The Half-Hour Headband

Short hair is easy to care for, but difficult to accessorize.  After buying 5 wide headbands from Target, I discovered that they made me look like a crazed aerobics instructor from the 80’s.  Or a cockatoo.  Out of sheer frustration, I improvised and discovered how easily a shirt sleeve can be recycled into the perfect headband.

It only takes half an hour (or less, for you sewing geniuses).  And headbands look great on ANY head shape, hair color, length, or cut.  The best part about sewing one yourself is that you dictate exactly how it fits in the end, whether it’s for you or a gift for someone else.

And it’s FREEEEE!  A frugal choice – much better than giving in to my “I feel like shopping today” instinct, which seems to be slowly dying back the less I indulge it.  Sweet.

The Half-Hour Headband

Step 1: Choose what you will cut to shreds (or what’s already in shreds that needs a-fixin’).  Here you decide color, pattern, texture – have a picture in mind if possible of your finished product.  There should be an adult sleeve-worth of material.

Step 2: Make sure your thread of choice is ready to go in your machine.

Step 3: Set your stitch type to zigzag.  You can do serging, but zigzag was faster and just as effective for me.

Step 4: If your material is still in the form of something like a sleeve, cackle wickedly, brandish your scissors, and cut out a shape that looks like a skinny bugle:

(For the light blue headband, I did not round the wide ends.  They were square and pointy and that’s what gave me the idea for the random, overlapping stitching.  I was in a hurry, so there are no pictures of that process.  My apologies.)

Step 5: Trace a second shape, identical to the one you just cut out.  Cut this second shape out as well.  (Or use the lazy way, my way, and cut them both out at once, just because you can.)  Lay the two pieces across each other so that the wide ends are in the middle,  overlapping.  The photo below shows my experiment with folding the ends before overlapping. 

Step 6: This is your creative moment to shine.  The extra wide ends can be folded over any way you like to create random shapes stitched on to the top of your head (so to speak)!  If your vision is for a cleaner look, you could easily just attach the two pieces. 

I wanted to see randomness with zigzag, so that’s what I did. 

Step 7: Once I figured out how I wanted the extra material to lie, I pinned the two pieces together. 

After you do the pinning, zigzag right over the edges of the headband, all the way around.

(For Pete’s sake, go slower than I did so yours comes out better!)

Step 8: Begin stitching each layer of your middle, wide ends on to the headband, starting with the lowest/bottom layer.  Lay the next one down and stitch around it, and so on.

(I added a couple of swirls as a distraction from the occasional zigzag slip-up…)

Step 9: Trim off the threads and check your handiwork by putting on the headband! 

Step 10: Take a picture of yourself modeling the Half-Hour Headband, and post it on your blog or Facebook!  And if you’re feeling really generous, please give a shout-out to The Full Vine.  I’d love to see your finished project!

Have a great day,



11 thoughts on “The Half-Hour Headband

  1. I’m confused, the wide ends that you pinned together don’t look lumpy in the final picture. Did you end up smoothing them out as you stitched the edge or is it just because it is laying flat under the headband against your head?

    Elise now wants me to make her one of these. I could use one too. I’m growing my bangs out and they are really bugging me!

    • That’s exactly why I made these! Growing your hair out is such a PAIN but you still want to look good doing it :-)…

      You’re absolutely right – in the “before” picture, the wide ends are pinned rather haphazardly, and I should have explained why. I only pinned the middle so that I could get the edges to match well when I stitched around the outside of the whole headband. As soon as that step was done, I took the pins out, and stitched one flap/piece/shape/whatever at a time, smoothing each one out as I went and working from the bottom layer to the top. When I made the light blue headband, this as-you-go approach left some sections hanging off the edge. Those either got trimmed to match the edge and attached with zigzag, or folded back into the design to create a new line to follow with stitching. It was a fun I-don’t-care kind of project that really surprised me with how pretty it could be.

      Ideally there wouldn’t be any lumps underneath the headband. I ended up with one because I went too fast, and had to cut out a little material and do a quick stitching over to fix it.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if it doesn’t – I don’t always say things as clearly as they are in my head 😉

  2. Sounds like work to me. At my age, I think I’d look better in one of those hats the
    women wore to Prince William’s wedding.!!!

  3. Pingback: Until Next Time | The Full Vine

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