This tutorial will teach you how to make a scrunchie, and DIY scrunchie in 2 sizes. These fabric-covered elastics are great for holding back your hair and preventing split and damaged ends. And what gymnastic or dance outfit would be complete without a matching scrunchie?
How to Make a Scrunchie
This how to make a scrunchie tutorial will show you how to make this popular hair accessory in 2 sizes with either a hand stitch or sewing machine stitch.
The smaller size has less fabric and slightly shorter elastic for a more subtle effect.
The larger scrunchie is more of a traditional design where you see lots of fluffy, gathered fabric around your hair.
If you are a beginner sewer then this is a fantastic project to start with and learn to sew. Scrunchies also make really nice gifts as you can personalize them by selecting the perfect fabric for your friend or family member.
What is a Scrunchie?
A scrunchie is a fabric covered hairband with gathered fabric on the outside and a hidden elastic inside. They are great for matching your outfit and adding a pop of color to your hair. Best of all, because no elastic can snag or tear your hair, they promote silky, healthy hair.
If you have lived through the 80s and 90s or ever watched Seinfeld then you know what a scrunchie is! They devoted a whole episode to the scrunchie.
Scrunchies are coming back in a big way and even my local paper had an article in it about all the scrunchies on the designer catwalks this season. Fashion always comes back around.
You can put the scrunchie around the top of a ponytail, a bun or the bottom of a plait.
Supplies to DIY Hair Scrunchie
Here are all the supplies you need to make a scrunchie -
Safety pin to thread the elastic.
If you are hand sewing you will need
- Hand needle
- Strong thread
For machine sewing
- Sewing Machine
- All-purpose sewing foot
The best thing about making scrunchies is that it uses the smallest scrap of fabric. Rummage around your scrap bin (yes I know you have one that is overflowing) for long shaped scraps.
You can use any kind of cotton or Lycra fabric. Try and choose a fabric that is lightweight so you can get a nice gathered effect around the elastic.
Slippery fabrics like polyester or silk tend to fall out of hair more easily so look for fabrics like quilting cotton that will grab the hair slightly.
Crushed Velvet looks expensive and dramatic but is a little harder to sew as it tends to stretch a little. Use this once you have made a few from regular cotton fabric.
When looking at fabric patterns, consider that you will be cutting a narrow strip. Look for small motifs such as tiny flowers, spots and stripes.
Also, think about whether you want a subtle or bold color that will compliment your skin tone and hair color.
- Small - Cut a piece of fabric 2.5 x 20 inches (6.5cm x 51cm)
- Large - Cut a piece of fabric 3.5 x 22 inches (9cm x 56cm)
You will need ¼ inch (6mm) wide elastic in the following lengths.
- Small - Cut the elastic 8 inches (20.5cm)
- Large - Cut the elastic 9 inches (21cm)
After you have made the first test scrunchie you might find you need to adjust the elastic lengths on the next scrunchie to fit the perfect amount of times you want to twist it around your ponytail. As you can imagine, hair does vary dramatically in its thickness and texture from person to person.
I've seen some people wearing their scrunchie around their wrist so you can also measure that and just add ½" (12mm) for the overlap or knot. If you want it to wrap twice around your wrist then x2 the measurement and add overlap.
How to Make a Scrunchie Video
Here is a video I made for you on how to make a scrunchie. Like all my videos. it is just a few minutes long, colorful, fun and straight to the point as I know you are busy 🙂
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More Hair Accessory Tutorials
After you have learned how to make a scrunchie, check out these other tutorials on how to make other hair accessories. You will have the prettiest collection in town!
- How to Line an Alligator Clip
- DIY Hair Ties - You can also use the bow template here to put around the scrunchie and create "bunny ears"
- How to Make Fabric Bows
- How to Make a Ribbon Bow
- DIY Hair Accessories – Easy Hair Clips to Make in Under 10 Minutes
- Felt Bow Template
- DIY Fabric Flowers
- Cloth Flower Making
- How to Stop Ribbon from Fraying
- How to Make a Scrunchie
- Fabric Bow for Clothing
- DIY Felt Bow
How to Make a Scrunchie
Step 1 - Fold over one end
If your fabric frays, then press over one of the short ends by ½ inch (12mm) on the WRONG side.
