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Reversible Fabric Headband Tutorial

posted by Kate on 9/04/2006 | Link To This Post | 48 comments

Fabric Headband
When I was in middle school, I think I wore a headband every day. It's the female equivalent of putting a baseball cap on to hide your messy hair (not that I never do that, either). Apparently headbands are back in fashion and I have been coveting some trendy, fabric headbands. I worked out a method for making them and they fit nice and look even nicer, so I thought I'd throw up a tutorial so all the citizens of the internet could make them as well!

Just a word of caution, all of these measurements are designed around the size of my head. I do not think it is abnormally large or small, but you probably want to play around with the dimensions a bit until you find the best fit for you. I suggest using scrappy fabric you don't care about for a first attempt and then use the good stuff for a second or third version. This is a super fast project, so you won't feel like you're wasting a lot of time. OK, here we go...

Choose two coordinating fabrics and cut out two rectangles from each. One 3" x 19.5" and one 1.5" x 6.5".

Cutting Pieces

Take your 3" x 19.5" rectangles and fold and press them in half like so:

Folding Bands

Use your rotary cutter and ruler to taper each rectangle. You want to make sure the headband is fat in the middle and skinny on the ends. I aligned the edge of the ruler with the folded edge of each rectangle and measured in 1/2" from the end. The pictures do a better job of explaining this step:



Now, open up each band and press 1/4" on each end of the wrong side of both fabrics.


Place the fabric bands right sides together and pin. Do the same with the smaller rectangles you cut earlier.


Sew 1/4" seams on each side. If you have pinking shears, use them to reduce the bulk by pinking the edges.



Press seams and turn fabric tubes inside out. Press Again.

Pressing Again

Cut a 3" strip of elastic and insert it into the small rectangle. Pull one edge to the outside of the rectangle and slip the whole thing into one side of the headband tube. Sew a seam as close to the edge as possible.


Scrunch the other side of the fabric rectangle up until the elastic peeks out of the edge. Once again, slip it into one side of the headband tube and sew a seam as close to the edge as possible.



Action Shot of Headband

When I saw that the Whiplash category this month was Hats I assumed that I would not be submitting an entry. After all, I do not crochet or knit. However, I decided to take some liberties and interpret "hat" as "anything you wear on your head". Therefore, this is my entry for September as a tutorial. I don't expect to win, given the stretch, but hopefully I can help some people make some nice things. I know I'm always looking for new ideas for crafted gifts and this seems like an ideal one.


Anonymous AnnaTrueblood said...

Great instructions and pictures! Your project looks so neat, both in the tidily done and keano meanings.

9/04/2006 10:54 AM  
Anonymous nikki said...

So cute!And you did a wonderful job on your tutorial.I can't wait to give it a go.

9/04/2006 11:50 AM  
Blogger merrilymerrily said...

well rest assured you will have helped at least one person make several nice things.Thankyou, it's very clear, both the instructions and the photos.

9/05/2006 9:15 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I saw some fancy looking headbands (not too different from these) in an accessories shop a few months ago and they were $18 a piece! I knew i could make them, but never got around to figuring out how. now maybe I'll try it.

9/05/2006 8:45 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

You have to win. This is a great idea and so simple I think even I can make them. I've now found a great gift for two of my nieces. Thanks!

9/07/2006 9:50 AM  
Anonymous kathy said...

What a great design. You get my vote. I use the same elastic technique on the fairy crowns I make, it adds a great finishing touch. Leil wears headbands all the time, can't wait to make some of these for her.

9/10/2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger tamdoll said...

This is fantastic, a real winner!

9/15/2006 9:01 AM  
Blogger quenna said...

This is such a great tutorial -- clear pics and directions! My girls will love these :)

9/15/2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

Wonderful tutorial! I especially like all of the pics - very helpful! Great job & good luck!

9/25/2006 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Mia said...

This rocks. What a great tutorial. Love it.

9/28/2006 2:26 AM  
Anonymous Helen said...

I made one of these yesterday and I just wanted to say I love it!

Thanks for the tute!

10/02/2006 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Samlynne said...

I like your turorial very much. You get right to the point and your illustrations are superb. Great idea also. I can't wait to give it a try, and if it works out well for me, I'll be sure to pass the info on to anyone who would be interested in learning your craft idea! Mahalo (Thank you) Aloha (farewell), Sammie

1/12/2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Love them! You made the tutorial easy to follow with great pics. I made one today, but could you offer advice how to turn the tubes right-side out when the side seams are sewn? I had a hard time, especially with the smaller one. Thanks so much!

3/21/2007 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Denise from Mass. said...

This is a FANTASTIC pattern. I just made it with a girl scout troop. I have some tube hints that don't require fabric-store gizmos...for the large tube, fold one end inside-out (like you've rolled the top of a paper bag) then use the handle end of a wooden spoon (or a tinker toy stick) to push the fabric through and help with the turning.

The little tube was too difficult for the girls to turn, so here is an alternative: cut a 4 x 6 inch rectangle in ONE of your fabrics. Fold one of the 6" sides over a quarter inch and press. Then, fold the fabric lengthwise in thirds, (right side out) putting the side with the folded edge on the top. Stitch as close to the edge as possible. This makes a rectangle you don't need to turn. Of course, the same fabric will show on both sides of the covered elastic. Most of the time this is tucked under the hair anyway, but it will be even more important for you to choose coordinating fabrics. For the 9-11 year old girls, a rectangle 17" seemed to work best. Also, they struggled with the "tapering" concept so I think the next time I do this with kids, I will make a pattern template.

