Where to start? I got the final push to needle felt a hat when I found a website that had a "do-it-yourself" multi-felting needle holder. My modification on what I saw and read was to put two needles through the holes in a button. Viola! Instant multi-needle holder! The photo shows the needles with two buttons. I ended up adding a third to keep the needles straighter, but it works great! (And even better, it was free! I have tons of buttons!--These lavender ones were a gift from my friend Jenny in Michigan many years ago!)
So, the multi-needle holder isn't the only thing I made for this hat. I also created a foam hat form. The cheapest I found these online was $15 from Living Felt...but I was having a hard time shelling out even that much money when I wasn't sure how I would like the process--or which size form to get! So I made my own. I found a tall plastic container and covered it with two layers of 1/2" foam (leftover from another project a year or more ago). I made sure the circumference of the form was close to the desired circumference of the hat.
I had previously needle felted six 1/2 ounce batts of wool into a single unit. I wrapped the needle felted wool around the hat form, trimmed it to size and created the top of the hat. After a bit of felting, I took the wool off, turned the hat inside out, and felted more on the other side. I did that a few times.
The last felting step was a wet one--I actually wet felted the needle-felted wool hat (I'm not fond of wet felting. It seems to take forever!) I felted the hat over another plastic container--again, one that was the right dimensions for the finished hat, and then let the hat dry. --No one in my family seemed too attached to the hat at this point.
But, after the hat was dry, I had my daughter try it on (technically the hat is for her. I may borrow it from time to time!) and tested the length...way too long. I turned up the brim, added some trim, and viola! A needle-felted hat!