No-Sew and Adjustable: DIY Elastic Waistband

Shanna yeh
by Shanna yeh
5 Materials
30 Minutes

I wanted to share a hack that I swear by for all those thrifters out there who don’t have a sewing machine. Not only does this hack let you alter your thrifted bottoms, but it can help with adjusting your fit as you go throughout your day.

Tools and materials:

  • Two buttons
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Elastic (long enough to wrap around your waist)
How to add an elastic waistband

Add an elastic waistband

Cut slits

Cut two slits on the inside of your jeans, one on either side of the zipper. This will allow us to weave the elastic through the waistband. (When you’re cutting, make sure not to cut into the outside layer of the waistband). If you have a logo tag on the back of your jeans, seam rip the sides to make sure there’s no blockage in the waistband.

Add an elastic waistband to jeans

Attach the buttons

Take two buttons (they don’t need to match, they just need to be the right size for the elastic to fit around). Sew the buttons onto the jeans, next to the slits we created (on the side of the zipper).

Jeans with elastic waistband

Insert the elastic 

Cut your elastic to be the size of your waist (it should be a little snug). Once your elastic is cut, attach a safety pin to the end and feed the elastic through the waistband of the pants. Once it’s out the other side, adjust so that it’s even. Next, fold the edges of the elastic in half and cut a slit that’s a little bit smaller than the button size. (If you want your pants to be adjustable, feel free to cut multiple holes into the elastic). 

Simple elastic waistband

The pants fit so well now that I’ve added the elastic. I love how easily adjustable they are and how I can make them a little more fitted with just the move of a button. This works for most types of jeans and is a real game-changer! 

Suggested materials:
  • Two buttons
  • Needle
  • Thread
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Camilla Camilla on May 07, 2021

    Great idea! I'd probably want to overcast each end of the "cut" buttonhole in the elastic so it won't ravel. Solves skirt waistband issues, too., even a side closure.

  • Carol Jollymore Carol Jollymore on Jan 05, 2022

    Made me smile when it invites people without sewing machines to do the project and one of the tools was a seam ripper. I don't know anyone who is sew-lexic who owns a seam ripper.