A couple months ago I learned how to make an easy DIY hair scrunchie with a couple basic steps. It was so fun and easy to do that I’ve made over 15 hair scrunchies since then! These hair scrunchies can be sewn by hand or with a sewing machine. Once you figure out how to make them, from start to finish a hair scrunchie takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Everyone who has long hair knows that it can be annoying when you are trying to do your chores or homework and your hair is hanging in your face. Here is a simple way to fix that problem while still looking great: an easy DIY homemade hair scrunchie!
A few months ago, my mom gifted me a hair scrunchie set with a matching bandana for our dog Kogee. I loved the set so I asked my mom to teach me how to make hair scrunchies and matching dog bandanas (here’s our tutorial on how to make a dog bandana)
My mom learned how to make hair scrunchies when she was my age. She told me she would dig through my Grandma’s fabric scraps to make hair scrunchies to match all of her clothes.
Now here I am years later having my mom teach me how to make hair scrunchies and I’m digging through her big bin of fabric scraps the same way she did with my Grandma’s!
Types of Fabric to Use When Making a Hair Scrunchie
Since you don’t need a lot of fabric to make a homemade hair scrunchie, you can search through your stash of fabric scraps to find fabric prints you like or ones that will match your clothes as a fun homemade accessory.
The easiest fabrics to use when making a homemade hair scrunchie are soft cottons. Cotton fabrics like quilting fabric work great as well as soft cotton flannel. We have a ton of cotton flannel scraps left over after making reusable cloths napkins my mom sold in our family’s Etsy shop.
I’ve also used upcycled knit fabric, such as an old t-shirt or a strip of knit cut from my favorite old leggings that got holes in the knees. Using knit fabric can be a little trickier for a beginner sewer since the fabric has a little stretch to it but just keep that in mind when you’re sewing.
Thicker fabrics like heavy denim, canvas or thick wool are not the best types of fabric to use since they are stiffer to work with and don’t have as much flexibility when twisting them into your hair.
How to make a hair scrunchie step by step:
A few tips to mention before getting started with making a hair scrunchie. The measurements we used to make a hair scrunchie were modeled after my favorite store bought hair scrunchie. If you want to add more fabric gathers to your scrunchie, you can add another couple inches to the length of your pattern.
How long the elastic is in a scrunchie can also vary. For the first scrunchie I made, we used a 6 inch piece of elastic since we read online that was a “kid” sized scrunchie. That ended up being too short and the scrunchie was too tight on my hair and caused uncomfortable pulling. I figured out I like the elastic measurement to be 8 inches. If you have thicker hair you can adjust the elastic measurement to 9 inches or find what length works best for you.
What kind of elastic you use for scrunchies can depend on what you have in your craft stash. The elastic should be in the size range of 1/4″-3/8″ wide. We have a giant spool of bulk 1/4 inch elastic left over from my mom’s cloth diaper sewing days so that is what we use to make our homemade hair scrunchies.
Scrunchie Making Supplies:
Fabric (enough to make a fabric strip 3.5″x 22″)
Pattern or paper/pencil/scissors to make a simple pattern
1/4″ or 3/8″ elastic cut in an 8″ length (6″-7″ inches for a small child sized, 9″ for thicker hair)
safety pin or tube turner
Scrunchie Making Directions:
Step 1: Cut out a fabric strip 3.5″x 22″. To make it easier to cut out a lot of scrunchies, we made a simple paper pattern. To make a scrunchie pattern, we measured a piece of paper 3.5 inches wide and 11 inches long (half off 22″) since we planned to place our pattern on the fold of the fabric. If you’re not planning to put your pattern on the fold, the pattern needs to be 3.5 inches wide by 22 inches long.
Step 2: Place the pattern on the fabric, pin in place and cut out the fabric.
Step 3: Lay out the strip of cut fabric. Flip the fabric so the right side is facing up. Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise, matching right sides together and make sure the edges are even. You will now have a long, skinny tube with the wrong side of the fabric facing out. Put straight pins all along the length of the fabric strip opposite the fold to hold the fabric in place.
Step 4: Sew the raw edges of the fabric tube together down the length of the fabric with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. DO NOT sew the short ends of the tube closed! You can hand sew with a running stitch, use a standard sewing machine or a serger sewing machine if you have one. My mom has a serger sewing machine for making things to sell in our family’s Etsy shop so we used that since it cuts off the raw edge of fabric and finishes it off nicely with stitches. Sew down the whole length of the fabric tube, making sure you take the pins out as you reach them.
Step 5: You now will have a long tube of fabric that needs to be turned right side out. You can use a tube turner tool if you have one. The way we turn a tube right side out is to use a large safety pin. Attach the safety pin to one edge of the fabric about 1/4″ in from the edge of the fabric. Tuck the safety pin into the tube and thread it through to the other side. Once the safety pin is completely through the tube, it flips the tube right side out. Remove the safety pin.
Step 6: Thread the strip of elastic through the fabric tube. To thread the elastic, pin a safety pin to one end of the elastic and then pin it to one end of the fabric tube to secure it in place. Attach a safety pin to the other end of the elastic piece then feed it through the fabric tube until you reach the other side. Then take the safety pin off the fabric and pin the two ends of elastic together.
Step 7: Sew the two ends of elastic together, using at least ten stitches and double thread if hand sewing. You want this seam to be very strong because this is the part you stretch every time you put the scrunchie on. If using a sewing machine, sew the two ends of elastic together by sewing forward then reverse stitching and repeating this pattern several times until there are several lines of stitches through the elastic. When done sewing, trim the thread ends off.
Step 8: The next step is to finish off the edges of the tube for a professional look. Take one raw end of the fabric tube and tuck 1/4 inch of the raw edge to the inside of the tube. Take the other raw end of the fabric tube and slide it inside the other end of the fabric tube that you just folded the edge under. Match the seams and smooth out any bumps or wrinkles in the fabric.
Step 9: Pin the fabric in place. Hand sew the edges together with matching thread and tiny stitches, making sure you only sew one side of the fabric at a time and don’t sew all the way through to the fabric on the opposite side of the tube. When finished sewing the ends of the tube together, knot the thread to secure the stitches in place and trim off the ends of the thread.
I’ve made well over fifteen hair scrunchies for myself. I also made a bunch for my best friend’s birthday last month. Homemade hair scrunchies make great gifts and they are so easy and cheap to make!
Variations to make a hair scrunchie:
After sewing so many hair scrunchies in the last month or two, I was feeling a little “scrunchied out”. I love to make handmade accessories like my beginner’s knitted headbands.
I was trying to figure out another hair accessory I could make when my mom told me she read a tutorial for how to crochet or knit a scrunchie. That sounds like a fun spin on homemade hair scrunchies so I’m going to get out my knitting needles and get crafting!
Here are some other variations we found for DIY hair scrunchies that I’m going to try:
–How to make a hair scrunchie with a bow
Making a hair scrunchie is a great DIY project for rainy days and a fun, useful way to use up scrap fabric. Homemade scrunchies also make great gifts. Happy Crafting!