Scrunchies are one of the first things I ever sewed! They’ve been the go to ponytail holder for many of us over the years. And they’re back.
As if I ever stopped wearing them, lol. But since my teenage daughter and all her friends are wearing hair scrunchies now too, I guess it’s safe to wear them out of the house again.
Making scrunchies is a fun and easy sewing project. They are perfect for using up fabric scraps of all kinds. Scrunchie variations can be made from velvet, silk, polyester, and many other fabrics. They are basically a strip of fabric with elastic inside. The tie is made from a second fabric piece that is a rectangle with rounded ends. If your fabric is slippery and you want to be sure the bow will stay tied, use a hot glue gun or fabric glue to secure it in place.
It’s also a great way to introduce girls to sewing. They don’t need a template for this project. Straight stitch sewing is the basic skill they will use. Within just a few minutes, they’ll have something fun to wear and have a few new skills, too! They will want to make scrunchies for all their friends. Some people wear them as wrist accessories.
Last month I saw some ADORABLE hair scrunchies with a cute tie that my friend Sarah had made. They look like little bunny ears, don’t you think?
Luckily, I was able to convince her to share a DIY Scrunchie pattern and tutorial with us. Here it is…
Hi, sewing friends! This is Sarah from Blue Susan Makes. I have a cute little accessory tutorial to share with you today. I’ve been making a bunch of scrunchies lately and we’ve been giving them as gifts and using them to stock our school’s Holiday Gift Shop. I’ve fallen in love with the ones with ties. Have you seen them? They are so cute and so easy to make. They would be such a fun beginner project for a girl to make for all her girlfriends, you know… like friendship bracelets. They look super cute on your wrist too when they aren’t in your hair. Let me show you how to make them.
Start by gathering your fabric. You really can use almost any light/medium weight apparel fabric to make these. Quilting cotton works too but just know that this fabric type will hold the wrinkles more as the scrunchie gets used. I love to use chiffon, crepe, velour, and rayon, and any kind of knit. These are a great way to use up leftover scraps too since you don’t need too much fabric. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need.
You will need:
- 1/8 yd light or midweight apparel fabric, or quilting cotton (a Fat 1/8th will work too!)
- 6 1/2’’ piece of 1/4’’ elastic
- Small gauge universal or stretch needle depending on the fabric you choose
- Bodkin or safety pin
- Tube turning tool (optional)
- Pinking shears (optional)
- Fabric Glue as needed
- Rotary cutter, scissors, mat, sewing machine, etc.
Once you’ve chosen your fabric, iron out all the wrinkles and cut:
- 1 strip 18’’ x 4’’
- 1 strip 9’’ x 4’’
- 6 1/2’’ piece of 1/4’’ elastic
Make the Scrunchie:
1. Fold one short end of the 18’’ strip toward the wrong side if the fabric about 1/4’’. Press with an iron. If the fold doesn’t naturally stay folded after ironing use a bit of fabric glue or glue stick to hold it down. This will keep the pressed edge in place for when we sew it together at the end.
2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, with right sides together, matching up the folded end. Pin in place then stitch along the raw edge with a 1/4’’ seam to form a tube. Backstitch at the folded end. Sew the end of the tube closed at the raw edge end using a tiny seam allowance. This will make it easier to turn the tube right side out with the turning tool. Leave this end open if you are not using a turning tool.
3. Turn the fabric tube (the basic scrunchie) right side out using a tube turning tool (A). Insert the tube in the opening and feed it through to the opposite end (B). Take the stick and push the fabric through the tube from the outside (C). Work the fabric down the tube turning it right side out (D). The tube I grabbed wasn’t quite big enough to slide the fabric all the way through (I couldn’t find my 1/2’’ tube) but if you get it started it is easy to finish the job. No need to iron the seam flat, I find that it doesn’t make a difference.
4. Use the stick to push out the corners of the end of the tube and trim off the little seam so the tube is open again.
5. Using a bodkin or a safety pin, thread the elastic through the tube. Secure the ends of the elastic with a pin so that it sticks out of the tube about 3/4’’.
6. Sew the elastic together with a 1/4’’ seam, leaving the pins in place to keep the elastic steady. Sew back and forth 5-6 times to make sure the elastic is secure.
7. Remove the pins and tuck the elastic seam into the tube. Tuck the raw edge of the tube into the folded edge side about 3/8’’ hiding the elastic. Use a pin to secure it and check the back to make sure the folded edges line up.
8. Stitch along folded edge to sew the opening closed, backstitching at the beginning and end.
Check the back to make sure you caught the other side with the stitching. Don’t worry if this looks a little messy. You are going to cover it up with your tie.
Make the Scrunchie Tie
1. Fold the 9’’ fabric strip in half lengthwise with right sides together. Place a pin in the center of the long side. Starting to one side of that pin sew along the raw edge with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. As you get toward the end. sew a curve to meet the opposite corner. Repeat for the other end. You can draw the curve on before you stitch if you want but it is pretty easy to eyeball it. As you can tell my curves aren’t exactly the same on each side but it won’t matter because once it is tied you won’t be able to tell.
2. Using pinking shears, trim off the corner seam allowances. If you don’t have pinking shears just trim the seam allowance to 1/4’’ and cut slits into the curve.
3. Use the turning tool to turn each side of the tie right side out, pushing out the corners and curves.
4. Press the tie flat making sure the seam allowance at the opening is tucked in. You won’t need to sew this opening closed.
5. Take the Tie piece and tie it around the scrunchie. Fold the seam in half as you wrap it around and tuck it under once for a first knot. Make sure the ends are even. Pull it tight and you are done. See, now that you are all done you can’t even tell that the ends of those ties aren’t curving perfectly the same. 😉
Now go make a ton more because all the girls in your life will want one. And get creative! You can play around with the length of the ties and make longer ones, or cut narrower strips like 2’’ or 3’’ instead of 4’’ for a completely different look.
Sarah Markos is a creative mom with a passion for fabric and all things handmade. She loves designing handbags, costumes, and children’s items that make life a little more fun. You can find her sewing adventures on her blog, Blue Susan Makes, where she shares tutorials and tips along the way. In her Etsy shop you’ll find unique PDF sewing patterns and handmade items. Connect with her on Instagram @bluesusanmakes.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