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Fabric Head Band

Okay, I have finally decided to join the fabric headband world. I have short hair that doesn’t quite fit into a pony tail anymore. Kind of annoying at times. So, I decided to do the whole headband thing………and get some of that hair out of my face. Kind of fun. And I don’t care for the wide more 70’s-like bands on me…… I made mine really narrow.


And don’t you dare count all of my extra freckles I’ve been accumulating this summer.
Dang sun…


Want to make 1 or 2 of your own?


Measure around your head…..where the headband would go. Mine is 23 inches. Yep, big head. :) But I wanted the finished headband to be 22 1/2 so that it would fit snuggly on my head. And I wanted there to be about 1 inch of elastic at the bottom. So I only needed 21 1/2 inches of fabric but I also needed a 1/4 inch of extra fabric at each end to be able to tuck under. So my length needed to be 22 inches. Then decide how wide you’d like your headband. I wanted mine to be a 1/2 inch wide. So I doubled 1/2 inch (for the front and back side) and then 1/4 inch seam allowance for each side. So that is 1 1/2 inches wide.


So I cut my strip 22 x 1 1/2 inches.


Then I sewed right sides together, lengthwise.


Then turn right side out and iron flat. Set aside.
(Having troubles turning your fabric right side out? Check out this post here for help.)


Then cut a piece of elastic 2 inches long. I actually used one of those stretchy headbands that you can buy pretty cheap. They stretch really well like a hair band…….and I wanted it to be snug and nice and stretchy. So I cut one apart……but you can use regular elastic too.


Then tuck your fabric ends inside themselves a 1/4 inch and slide one end of the elastic in 1/2 inch.


Sew into place twice, just to make it nice and secure. Back stitch several times. Repeat on the other end.


Now make more for friends, gifts, or for some little girls.

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. lamia says:

    Oh Ashley! I love, love, LOVE your blog. Such simple and fantastic ideas. I always look forward to your next post. Really amazing. Keep it up.

  2. Michelle B says:

    Love these!! I’ve already made myself like 16 out of scraps I have!!

  3. Betty says:

    Great idea! I am also growing out my short hair and agree that plastic headbands and glasses are uncomfortable. I am excited to make this. Thank you:)

  4. Lindsay says:

    Yay! I just found this. I was looking for ways to keep my toddler’s hair out of her eyes while growing out her bangs. I already whipped up one to match a skirt I made yesterday and can’t wait to use up some of the scraps I’ve been collecting. Thanks!

  5. Erica says:

    I found this post a few months ago and I’ve been wanting to try it. I finally got a chance tonight.
    I thought “hmmm, a half inch is not very big…I’ll try 3/4” Well, I should’ve gone with your half inch for sure! If I get a chance to do another one, I’ll definitely go narrower.
    Another thing I would do differently is the amount of elastic. I did one inch of elastic, but I have poofy curly hair and it’s kind of hard to get the headband on over my head/hair to get it down under it all. So I would try less fabric and more elastic next time….maybe 2-3 inches of elastic….so it can stretch more.
    Thanks so much for your post and your easy-to-follow instructions! I love your green headband in the pictures!

  6. Erica says:

    Thanks for this! I just made myself three to wear to the gym. Love them!

  7. Caroline says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I love the red fabric that you used. Do you know who makes it?

  8. Maile says:

    Thanks so much. Doing this as a mother-daughter project. Love it!

  9. samantha says:

    Ashley, thank you for your head band tutorial. I like the head band because it can be sewin in different widths and it is simply simplistic . I can make it casual or semi casual or dressy. Your head band is not time consuming nor needing a lot of supplies, and can be sewn any time and quickly. thank you, Samantha

  10. samantha says:

    Ashley, I like your headband which can be in different widths and sewn and decorated casual or dressy or even in between. Your head band is not complicated nor time consuming and just right for sewing anytime. Thank you for your simplicity.

  11. Sarah says:
    Thanks for the tutorial-I posted it on my blog along with a picture of the one I whipped up :-)

  12. Brittany says:

    Wow, I hate sewing math! Thanks for posting these and doing the math for us!

  13. Joanna says:

    You are so creative!!! I was just thinking today how I wished there were cuter headbands and you had exactly what I was looking for. I love your blog~CUTE CUTE!

  14. baby2ck says:

    I just found your site and LOVE IT!! I was just browsing for pettiskirt instructions and found more than that. I own a sewing machine but I'm terrified of it (it's still in the box). With your tutorials, I'm excited and found a new easy project to start with. Thanks so much for the time you've invested :)

  15. Anonymous says:

    at first i was confused, but its really very easy, thanks!

  16. The Wade Family says:

    I just saw this tutorial- THANKS! I had all my sewing stuff out so I whipped one out. I always have the problem that my head is too big for regular headbands b/c they always squeeze off- now I can make one according to MY measurements, not someone else's. THANKS!!

  17. Gina says:

    This is so cute, and can't wait to try it out. By the way, a great tip I learned for flipping tubes: As long as they aren't too narrow, baste stitch a long piece of ribbon to one of the ends, and then sew the edge down like normal, with the ribbon inside the tube. And then all you have to do is pull the ribbon, and the tube will magically turn itself rightside out, no safety pin needed! Then just unstitch the ribbon piece and keep for the next project. Hope this helps and makes sense.

  18. Ashley says:

    Sure, you could do it with ribbon. You won't have a slot to slide the elastic into, so just sew it right to the end. Still very cute!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Could I do this with Ribbon?

  20. Sam says:

    For one less step, you could even slip one edge of the elastic inside one end of the tube when you sew the tube together! That way you'd only have one side that needs the topstitching.

