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Faux Leather (ahem, vinyl) Hair Accessories

Did you see the winner of the Honeybear Lane giveaway?  Scroll down or click here.

3 of my patterns have been donated to the “Keeping Kolby” auction (found here) and will be available to bid on starting today, August 18th.  Kolby is a beautiful young 15 year old girl, fighting her very best to beat cancer (a rare form of lymphoma).  And while you’re there, check out everything that is up for auction…..because all proceeds are donated to help pay bills and a possible bone marrow transplant.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I stopped by Hancock Fabric the other day.  

They had piles of clearanced vinyl for $3 a yard.

I figured I’d take some off their hands.

So I bought 1/4 yard of 7 different colors.  
(The cutting lady was bugged with all the 1/4 yard cuts…..sorry Margaret!) 

So $5.25 later, I had my faux leather pile to work with.

I remembered why I like working with vinyl.  There’s no fraying, it holds it shape really well, and some are nice and soft……and almost look like real leather.  Almost. 

And turns out, I liked the look of it as a hair accessory.
Nice and clean and simple.

 Just throw in some simple little pins to really liven up that blah hair…
 (Do you feel nerdy taking pictures of yourself?  Haha…I do.)
Or attach a flower hair band into that hair, to change that last minute pony tail into something more fun.
Or how about a nice and sweet headband.  
Love the leather-ish look…

Ready to try your hand at some vinyl accessories?

Let’s try some accessorized hair bands first:
To make the red flower, I cut out a flower shape from paper and cut three different sizes so that I could stack them.  Then I used the paper cutouts as templates to cut out the vinyl.  And then I cut a little circle for the middle.  
Then I stacked the 3 flowers and used really thick quilting thread to sew the 3 pieces together.
And as I would sew to the back, I looped around the hair band each time, securing it in place.
Then I used hot glue to attach the circle to the front.
For the fluffier flower, I cut out a circle and a long strip of fabric.
Then I used hot glue to start attaching the strip to the outside of the circle……and gathered it in the glue as I went around.
I continued around…..
…..and overlapped the layers as I made my way to the center.
Then I just bunched up the middle and glued it into place.  You could also skip the bunched up middle and cut out a circle and glue it down to the center.
Then, I stitched the hair band to the back a few times.  
Next, let’s add some vinyl to bobby pins:
First, cut out a flower shape out of paper, to get the exact shape and size you’d like.  Then use it as a template to cut out some vinyl flowers.  Stack them and start stitching them together.
Make sure to include the end of the bobby pin each time you sew to the back.
The yellow pin was made the same way, but with a more circular shape.  
Have fun with any sort of shape!
Lastly, let’s create some fun little headbands:
 For the bow, I cut out a long strip to go around the head and then a shorter wider strip to make the bow.
Then I hot glued the two ends of the shorter piece together.
Then I placed a little glue in the middle and pressed the two sides together at the middle.
Then I pinched the center together……
……..and cut out a thin strip to use for the center and hot glued it down at the back first.
……then wrapped it across the front and glued the other end down at the back too.  
Make sure to keep the center strip tight as you’re gluing it down.
Then I sewed a bit of elastic to each end of the headband strip.  Then hot glued the bow onto the headband.
For the blue/grey flower……I cut out 5 wavy petal-like circles that gradually got smaller and smaller.
Then I stacked them and sewed them together, making little knots as I came up to the front with my needle each time.
Then I attached the flower to a long strip of the vinyl with hot glue, and added elastic to the back…..just like the one above.

Edited:  A reader created a template to use for the blue/grey poppy shaped flower and also the red stacked flower.  She graciously offered the use of the template to anyone interested.  So now you can click on the image below and print it as a pattern, if you’d rather not free-hand the shape.  (Thanks Mindi!!!!!)

 And that’s it.  
But yeah, there’s probably 7,000 other shapes and ideas that you could come up with.  
So go on, give it a try.
And with little or no sewing required, 
we can all make a few to add to our hair accessory drawer.
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. Theresa says:

    Hello there, ust became alert to your blog through Google, and found that
    it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
    I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Manny people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just picked up some clearanced pink vinyl to make bows from. I was wondering if how I was thinking of making the bows was the right method, and it turns out you’re employing the exact method I had in my head. Thank goodness for the crafty sisterhood.

