Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

How to Design and Create Custom Beanies

November 2, 2021

How to Design and Create Custom Beanies

It’s fall, y’all… so it’s time to start dressing like it! When you think of fall fashion, your mind might go straight to fall colors, like red, brown, orange, and gold, or fall patterns, like plaid or gingham. But fall fashion isn’t just about fashion – it’s about practicality. As the seasons change, our wardrobe needs to change as well to adapt with the weather, swapping out tanks for sweaters, shorts for jeans, jackets for coats… and snapbacks for beanies.


Beanies are a total fall staple. They’re wearable, stylish, and add an element of comfort and warmth that you just can’t get any other way. They work for people of all ages, but they’re especially popular among the younger generation to keep ears warm and add color and coziness to any outfit. What’s more, they’re extremely customizable, making them an excellent choice for merch.


We love a simple, solid-colored beanie… but all that surface area leaves a ton of room for play! Whether you keep things simple with a subtle ribbed texture and a single logo patch, you opt for a fun print, or you add multiple embellishments with your designs, it’s possible to create a totally unique custom beanie for your business. And with very affordable manufacturing costs, custom beanies can drive a very attractive profit for your online store!


Here at The/Studio, we’ve helped thousands of large companies, small business owners, and thriving personal brands create beanies featuring their unique artwork, logo, brand colors, and more. No need to break out a sewing machine or your knitting needles – with our convenient online product creation tool, you can create custom hats from your computer, no DIY required!


Whether you’re hoping to make a killer profit for your business or you’re looking for a fun custom gift to add to your employees’ gift baskets, beanies can help you get closer to your company goals. And whether you’ve got a wild idea for your custom beanie design or you’re looking to keep things simple and upscale, it’s possible to bring it to life!


In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about custom beanies, including:


  • What are beanies?
  • What makes a beanie a beanie?
  • Are custom beanies a good fit for my business?
  • 4 benefits of custom beanies
  • Alternatives to custom beanies
  • How to design and create custom beanies


What are beanies?

First off, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here! So what is a beanie, anyway? A beanie is a small close-fitting hat worn on the back of the head. It’s usually knitted from wool or synthetic fibers. Beanies hug the head and don’t have a brim, unlike other popular hats such as snapbacks or baseball hats. Since beanies offer warmth but no sun protection for the face, they are most popular during fall and winter. 


Like sweaters, beanies can be very plain or decorated with interesting woven textures and embellishments. Beanies may or may not have a folded cuff and a pom-pom on the top.


Why are beanies called beanies?

So now that you know what a beanie is… why are beanies called that, anyway? 


Honestly… it’s not too clear! The Oxford Dictionary says that how the word came to be is uncertain, but it most likely derives from the slang term “bean,” meaning “head.”


Do you call this type of hat something different? Here are a few other common names for beanies:

  • Knit cap
  • Skullcap
  • Winter hat
  • Toboggan
  • Tuque (or toque or touque)


We usually call these hats “beanies” since that seems to be the most popular name throughout the U.S., but all of the names above mean essentially the same thing!


What makes a beanie a beanie?

A beanie is a knitted hat that fits snugly on the head. Beanies are typically warm, stretchy, and worn in the winter. They may feature a textured ribbed knit, a pom-pom, and/or a folded cuff. They typically do not have a brim.


Compared to the other types of custom hats we create here at The/Studio, beanies are pretty unique. Here’s how beanies are different from snapback hats, baseball hats, five-panel hats, fitted hats, trucker hats, and dad hats.


  • Fitted hats are hats that fit snugly on the head, similar to beanies. However, these hats have a very different silhouette, with a curved or flat bill, a flexible build, and a non-adjustable closure.
  • Snapback hats get their name from their classic plastic snap closure and typically feature a structured front and a flat, extra-long bill.
  • Baseball hats usually feature a classic medium profile, a curved bill, and an embroidered design. 
  • Five-panel hats most often feature a high profile, a flat or curved bill, and a structured profile shape, though technically any hat with five panels can be considered a five-panel hat. 
  • Trucker hats are popular summer hats known for their soft foam padding, chunky silhouette, and mesh backing.
  • Dad hats typically feature an unstructured body, a curved bill, and a metal buckle closure.


Though all of these hats are pretty different from one another, the main thing beanies have in common with all of these other types of hats is their customizability. Any of these different types of hats can be customized with different designs, logos, embroidery, prints, and embellishments. They’re also all great for broad audiences.


Are custom beanies a good fit for my business?

Custom beanies have the potential to drive a lot of profit for your online store… but ultimately, whether or not it’s a good idea for you to create custom beanies depends largely on your business strategy, your target customers, and even where your store is located. Before you decide to invest time and money into ordering custom beanies, take a moment to answer the following questions:


    • Who are these beanies for? – Who are you planning on selling or distributing your custom beanies to? How do you see your customers wearing or styling these hats? Will your customers wear these hats as a fashion statement, or for more practical purposes for outdoor activities in the winter? Nailing down your target audience can help you decide whether to create custom beanies as well as what sort of designs you ought to print on them.