    Thanks for this! I'm excited to make one (or five).

  21. Allison says:

    Thanks so much Ashley! I just made one from vintage fabric (an old 40s dress too torn to repair). I am having an old-fashioned social for my daughter's 2nd birthday and I am making these as favors!

  22. Bonnie says:

    I'm going to make some for my little one with her old panties! Sounds crazy, but she loves Dora and princesses and her panties are too small (and they already have elastic!).

  23. Monica says:

    Ive been looking for diy headbands tutorial. Thanks for a great post! Simple and fun project. Made a few of them today and plan to make more.

    Also sewing one end and pushing a chopstick (because its longer) to turn fabric right side out works well, too (just take seam out so u can attach elastic)

  24. Amy Teets says:

    I made one today! I'll definitley make more! I don't have a sewing maching. But I do have some Helmar Craft Glue that is safe for fabrics and washable, so I used that :D I'm going to do a blog post tomorrow with mine!

  25. Ashley says:

    diamosaur – No, you sew one end of the elastic to one end of the fabric and the other end of the elastic to the other end of the fabric. And each end with be tucked nicely inside opposite ends of the tube. Hope that helps…..and have a fun night at the prom! :)

  26. diamosaur says:

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial! I just used it to make a perfect headband for my prom coming up this Saturday!

    One question though, when you sew the fabric tube to the elastic band, are you sewing both sides to just one end of the elastic, and the other end of the elastic just floats a couple inches in the tube?

  27. Jessica says:

    Wearing my new headband today that I made last night)! Thanks for the directions.

  28. Ashley says:

    Kimberly, I just tucked in the ends of the tube (the fabric headband piece) and pressed it flat. Then I slid the elastic inside of the ends and sewed the tube closed, including the piece of elastic in my stitching.

    1. jenny says:

      can u send those pics to my email at
      i cant see the pics of how u doing the process to make the head band

  29. Kimberly says:

    just a quick question.. Im making these as stocking stuffers. But, where did you sew the elastic so it doesn't show?

  30. Kim says:

    I love, love, love your blog and all of your great ideas! I wish I had stumbled upon you sooner! Thanks for the head band tutorial…I can't wait to try this out this weekend.

  31. kheaney says:

    Thanks Ashley, I have been doing that but it usually takes me forever, thought maybe there was some quick trick to it.

    I made a headband last night (wearing it today) that was thicker, but I got frustrated turning it and just made another one with a zigzag stitch that you can see. Kind of cute actually.

    I am learning to sew from many of your projects on your blog. The tutorials are wonderful!

    Thanks again! Kristin

  32. Ashley says:

    kheaney – You know, that actually can be tricky. What I use is a safety pin on the end and shove it through to the inside and try to work it through to the other end. THis may sound pretty confusing so maybe I will try posting a tutorial on how to do this because I know there are probably others who can't seem to make it work.


  33. resalikescolors says:

    What a great simple project. I'm not happy with my hair right now, a cute head band like this is just what I need!

  34. kheaney says:

    Ashley, do you have a trick for turning these small things inside out once sewn? New to sewing so I am sure there is some sort of trick. Love your stuff!

  35. Lila says:

    These are great! I never thought of this… I am off to make some for my toddler who LOVES her accessories!

  36. Rose says:

    This, THIS is why I love you Ashley. Just when I need something, you go and post a tutorial for how to make it! I'm growing my hair out, and the headbands I've been wearing have been giving me headaches from the lump of material glued to the bottom, which ends up behind my ears. Thanks for a cute idea!!

  37. The Ostlers says:

    i love it! i actually did a headband out of the same green material. scraps from a pillow my friend made. she thought i was weird keeping all her scraps. your tutorial is much easier than how i did it. THanks!

  38. Krull Family says:

    I love this idea! I am sick of my bangs sticking to my sweaty forehead, this will do just the trick ;) Thanks!

  39. rojalka says:

    Cute!i love it!thanks for sharing!

  40. Karin says:

    I never wear head bands, mostly because I never found one that wasn't way too large for my head. But ofcourse I could make one for myself and see if it looks good. And if not there is always my little girl who would love such bands.. Looks great on you!

  41. Rachelle says:

    so cute! I like the narrow look.

  42. rccalyn says:

    These are really neat…I especially love that green fabric!

  43. Gwen says:

    YES! I have been wanting to make one of these, but needed someone to help me figure out about the sizing. You did that, thanks!

  44. Becky says:

    Very, very cute! I love the change up of making it thinner. Great idea.

  45. One Craft Girl's Corner says:

    So cute! I wear a headband all day and put my hair up too, since I have 13 month old twins that just LOVE to play and pull at my hair. I think I'm gonna make some of these. They're way cuter than the ones I have been sporting. Please check out my blog and see if you like any of my crafts too!I'm not as creative as you, but I've been having fun!

  46. Jamie says:

    These are exactly what I've been wanting for myself! I've made lots of the wide kind for my neices but wanted something less flashy for myself. Thank you for this great tutorial!

  47. Julie, Little One-of-a-Kind Design says:

    what a cute little project! thanks for sharing! I like the thin bands for little girls!

  48. The Paxton Family says:

    I ADORE your blog! Thanks so much for all the great tutorials and ideas! I love this headband idea! I love putting head bands on my daughter, but the ones from the store are always too tight! This will be great! THANKS!

  49. Heather says:

    Super cute – thanks for sharing the tutorial with us.

  50. Shealynn Benner says:

    Cute!! I may have to make several of these for my girls!

  51. The Gray Team says:

    i love it! i was just pondering how to do this yesterday! Thanks for doing allthe hard work for me!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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