When I think of DIY hair accessories, I often get overwhelmed with ideas of cool but complicated leather barrettes and swizzle sticks emblazoned with my initials. Ok I’m messing with you I rarely think of hair accessories. But I wanted to do something fun for my girls craft camp this summer, and they decided on braided bandana hairbands. We saw the original photo in an American Girl magazine, and gave it a go. It was the hit craft for the week.
In this video, we show how to make the hairbands, or you can follow the written instructions below.
Here’s how we made them:
Step 1: Buy Bandanas
You’ll need an assortment of colors to start, at least six different colors is a good place to start. I purchased a stack of about 10 different colors from Michaels. If you have time, you can save some money and order online. Here are some places to find them:
Step 2: Cut the into 2″ Strips
This is something the kids can do. I used a chalk pencil and fabric cutting mat to space lines 2″ apart, and the girls cut them into strips.
Step 3: Select your Colors
The braids can be done with your standard 3 strands, or you can make the braid wider by using 4 or even 5 strips in your braid. If this is your first time, start out with 3 strands. I found that in my group of 5 – 9 year olds, the 7 – 9 year olds picked up on the 3 strand braid quickly. The younger girls definitely needed help.
Step 4: Braid your Strips
Once you’ve picked out your colors, you can have a friend hold one end of the strips while you braid, or you can use a tack to secure the strips to a table you don’t care about messing up. ;)
Step 5: Sew your Ends
Make sure that the strips are braided from end to end. You may have an inch or so on either end that is not braided, and that’s fine. Sew across the strips on either end of the braid to secure the strips together.
Step 6: Sew in Elastic Band
This is the last step! You want the headband to be tight around the head but with a little wiggle room to put it on and take it off. Sew on one end of your elastic band to the braid. Now place the braid across the top of the head and pull it down behind the ears. Extend the elastic to the unattached end of the braid to figure out where to sew your elastic to the braid, with the tension that you’re after.