Thursday, September 4, 2008

tutorial: easy headbands

What would you do if your child had long, wild curls that blew in their face all of the time? Some might look for the scissors...but I made head bands. Sure, you can buy them at any grocery store, but you might have all the materials tucked in a tub somewhere. I made these out of favorite outgrown clothing! Remember that t-shirt with the great print you hated to pack away? You could even use current clothing that has a stain or two. I whipped up two head bands faster than I can drive to the nearest store to buy some....granted I live out in the country, but they were quick. I love quick!

I actually made three...had to make a mini for her doll!

The first step is to choose some favorite old clothes with prints that you enjoy. They should be made out of jersey knit to give it a little stretch.

Next, go gather your materials:

-jersey knit fabric, preferably recycled from a t-shirt or other outgrowns
-elastic hairbands: I like the "no metal" ones
-you'll also need a measuring tape, scissors and the usual sewing tools

1. Make a fabric tube by cutting a rectangle (18x4 inches) and folding it in half lengthwise- right sides facing each other. Sew together down length of the fabric, closing the open ends. Turn inside the right side is out and the seam is hidden.
The next steps are pictured below...

2. Tuck raw ends in at the bottom and top of the tube and center the seam on the under side.
3. Fold one end over an elastic band( approximately one inch) towards the the underside and sew...enclosing the band, but not sewing onto it.
4. Embellish, if necessary. For one of the head bands, I used a tiny tank top and had the original side seams from the shirt in the middle of the headband...a little horizontal line. This happens when you are reusing smaller clothing and not just yardage. No problem. I cut out a flower and attached it over the seam. See photo for clarification.
5. Last step, enclose the other side of the elastic band on the other side of the tube...same method as the first.

*edit: A serger is not needed if you use a large stitch setting...these were made with a standard sewing machine.

Using elastic bands ensures a comfortable, yet secure fit. There are plenty of boys with long hair out there, too... just use one of his favorite old shirts for a customized look. For adults, add another inch to the length. I made some more last night and now I'm wearing one too...with my short hair!
No more hair in in her face!! Pin It


  1. Not a day goes by where you don't wow me with your creativity! I think I'll be whipping up a bunch of these for myself! Linking to this as well!

  2. What a clever way to make hair bands! My brain would have never gotten past sew fabric into tube. Love your daughter's wild locks, now so prettily contained for active play!

  3. Oh wow! We must have been on the same wavelength this week! I was just going to make some with fabric and with ribbon! :)

  4. Maya, this is a good one! I love them. I should make some... But I have only a straight machine, not a serger, will it work?
    They would be very useful for Zoe's growing bangs, but she may not wear them for more than a minute. She keeps pulling them of! I should still give it a try.

  5. My curly girls would love these.

  6. Thanks Rachel!
    ZenCrafter- I've tried these without elastic bands and they don't retain their shape.
    bruinchiq- love to try this with ribbon, what a pretty idea!
    Julie- thanks for catching my slip...I edited the post. You don't need a serger, just use a big stitch.
    Kirsty- love that you have more than one curly girl!

  7. Love it! I'm sending this post to my friend who has three little girlies.
    Great idea.

  8. I LOVE these! I love a way to reuse our old stuff, and my duaghter loves hair accessories. I am going to have to do this project!

  9. pretty :)
    i will have to try these, my daughter loves headbands, thanks for sharing

  10. Fabulous idea! Thank you for the tutorial, I know they take extra time to do.

  11. great tutorial, I'll have to try this one out for my daughter

  12. These are great! Now that my daughter has started grade one, I can't scam out and leave her hair for the kindergarten teachers to do (kindie teachers in taiwan must have a 10 credit course in hairfixing, they're all amazing at it). So, headbands are a blessing! Thanks so much for this tutorial.

  13. I'm so glad so many of you want to give this one a try. I guess I'm not alone my desire for "quick and easy"! Please send me pix of your creations, it's always so fun to see what you're all making.

  14. I detested headbands when I was a child because they were those very uncomfortable synthetic ones purchased at the drug store or five and dime. * oops that makes me sound old, but loved making them for my own children . My favorites are those made with vintage embroidered ribbon or vintage fabrics strips cut on the bias. I would love to have a head of hair like your daughters.

  15. I am going to have to try to make one of these, thank you.

  16. Great idea, I have a 10 yr.old who is really happy I stumbled on to your site.
    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  17. Great idea. Love the photos. Great blog altogether... will add you to Bloglines ASAP!

    Thanks for lovely comments on my blog, too.

  18. Ha, just what my eldest girl need, but if only she would wear it too...she prefers to let it hang loose although...

  19. I just whipped one of these up - so easy and fun! Thanks for the tutorial. I'm thinking we might use the idea as part of a sewing themed birthday party - I'll let you know how it goes.

  20. I'll have to try this one, I love wearing headbands :)

  21. Great idea - thanks for sharing! Now all I have to do is get my dear daughter to keep the headband on her head so as to keep the hair out of her eyes :) x

  22. Hi Maya! I can't wait to make these for my girls! We featured this post over at
    Hope you can drop by the website and check it out! Thanks!