You know those old shirts you grow out of but still love? What do you do with them? Sure, you could just toss them but what a waste! You could donate them but sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to part with them. I get sentimental over the dumbest things, but I definitely have shirts I just can’t let go of. They have cute patterns or awesome memories attached to them. For one reason or another, you just have to hang on to them. In today’s post, we are going to show you how to make an upcycled DIY headband from your awesome old shirts. It is so unbelievably easy to create your own headband using this method!
You can use any shirt you want for this upcycled DIY project. However, shirts with awesome patterns make pretty cool headbands. We will be cutting them down to a smaller size so it is best to stick with a pattern that covers the whole shirt. For example, a shirt with a big Star Wars logo on it might not be the best choice since the logo will be lost when you cut the shirt down to size for this DIY project.
What You Need:
This upcycled DIY project couldn’t be any easier. You can choose to do it with a sewing machine or hand sew. It’s really just up to you because, in the end, it’s only a few stitches. I used a hand stitch for this project to save time. If you prefer, you can even just use a few dots of fabric glue. However, I do recommend going with a few stitches because it will hold up a little better and will be easier to wash.
1 old T-shirt ( we used a tank top in this tutorial but any shirt will do)
Similar colored thread
Scissors (it is important to use very sharp scissors here so that you will have nice straight lines)
Turn your shirt inside out and lay on your surface to cut. Using your ruler draw a straight line across the width of the shirt. You will want to cut a band-like shape out of the shirt.
Note: If you prefer you can use a rotary fabric cutter to cut your band.
You can get 2-3 bands out of each shirt depending on the length of the shirt. I made two bands that will give me three types of headbands. You can also use scraps that you cut off to make hair ties by simply tieing the ends in a knot. I much prefer these types of hair ties as they are easier on your hair and don’t tend to pull as much as the elastic kind.
Using your first band cut the seams out of both sides. This will give you two equal strips of fabric.
We will be using one of the strips for example one. You can fold the edges over lengthwise to give your DIY headband a neater look. Either sew your seam down or use fabric glue to create your seam.
Once you have the lengthwise edges to your liking turn your fabric until it is right side up. Fold the fabric lengthwise in two pieces. Cut any excess off so that you have even edges ( the shorter sides of your rectangle of fabric)
Sew the two sides together on the ends that you have just met. You can hand stitch this in no time or you can use a sewing machine for a super quick job. Fabric glue could be used here, but I wouldn’t really recommend it.
You can add any finishing touches you would like or leave it as is and you’re done! ( See, I told you these were easy!)
In this example, we will be using the second piece of fabric from the two that we cut earlier. In fact, it’s fairly similar but much more simple.
Fold your edges together just as you did with the first one. However, this time you will want a little bit of overlap. Choosing a button of your preference sew the button onto one of the edges(on the outside of your shirt).
On the other edge, you want to cut a small slit that will fit over your button. You don’t want to cut it much larger than the button though as you want it to hold your headband together.
You can do the lengthwise edges with a seam again if you would like. However, I generally like these to be a little more unfinished so I did not do a seam on my edges.
In the final headband, we are going to be leaving the seam on one edge of the other band that you have cut from your shirt.
Once you have the other seam cut off you want to open the shirt into a large rectangle. Cut three strips up from both of the outer edges. You want to leave a slight space just before the seam.
Taking the three strips that you have made braid up until you reach the seam on both sides. Sew the ends of your braids so that they stay closed, and then bring the ends of your braids together and sew to recreate your loop.
Before you close you band back together you may want to place a clip on the end of each braid and hold the headband up to ensure that it is the proper size. Generally, the braiding will shorten the fabric strips up a bit but it may be just a little too large. If needed, trim the edges of each braid up to adjust to the proper size.
I keep all of the scraps that I have cut off here and there to put into stuffing for cat toys, plushies, and other little projects. That way you’re not wasting any of the shirt!
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