Transform a T-shirt Into a Headband and Ear Saver

Sarah Vanderkooy
by Sarah Vanderkooy
6 Materials
20 Minutes

Who doesn’t love a fun and easy upcycle? In this quick tutorial, I show you how to take an old T-shirt and completely transform it into a fabulous criss-cross style headband. This headband is so simple to make and you can use any old T-shirt as long as it has some stretch to it. I absolutely love my new headband and I decided to take it a step further by adding buttons to hang my mask on, making this upcycle totally functional as well. If you want to learn the ins and out of making this headband, follow my step-by-step guide below.

Tools and materials:

  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Buttons
How to make a headband out of a t-shirt
Cut the T-shirt

For this upcycle, use an old T-shirt that has some stretch to it. Start by cutting a rectangular panel from the T. You want to end up with a panel about 18-inches long and 9-inches tall.

Sew along the top
Sew the headband

Lay the fabric down making sure the right side is facing upwards. Fold the rectangle lengthwise and then sew across the top, bringing the two seams together. 

DIY t-shirt headband

Next, turn the fabric right side out and place it so that the seam you just sewed is facing downwards. Then fold the fabric over.

Headband made from a t-shirt

To create a totally awesome criss-cross effect, lay the edge of the top piece so that it sits on the center seam of the bottom piece. 

Fold over the pieces

Now it’s time to fold the bottom edge over the top and the top edge over the bottom. Hop back on over to your sewing machine and use a straight stitch to sew all of these folds together. 

T-shirt headband tutorial
Cut off the excess fabric

Use scissors to trim off the excess material, leaving about an ⅛ of an inch of fabric there. 

Headbands from old t-shirts
Add buttons

Turn the fabric right side out and you’ll notice a beautiful criss-cross headband. To make this piece more functional, turn it over and hand sew two buttons onto each side of the bottom so that you can hang your mask from the headband. If you prefer a simple headband, you can leave out this final step. 

DIY headbands from old t-shirts

I would never believe this headband was once a T-shirt! What other details would you add to this piece? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • Been there, done that Been there, done that on Mar 06, 2021

    This is such a good idea! The ear elastic is so irritating to the backs of my ears. I’ve tried everything but this looks like it would really work. Thanks for the idea.

  • Judy Judy on May 18, 2021

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing!