Pattern

Scrub Cap Printable PatternClick this button to watch the video tutorial

If you’d prefer to learn from a video, Lea Goes Green has a tutorial that is amazing.

Lea even hooks you up with a with a printable pattern to sew a cute scrub cap and it also teaches you how to create your own pattern.

15. DIY Scrub Cap In Mardi Gras Pattern

DIY Scrub Cap In Mardi Gras PatternClick this button to see the DIY tutorial

Larissa has hooked us up with a practical tutorial for a basic scrub cap that can be customized with your favorite patterned fabric.  I love her DIY Men’s Scrub Cap In a Mardi Gras Pattern.

16. Reversible Scrub Caps With Free Pattern And SVG

Hand Sew Your Own Surgical Cap Click this button for the free pattern

Kaddidlehopper has a reversible scrub cap seems like a great idea. You can change it up as you please!

Kaddidlehopper has gone above and beyond with not only a Reversible Scrub Cap Tutorial With Free Pattern And SVG free printable pattern but also SVG file.

She also created an SVG file for those of you who have cutting machines that can handle unbonded fabric.  If you need to resize, the band should measure 4.324in x 22.648in, and the top should measure 6.758in x 10.408in.

17.  Fat Quarter Tieback Men’s Scrub Cap

Fat Quarter Men's Unisex Tieback Scrub CapClick this Button to Buy the Pattern

ADesignByAngie is up again with her Fat Quarter Surgical Hat Sewing Pattern which includes a PDF Download on Etsy for $4.00.

It’s a great unisex pattern and I love that you can sew it using a fat quarter. Genius.

surgical hat
Yes, you’re in the right place!  I’ve updated this post a LOT and therefore you might be wondering how you got here and if you were sent to the right article.  This was the original collage image I created in 2011 that you might have found, clicked on, which brought you to this post.

I was featured on Tip Junkie

Thanks Ladies! I just adore these pictured tutorials. Feel free to share your I was featured on Tip Junkie badge on your blog, Facebook, or Instagram. You earned it! {knuckle bumps} I’m honored to have the opportunity to feature your creative DIY ideas and homemade projects.

TJ Frequently Asked Questions:

If you’re new to Tip Junkie, welcome!  {high fives}  We are a creative community of happy women who love to make beautiful things.

Tip Junkie is an online magazine which promotes creative women who share their tutorials, patterns, and products online.

CLICK THE BUTTON below the image

If you see something you like simply click the button below the image {which is a link} to be taken directly to the featured TUTORIAL… which is the featured blogger and the original woman who made the free tutorial, video, or pattern.

Thank you for supporting these incredibly talented ladies.  We adore them too.  {huge hugs}  Hope you enjoy this fabulous list..

Email Me The Pattern, Please?

We have no intention of stealing anyone’s ideas.  Therefore, because these patterns are not ours, we can not email them to you. Otherwise, we would be happy to.

How do I Print a Pattern?

We love printables!  After clicking the link {button} and you are on the original woman’s article, follow THEIR instructions on how to print or recreate the pattern.

Here are a couple tips:

  • Link ~ look for “click here” to print, it might be small
  • Button ~ look for words like “PDF” or “download” or “printable”
  • Image Only ~ Click the image, ‘save as’ onto your computer, print.
  • Drawing Only ~ Click the image of the drawing, ‘save as’ onto your computer, print.

Please be kind to our featured bloggers.  One way to do that is to notice the date the tutorial was published.  If it is an old post, then the blogger who created it will not be available to email you the pattern.

Ask Tip Junkie on Facebook

As always, feel free to message me on Facebook or leave any questions in the comments below.

More hat patterns here…

Chemo Hat Patterns10 Easy Chemo Hat Patterns [Free]

Plus, check out these Nurse Day ideas …

10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Operating Room Nurse Day10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Operating Room Nurse Day

What did I miss that’s important to you?

I’d love to know what ideas and patterns you are looking for and want to make.  Leave a comment below. I also take requests, so if you’re looking for something specific let me know in the comments...

Laurie Turk the Tip Junkie

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free surgical nurse cap patterns for women
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12 Comments

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  1. I hope that all you people who look at how cute these “surgical hats” realize that they are NOT endorsed by the organizations who set the recommendations for appropriate attire in the operating rooms. If you are about to have surgery anywhere and the people performing your procedure are wearing these….RUN AWAY!!! They are NOT washed in between cases and believe me when I tell you that stuff gets “sprayed” during some cases and if you want someone elses stuff in your operation site then go ahead.

    • The OR is not the only area that utilizes surgical hats, there are many who choose to wear these in the regular pt care setting as part of their uniform. Have a blessed day.

  2. Hi there,
    Looking fort a free pattern for a scrub hat with elastic in the back. Thank you.

    • Sher ~ Tip Junkie promotes creative women. These patterns are not mine to email to you. Otherwise, I would be happy to. {wink}

      When you find a pattern you want to sew, CLICK THE BUTTON below the image {which is a link} to be taken directly to the ORIGINAL SOURCE to get the pattern.

      When you are on the ORIGINAL blog post, follow their instructions on how to print and/or recreate.

      Please note if it is an old post, then the blogger who created it will not be able to email you the pattern.

    • Looking for the “printable” pattern that goes with scrub cap tutorial (3rd one shown above)
      Can you help?????

      • Janine ~ I’ve updated the post for you. CLICK THE BUTTON below the image {which is a link} to be taken directly to the ORIGINAL SOURCE to get the pattern.

      • Janine ~ The featured blogger took down their tutorial and it’s no longer available. However, I’ve included several more that might work for you.

        When you find a pattern you want to sew, CLICK THE BUTTON below the image {which is a link} to be taken directly to the ORIGINAL SOURCE to get the pattern.

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