Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DIY: Make your own braided headband

Want to reuse your old cotton t-shirts and don't know what to do with them? If you feel bad about throwing them out (and you should) you should re-purpose them into braided headbands! You can make these for yourself or give them as gifts to your friends and family, it's a super-cute idea and you'll have unique headbands to match all of your outfits.

What you will need:
- cotton t-shirt that you're willing to cut up or scraps of cotton fabric
- hair elastic (cut to open it up so it is an elastic strand)
- scissors
- needle
- thread

The size that you cut the strips from which you will make your headband should all be the same width in size (I suggest using about an inch in width from your t-shirt cotton material from the bottom of your tee) and cut 3 equal pieces. You should now have 3 round pieces from your t-shirt and you want to cut one side of them so that they double in length and open up from the circle shape into a line. Obviously the thinner the strips, the thinner your headband will be. It's best to start out a little thicker so you have room for error when you're sewing the ends together to close your headband.

Then tie a knot at one end of the strands to secure that side while you braid. Begin to braid with your 3 strands regularly and try to work in a tight braid as it gives a more orderly and beautiful appearance. Tie the other end down when you're done braiding. Measure the size you want the braided part to be, you must now cut one side and sew your hair elastic to the end of the braid. It helps to wrap some thread around the elastic after you have sewn to make it extra secure. Then use a small rectangular piece of the fabric to cover the sewing you just did (because it will not look flattering) and fold it in half so you have a thicker piece, you can either glue this onto the junction between your braid and elastic or you can sew it on (I prefer glue for a seamless finish). Repeat all of this at the other end so that you complete your headband! It's important that you use the elastic to finish off your headband because, unless you're using an elastic fabric for the entire headband, it won't be able to fit snugly against your head and will either fall right off or be too loose. Make sure to measure it to your head before you sew the final side together.

There are many variations of this that you can do, you can consider double or triple braided headbands, you can use various kinds of fabric and mix colors, or you can add rhinestones and jewelry onto your headband when you're done! Just keep in mind that if you want to do double or triple braids, you will want to secure them all together at the back of the braids by using one piece of fabric and elastic. Have fun and play with your accessories, that is what they're for!

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