DIY Headband | Elastic & Twist Top Headband Tutorial

DIY Headband

Are you ready to make a DIY Headband? It’s Stephanie from Stephie B’s Designs here again today to walk you through two super fun and easy diy headband projects, because, who doesn’t love super fun and easy projects?!

We’ll start with how to make an Elastic Headband. Sounds fun, right?! What is also great about this style is that you make it from woven cotton, like this Woven Tie Headband, rather than knits as used in most headbands. That means you have a lot more options, especially if you have a huge cotton stash!

After that, I’ll show you how to make a Twist Top Heaband!

DIY Headband | Elastic & Twist Top Headband Tutorials

As I always like to say… Let’s get started with the DIY headband!

Headband Tutorial #1 | Elastic Headband Tutorial

Gather Your Materials

  • Fabric. I’ll cover the measurements below.
    • Big piece for the top portion of the headbands
    • Smaller piece for the elastic casing
  • Elastic. I recommend 1/2in to 1in, depending on your preference. I’ll cover the length below.
  • Acrylic Quilter’s Ruler or your favorite household ruler
  • Rotary Cutter or fabric scissors
  • Bodkin or safety pin
  • Thread, pins, and sewing machine

Determine The Length and Width for Your Elastic Headbands


If you are able to measure the child or adult to get the exact head circumference, awesome! But if not, below is a generalized head circumference chart you can use for reference when making these headbands. 

Newborn: 14″
Up to 1 Year: 17″
Toddler: 19″
Child: 20″
Teen: 23″
Adults: 24″

Once you know the circumference you’ll be using – in my case, I am making a toddler sized one, so will use 19in – you need to do a little math… but don’t let math scare you!

The length of the headband will be split into two parts. 1. the top portion, which is the larger piece of fabric, and 2. the elastic and it’s casing, which is the smaller piece.

The top portion will be 3/4 (.75) the length of the circumference and the elastic will be 1/4 (.25).

You will need to add in an additional 1/2in on each side of the top portion that will be tucked inside itself, and that same amount to each end of the elastic because it will also be tucked into the headband.

This sounds like a lot, but you got this. Bear with me! Lets take this step by step.

Top portion: circumference x .75 + 1in (in my case, 19in x .75 = 14 1/4in + 1in = 15 1/4in)

Elastic: circumference x .25 + 1in (in my case, 19in x .25 + 1in = 5 3/4in)

For the elastic casing, you’ll want to add an extra 3in or so to the length of the elastic to allow for the elastic to stretch.

Elastic casing: elastic + 3in (in my case, 4 3/4in + 3in = 7 3/4in)

My elastic will be 5 3/4in long, and the two lengths of fabric will be 15 1/4in and 7 3/4in.


Wait, there’s more??!! But this was supposed to be EASY!

This is much easier to figure out… you’re almost there. 🙂

Top portion. This measurement is somewhat up to you, how wide you want your headband to be. You can make it really wide to fold it or scrunch it, or you can leave it somewhat thin. I opted for a 1 1/2in width.

Whatever width you’d like, double that since the two sides will be sewn together.

Additionally, you will also need to add in the 1/4in seam allowance, so an extra 1/2in on top of your preferred width.

Top portion: preferred width x 2 + 1/2in (in my case, 1 1/2in x 2 = 3in + 1/2in = 3 1/2in)

Elastic casing. This depends on the width of the elastic you opt to use. I like 1/2in, especially for little kids, but you can use large width if you’d prefer. It’s up to you! You’ll double the width of the elastic, and add the 1/2in as you did before for 1/4 seam allowance.

Elastic casing: elastic width x 2 + 1/2in (in my case, 1/2in x 2 = 1in + 1/2in = 1 1/2in)

The width of my two fabric pieces will be 3 1/2in and 1 1/2in.

Sooooooo! If my public math is correct, my two pieces will be 15 1/4in x 3 1/2in and 7 3/4in x 1 1/2in

Still tracking?!? I hope so! It’s all downhill from here!

Elastic Headband Step 1. Cut your pieces

Easiest step yet!

Elastic Headband Step 2: Make the Headband by Sewing the Two Pieces of Fabric

Fold your two pieces in half long ways (like a hot dog bun) and sew, using the 1/4in seam allowance.

Side note… it’s always a good idea to make sure your bobbin is full enough to make it through your project……. (doh!)

Back in business,. Repeat with the elastic casing.

Trim your seam allowances to reduce bulk.

Want to learn some additional ways to reduce bulk? Check out this tutorial on Reducing Bulk; How to Trim, Grade, Notch, and Clip Seam Allowances.

Elastic DIY Headband Step 3. Flip and press

Turn your tubes right-side-out using a bodkin or safety pin.

Press, with the seam along one of the long sides.

Elastic DIY Headband Step 4. Tuck and press

Tuck inside and press 1/2in of each side of the top portion (the longer piece of fabric).

Elastic DIY Headband Step 5. Put the elastic into the elastic casing

Attach a bodkin or safety pin to the end of the elastic and slide it into the casing.

Stop pulling the elastic through the casing when the end of the elastic without the bodkin/safety pin is even with the raw edge of the fabric.

