How to Make a Hair Scrunchie in 8 Easy Steps

Collection of trendy velvet scrunchies on pink background
Anna Chaplygina / Getty Images
Overview
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

DIY Hair Scrunchie

If you’re nostalgic for the 1990s or you just need something soft to tie your hair back, then you’re in luck. It's fast and easy to make your own fabric hair scrunchie! 

They’re so inexpensive that you can practically have one to match every outfit. They’re the perfect fashionable yet functional gift, or you can wear them to the gym if you’re hoping to add a little pop to your usual workout gear.

Because they only require straight stitching, scrunchies make a great first sewing project for kids. And once they get started, kids will want to make them for all of their friends.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler (or scissors and a marking tool if not using a rotary cutter and mat)
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Large safety pin

Materials

  • 1/8 yard fabric (or a fat quarter or scraps - to work with scraps, see the cutting instructions)
  • 1/4 yard 1/4"-wide flat elastic
  • Matching thread

Instructions

  1. Gather Materials

    You can use either knit or braided elastic - either will work for a scrunchie.

    Light- to medium-weight woven fabrics are easiest to work with for beginners - quilting cotton is ideal. For a different feeling, try a lightweight stretch velvet or velour as shown above, but pay attention to the nap of the fabric.

    Note: Avoid silky, slippery fabric as it tends to slide out of the hair. If you choose this type of fabric to match an outfit, use another type of ponytail holder under the scrunchie to keep it from sliding.

  2. Cut and Press the Pieces

    Cut an 8" long piece of elastic. 

    Using a rotary cutter (or fabric scissors), cut a 3" x 22" strip of fabric. Press each of the 3" wide ends under 1/4" with wrong sides together, to form a crease for the final stitching.

    If you want to add an optional decorative tie on the scrunchie, cut a 3" x 8" strip of matching fabric, then fold it in half the long way. Measure and cut from the fold to 1 1/2" in from the non-folded edge to form a point at each end.

    Cut the scrunchie pieces
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  3. Sew the Main Scrunchie Tube

    Fold the 3" x 22" strip in half right sides together, matching the long sides, right sides together, unfolding the 1/4" crease that you pressed. Pin the elastic at one short end, matching the raw edges. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew across the short end where the elastic is pinned, pivot at the corner, then sew down the long edge. Backstitch or lock the stitching at the beginning and end of the seam and reinforce across the elastic. This prevents the stitching from coming apart as the elastic pulls.

    Sew the scrunchie tube
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  4. Turn the Scrunchie Right Side Out

    Attach a safety pin to the loose end of the elastic. Turn the tube right side out from the open end, using a chopstick, the blunt end of a pen or pencil, or a tube turner if you have one, and pull the safety-pinned end of the elastic out the open end.

    You can either hold onto the end of the elastic when turning (the safety pin makes it easier) or attach it to a secure surface (by pinning it to an ironing board cover) as you turn the fabric right-side-out. 

    If you struggle to hold the elastic as you turn the tube, first turn the tube right-side-out and then use the safety pin to guide the elastic through the scrunchie. Then push the fabric down as you go. 

    Thread the elastic
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  5. Attach Elastic Ends Together

    Sew the loose end of the elastic to the closed end of the scrunchie as shown, sewing back and forth across the elastic. Remove the safety pin if you haven't already, and refold the open end of the scrunchie to the inside along the fold line.

    Attach the scrunchie ends
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  6. Close the Gap to Cover the Elastic

    Straighten the fabric to make sure the seam is in the same position all the way around the scrunchie.

    Slip the open end of the scrunchie over the end with the exposed elastic and sew straight across, backstitching at beginning and end.

    The thread doesn't match in these photos so you can see the stitching better, but you should use matching thread throughout the project.

    Close the gap and cover the elastic
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  7. Sew the Extra Tie Piece

    This part of the scrunchie is optional, but it adds a fun detail. 

    Fold the 8" strip with pointed ends in half, right sides together. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew from one point in toward the center, then stop. Sew from the other point in toward the center, and then stop, leaving a 1" to 2" gap for turning.

    Trim the seams at the corner points to reduce bulk, then turn the tie right side out and press. 

    Fold the seam allowance in and sew the opening closed. You can do this by hand with a whip stitch. Or, for a faster finish, sew the opening on your sewing machine, stitching about 1/16" from the folds of the gap. This seam doesn't really show once it's on the scrunchie, so it doesn't need to be perfect.

    Sewing the extra tie
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  8. Add the Tie to Your Scrunchie

Tie the extra piece around the scrunchie on the seam where the elastic meets. A tight single knot holds well enough. This piece acts as a playful decoration, as well as a means of covering that seam.

Remember hair scrunchies when you are cutting out other sewing projects. Save up the scraps that are large enough and use assembly-line methods to sew a pile of hair scrunchies at a time.

If you have smaller scraps that are still at least 3" wide, you can piece them together to make a patchwork scrunchie!