  3. Barbara says:

    These are super cute. I have recently been going gaga over DIY projects and I can’t wait to start.
    Your projects are the bomb and so easy to follow.
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful info.
    Lagos, Nigeria

  4. Donna says:

    Really great ideas. Thanks for sharing the patterns with us!


  5. Cássia Medeiros says:

    very creative, loved.

  6. Anonymous says:

    These are so cute. A different twist on the hair accessaries is to extend the bands and make a belt for your little black dress. Velcro could be used to fasten the belt. Headband and belt to match.

  7. Jenalyn and Mike says:

    These are so cute! What is a good length of vinyl/elastic to use for the headbands?

  8. sad robots says:

    Hi! I posted a link to your pattern on my blog in my post about hair accessory tutorials. If you would like me to remove any reference and link to this tutorial, please let me know.

  9. Natalie says:

    I didn't have any vinyl lying around, but I had like five belts that were in the Goodwill bag about to be sent off! I cut them up and used them, they turned out super cute! Thanks for the idea, GENIUS!!!

  10. Susannah says:

    Love it. What a perfect way to show your personality, feel fulfilled, and not pay store prices!

  11. mindy says:

    i saw this & fell in love. a week later there was a huge piece of cream faux leather in the clearance pile! I was ecstatic! I went home & made the big bow & glued it to a plain silver headband that i use for all my rosette headbands etc.

    THANKS for the GREAT idea!!!

  12. Nancy Ward says:


    Wanted you to know I posted a link to this tutorial today on my blog, PaperFriendly.

    Nancy Ward

  13. Judith says:

    Love all your faux leather accessories. They really look fabulous. Thank you.

  14. Ashley says:

    Those that have asked about featuring…..go right ahead. As long as there's a link back to my site, feel free! :)

    And Robin – Hmmm….mine haven't peeled apart. Perhaps your hot glue wasn't hot enough? Do you have a hotter setting on your glue gun? If it still doesn't work, you may need to use an epoxy glue. hope that helps!


  15. The Oxford Family says:

    Love, love, love these! I am featuring them on my blog today! You can see it here:

    If you'd prefer me to not share it please just let me know!

  16. Annie says:

    Thanks for the great idea. I have a bunch on vinyl scraps that I got from a sofa factory for very inexpensive. I will get to work!!

  17. buttons and lace says:

    I loved your idea for homemade hair accessories! I got inspired by this and made up one of my own.
    Hope you don't mind, but since I posted about it on my own blog, I linked back to this post so others could see the original work. You can find my post at:
    Please do let me know if you want the links removed or changed.

  18. RobinS says:

    I thought your clips and headbands were too cute to pass up. I had leftover vinyl from another project so I thought I would try the headband/clips out right away. I was just wondering tho, when i made the bow and after it was all complete I came out later and they had all fallen apart. It's like the hot glue doesn't want to stick to the slippery vinyl. I tried hand sewing one together but that was just too super hard. Do you have any ideas as to why mine wouldn't stick with the glue?? Even the flower one that I did just peeled right off the headband. Ugh! They are so cute and my daughter loves the headband so I really want to figure this out. Any advice would be awesome! Thanks :)

  19. sisters4saymoreismore says:

    i die over vinyl! i have been buying remnants for the last couple yrs… we love to use it and now we have more reasons to buy it! thanks for the tute!


  20. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the notching, clipping tutorial – all makes sense now. Was never sure whether to clip before or after sewing the hems – now I know when and why.


  21. Meredith says:

    I have a stash of real leather I picked up at a thrift store. They had a bin of old leather upholstery and it was so cheap. I bought several pieces. I have also found real leather in apparel – saw a leather vest at a local saver's today for $8. The real stuff is so nice to work with – I have done several similar to yours! I will have to try the coiled one – cute!

  22. Jenny says:

    I already posted earlier, but I was so excited about the project that I had to make some barrettes right away. They turned out great! The only change I made was to add a little bead to the center of the flowers for a little extra something. Thanks the the great ideas, Ashley. I get so inspired by you!

