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Make a No-Sew Braided Headband from Old Clothes or Scrap Fabric

Updated on June 24, 2013

Great Scrapbuster project!

This is an easy step-by-step tutorial for how to make a cute headband out of old clothes or scrap fabric... without having to sew a single stitch!

Most of us probably have a stash of clothes in our closet that we don't wear but for some reason, can't seem to get rid of. Perhaps we love the color, or the material, or maybe it used to be a favorite article of clothing that somehow still has sentimental value even though we haven't even tried it on in years...who knows?!

And there are probably just as many of us who craft or sew with fabric and can't seem to throw away even the tiniest scraps because we promise ourselves we'll do something with them...someday.

Well, this simple project is one that can help you make a dent in your stashes of stuff; and you'll come out on the other end with a super cute hair accessory that others will envy!

Tools and Supplies

For this project you will need:

Miscellaneous fabric (enough for 3 or 4 1" wide strips, 20-22" long)

2 elastic hair bands

fabric glue (I use Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Adhesive)


Choose and Cut your Fabric

Fabric Strips for no-sew braided headband
Fabric Strips for no-sew braided headband

I chose two fabrics similar in weight and thickness to assure an even braid. The pale mint colored one is a thin cotton fabric from an old blouse and the other is 100% rayon from a lovely long floral printed dress.

I decided to try a 4-way braid for this project, but if you're more comfortable with a traditional braid, use 3 strips instead.

Using the scissors, cut your strips approximately 1 inch wide, and about 20 - 22 inches long. As you can see, mine are ragged and uneven and frayed on the edges. They don't have to be perfect! I used the button-hole strip from the front of the blouse, and the button strip too, with the buttons still on just for fun!

Make the Elastic Base for your Headband

Elastic hair bands for headband
Elastic hair bands for headband

Pass one of the hair bands through the other, and loop it around this first one and back through itself. Pull it tight to create a knot that holds the two together in a figure-8 shape.

This creates the stretchy part of the headband, which goes at the back of the head.

Attach fabric strips to the elastic band

fabric glue, fabric scraps, headband tutorial, project, diy, craft
fabric glue, fabric scraps, headband tutorial, project, diy, craft

Use a small dot of glue on the end of each strip of fabric and glue them together, stacking or overlaping slightly as shown. The finished width of mine all together is a little over 1.25" wide. Allow this to dry for 1-2 minutes.

Apply a strip of glue to the last 1/2 inch of your fabric pieces and loop through the elastic band. Fold the end back on itself and hold in place 30 seconds to allow the glue to set. Wait another 1-2 minutes for the glue to finish drying completely.

Braid Your Fabric Strips

fabric scrap, project, diy, headband, tutorial, make your own
fabric scrap, project, diy, headband, tutorial, make your own

Braid your fabric strips together. I made my braided section 14" long, because that was the perfect fit for the headband to end on either side of my head just behind my ears. Adjust the length accordingly for children or otherwise as necessary for yourself.

How to Braid With Four Strands (Video Tutorial)

Watch this video for a simple demonstration of how to braid with four strands!

Finish off the Headband

fabric scrap, headband, tutorial, diy project, hair accessories
fabric scrap, headband, tutorial, diy project, hair accessories

When your braided section reaches the desired length to fit around the top of your head from ear to ear (again, mine was 14"), stop braiding and use the fabric glue to attach the pieces to one another at that point. You should still have a couple of inches left over so that you can use the same technique we used for the first side here.

Pass the ends of the braid through the open side of the elastic hair band, making sure your folded ends will be facing inwards the same way as the other side so your headband is not twisted. Dot some glue on about a 1/2" section after the end of the braid, and fold the strips back on themselves. Hold in place for about 30 seconds to allow glue to set, then leave for several minutes to dry completely.

Use the scissors to trim the excess fabric straight across.

You're finished! Try on your new headband and enjoy your fabulous new handmade hair accessory!

Finished Product! You can make your own no-sew headband from strips of scrap fabric too!

Finished Product! You can make your own no-sew headband from strips of scrap fabric too!
Finished Product! You can make your own no-sew headband from strips of scrap fabric too!

Fabric Craft Books at Amazon

Get great prices on a huge variety of books and craft supplies at Amazon. Here are a few you may like that relate to this project:

Thanks for reading!

spray painted shoes with fabric lining, before and after
spray painted shoes with fabric lining, before and after

You may also like my recent tutorial, Revamp an Old Pair of Shoes with Spray Paint and Fabric Scraps, another fun, quick, and easy crafty project!

Comments, tips, suggestions, questions, praise? Leave it here :)

Guestbook Comments

Submit a Comment

  • KateHonebrink profile image


    6 years ago

    This is such an interesting way to use scrap fabric, of which I have PLENTY! Thanks for a great article and congrats on making the upcycled monsterboard!


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