Monday, February 18, 2013

Ribbon Headbands

 As a former fauxhawker attempting to grow out my hair, I've been on the lookout for interesting yet comfortable headbands.  Although I've found a plethora of options, my lack of desire to pay $8-$10 for something I most likely won't be using after this awkward hair period sparked an experiment.  I've used elastic headbands in the past, but have a difficult time keeping them on my head.  Apparently either my hair is too slick or my head is too coneshaped, or both.  To remedy both the cost and elastic issues, I decided to split the materials difference and use scrap items I had at home to make my own set of custom headbands.  To do this I used:
  • Tailor's Tape (or a ruler)
  • Approximately 2ft. of ribbon
  • One small elastic hair tie
  • Pinking Shears (or a lighter)
  • Needle and thread
  • Optional embellishments (such as buttons or paper flowers)

I started by measuring my head with a tailor's tape, but if you don't have tailor's tape, you can use the ribbon you're working with and compare it to a standard ruler.  I folded the end of the tailor's tape around the hair elastic, wrapped it around my head, and folded the other end around the other side of the hair elastic.  I then adjusted the tightness and stretch of the headband until I felt it was the perfect balance of tight enough to stay put, but loose enough it wouldn't pop off the top of my coneshaped head.  For me, that equalled a ribbon length of about 22", which included length for the foldover and stitching.  I measured my ribbon and cut the end with a pair of pinking shears.  If you don't have pinking shears, you can use a match or lighter to seal the end of the ribbon to prevent it from fraying.

Once I had my ribbon cut to length, I wrapped the ends around the hair tie and pinned them in place like this:

At this point it's your choice on whether to hand sew the seams or use a sewing machine.  I used my machine for speed and because I was making several at once (and I hate handsewing).  If you are using a machine, make sure the elastic isn't under the presser foot when you start.  I based my seam allowance on how close I could get to the elastic without it being under the presser foot.

After I finished making the base of the headband, I decided it would be fun to get a little more creative with some of the ribbons.  I dug around in my stash and found buttons, paper flowers and brads to embellish the bands.  It is important to note that deciding placement of embellishments should be done while the headband is on your head.  Just use a pen or marker to put a dot where you want the embellishment attached before removing the headband.  The paper flowers are lightweight enough to attach them with a brad.  The buttons, on the other hand, had to be handsewn.

I've worn a couple of these over the past few days and I can vouch for their comfortability.  No headband headaches here!  I'd love to see what other fascinating things people are using to embellish their own ribbons.  Make sure to share yours with us below if you get headband happy!

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