Reversible Fabric Headband Tutorial

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.

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51 Responses to Reversible Fabric Headband Tutorial

  1. AnnaTrueblood says:

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

  2. nikki says:

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

  3. merrilymerrily says:

    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.

  4. Jessica says:

    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.

  5. Peg says:

    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!

  6. kathy says:

    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.

  7. tamdoll says:

    This is fantastic, a real winner!

  8. quenna says:

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

  9. Kari says:

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

  10. Mia says:

    This rocks. What a great tutorial. Love it.

  11. Helen says:

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

    Thanks for the tute!

  12. Samlynne says:

    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

  13. Marianne says:

    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!

  14. Denise from Mass. says:

    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.

  15. Kim says:

    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.

  16. Anonymous says:

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

  17. Nancy from Minnesota says:

    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!

  18. Analisa says:

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

  19. april says:

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

  20. Anonymous says:

    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:)

  21. Laura says:

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

  22. Annie says:

    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.

  23. Anonymous says:

    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!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the fabulous instructions! I love it!!

  25. toothcoach says:

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

  26. ArtsyChaos says:

    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 !

  27. Anonymous says:

    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.

  28. Jane says:

    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.

  29. Debbie says:

    Thank you “sew” much for sharing how to make these headbands! I’m going to get busy making some…

  30. michelle johnson says:

    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!!!

  31. Nancy says:

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

  32. Anonymous says:

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

  33. Kaya says:

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

  34. Boutiqueful Bows says:

    Wonderful tutorial!!! Thank you so much.


  35. Kelly says:

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

  36. yombix says:

    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).

  37. chermonblie says:

    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! ;)

  38. Mommy of Many says:

    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.

  39. KrisinTN says:

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

  40. Erin says:

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

  41. Anonymous says:

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

  42. Anonymous says:

    You are the BEST! Thank you, Grace

  43. Erin says:

    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!

  44. MissJ! says:

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


  45. yvonne says:

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

  46. Kudzu says:

    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…

  47. Anonymous says:

    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.

  48. Sylvia says:

    Great tutorial, I am starting to sew and want to give this a go!

  49. pantrymama says:

    Thank you so much! I wanted to make a headband for my babysitters "tween" daughter to match a dress I am making and this was the perfect pattern and very helpful tutorial!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this pattern. My daughter had been working in Malawi, teaching nursing for a British voluntary organisation (having sold her house, car etc to do so). She was involved in a very serious car accident and had to be flown out to Nairobi and then back to England. She fractured 5 vertebrae and has been home with us since November. She felt very conscious of the fact that the accident had scarred her scalp and left her with a bald patch. I scoured the internet for a pattern for a headband and found your wonderful instructions. After I made a prototype, Teresa asked me to teach her to use my sewing machine and is now in production herself and is making them to match all her outfits! Thank you so much for this, it has been wonderful therapy. She is making a good recovery and is returning to Malawi at the end of this month – you can imagine how I feel about this!

  51. VickiT says:

    Wonderful tutorial. Thank you very much.

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