My daughters tell me lots of girls wear fabric covered ponytail holders at their schools. If so, yay! I wore a hair scrunchie everyday for years, either on my wrist or in my hair. I made one for practically every outfit (sewing tutorial to follow, promise)–I liked being matchy for a while there. It was easy to do, since I made a lot of my clothes in high school and early twenties. In my 20’s, I used to sell my handmade hair scrunchies at the checkout counter where I worked. 2 for $5, read the basket. I made them for friends and co-workers would commission me for specific colors and fabrics.
Okay, so maybe they’re not called scrunchies anymore– or are they? My girls disagree and that’s not a match I’m qualified to judge or referee.. I’m not sure how others make them, but I imagine there are plenty of ways to get it done. I used to make them assembly line style, and felt like I had mastered the best way to achieve a really great looking scrunchie. (If I’m wrong, don’t tell me. I’d like to hold on to that glory moment of my youth 😉 )
These are ridiculously easy, less than 1/2 hour project from start to finish.
Making a scrunchie:
Cut strips of fabric: 22 inches long by 2, 2 1/2, 3, or 3 1/2 inches wide (remember scrunchies came in many different widths, for a variety of looks.) You can do wider, too.
You can use any kind of fabric, which is what I did when I peddled my wares at the checkstand: quilting cotton(pink polka dot scrunchie), chambray, corduroy (light blue scrunchie), flannel, calico, poplin, denim, knits, terry cloth, or velour. Upcycled fabric wold be cute, too. Next time you upcycle a dress shirt for your daughter, make her a matching hair scrunchie 🙂
Fold the strip in half length wise, with right sides together, and pin along the open edge. Sew along the long edge. I used a 3/8″ seam allowance. Here is the important part: start and end 2-3 inches from the edge, like shown.
Turn right side out. Bodkins or other tube turning tools work great if you are doing a thin scrunchie.
Making sure it’s not twisted, place short ends right sides together, keeping edges even. Pin and sew the short end.
Press the seam open.
Smooth out the opening and fold the raw edges of the fabric to the inside and press with a hot iron. Make sure your iron is on the appropriate setting for your fabric. You’ll want to iron the edges of the opening now, because it’s much harder once the elastic is inserted.
Insert the elastic.
I like to test how much elastic feels comfortable first. I like my scrunchies to be able to turn only 3 times– a custom fit for my ponytail. To do this, I would tie the elastic into a loop and use it to make my ponytail. If it felt comfortable (not too pulling-on-my-hair-tight or falling-out-loose), then I would mark it with a fabric marker and untie it. I used to have all the measurements written down–you know, a length for thicker hair, a length for Pollyanna hair style–yes, I was that into scrunchies. Don’t judge.
Anyway, for this tutorial, my elastic measured 6 1/2″ long of 1/4″ wide elastic. You can also use round elastic. I like working with 1/4″wide, so I can sew it instead of tying its ends together–less chance the elastic will become undone inside my scrunchie–which is a complete bummer when that happens. Not to mention a fashion disaster, 90’s style.
Place a safety pin on one end and feed it into one side of the opening. Work the elastic through the tunnel until it comes back out the other side of the opening. Place ends of the elastic together, making sure the elastic is not twisted, though this is not as big of a deal as it is when sewing clothing. Sew the ends together.
Pin and sew the opening closed, sewing close to the edge and catching both sides.
Trim any threads and your hair scrunchie is so done! Now get ye a cool up-do with your new scrunchie.
I hope you enjoy this sewing tutorial on how to make a hair scrunchie. I’d love to hear how it worked for you if you made one 🙂
Thanks for sewing along!