3/30/2007 6:14 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

For the comment about how do you turn it inside out...Use a pen or knitting needle to help push it or use the 'string thru a sweatshirt trick' of attaching a safety pin to one end to help turn the material inside out.

I just made my first headband, so cute! I used the same material both sides but cut it differently to show the pattern of stripes long and short.

3/31/2007 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was just what I was looking for... if I knew how to vote my vote would be for you!

5/04/2007 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Nancy from Minnesota said...

How wonderful for you to share this! I've been searching the Web all afternoon, looking for exactly this sort of headband, and here you're sharing it for free! Bless you!

5/18/2007 5:12 PM  
Blogger Analisa said...

Just found this tutorial this afternoon and am now wearing my new headband! Yea! I love it! Thanks!

6/17/2007 1:20 AM  
Anonymous april said...

thanks for the tutorial. i made up a couple today.

9/05/2007 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! The measurements for the pieces turned out perfect! Just one more tip on turning inside out... the eraser end of a pencil has a nice "grab" to help pull the fabric through:)

9/08/2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

thanks for this neat tutorial. If you don't mind, I'm going to link to it in my blog:

10/03/2007 10:06 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Exactly what I was looking for as caps don't really suit me. You've done a great job, and I will be making one today.

10/13/2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sure does a great job showing you how to do it yourself! For those who don't have the time, I've found a great site to buy unique headbands - - their stuff is beautiful, and very high-quality. Nothing compares to handmade, and when you have the time, make 'em yourself. When you're short on time, shop there. Theirs are handmade too!

10/28/2007 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fabulous instructions! I love it!!

11/16/2007 1:13 PM  
Anonymous toothcoach said...

Thank you so much. I'm making this for my grandaughter's birthday this week; something to match her rock!

2/11/2008 6:12 PM  
Blogger ArtsyChaos said...

I've made several headbands now using your tutorial. Thank you so much !! My daughter is much overjoyed. :) I have mentioned you on my blog !

3/22/2008 2:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU ever so much!!! This tutorial is exactly what I need and was surfing the web for. Great pictures and instructions - step by step. Great idea and thank you for sharing your gift with me.

4/20/2008 11:58 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

THANK YOU! Target is charging $7.99 and up for these, and they are made of really nasty fabric...but these headbands keep coming back in style because they are really really flattering and practical. thanks for taking the time to write all this out and post it.

5/06/2008 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Thank you "sew" much for sharing how to make these headbands! I'm going to get busy making some...

5/28/2008 6:48 AM  
Blogger michelle johnson said...

Oh wow!!! AWESOME tutorial!! I googled, 'how to make an elastic headband' and found your blog. I'm an average seamstress (at best!) and I whipped two out in one hour. Thank you so much for taking time to make this awesome tutorial!!!

5/28/2008 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Thanks so much. I've seen these on Etsy and knew I could sew my own. Your tutorial made it so easy.

6/05/2008 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks you. I'm gonna give it a whirl... I'm sure it won't look as cute as yours ;)

6/12/2008 10:45 AM  
Blogger Kaya said...

Thank for the good tutorial.
I made 5 nice headbands.
Sometime I put on my hat.
from Japan

6/17/2008 5:34 AM  
Blogger Boutiqueful Bows said...

Wonderful tutorial!!! Thank you so much.


6/24/2008 12:42 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Thank you for that great tutorial. I am going to make some of these for my daughters.

7/22/2008 4:35 PM  
Blogger yombix said...

Thanks sooo much for this tutorial!! This is by far the best one of headbands i've ever seen :). I'll try doing it when my mom's sewing machine returns from the doctor xDDD (that thing is sooo old). Thanks again :p.

p.s: sorry for my bad english (i'm latinamerican).

11/02/2008 9:29 PM  
Blogger chermonblie said...

I made 2 of these last night & they turned out great!! Thanks for the SUPER easy to follow tute! Just what I was looking for to tame my not long... shortish... trying to grow it out... unruly mane! ;)

11/06/2008 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Mommy of Many said...

Thanks so much! This is wonderful!! A tip for turning the tube inside out that my mom taught me when I was a kid ... attach a safe pin on one end and string it through to the other end.

11/19/2008 11:40 AM  
Blogger KrisinTN said...

Great Tutorial. I think these would make awesome Christmas presents too!

12/12/2008 10:18 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Wow! I might even be able to get this done in time for Christmas...thanks for the awesome tutorial!

12/23/2008 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will be my project tomorrow! Thank you for an easy tutorial for a beautiful headband we all can make!

2/23/2009 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are the BEST! Thank you, Grace

3/10/2009 9:40 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I adjusted the dimensions to make it fit my 3 year old (17.5 x 2.5 inch long straps and 5.5 x 1.25 inch short straps with 2 inches of elastic) and it worked perfectly!

9/26/2009 11:14 AM  
Blogger MissJ! said...

Hey! loved the headband. I added your blog to mine, if u dont mind.


2/02/2010 12:10 AM  
Blogger yvonne said...

This is really cute.
Is it okay to link this on my blog

2/09/2010 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Thao said...

Thank you so much!

3/12/2010 5:27 PM  
Blogger Kudzu said...

Thank you for the great headband, I love that it's reversible! I made one and it was so easy and comfortable! I used lightweight denim and a white bandana print.
I hope you don't mind if I link to you tonight...

3/14/2010 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful pattern!! My daughter (10 yrs old) thinks this is the greatest headband! So do I, it is really easy to make. I am making her headbands to match the outfits that I am making her.

4/21/2010 6:23 PM  

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