When storage space is limited, things can sometimes get a bit crushed. This happened to a gorgeous stiff woven straw hat (very fetching and all Scarlett O’Hara, with a swooping wide brim) that my pal Ellie wanted to take with her on her cruise.

Lucky girl! She’s celebrating the New Year on a luxury liner in the Carribean — and here am I, watching a bit of a New Year’s Day ice storm roll in…

Still, I managed to overcome my drooling green-eyed envy just long enough to tell her how to fix her crushed and misshapen sun hat, based on my own experience with stuffing things into overcrowded closets.

To fix a crushed straw hat (or a woven straw basket, for that matter), simply pour boiling water on it. That will soften the straw, and you can then shape it into any form you want.

Use weights, clips, string, whatever comes to hand, to hold the new shape while the hat or basket dries. (If you want a basket to have a flat bottom, be sure to sit it on a flat surface for drying!)

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When it’s dry, the straw will be stiff again and it will keep its new shape. Good as new!

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