How to Turn a Plain Headband Into a Cute Embroidered Hair Piece

by Gulsen
10 Materials
90 Minutes

Follow this tutorial to learn how to turn a plain old plastic hairband into a new, stylish statement piece. If you don’t embroider, then you can skip that step and make a simple hairband cover. Let's get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Scrap fabric
  • Scrap interfacing
  • Plastic hairband
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Embroidery needle, thread, and hoop (optional)
Making the headband pattern

1. Make the headband pattern

Measure and mark the length and width you need for your headband on paper. I chose to make mine 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) wide. For the length, measure your plastic hairband.

Put pieces of paper together to get the length you need.

Adding seam allowance to the pattern

Add a 1-centimeter (0.39-inch) seam allowance to each end and then cut out the pattern.

Marking the center of the pattern

Fold your paper pattern in half widthwise and mark the vertical center of the pattern.

Measuring the width of the headband

Measure the width of your plastic hairband. Mark that width, plus a ½ centimeter (0.2 inches) allowance on each side, on your paper pattern.

My hairband was 1 centimeter (0.39 inches) wide, so I marked 1 centimeter on each side of my center line (half the width of the hairband plus a ½ centimeter allowance).

How to cover a headband with fabric

Now you want to shape the pattern so the headband will be wider in the middle and taper at each end.

Mark an additional 1 centimeter (0.39 inches) on both sides of the outer marked line and lightly draw in the centerline of the pattern.

Folding the paper pattern in half

Fold the paper pattern in half along the center line and draw a curve on the paper from your outermost marking to just past halfway across the top of the open long edge. 

How to make a custom headband

Cut along the curved line and open the paper. You now have a symmetrical curve on all sides.

Preparing the headband fabric

2. Prepare the headband fabric

Trace your headband pattern onto your fabric twice. 

Drawing a rectangle

Draw one rectangle to the dimensions of your hairband on your fabric. 

Marking where to embroider

3. Embroider a design (optional)

Mark off a 5-centimeter (1.9-inch) section in the center of your pattern. That’s where you will attach a bow, so you don’t want to embroider in that space. 

Drawing a design to embroider

Draw your embroidery pattern on one side of the pattern.

Transferring the flower design to the fabric

Place your pattern on your fabric, within one of the hairband tracings. Place transfer paper between your fabric and the pattern, with the transfer side against the fabric. Redraw your embroidery pattern.

Tracing the flower design to embroider

Repeat tracing the design, in mirror image, on the other half of your hairband. If the transfer is too light, use a pencil directly on the fabric to go over the design. 

Ironing the embroidery

Embroider your pattern, then iron the back of the fabric.

Cutting out the shape of the headband

4. Cut out your pattern

Cut out all of your pattern pieces. Note that I needed to cut out a third piece plus an interface piece to get the headband thickness and stiffness needed to cover the hairband.

Ironing interfacing onto the embroidered piece

Iron the interfacing to the back of your embroidered piece.

Pinning the rectangular piece

Pin the rectangular piece along the center of your non-embroidered piece and sew along both long edges of the rectangle.

Layering the fabric pieces

Place your third headband piece on top of the embroidered piece with right sides facing out. Pin and sew all around the edge to attach the two pieces.

Pinning and sewing the headband

Place your headband piece with the rectangle on top of the embroidered piece with right sides facing. Pin and sew both long edges leaving a gap on one side large enough to turn the headband right-side out. 

Turning the headband right sides out

Turn the headband right-side out. Tuck in and pin the open gap. Hand-sew the gap closed using an invisible stitch. Watch the video from 7:22 to 7:39 to learn how to sew an invisible stitch.

Ironing the headband

Iron the headband on the non-embroidered side. 

Inserting the plastic headband into the fabric

5. Insert your hairband

Insert your plastic hairband in the rectangular pocket on the inside of your fabric headband.

Sewing the ends closed

Tuck in the open ends of the headband. Pin and hand-sew the ends closed with an invisible stitch.

Cutting fabric to cover the middle

6. Gather the middle

Remember the gap you left at the top center of the headband? Cut a rectangle of fabric to cover that gap. Watch the video from 8:22 to 8:50 to see how I calculated the size of this rectangle.

Sewing the rectangle

Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise with the right side facing in. Pin and sew the long open edge.

Sewing the ends

Turn the rectangle right-side out and hand or machine-sew the two ends closed.

Gathering and sewing the middle of the headband

Gather your headband in the middle and sew the gather to secure it around the hairband inside.

Wrapping the rectangle around the middle

Wrap your rectangle around the gathered center and sew the open ends together with a little overlap.

How to make a flower headband

How to make a flower headband

Look how pretty this embroidered headband is! Give it a try and leave a comment to let me know how you liked this embroidered headband tutorial. Thanks for joining!

DIY flower headband
Suggested materials:
  • Scrap fabric
  • Scrap interfacing
  • Plastic hairband
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