How to Make Your Own Hair Ties, Plus 11 Pretty Hair Bow Styles to Try

Nima Fatima
by Nima Fatima
10 Materials
30 Minutes

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make your own hair ties without a sewing machine, plus 11 (yes, 11!) different hair bow styles!

Basically, I have all this scrap fabric leftover from my other DIY projects and didn’t know what to do with it. Then I saw these DIY hair ties and hair bows, and they look so cute!

I’ll be making them in three different sizes of DIY hair tie, so some can even double as a scarf, hair bow, or wrap - anything you want!

Also, I’ll be hand sewing, as I know not everyone has a sewing machine and these DIY hair ties are easy to make by hand. Of course, if you have a sewing machine, you’re welcome to use that too, to make the process go even faster.

Tools and materials:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scrap fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Makeup brush
Measuring the DIY hair tie pattern

1. Measure a pattern on paper

The DIY hair ties I’m going to make are 38 inches long. So, I measured 19 inches lengthways (half the hair tie length) and used double my ruler width as the width. You want the length to be enough so if you tie up the bow, there will be some ribbon ends hanging down, and long enough to wrap around your head. 

The width depends on what style you’re going for. I’m making a skinny hair tie, a medium-sized one, and a thicker one (2.5 inches wide when folded). All are in different fabrics as well.

You can measure this directly on the fabric, but I prefer to make a template on paper first.

Cutting the end to a curve

2. Curve one end

Next, I folded the paper in half and cut one end into a curve shape for a ribbon-style finish.

Placing the pattern onto the fabric

3. Pin and cut the fabric

Fold your fabric in half and place the flat end of the pattern against the fold. Pin the paper to the fabric, then cut around the shape.

Ironing the DIY hair tie on a fold

4. Iron the fabric

Next, iron the fabric flat, then iron it folded in half lengthways.

Pinning the fabric ready to sew

5. Pin and sew

Pin the fabric along the edges, then sew. Make sure to leave a gap in the middle because you’re going to flip the fabric inside out to hide the seams. I just used a basic running stitch.

Flipping the fabric right side out

6. Flip the fabric

Next, you’re going to flip the fabric inside out through the gap. To do this, get something long and pointy to stuff the ends, like a knitting needle. I’m using a long makeup brush.

The gap in the middle of the fabric

7. Iron and sew the gap closed

The final steps are to iron the fabric flat, then hand-sew the gap in the middle of the fabric closed.

DIY hair tie 1 - messy low ponytail

8. Different hair bow styles

Now you know how to make your own hair ties, it’s time to learn how to style them.

1) Messy low ponytail

For the skinny hair tie, here’s a messy low ponytail with a classic knot. The ends may look a little stiff at the moment, but they’ll loosen up over time.

DIY hair tie 1 - messy bow

2) Messy bow

With the same DIY hair tie, here’s a messy bow in a half-up style. I didn’t want the bow to look perfect - I’m going for a more casual style.

DIY hair tie 1 - headband

3) Headband

Finally, with this thinner hair tie, you can use it as a headband with a cute bow at the top.

DIY hair tie 2 - basic bun with a bow

4) Basic bun with a bow

This next DIY hair tie is a medium-width hair tie in a more flowy material. Because it’s flowier, it’s easy to wrap, so I created this basic bun with a bow around it.

DIY hair tie 2 - low bun with long ends

5) Low bun

Another way to wear this is in a low bun. I tied the bow underneath and let the ends hang. You could even untie the bow and leave the ends long.

DIY hair tie 2 - braid with a bow tie

6) Braid with a bow tie

This style is very “Belle from Beauty and the Beast.” I tied the hair tie on the end of a braid. This would look really great with long hair.

DIY hair tie 2 - short neck scarf

7) Short neck scarf

I also wanted to show you how you can wear this DIY hair tie as a scarf. This has a very Parisian vibe to it.

DIY hair tie 3 - low pony

8) Low pony

The last DIY hair tie I made was this thick linen hair tie. Here’s the same simple low pony as above, but the thicker material and structured fabric elevates the look.

DIY hair tie 3 - structured bow

9) Structured bow

This wider DIY hair tie looks great in a bow, as it’s super structured.

DIY hair tie 3 - neck scarf

10) Long neck scarf

Here’s the same hair tie as a scarf. I’m not sure if it works as well as the flowy material, but it could still complement the right outfit.

DIY hair tie 3 - head wrap

11) Head wrap

Finally, I tied it up in this wrap look. I think this would be great for the beach. It would look so cute with a bathing suit!

How to make your own hair ties

Thanks for reading this tutorial on how to make your own hair ties, as well as how to create different hair bow styles. I hope this gave you some bow inspiration or hair inspiration.

Do let me know which size hair tie you prefer and which hair tie style is your favorite in the comments.

Suggested materials:
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Ruthann Nissly Martinez Ruthann Nissly Martinez on Aug 13, 2021

    Great idea. Did you know that you can use fabric glue to close up the opening instead of sewing it.

  • Ruthann Nissly Martinez Ruthann Nissly Martinez on Aug 15, 2021

    Not really, I have been using FabricTac (for a permanent adhesive) to close seems for years. I use Roxanne Glue-Bast-It for temporary use (when I need to sew a strap on something but I don’t want to use pins or clips).