Sweet & Skinny Ruffled Headband

I have discovered that I’m fairly picky about my headbands. Are you?

1.) They can’t be so tight that after an hour it feels like you have put your head in a giant pincher and will have indents on the sides of your head for the next 4-5 hours. I have a low tolerance for skull squishing.

2.) They can’t be too wide – apparently I have a smallish head and wide headbands tend to make me look like I’ve wrapped a dinner napkin around my head or some such thing.

3.) They can’t have too big of a flower/pouf/decoration – back to the smallish head thing. I don’t need to look like a large tropical plant has sprouted in my hair.

It’s a quandary.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and come up with a skinny, girly headband that is crazy comfortable to wear while being super adorable.
As in, “I forgot I had a headband on until I caught a glimpse in the mirror – and man – is it cute!”

Or something like that. :)

Want to see? (After a build up like that – how could you not?)

Aren’t they cute? And Ruffley?

Here’s a shot on so you can see that they’re pretty thin – and not too poofy.

These are super simple and quick to make! Just a little straight machine sewing and a tiny bit of hand sewing.


• Base Fabric: You want this a little heavier weight, like the linen or twill I used.
Cut out a rectangle that is 19″ long and is 3/4″ wide at the ends and 1 1/4″ wide in the middle.
You’ll also need some small pieces – cut 4 rounded 1 5/8″ squares
• Chiffon or other sheer fabric: Cut a piece twice as long as your rectangle and twice as wide.
You’ll also need about 8 rounded 1 5/8″ squares
• 2 Elastic Hair ties
• Small beads for center of top flower

Your base piece should be narrower at the ends than the middle. You can use a ruler to draw out a pattern based on the measurements above.
I cut both fabrics out on the bias (diagonal to the selvage) to cut down on excessive fraying. A little is good though.

For this first headband, I wanted it to have a soft, pleated look. I didn’t really want the pleats to be perfect though, so I just eyed it.
Lay the chiffon centered over the base fabric. Begin pinning the pleats in place, the folds towards you.
When you get about 8″ up, flip the fabric so the unpleated end is towards you, then continue pleating with the folds down.
Leave about a 1″ section unpleated between the change of direction of the pleats.

Keep pinning the pleats in place until the ends meet and all the chiffon is pinned down.
You might need to adjust your pleats if you don’t end up with the right amount of fabric, just make them larger or smaller as you need to so the two fabrics begin and end at the same point.
I ended up with about 1/4″ pleats and about 1/2″ between each pleat. Approximately.

Sew down the pleats on one side, 1/4″ in from the base fabric underneath. It should show through the chiffon.
Repeat with the other side, 1/4″ away from the other edge.

Flip the fabric over so the base fabric side is up. Trim off the chiffon along the edge of the base fabric.

Trim up both sides.

Run your fingers over the edges just a little to fray them up some.

Now we’re going to sew on the flower piece. Take one of the rounded chiffon rectangles and pinch it together in the center.

Measure about 7″ up from the bottom towards the 1″ area where there are no pleats.
Tack the center folded section down, a little off center on the headband. Sea another little square piece next to it.

Continue working up from these petals, adding more as you go and alternating base fabric and chiffon, for about 3″. All these petals should be pointing about the same direction.

After you have 3″ of petals sewn on, sew two more about 1/4 – 1/2″ above that, pointing the other direction – up towards the center of the headband.
Sew a chiffon piece between these by tacking down the corner, then open up the square and sew a few more stitches so that it is gathered a little but stays open.

Sew three little beads in the center.

Follow these complicated pictorial instructions to knot your hair ties together.

Ok – maybe not so complicated. :)

Fold one end of the headband around one end of the elastic. Make a 3/4″ hem and sew down.

Repeat with the other end of the headband. (If you are worried about fit – try it on at this point and make sure that it will be comfortable. You can adjust your hem if you need to.)

That’s it! Pretty easy right? :)

Feel free to get carried away and make a few more. . . .

For this green one, I wanted to see what the chiffon looked like just gathered instead of pleated. I think that’s a pretty look too.

This is is made from some pretty knit lace I had – the knit worked great as a top fabric too!

I think they meet my criteria pretty well! I’d love to hear what you think!

I’m linking to Sunday Scoop, Today’s Creative Blog, Met Monday, Skip to my Lou, Tutorials & Tips Tuesday, Quilt Story, and the other fabulous parties on the sidebar – make sure you check them out!


  • Reply April 15, 2012

    Jackie P

    These are adorable and your tutorial is great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply August 8, 2012


    these are amazing and just what i was looking for! you’re great, thanks!!!

  • Reply September 25, 2012

    Le Pink Poodle

    I had to go see your site, I think your Headbands ar very nice and done from someone that has imagination.

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    I’m not good at craft making…do you personally sell these?

  • Reply November 13, 2012


    I plan to modify this and put on an elastic base to make a garter for my future daughter-in-law to wear for her wedding day. I can make her something truly unique and special thanks to you!

  • Reply December 2, 2012

    Mal Smith

    Those are so adorable! And I totally identify with those criteria – I hate it when headbands are too tight. Do you sell these anywhere? I am soooo un-artsy, so I could never make them :)
    -mal :)

  • Reply January 17, 2013


    Thanks for sharing. Wore a headband just yesterday and I have to pin them in place. My head must be odd shaped. Thankfully I have a head full of curls to hide it. Lol anyhow, by the end of the work day I had a horrible headache. It was too tight. I’m so glad I stumbled onto your tutorial. Now to find the time

  • Reply December 15, 2013


    Hi do you sell your hairbands? I’m thinking for my little ones as I’d never have the time, if I could send you head measurements and pics of clothing for you to match please? They are adorable, I have 5 year old and 16 month old and also,live in uk.
    Would be real grateful many thanks,

  • Reply January 24, 2014


    I just made one of these headbands and it turned out great! I saw this tutorial yesterday and it really inspired me.. I just had to make one asap! Thank you so much for sharing, these are super cute!

  • Reply June 4, 2014

    Alissa Lines

    I am in LOVE with these headbands, Bev. They are beautiful and not too crazy. I love that they’re adjustable with the hair elastics, then my daughters and I can all wear them. Great work and TFS.

  • Reply August 31, 2014


    These are precious, and thank you.

  • Reply October 2, 2014


    Love them going to try making them with my little daughters, as a craft together thanks for the great tutorial.

  • Reply October 23, 2014


    Cute! Thanks for the how-to!

  • Reply November 1, 2014

    jennifer cooperwood

    Can someone please tell me how can I purchase those hair bands!!! Please email me

Leave a Reply