I was a teen in the 80’s, had long hair, and knew how to sew. I had ALL the scrunchies. And I’m pretty happy they’re back now. I don’t have thick hair, so I like that they add a little bulk to my ponytail, not to mention the fact that you can make them in any color or pattern. I probably won’t go with the matching leg warmers now though.
These are a fantastic gift, and don’t take a lot of time and materials to make. I’ll start out by showing you how to make a basic version, then we’ll dive into a few upgrades.
To make one, you’ll need:
4 x 18” fabric (almost any kind will work - quilting cotton, knit, denim, satin, etc.)
8” of 1/4” wide elastic (or longer if your hair is thick)
Press one short end of the fabric under 1/4”.
Fold in half lengthwise with right sides together.
Stitch a 1/4” seam, tapering in slightly about an inch from the non-folded end.
Turn right side out. On each end, center the seam and press about 1/4” in on the folded edges.
Feed the elastic through, keeping one end sticking out on each end of the scrunchie. It will be scrunched. Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/2” and stitch well.
Wiggle the elastic so the stitched ends are inside the scrunchie. This will keep the bulk out of the way when you stitch the next seam.
Tuck the end with the raw edges inside the folded end by about 1/4”. Pin in place.
Stitch near the folded edge through all layers. I did this with the sewing machine, but if having the seam visible isn’t the look you want you can stitch it by hand. I find it nearly disappears when in use.
That’s the basic scrunchie, so let’s talk about some ways to spice it up. We’ll start with the easiest - using two fabrics.
The only real change you need for this one is to cut two strips that are 2 1/4” x 18” each. Sew those with right sides together and press the seam open. Proceed just as you did with the basic scrunchie.
It’s also easy to add a bit of trim to the basic scrunchie, like this ric-rac. Simple sew a piece the same length onto the fabric before you start assembling.
If you’re making this for a little one, adding a bit of lace is cute. In addition to the fabric and elastic, you’ll need a piece of lace that’s 19” long.
When folding the fabric right sides together, tuck the lace between with the edges even and the lace to the inside. The lace should extend beyond the fabric by 1” on the folded end. If your lace likes to curl, like mine did, you can baste it to one edge in order to complete this step.
After folding the fabric and stitching the seam, turn it right side out. Rather than centering the seam, keep it to one side.
Add the elastic as instructed for the basic scrunchie. When you tuck the raw end into the folded end to finish, also tuck that extra inch of lace inside. Stitch across through all the layers.
Last, but not least, how about a pretty swallowtail bow? I love this one.
To start, make your basic scrunchie. For the added bow, you’ll need this pattern. Cut two from fabric.
Sew the pieces with right sides together, leaving 2” open on one side near the middle.
Clip the corners. Clip again on each side of the corner at an angle. Turn right side out. Press, turning in the opening. Stitch the opening closed. I did this by machine - you can’t see it in the end.
Tie around the scrunchie into a knot.
With those five options, you should be able to make these for just about anyone on your list!