Sew in place, backstitching and sewing back over the stitches several times to strengthen.

Repeat with the other side, pulling the bodkin/safety pin out just enough to hold it in place as you sew. You don’t want the elastic springing back into the casing before you can sew it in place!

The casing is finished! Almost done!

Elastic DIY Headband Step 6. Attach the two pieces together

Slide one end of the elastic/casing into one end of the headband 1/2in. I recommend making sure the sides with the seams are both facing the same direction.

Fold the extra fabric over…

…and pin in place.

Repeat with the other side.

Before you sew, make sure the headband isn’t twisted or folded the wrong way.

Elastic DIY Headband Step 7: Sew

Sew across the pinned sections several times to ensure they have a good, strong hold. Be sure you catch the elastic/casing as you sew!

And there you have it! Your headband is finished!

If its too small, you can unstitch the last part and created a longer elastic/casing part. and if it’s too big, you can shorten that part as needed. Super easy!

Headband Tutorial #2 | Twist Top Headband

Now I’ll be taking you step-by-step through how to make a twist-top headband. This is one of the simplest headband patterns you’ll come across – the hardest part will be figuring out which fabric to use! (That step had me staring at my fabric closet for quite a while…!)

I see these all the time on Etsy, and I love them! Why pay for them if I can make them myself, though? 😉

Ok, let’s get started!

Twist Top Headband Step 1: Gather your materials

  • Fabric. I’ll cover the measurements below. I recommend using knits, although if your measurements are spot on or you don’t want the stretch, try it out with a woven.
  • Cloth measuring tape
  • Acrylic Quilter’s Ruler or your favorite household ruler
  • Rotary Cutter or fabric scissors
  • Thread and sewing machine or serger

Twist Top Headbands Step 2. Determine your headband length and width


Below is a chart you can use for reference when making these headbands. Because of the twist on top, I recommend cutting your length as close to the actual head circumference as possible due to the inch or so of fabric used in the twist.

  • Newborn: 14″
  • Up to 1 Year: 16″
  • Toddler: 17″
  • Child: 19″
  • Teen: 20″
  • Adults: 21″

Today I’m making a headband for my 6mo daughters (twinsies!). Both of their heads measured 16.5″ so that will be my length. Which wasn’t an easy task to begin with… They wiggle so much at 6 months!


For the width, I recommend 4″ wide for babies and toddler, and 5″ for children-adults.

If you’d like a thicker or thinner headband, feel free to get a little crazy and experiment!

DIY Headbands Step 3. Measure and cut your headband

You’ll need two rectangles, length by width. In my case, I’ll be cutting two pieces that are 16.5″ x 4″. You want the stretch going across the length, so layout and measure your fabric accordingly.

DIY Headbands Step 4. Sew

Fold your rectangles in half long ways (like a hot dog bun) with right sides together.

Sew along the long edge using a zigzag, stretch stitch, or serger. Use your desired seam allowance (SA) – 1/4″ is always a safe bet – then trim as necessary.

Once you’ve sewn down the long edge – it’ll look like a tube at this point – turn it right side out. Adjust your pieces so the seam is down the middle of the back.

With both seams facing upwards, lay one side over the other to make a ‘+’ symbol.

Fold the side on the bottom in half over the top side, sliding the top side as necessary.

Repeat with the second side.

Almost there!

Bring all four ends together towards the inside of the headband (so the raw edges don’t show once the headband is being worn), and sew using your desired SA.

I ended up serging this together because of how thick it is. If you used a serger, don’t forget to Finish your Serger Tails.

And there you have it!!!! An awesome headband! I told you it was easy, didn’t I? 😉

The final result went over pretty well with my little wiggles, although as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get a Pinterest-worthy picture of these two cuties with the headband on… but oh well… now you get to enjoy them just for stopping by. 🙂

There you have this DIY Headband. Have you ever made a twist top headband? What is your favorite headband style? I’d love to see your comments!

Make Some More Headbands with Our Other DIY Headband Ideas

We actually have a few other easy diy headbands you can make up here at Peek-a-Boo Pages that I’d like to point out in case you’re interested.

DIY Twist Headband from Heather

Heather did an excellent tutorial for us on how to make DIY Twist Headbands. These headbands use knit fabric and are great for using up scraps. It requires a little bit of quick sewing to get a fun look.

Big Bow Headband from Stephanie

Stephanie likes her headbands. Her final tutorial I’d like to point out is her DIY Big Bow Headband. These make a fun baby headband. Stephanie’s step by step instructions make this popular look easy to accomplish.

I hope you enjoyed Stephanie’s homemade headband today. Use this DIY tutorial and design to come up with ideas to make your own headbands. Headband ideas are limitless. From a faux floral headband to a no-sew wire headband to you name it. There are hundreds of different diy headband ideas throughout the internet. Do a search on pinterest and you’ll be amazed by the number of headbands you see and the DIY possibilities.

Thank you for reading through this project, and I hope you come back for more! There are tons of blogs, projects, and tutorials here on Peek-a-Boo Pages, so take a look around and enjoy. To see what’s new with Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop or get help with your sewing projects, be sure to join our Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Facebook Group.

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