    1. Anonymous says:

      i am trilled to see what you can do with vinyl but i hardly come accrocc the plain ones.

  23. Tauni says:

    Love, love, love these items! I don't have any little girls, but I think I will try making some of them for myself :)

    You know, I remember reading (and I think even bookmarking) the RL style headbands that Disney created on her blog and until I saw the comment here on yours, it never even occurred to me that they were similar – and I gushed abt Disney's headbands!

    I agree with you Ashley, so many ideas floating around it's hard to say who created them…

    In fact, some of the "best" most commented on, showcased items are things I actually remember my mom making…that generation was so much more crafty (probably out of sheer need than anything else). I don't know that there are many "original" thoughts these days, simply improved ones :)

    Keep up the good work, I don't always come out from behind my reader to comment, but I love following all your posts!!!

  24. Ashley says:

    Brittney –

    You know, that's the funny thing about this crafting community…..there are so many ideas floating around and sometimes you think you are being so clever and original, only to see that it was already done years or months before……and then will see it again from others in the future, who thought there were just as original.

    I have emailed back and forth with that sweet Disney here and there and actually really appreciate her sweet flair, though I wasn't able to keep up with her blog daily. I would never imagine stealing an idea or try pretending I came up with something on my own when I really didn't. And those headbands she made are darling. Different than what I made but are darling. But now after actually visiting that particular post, I can see where you thought that maybe the two brown headbands seemed similar but I guess I could list at least a dozen other places I have seen a brown leather "bow-like" headband.

    But when I saw the vinyl at the store, I thought, "perfect……more hair accessories". Fun and easy. And really, the idea began from seeing some leather purses that had flowers attached to them…….and the idea morphed into hair accessories made with leather (or faux leather in my case). And I have seen a large variety of leather headbands with some sort of embellishment on them in places like jcrew. But the hair accessories don't actually look like the purse I saw or the headbands from jcrew, the ideas all just started there. So as you can see, it may be difficult to recognize exactly where an idea actually comes from because it most likely has morphed 7 or 8 times. But the original idea quite possibly could have come from someone walking down the street, like the purse that I saw, or similar headbands at jcrew……resulting in the hair accessories. But to site 7 different places (none of which look like my one final product) would be impossible to do for every project. So I'm sorry, it would be pretty difficult to give you an exact idea of where in my memory an exact inspiration was formed every single time. Haha…..though I really wish I had that sort of memory.

    But this blog is free and just for fun……so I hope people will enjoy it for just that and will follow along as I share the projects that I'm working on. Nothing more. Anyway, I know the ideas float around like crazy on the internet…….and how fun it is to create and just feel free to share ideas. That's why I love this crafting community. And I have seen ideas of mine that I posted about a year ago that have duplicates made of them currently……but people have made their own alterations on, and I applaud them. (Mostly because who knows if I was the first to have really created it, even though I may have never seen it before.) What a fun way to enjoy crafting though, and the whole design experience. I do, however, give credit where proper credit is due. And whenever I take an exact idea from someone……be it a retail store, a blog, an idea of a reader, or a shop of some kind……I mention the source. I do try to be pretty careful about that. So I apologize if you think otherwise. And I'm sure I've made mistakes……so I won't pretend I'm perfect. Haha! But I hope we can all enjoy the work of one another. Because if creating is not enjoyable, why even bother… :)

    And if you have other questions or comments, feel free to email me at


  25. Jenny says:

    That is a great idea. I've got some leftover vinyl from a Halloween costume, that would be perfect. Can't wait to try it!

  26. Kenton and Brittney Anderson says:

    I was just wondering. . . have you ever considered crediting your inspiration? I love to follow crafting blogs and I see many blogs like yours. Many bloggers credit the source of their inspiration. I was very impressed when I saw a similar tutorial here: I was not so impressed when I saw your very similar post but not credit to your inspiration.
    Many of your tutorials I see in other blogs before I see them here. I understand that there are many ways to do the same thing but would it really be that bad to recognize the source of your inspiration? It just seems like the right thing to do.