  • Where will your beanies be worn? While some wear beanies year-round as a fashion statement, beanies are most popular in chillier regions and seasons. If you’re primarily planning on selling products in your beachside SoCal store, a different type of custom hat might make more sense! Even if you’re thinking of expanding your audience to customers living in colder areas online, be sure you have a clear strategy for how to reach them.


  • What are you planning to do with these beanies? – Are you hoping to sell custom beanies in your online store or your brick-and-mortar boutique? Or are you going a different direction entirely, handing them out as gifts to players on a team you coach or employees at your company? Whatever your strategy, be sure the numbers make sense.
  • How many beanies are you thinking of ordering? – Note that the number of custom beanies you manufacture can greatly influence not only the per-item price you pay but also the manufacturers you can work with. Many manufacturers set minimum order requirements of anywhere from 100-1000+. The/Studio doesn’t have any such minimum order requirements, meaning you could order even just one custom beanie if you’d like… but the cost per item goes down significantly for larger orders. If you’re thinking of placing a relatively small beanie order, do the math to make sure you’ll still be able to come away with good margins. (Get a quote for how much your custom beanies will cost here.)


4 Benefits of Custom Beanies

If you’ve concluded that designing and creating custom beanies would be a shrewd business decision based on your strategy and customer base, awesome! You’re in for a lot of perks. Here are the top four reasons why selling custom beanies can be a great idea:


  1. Great customizability. You’ll have the chance to customize the colors, knit, weave, embroidery, add-ons, and more on your custom beanies.
  2. Easy to make. No need to try your hand at DIY – The/Studio’s easy-to-use online product creation tool allows you to bring your designs to life, no matter how complicated or unique they may be.
  3. Low-cost. Subject to how large of an order you place and add-ons you select, custom beanies can cost as little as $6.52 each. Considering how beanies often sell for $15 or more, they have the potential to yield a very healthy margin.
  4. Broad market. Beanies aren’t just for young people and skater kids – especially in the winter, beanies are popular across many ages and other demographics. 

Alternatives to Custom Beanies

Not convinced selling custom beanies would be a smart move for your company? Hey, that’s okay! But if you’re still looking for good merch ideas, there are plenty of other products you could personalize with your logo or artwork that could be a better fit for your audience.


Aside from custom beanies, you can partner with top factories and use The/Studio’s online product creation tool to create any of the following:



If you had your heart set on a custom hat, you could also create snapback hats, fitted hats, dad hats, trucker hats, baseball hats, or five-panel hats. 


How to Design and Create Custom Beanies Online

Still itching to create custom beanies for your business? Let’s get creating! As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you’ve already got everything you need to get started. Let’s walk through the entire process of creating your own winter hats, from finding the right manufacturer to approving your final design.


  1. Find a beanie manufacturer

Before you even start dreaming up what you want your beanies to look like, nail down the manufacturer you’ll partner with to bring your vision to life. Especially if this is your first time creating a custom beanie, we recommend looking for a company that has plenty of hat customization options, fabulous customer service, an easy-to-use platform, no minimum order quantities, free design services, fair pricing, and customer satisfaction guaranteed. (The/Studio is a great option that checks all the boxes – but it doesn’t hurt to research other options!)


  1. Customize your beanie

Thinking of partnering with The/Studio after all? You’ll start the product creation process here. You’ll select how many beanies you’d like to order so you can review pricing before going any further. 


Then, you’re ready to start making your beanie your own! You’ll be able to customize the following:


  • Beanie structure – choose a basic beanie, a cuffed beanie, a basic beanie with a pom, or a cuffed beanie with a pom
  • Material type – choose from 100% acrylic or 100% cotton.
  • Knit, embroidery, and printing – choose whether you’d like to add a classic embroidery design, a knit design, or puff embroidery and where.
  • Branding – add a sew-on custom label or patch.


  1. Design your beanie

Next, indicate the design you’d like printed or embroidered on your hat. You can upload your own artwork or logo, or commission our expert in-house designers to create something beautiful for you. (Free design services are always included with every order.) 

  1. Approve a mockup

After your order has been processed, our team will send over a physical or photo prototype. If you’re happy with it, we’ll start creating the rest of your custom beanies – if you’d like to make any changes, we’ll tweak the original design free of charge.

  1. Sell or give away your beanies

After you give your approval, we’ll manufacture the rest of your custom beanies and ship them for free right to your doorstep. Then you’re ready to use them however you’d like, whether you sell them in your boutique or give them away as employee gifts!

Chat with us