For Lycra scrunchies or fabric that doesn't fray such as knits, you can skip to the next step.
Step 2 - Stitch
With RIGHT sides together, fold the fabric lengthwise matching the raw edges.
Stitch along the edge with a ¼ inch (6mm) seam allowance. Make sure you leave both the ends open.
Use a small machine straight stitch with a length of 2.0.
In this how to make a scrunchie tutorial, I used my sewing machine to sew the seams. It is also possible to make a scrunchie without a sewing machine.
Backstitch is the strongest hand stitch but does take a little longer and running stitch is the easiest for absolute beginners.
Whichever hand stitch you use, just make sure you are making small stitches so they will hold the elastic without splitting.
Step 3 - Turn Right Way Out
Now turn your tube RIGHT side out.
The easiest way to do this is to attach the safety pin to one end and thread it back through the middle.
You need a small to medium-sized safety pin to do this. a large pin won't be able to turn back on itself.
Step 4 - Press
If you are using a cotton fabric then give it a good press.
For Lycra fabrics, just try and flatten it out a little with your fingers.
The seam should be on one side of the tube so it is not easily visible.
Step 5 - Thread the Elastic
Now attach the safety pin to the elastic and thread it through the tube.
Make sure you pin the first end so it doesn't pull all the way through by mistake. Your fabric will gather on top of the elastic.
Step 6 - Stitch the Elastic
Overlap the ends of the elastic by ½ inch (12mm) and stitch them together.
If you are in a hurry you could just tie the ends in a knot instead of stitching. Pull it tight so it won't come undone.
When I filmed my video I just tied the ends in a knot.
A few people commented that it would add bulk but really the knot is so small you won't feel it. I also had a few comments that the knot would come undone but I've never had that happen. If you don't want the knot to come undone then just pull tight.
Do what is easiest for you and fits your time schedule and patience level. Personally, I always take the fastest route!
Step 7 - Final Stitch of the Ends
Pull the elastic around so the join is hidden. Then feed the raw edge of the tube into the pressed edge.
If you used Lycra fabric for your DIY scrunchie and don't have a pressed edge then just put one end into the other.
Overlap it by ½" (12mm) so the inside raw edge is hidden.
Stitch the gap closed through all layers. Make sure you backstitch so it doesn't come undone. This will catch in the elastic and keep it nice and secure.
If you use a matching thread you won't notice this stitching as it will be hidden in the folds of fabric.
If you want an invisible finish, you could hand stitch using a ladder stitch (slip stitch). Stitch all the way around the fabric without catching in the elastic.
Hand stitching does take a little time so its a good tv job. In other words, put on your favorite tv show and hand stitch during the ads.
Optional - If you want a flatter looking scrunchie, you could topstitch around the outside seamed edge.
Variations of scrunchies
You can decorate your scrunchies in numerous ways.
- Adding thin lace or piping to the seam. Add it into the seam in step 2.
- Sewing sequins or beads in strategic places
- Making an extra-large scrunchie that twists around your hair extra times
- Adding a bow to the scrunchie. These are sometimes called bunny ears. I think if you look at the photo below you can imagine why.
If you would like to add a bow to the scrunchie use my hair ties tutorial and tie it around the scrunchie instead of the hair elastic. Use a photocopier to enlarge the bow template if you would like to sew much bigger ears.
How To Make a Scrunchie Without Sewing
You can make a scrunchie without sewing by substituting a strong fabric glue for the stitching in steps 2 and 7. A hot glue gun will work as well.
Work neatly so your glue does not show on the right side of the scrunchie and test the glue on your fabric before you start.
When joining the elastic ends in step 6, use a knot as the glue won't be strong enough to hold the elastic.
How to Make a Scrunchie - In Conclusion
Wow! You are finished learning how to make a scrunchie! Wasn't that easy? Now you can DIY scrunchie in every color of the rainbow.
Pin this image for later 🙂
How to Wear a Scrunchie
To wear your scrunchie, put it around the base of a bun or twist it a couple of times around a ponytail.
If you have very thick or thin hair, you might need to adjust the size of your elastic to suit how many times you want to wind it around your hair.