    1. szygirlski says:

      seriously!? first of all, so far no one’s mentioned the teenage inspiration of this post. i’m much too late but would have left THAT kind of comment: “how lovely that you’ve donated patterns! i’m going to donate my jewelry if possible and root around for something to buy! thanks for caring about kolby!” secondly, girl, those other headbands and pictures? They’re actually from the picture-book dictionary for the word MEH.

      Not my style–I’m the skull-and-snakes gal–but CUTE! leather baby sandals and now these? mmm, candy!


  27. Josey says:

    Absolutely adorable! I've been looking for something cute and easy to make for a while ;D this is great x

  28. babalisme says:

    I love it! Very clear instructions and easy step by step method! Thank you for sharing!

  29. WannaBcrafty says:

    Okay LOVE IT… soooo cute

  30. Lee Ann says:

    Adorable!! Can't wait to make my own!

  31. Beth says:

    Such a cute idea, and such a cost effective one too!

  32. Angie says:


  33. Nikki says:

    vinyl is the best. it's so easy to work with. i loved you tutorial. thanks for sharing.

  34. Vicky says:

    I love the blue flower headband, my daughter's been asking for a blue headband, I bet she'll like this. Off to find some vinyl

  35. So Bella says:

    What a great idea! I can't wait to get some vinyl!! Thanks for the tute!

  36. bethanndodd says:

    You amaze me! No girls in my house so I may just have to make a couple for myself :o). Thanks!

  37. christa @ enSTYLEpedia says:

    these are amazing!! I can't wait to try it out.

  38. Christina says:

    Those turned out so cute! What a great idea. I think I'm going to have to hunt down some vinyl.

  39. kinuki says:

    Me ha encantado el tutorial.Gracias.

  40. Delia says:

    Very very pretty! I just did some genuine leather {from hob lob} accessories this week too. It is so classy looking. You have inspired me to make more. The blue flower is my favorite!

  41. Lesley Grainger says:

    so adorable!!

  42. tracyp says:

    Ashley, I love these! My friend just came and visited me in the hospital in bed rest and we made the satin flower hair accessories and we were thinking we needed something else to make.. These are PERFECT!

  43. Theresa says:

    These are so cute, and look like fun to make. Thanks!

  44. Kate says:

    i love them! i am going to link this up on my blog so my friends will come check them out, that's how fun they are.

  45. Jess and Jen says:

    Can't wait to make some! So adorable! What a great idea!

  46. * Nancy * says:

    the hair accessories look darling, thanks for sharing!

  47. strollstyle says:

    This is such a cute idea! You are so creative! I can't wait to make these for me and my daughter!

  48. Jessabells says:

    Very cool!

  49. Emily says:

    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the how-tos.

  50. Jill says:

    These are so beautiful. If you bought those somewhere I bet you would have paid as much as you did for the 7 pieces of vinyl combined!!!

  51. Britney Anglesey says:

    Wow!! Love love love these! So perfect for fall/winter!

  52. Lexi's Mommy says:

    i saw the vinyl on clearance at my handcocks too but they only had black left! & so I didn't get it because I didnt think black would look too well on my baby since she has black hair already lol

  53. Amy says:

    So cute and classy. Can't wait to torture my cutting table gal with my zillion cuts of vinyl!

  54. Roeckers says:

    love it!! I have some extra vinyl that I used as a photo backdrop back in the day. This will be the perfect project to decrease some of it in my closet. My hubby will so so thrilled!

  55. Country Mouse says:

    Love these!!! Thanks for sharing!

  56. ashleigh says:

    I love this! Thanks for sharing how you did them! Im a new follower and cant wait to see what else you share!

  57. krmccord says:

    Oh, these are so cute!!! I can't wait to try them out:)

  58. Rachael says:

    The timing of this is amazing! I have some vinyl, left over from a project, and just pulled it out to give it to charity. I just couldnt think of how to use it!! Thanks so much! Perfect timing!!

  59. Terri @ says:

    Great idea. I'm thinking I will start now for some Christmas gifts.

  60. Rachel says:

    So easy and so fun! Gonna pick me up some vinyl today when I'm out shopping! Thanks!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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