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Free Simple Headband Tutorial

July 20, 2011

This week has been soooo hot in Minnesota. Sometimes you just want to put your hair UP, you know what I mean?

I love wearing simple stretchy headbands but there are three problems. 1. It’s hard to find them in cool colors 2. The bulk in the back of the headband is annoying. 3. They aren’t always loose enough, or tight enough.

Here is a quick little tutorial  on how to make your own simple headbands out of any jersey fabric you can get your hands on. You can simply cut up a t-shirt, or go to a nice fabric store and buy some really quality,lightweight, smooth-as-butta jersey in a nice color. You only need about a quarter yard (not a fat quarter though–it should be a cut that runs the length of the fabric, so you get one nice, long piece).

you will need :

-a piece of knit jersey ( at least 6″x20″)


-sewing machine

-safety pin

Start by trimming your fabric into a tidy little rectangle. make sure the stretchiest direction is going length-wise. I like to fold my fabric in half, and then trim it to be 3″ wide, for a total of 6″ once unfolded.

Then , with pretty side of fabric together (if there is an obviously prettier side), fold in half length wise, and sew down the length of the open end. To keep the Stretch of the fabric, pull fabric taught from both ends as you sew on your machine. This is usually a no-no to pull your fabric as you sew, but unless you have a serging machine, this is the best way to keep the stretch that I’ve found.

Turn your piece inside out so your seam is on the inside of the tube. Fold your tube in half, so that the seam is on the outside. Lika that…

secure the ends with a safety pin, and try it on to see if the tightness is right. move the safety pin closer in, or out depending on how tight you want your headband to be. I like mine pretty tight, as jersey will stretch out as you wear it a bit.

once you have the pin where you want it, go ahead and sew the seam right where the pin was, backstitching a bit at each end.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, we will cover it up in the end.

Try it on one more time to make sure you like the fit. Cut the excess fabric off, leaving about 1/2 ” past the seam.

Here comes the cool part. You know when you wear a headband like this, and it’s all bulky in the back, wear your ponytail is? Here is how to make it narrower…

turn your headband inside out, with seam line on the outside. Right above the seam, fold the top of your headband half way down, and the bottom part half way up and pin.


simply hand sew about an inch where they meet. This will cover up the back seam AND gather the fabric a bit to reduce bulk.


flip your headband right side out and experiment with new do’s.

Here is a picture of Avery wearing a yellow one I made from an old T-Shirt of hers

Here is another picture of the blue one.

If you decide to make one, send me a picture of you wearing it; I’d love to see it!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. avery permalink
    July 20, 2011 10:13 am

    Haha! Totes forgot about that shirt I gave you for fabric scrappies. Nice work on the reincarnation.

  2. July 20, 2011 2:32 pm

    That is awesome! I’m totally going to make one!

  3. Ritney permalink
    February 10, 2013 10:24 am

    very clear tutorial. thanks so very much. Ritney

  4. July 23, 2013 2:52 pm

    love this, making for myself and my daughter!

  5. July 23, 2013 2:52 pm

    cute with fabric flowers too!

  6. Sonia permalink
    August 19, 2013 9:07 am

    Thanks for sharing, love your fix the bulky back tip.

  7. Mark lawless permalink
    November 5, 2013 12:35 pm

    Thanks for this! I’m a stay at home dad, novice sewer, and I used your article to make headbands out of compression material to use for crossfit/working out. Love them, and have made a few for friends as well! They wick away sweat way better than a bandana or sweatband,too! Thanks!

    • January 13, 2014 3:31 pm

      wow! That is awesome! For a long time, my dad was the go to guy in our house with the sewing machine. Way to go!

  8. ELINA permalink
    January 19, 2015 7:57 pm

    thank you so so much!!!!!this is exactly what i was looking for!!!!!! 😀

  9. melissa henry permalink
    June 30, 2015 9:52 am

    Just found this tutorial and thought, even I can probably do that! I just made up a beautiful headband for 4th of July out of some hand dyed fabric I have been afraid to cut into. It was super simple and very quick to sew up! Thank you so much for this. It was just what I needed.

  10. September 29, 2016 6:11 am


  11. Alexa permalink
    January 16, 2017 9:29 pm

    So simple and perfect! I left the extra ends long and tied them in a bow.

  12. Steff permalink
    March 4, 2017 6:23 pm

    Thanks for a great tutorial. I hit the jackpot at my fabric store yesterday and got knit on clearance…plus coupons! Yay! I have alopecia and need something to wear at home when I don’t want to be bothered with wearing my wig. ie; cleaning, exercising, lounging (do moms ever lounge?)…you get the idea. So thanks a bunch for making this difficult season easier. PS. I even got some knit fabric with glitter…because: Why not?

  13. Tammera Lowe permalink
    June 12, 2018 6:30 pm

    Thank you so much! I had a pride t-shirt that had holes from my jeans button, so I was able to make it into a headband. I didn’t see how to upload a photo, or I would have. Wonderful instructions. Thank you.

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