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DIY fabric headbands: a step-by-step tutorial

Headbands are cute hair accessories and often are not only practical but also fashionable. I like DIY fabric headbands and here is a step-by-step tutorial on making a headband.

I found a few reasons for wearing (and sewing) headbands.

  1.   They can absorb sweat and keep it from reaching the eyes when you are running or exercising.
  2.   They also can keep unruly hair out of your face.
  3.   A headband can be a stylish item for your head especially if it has an interesting shape or is decorated with ribbons or fabric flowers.
  4.   Headbands can transform an ordinary outfit into something special and exceptional.
  5.   A headband is a very easy item to sew for a beginner sewist and can be a step in your sewing journey, it’s a really good item for practicing.
  6.   You can use your scrap fabric to make as many different headbands as you wish.

With that being said, let me show you how to make a turban headband.  I made it from 100% silk fabric left after I made a silk robe. So my headband matches my outfit quite nicely. And the material is really soft and absorbent – good for my hair. I love wearing this turban headband while I run errands, wash my face, or put on makeup.

✅ Related tutorial: Easy sewing projects: DIY silk robe without a pattern

step by step diy fabric headband

I would like to mention also that the headband supposes to be a comfortable hair accessory and shouldn’t dig into the head. For this, it’s better to design the headband with an elastic insert.

1.  Cut 3 headband pieces from your fabric:

  • 2 pieces  18 x 44 in cm or 7 x 17 ¼ in inches  each
  • 1 piece 8 x 42 in cm or 3 x 16 ½ in inches

2.   Cut a piece of wide elastic ( the length is 20 cm or 7 7/8 in), mine was 2.3 cm wide (7/8 in)

3.   Fold pieces of fabric in half lengthwise right sides together, pin (or baste), and stitch (seam allowances are 1 cm or 3/8 in). Don’t forget that for silk fabric you will need to use a thin sharp needle size 80/12 or 70/10 and a thin thread (better 100% silk thread). Check your sewing machine settings before stitching on a scrap piece of the same fabric.

4.   Press seams on one side. For the narrow piece, I used a regular ruler as you can see in the video below. And for wider pieces, I use a special pressboard. If you don’t have this kind of pressboard I strongly advise you to buy one (here is an affiliate link) if, of course, you are serious about your sewing hobby. This is a very useful thing in my sewing arsenal.

Tailors Board
Tailors Board

5.   Turn these pieces right side out. You will have no problem with wider pieces. But the narrow piece may be tricky. I do it usually just with a regular safety pin. Check the video below.

6.      Press all pieces flat again.

7.   Insert a piece of elastic into the narrow band. Secure the elastic ends with pins and stitch.

8.   Now you need to connect the two pieces to each other. Lay one wide piece on top of the other like a cross and fold them as I am showing in the video below. Pin the ends together.

9.   The last step is quite tricky to describe so watch the video below and you will see how to put the headband together connecting all the parts. The size of the elastic after stitching and cutting is 17 cm or 6 5/8 in. If you are worried about whether the finished headband will fit properly try it on your head and adjust one of the edges according to the size of your head.

Turn it around hiding the seams inside.


That’s all! It’s quite simple to make, isn’t it? You can make a few more… I think it looks pretty.

I have another tutorial and a YouTube video on sewing headbands, in a different style, check it out: How to sew a simple headband DIY free sewing pattern and tutorial

Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to the article later when you need this information on stay stitching , and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration!

step by step diy fabric headband

Like sewing tips? I have other popular tutorials on my site that might be interesting for you. Check them out below. 

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Thursday 28th of April 2022

Can't wait to try it. Maybe use material from upcycled headscarves. Thanks.

Olga Balasa

Saturday 30th of April 2022

Thank you; I hope you will like it!


Saturday 13th of June 2020

Thank you! What a clever way of making a headband and so easy!

Olga Balasa

Saturday 13th of June 2020

Everything is easy AFTER you did it, right? When you start a project and you don't know what the outcome will be, I am always a little worried.


Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Ahhhhh, adding this to my list....


Thursday 1st of August 2019

Love your tutorials. Thank you for taking the time to teach others.

Olga Balasa

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Thank you very much for your sweet note Crystal! I like to sew but now I like even more to write about sewing.


Saturday 22nd of June 2019

Love your tutorials, hints and your style. Thank you for making my sewing time better!

Olga Balasa

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

Thank you for your sweet note, Gwen!

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