A couple months ago, I was on a mission to find some stylish headbands to help me deal with growing out my short hair (PS. Short hair is great, but definitely think long and hard about the prospect of eventually growing it out before you decide to chop your hair off). I searched anywhere I could think of – online and in store. While some were pretty, the majority were overpriced. If you’ve ever worn a headband before, you will know that they are not all created equal. Some have jagged teeth that give you a pounding headache by day’s end. Others slide right out of your hair, leaving you searching for a mirror to fix it several times a day.
Through this search, I got the idea to make one myself. I saw one or two that used a velvet backing, which seemed to grip hair without gripping your head too tight. With this idea in mind, I went to the fabric store. I found several widths of velvet ribbon. And a whole aisle of ribbon – in every color, pattern, and style you can think of! In my crafty little mind, these would be used to make the visible part of my headband, with elastic at the back to make it stretchy. While feeding cookies to the Peanut to extend my shopping experience, I scoured the trim aisle to pick the “perfect” ribbon to make my prototype headband. In the end, Peanut ended up picking a purple glitter ribbon for her own headband. Unfortunately, the store only had the velvet trim by the yard (I wanted a spool of it) and most of the ribbons were only available by the spool (great if you’re making lots to give away or sell, not so great if you want to make lots of different ones for yourself). So I bought my materials for a grand total of $7.95. This was enough to make 2 baby/child-sized headbands, plus enough leftover glitter ribbon and elastic to make several more headbands or use them for different projects. I saw similar headbands in stores for around $10 each. Here is how I made them.
- Decorative ribbon or trim (I used American Crafts Glitter Strips in Grape, 5/8″, 3 yards/spool)
- Velvet ribbon, same width as the decorative ribbon you’ve chosen (mine was 5/8″)
- Elastic (Dritz Braided Elastic, 1/4″ x 8 yards)
- Matching thread
I asked for a half yard of the velvet ribbon, which ended up being too little. I wanted to get 2 headbands out of it, but I had to make the decorative part of the headband smaller than I would have liked because of it. Had I just got a full yard, I probably could have gotten 3 perfectly sized headbands made. Next time I will try to find a spool.
The first step is to figure out how big you need to make your headband. One way to do this is to use a headband that you already have (that fits) as a template. The second way (which is what I did) is to measure around the head you are making it for and guesstimate. You will want the ribbon part of the headband to end just behind the ears, so the elastic isn’t visible. As you can kind of see in the picture, mine was slightly shorter than that, and I don’t think it looks as nice as it could have if it were longer. However, the headband seems to be quite forgiving. It is small enough for my almost 2 year old to wear, but I can still put it on comfortably too. Cut the lengths of the velvet and decorative ribbons, as well as the elastic. You can always trim them up later, if needed.
The next step is to start putting the pieces together. Start at one end. With the right sides of both ribbons facing in, pin or hold the ends together, with the elastic between the two ribbons (make sure it is centered and straight). Now sew them together.
Next is to sew the edges together. Start at the end you’ve sewn together and sew at the very edge down to the open end, this time with the right sides facing out. Stop about 1cm or so from the end so you have room to tuck the ends in. Repeat on the opposite side.
Now you’ll finish it up by tucking in the other ends of the ribbon and placing the elastic between, and sew, again.
That’s it! You’re done already! This headband was so easy to make, it would be no problem to have one in every color to match everything (which is necessary for anyone growing their hair out!) The headband is comfortable, and doesn’t slide around in your hair, so you don’t end up having to adjust it constantly. I think you could hand-sew it just as easily, and trying to glue it crossed my mind as well, though it may get messy. These would make great gifts to give to friends or for baby showers (you could even tack on a flower or something else to embellish it). Since they’re so quick and cheap to make, you could even make a bunch as party favors!
I’ve included some photos of the finished headband in action. Unfortunately, as cute as Peanut is, she is not the greatest model. I had to covertly snap some pics while she was playing, and she ripped the headband off ASAP. So I had to resort to modelling it myself (cringe…selfies are the WORST!)