pin it

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big Bow Headband Tutorial

A few months ago I was on Trey and Lucy and Tanya posted some pictures she took with her sister. In one of the pictures her sister was wearing this giant bow headband and I fell in love with it immediately. Since my hair is so short headbands are really the only thing I can do to dress it up. I guess I could grow it back out but who wants to do that?!? I'm still having fun with it.

So I decided to make my own headband. Wanna make one too?!? I'm sure you guys could all figure it out yourself and don't need a tutorial, but I tried it a few different ways and this is how I made mine.

You need:

4 strips of fabric (1 strip 16 inches x 1.5 inches) (2 strips 4 inches x 15 inches) and (1 strip 2.5 inches by 15 inches)
Iron on Inferfacing
A headband
And the obvious other stuff (scissors, sewing machine, iron etc.)

Note: I really love huge accessories so I made my bow pretty big. If you take a few inches off each strip, you can make a smaller one if you prefer! ;)

First you want to measure your headband. You will need to know how long to cut your strip that covers the headband. Mine was 14 inches so I cut my first strip 16 inches long so I had extra to glue under the headband.

It also really helps to measure your headband if you have chipped nail polish. Just kidding, just makes for a good picture right? 
Okay so once you've figured out the size of your headband, cut a strip of fabric the length plus about 2 inches give or take and about an 1.5 inches wide.

My headband was 14 inches long so I cut a strip 16 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. I found much smaller than 1.5 inches wide and you basically want to give up and watch reruns of "Dancing with the Stars" instead of this project when you go to turn the tube inside out. Maybe that was just me.

Okay so now you want to fold your strip (16in x 1.5in) in half and sew down the open side. I used the edge of my presser foot for a guide. I could probably give you a seam allowance, but since I don't really know what I'm talking about when it comes to seam allowances, it would probably be some non-existent seam allowance fraction like 1/25ths or something. 

Grab a safety pin or if you have one of those tweezer slider holder thingys (these are scientific terms) use that instead. Pin the side and push it through your tube. I'm sorry if i'm insulting anyone's intelligence here, I just know I tend to need a thorough explanation when i'm crafting!  

Now you should have your strip right side out with the big ugly seam on the inside. Take your strip that has been upgraded to a tube and iron it flat with the seam flat on the bottom so you can put that on the inside of headband and nobody will see it!

Now put your headband through your neatly pressed tube, again with the seam on the inside. 

Remember those 2 extra inches we left (1 on each side)? Hot glue them up inside the band. 

Okay so this part varies depending on how big or small you want your headband. Like I said, I wanted mine big so I cut 2 strips of fabric 4 inches wide and 15 inches long. Again, if you want a smaller bow I would probably make it 10-11 inches long but still 4 inches wide.

Cut 2 pieces of interfacing about the same size on your 2 strips of fabric. I made mine just a little smaller but that's only because I was lazy and didn't measure and stuff. I guess I shouldn't admit that huh? 

Iron your interfacing onto both your fabric strips.

Fold each side into the middle so it kinda looks like bias tape and iron it down. I would definitely not recommend the tube approach here because the interfacing makes it too stiff to pull through. Duh right?!

With the seams on the outside, sew down the edges creating a tube. Now when you turn it right side out all the seams are on the inside.

Now hot glue gun that baby to your headband, making sure your seams from folding it into itself are on the inside and your seam from making it into a tube is in the center. See? I feel like i'm saying "seam" a lot. Am I saying "seam" too much?

At this point you could just stop here and wear that bad boy out and you would look HOT! Okay I'm kidding, let's continue.

Add a dab of hot glue in the center and smoosh (again, scientific terms here) it down. It's also important that you burn your fingers with the hot glue gun at this point and for the next few steps. You must have battle scars from this project! 

Now take your other strip with interfacing and repeat, folding the sides in and ironing it down, then sewing it into a tube and gluing it on top of the other bow and smoosh it down.

At this point I took a minute to smooth out the bow a little and puff it up. The interfacing keeps it nice and study and poofy (scientific term) but can crease like paper (maybe because it kind of is) so just run it between your fingers a little to give it a smooth curve. That made sense right?

Now take your last strip of fabric (2.5 inches wide and 15 inches long) and iron the side in to meet in the middle again like we've done with the other strips.

Dab some hot glue to the inside of the headband (underneath your bow) and glue the strip down (again, it helps if you burn your fingers).

Wrap it tightly around your bows.  Give it a little glue when you get underneath again. I wrapped it 3 times just to keep it tight but I don't think it's necessary.

At this point you are pretty much done, but I hot glued a little piece of felt to stabilize it a little more.

Now grab your baby and look down at something! 

Again i'm sorry if I insulted anyone's intelligence! I'm sure none of you guys needed a tutorial for this!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a good day!


  1. cute! I am going to try this for my sister!

  2. super cute! bows are so fun! ps: i loved your comment about trying to run on the treadmill and watch the kid at the same time. i so know what you mean. hard work! i couldn't find your email address to let you know though, sorry! :)

  3. Super super cute! The lazy crafter in me wants to know if wide Grosgrain ribbon would work as well, or do you need the extra strength of the interfacing to keep it so perky and cute?

  4. Thanks everyone! It's so exciting to have all these faces here!

    Courtney- that is an EXCELLENT I definitely asked myself a few times while working out the kinks!

    I think you could get away with grosgrain just fine as long as you glue the bottom bow down to the headband really well. It will probably be a little floppy but still be really cute! I'd love to find out your experience if you make one!

  5. Gosh this headband is adorable! I love bows so much, blame it on my mom, I used to look like a christmas gift and hated, but now I'm all up for them! Loved the color you picked, may I say Tiffany blue? So cute!

  6. You've been awarded! Come pick it up here:

  7. How cute!
    I'm sure to make such headband for my daughter ))

  8. i'll try
    thanx for the tutorial

  9. HEY!!!!!! I just saw your comment on "Sewing in No Man's Land" (recently discovered) and I was like wait. that looks like the TAylor I know (well met once:). And since you always write nice comments on my blog and your email isn't linked for me to respond AND you never had a blog for me to say hi on, I HAD to hop over and say hi! and then I looked on the new blog and saw all the fabulous projects you've made and now I'm REALLY wishing you lived near me. similar tastes. Love your stuff!!

  10. wait, I just checked my email right after this and saw that you wrote on my blog today!!!! coincidence!