Sew a Cute Headband in 7 Simple Steps

Two headbands

This basic headband wins the prize for cutest stash-buster ever. Make one to match every outfit, because why not? Learn how to sew this cute headband in 7 simple steps.

Fabric Headbands

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • Cotton fabric
  • ¾” wide elastic
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Iron
  • Safety pin
  • Thread
  • Pins

Good to Know: The headband for this pattern is 2″ wide, but you can adjust the width by changing the size of the large rectangle, making it wider or narrower as you like. Just make sure to include the ⅜” seam allowance. For the same look in a child’s version, measure around their head. The main headband part should be about ⅔ of this measurement, and the elastic part should be about ⅓.


1. Cut the Fabric and Elastic

cut pieces of fabric and elastic

Cut out two fabric pieces: one 18″ x 4¾” and one 9″ x 2¾”. The larger piece will make up the main portion of the headband and the small piece will cover the elastic.

If you’d like your headband to be reversible, cut two 18″ x 2¾” pieces (from two different fabrics) and two 9″ x 1¾ pieces (also from two different fabrics).

Good to Know: The construction is the same for the reversible headband, but instead of folding over the one piece of fabric, you’ll have a second seam to join the two fabrics together on both sections.

Cut a piece of elastic so it’s 6″ long. We used ¾” wide elastic, but anything from ½” to 1″ works great, depending on what you have in your stash.

2. Fold and Press

Fold Headband Fabric in Half

Fold both fabric pieces lengthwise in half, right sides together, and press along the folded edge.

Good to Know: Pressing the crease at this point makes it easier to press when the seam is finished and you turn it right-side out again.

3. Stitch the Edges Together

trim seam allowance on smaller piece

Stitch the long edges together on both fabric pieces using a ⅜” seam allowance. On the smaller piece, trim the seam allowance down to about ⅛” so it’ll be less bulky when it covers the elastic. Turn both pieces right-side out.

4. Press the Headband

press headband pieces flat

Press both headband pieces flat, making sure to get the stitched seam up to the edge.

5. Press the Ends

press ends inward on long piece

On both ends of the longer headband piece, tuck the edge in about ½” and press it inside. Set this piece aside.

6. Make the Elastic Portion

make elastic part of headband

Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and thread it through the shorter piece of fabric, making sure the other end of the elastic stays even with the edge of the fabric. Put a pin there to hold it in place, then scrunch the fabric down around the elastic and pin at the other end.

Stitch through all layers of fabric and elastic on both ends to secure the elastic.

7. Attach the Elastic

attach elastic part to headband

Tuck one end of the elastic into the opening of the larger headband piece and pin in place. The larger piece side will be a bit wider, so match up the edges and fold over the extra fabric in the middle to make a small pleat.

Pin the other side in the same way. Make sure your headband and elastic parts are both flat and not twisted in the middle.

Stitch back and forth across the pinned sections a few times to secure. (You can use a straight stitch or zigzag stitch.) If your headband is a bit too loose, you can shorten one side of the headband piece.

Voilà: a great hair day, guaranteed!

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50 Responses to “Sew a Cute Headband in 7 Simple Steps”

  1. Jacqueline Benedict

    I love this easy headband sewing tutorial! The step-by-step instructions are so clear, and I can’t wait to make one in every color for myself and friends. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Patricia Luchini

    Made these for granddaughter’s basketball team in her senior year. Made in two colors red and white with monogram P. H. S. 2014.


    This was an easy project to do. I have to wear headbands to hold my hair back. So easy. Thank you so much 😊

  4. Sue Cannon

    There is no way you can turn the smaller piece, nor get a 3/4 inch elastic through it. You measurements do not work.

    • Customer Service


      I apologize for the confusion. You’re right, that measurement is too small to fold in half and stitch. I believe that measurement (the 1 3/4″ width of the elastic casing rectangle) would be correct if you’re making a reversible headband. You’d end up with a rectangle that is 1″ wide when turned right side out.

      However, to make the headband as the instructions describe in the tutorial, you’ll want to cut the elastic casing rectangle at 9″ x 2 3/4″. That will give you a rectangle that is 1″ wide when turned right side out.

      Apologies again for the mistake. I’ll see if I can get the instructions updated with this information. Thank you!

    • Customer Service

      Hello Pam,

      Everything you need to know is provided on the article! If you have any further questions, please email or call Customer Service.


  5. Eliana Lopez Feliciano

    I had to make the original width of the smaller fabric piece wider (about 2″ instead of 1 3/4″) so I could comfortably stitch and fit the elastic in. Really easy and quick project!

  6. Lotty Kelly

    I found these steps nice an easy to follow, although there were some measurement mistakes with the small piece of fabric (it wasn’t wide enough for the elastic to be able to fit through properly) Thanks for the steps!

    • Anna Wynn

      I adjust the measurements depending on if Im making for an adult or a child. Adding the buttons for the mask loops is an awesome idea!! Im getting ready to make some for girls I work with and Im gonna add buttons. I absolutely LOVE making these. Very quick and easy craft that you can never have too many of.

  7. Janice

    I think this is too small for an adult. I wish I had known that. Also, the dimensions of the smaller piece seem to be too narrow. When it’s folded in half it would measure a little more than 3/4 on an inch. Not wide enough for the elastic you mention. Back to the drawing board for me!

    • Betsy Snyder

      same problem – tried this with my 11 yo daughter as an easy project and wasted some fun fabric. Bummer! Definitely double the width of the small piece!

      • Belinda

        If elastic is a little wider than folded fabric as all are saying is a problem, I always have different widths on hand as not to waste my fabrics. Just a suggestion.
        Happy sewing 😉

    • Jaimee

      I noticed that with the small piece as well! Luckily I was only using scrap pieces so it wasn’t much of a loss. The headband fits my head perfectly, but I have a smallish head and I think it wouldn’t hurt for them to mention this fits on the small side as is.

  8. Anna Wynn

    I started making these for my sister in law, my daughter and myself, and ended up now making them for us as well as my sister, her daughter, my sister-in-law daughter, and a whole bunch of friends!! They are so easy to make and you can add all kinds of embellishments to make them even cuter!! Thanks so much!!

  9. drianecla18918042

    Step 2 says to press with right sides together. But the picture shows wrong sides together. Which is correct?

    • Mia

      I press with right sides together but then of course make sure to sew with wrong sides out so that you can turn it afterwards. This just makes the process of turning it inside out easier for me…

  10. Sarah Sholes

    I love making these with buttons for work to save my ears from the mask I wear all day.

      • Rose

        If you look at the reversible instructions, also says 1 3/4; so after my first attempt, I made it 3 inches wide. This should be fixed above, its a mistake.

    • Sarah Sholes

      I love making these with buttons for work to save my ears from the mask I wear all day.