Over the years, I’ve had short hair, long hair, and everything in between which means I’ve used everything to hold my hair back over the years. I’ve learned what I used for 5ks wasn’t ideal for barre class. The all elastic headbands popped off within in minutes or hurt too much to wear, the Spandex headbands are great for runs but shifted (aka popped off) too much for barre or pilates.
For years I thought I had an abnormally large head until other people told me they ran into the same issues with their headbands. Then I met the Sweaty Band and my head loved it. The headband fit my not so abnormally large head, I could wear it to do a 5k and barre class. Even better, it sparkled and worked perfectly for house projecting.
Side note: Before you ask if the sparkliness is what made it great, no. It helped but I have several sparkly spandex headbands.
Fast forward to last week when I tried to figure out how Sweaty Bands are made which lead me to Pinterest. It’s two pieces of ribbon sewn together with elastic. Velvet ribbon on the underside to prevent the headband from slipping with a decorative ribbon on top.
Ugh so simple!
I wasted over $12 on one Sweaty Band but made 6 headbands for the same price.
I handed them out to friends to test over the weekend before writing this post because I wanted you to have a great tutorial. They loved them which means, it’s time to share with you.
- 16.5” decorative ribbon (grosgrain, sparkly, chevron whatever your heart desires)
- 16.5” velvet ribbon*
- 7” Thin elastic (3/8 inch wide elastic if you are using 7/8 inch wide ribbon and ¼ inch wide elastic if you are using 5/8 inch ribbon)
- Sewing Machine
- Thread (I used black thread on the bobbin to match the velvet and threaded the machine a color to match the decorative ribbon)
- Stick Pins
*Found at Joann’s with the cut by the yard ribbon and according to the Internet, by the spool at Hobby Lobby.
1. Cut your ribbon and velvet ribbon to 16.5” long.
Side note: Ignore the length pictured, I altered the pattern after making two.
2. Fold each end in ½ inch (so it’s folded on the wrong side of the ribbon) and sew it down.
Side note: I didn’t start off the headband this way but after a few, I found it was much easier to keep the ends neatly folded this way.
3. Place the ribbon and velvet ribbon on top of each other with the wrong sides facing.
4. Pin the ribbon together along the length.
5. Sew along the edge with 1/8 inch seam allowance.
6. Repeat along the other edge.
7. At this point you need to measure your head. I like my headbands at 21” because my head is 22.5” along the headband zone (the area my headband is typically worn). Take your head measurement and subtract 1.5” (or 2” if you like the headband snugger) to get your magic headband number.
8. With the main ribbon, insert ½” of the elastic in and sew. Please sew multiple times, going back and forth 3-4 times. Since this is the end that will be tugged and pulled at, you want it to be strong and secure.
9. Lay your headband down and measure the length.
10. Note the difference between that length and the magic headband number from Step 7. For example, Actual Size 23”- Magic Headband Number 21”= 2” Difference
11. Insert the elastic the amount of the difference into the open end of the headband and sew multiple times, going back and forth 3-4 times. Feel free to trim the elastic but insert no less than ½ inch into the headband.
Side note: Don’t twist the elastic!! Otherwise, you will become very good friends with the seamripper.
12. Trim all the threads.
13. Make more!