How to Make a Fabric Headband
Handmade headbands are an easy, inexpensive craft project that is perfect for girls and women of a wide variety of ages. Put together a few for yourself or your kids, have a rainy day craft session with your girls, or organize a larger project for a shower or party. If you don't sew, don't let the word fabric throw you. A number of these tutorials are no sew or require a minimal amount of hand sewing or straight machine sewing. I've also included a handful of tutorials for fabric flowers that you can add to virtually any type of headband. Many of them are also no sew.
Why make a headband?
Inexpensive headbands are available in abundance at every drug store and big box store as well as numerous clothing stores. If you're looking for a homemade headband, there are lots of sellers online and at craft fairs who offer headbands. So why make them yourself? Here are some of the most popular reasons that people make them.
- Interested in saving money. Even though there are a number of inexpensive headbands out there, they can add up quickly. This is particular true for babies and young children who need new sizes frequently. It is often less expensive to make headbands than purchase them, especially if you are looking for fabric (as opposed to plastic) headbands with detail (flowers, sequins, etc.).
- Customization and personalization options. Do you have a daughter who only wants to wear purple items or pieces with lace? Are you having trouble finding a comfortable headband in a style that you prefer for yourself? It can be easier and less expensive to make something yourself than spending hours searching for just the right thing.
- Option for using up fabric scraps. If you make larger fabric projects on a regular basis and have lots of fabric scraps, headbands can be a good option for using some of them. There's no need to make a headband simply to use up scraps, but if you will wear one or know someone who will wear one, this can be a simple, fun project for those scraps.
- Gifts. Headbands make a great gift for girls and women of many ages. You can give them for birthdays and Christmas. They also make great party favors for wedding showers, baby showers, and birthday parties.
- Selling. If you enjoy working with fabric and have been making headbands for personal use for a while, you may decide that you want to step up the game and start selling some of them.
Fabric Headband Tutorials
- Flower Fabric Headband. Keep the headband simple and make it all about the flower. A simple strip of fabric will dress up a basic headband or you can leave it plain.
- Wide Fabric Headbands. Do plastic headbands give you a headache? Opt for a fabric headband instead. You only need a few simple sewing supplies and can choose hand or machine sewing.
- Narrow Fabric Headband. For those who like the stretchy fabric headband option but don't want a wide headband, head over here. She fits the fabric right over a narrow piece of elastic.
- Fabric Fishtail, Boho-Chic Headband. The author chose to machine sew her strips, but you can use the strips as is if you prefer or can customize it with a different kind of stitch. This is a great project for using up oddly shaped fabric scraps from other projects. You don't need strips that are the same width or that are evenly cut for the headband to turn out beautifully.
- 5 Strand Braided Headband. One of the most popular fabric headbands today is the t-shirt headband. You don't have to use t-shirt fabric to make a braided headband, but it works perfectly if you want something that has a little stretch. Re-purpose old t-shirts that are too small, stained, or simply aren't being worn anymore. You can also pick up cheap t-shirts at any second hand clothing store or at craft stores.
- Re-purposed Baby Pants Headband. Alisa Burke has a brilliant idea for turning old baby pants with a stretch waist into a baby headband. How neat is that? You don't even need a new piece of elastic, and you can use some of the other pants fabric for flowers to attach to the headband.
- Turban Style T-Shirt Headband. Alisa also has a re-purposed clothing headband idea for girls and woman. There aren't a lot of directions here, but the concept is pretty self-explanatory. You'll have to play around with it a little bit to get the size and style that works for you.
- Glitter Fabric Headband. I'm sure that most people don't have glitter fabric on hand so you may need to head out and purchase some for this project. The blog author found hers with the craft foam at Hobby Lobby. She created a heart but of course you can create any shape that you like.
How long should I make my headband?
Headband Length (inches)
1-12 Years Old
Tip: When in doubt, make your headband a couple extra inches longer than you think it will need to be. It is easier to take a little fabric off later than it is to add more or start over with a new piece of fabric.
Headband Measurement Source
Tip: You can mix and match virtually any fabric flower tutorial with any fabric headband tutorial. The customization options are endless.
How to Make Fabric Flowers for Headbands
You can use fabric glue or a hot glue gun for nearly all of these tutorials.
- Rolled Fabric Flowers. There are many variations of this tutorial out there for both fabric and paper. It is one of the simplest ways to make a flower out of a single piece of material.
- Fabric Rosettes. This is a very similar concept to the basic rolled fabric flower and is one of the most popular fabric flowers. If you've seen these before and have been intimidated, you'll be amazed at what a simple craft project this is.
- Fabric Fireworks. These unique flowers look like little fireworks. I love how the blog author layers a smaller one on top of a larger one. This project will wow everyone.
- Layered Fabric Flowers with Fabric Covered Button Center (with template). Please take the time to print the template on cardstock, cut it out, and pin it to your fabric. It is so much easier than trying to cut free hand. This is another great excuse to make or use up some fabric covered buttons. There are lots of detailed photos and directions here.
- Fabric Peonies. This is one of the most involved fabric flower tutorials out there as it involves applying light heat to the fabric to curl the edges. The effect is fabulous and well worth the effort.
- Stacked Felt Flower (with template). Felt is one of my favorite fabric materials for craft projects, as it is inexpensive and easy to cut. I love the idea of using a rhinestone for the flower center.
- No Sew Fabric Flowers with Buttons. Cut, fold, and glue fabric, then glue a button in the middle. What's not to love here? This is so simple and beautiful.
- Fabric Flowers with Fabric Stiffener. Jessica loves to use fabric stiffener for many of her fabric projects. If you're creating more elaborate fabric flowers, particularly those with thin fabric, and want to hold their shape firmly or simply want a stiffer fabric aesthetic, this is a good option.
More crafty resources from the author.
- Maternity Clothing: Free Tutorials and Patterns Round Up
Are you looking for free maternity clothing DIY tutorials and patterns that you can make for yourself or a loved one? Choose from pants / jeans, dresses, tops / shirts, skirts, belly bands, and more!
- Recycled Old T-Shirt Craft Ideas: Clothing and Accessory Projects | FeltMagnet
Do you have old t-shirts lying around at home? Recycle them into clothing and accessories with these craft projects and ideas.
- Machine Sewing or Stitching with Paper: Tips, Ideas, and Projects | FeltMagnet
This article is about machine sewing/ stitching with paper. It includes general tips for the process, projects/tutorials, and ideas for additional elements (e.g. borders, embellishments, etc.).
© 2012 Rose Clearfield