Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

I’ve been unreliable of late on my weekly blog post, but I’m trying to get back on track after some traveling with work.  This week’s tutorial is for a thick, striped headband with elastic at the base.  I like this type of headband to control my thin, super straight when I’m sewing, cleaning house, or relaxing.  It’s totally customizable for size and colors so make one or more that you’ll love.

Supplies you’ll  need:

Fabric, approximately 1/8 yard or less (I love to use scraps for this type of project)

6 inches of ½” to 1” elastic (again, scraps of elastic are great for this project)

Rotary blade or fabric scissors, ruler, cutting mat

Sewing machine

Sewing accoutrement (thread, seam ripper, pins, etc.)


To start with, think about the design of your headband.  I chose to distribute smaller pink stripes between larger black stripes.  You could do evenly sized stripes ora single bold stripe in the middle of the headband.  Whatever you decide to do, plan out the thicknesses of your stripes ahead of time so you can cut the appropriate sized strips of fabric.

The overall approach to the headband is to first piece together the main portion of the headband, cover the elastic, then assemble the final piece.  I chose a thickness of 3” for my final headband.  For this, I pieced together the fabric stripes for a final size of approximately 15” long by 6.5” wide.  Remember to add a seam allowance to each stripe when you cut them out.  I made this rectangle from 5 thin pink stripes (½” final thickness), 4 thicker black stripes in between (1.5” final thickness), and two longer black pieces on each edge to create the wrap around of the headband.  Piece together how every you’d like and iron the seams.  When you have your completed piece, fold it in half, lengthwise (or hot-dog style) with right sides together.  Sew the long side of the piece and turn right side out.  This will create a tube 6” in diameter and 15” long.  Iron this piece along the seam to create the flat headband.

I then created a smaller tube to cover the elastic at the base of the headband.  I used 3/8” elastic so I made a 1” final thickness tube approximately 6” long.  This was made from a piece of fabric 2.5” x 6” sewn lengthwise and turned inside out.  I then threaded my elastic through this smaller tube.  To make it easier, I didn’t cut my piece of elastic first.  I threaded one end of elastic through the small tube I just made.  I then tacked the end of the elastic at one end of the tube to hold it in place.  Then, I scrunched up the fabric tube along the elastic until it reached the approximately length I wanted.  I then tacked the elastic at the second end and cut of the extra elastic.  At this point you are left with a small piece of elastic that is covered in bunched up fabric.  This will allow the headband to stretch over your head as you take it on and off.  The picture below shows my main piece and the covered elastic that are ready for final assembly.

Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

Headband pieces ready for final assembly

To piece together the headband, you’ll need to know what you want your final size to be.  I measured my head a few times and it might take a few iterations to get it right.  Trim your wide, flat piece on each end to the final size you’ll need, including  the elastic in the measurement.  Use the length of the elastic stretched out a bit, so you’ll have a tight fit to your head while you’re wearing it.  Now, fold in the edge of the flat piece to fit over the elastic piece and sew in place.  This may take a little finagling to get a smooth, tapered finish.  I found it worked best to center the flat piece on the elastic and fold in each side on the back.  Then, I sewed it in place.  In this way, you’ll have one smooth, more finished side that you’ll wear out, visible on your head.  Here is what mine looked like after one side was attached.

Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

Partially assembled headband

Doublecheck the sizing at this point.  If everything looks right, perform the same procedure on the remaining side.  Make sure that the headband is straight and aligned the correct way with the nicer, finished edges on the same side.  Make sure not to make a Mobius Strip!  Now you have a finished, hand-made thick, striped headband.  Enjoy!

Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

My headband in action in Hawai'i



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