Headbands. Lots and lots of headbands. That’s what we’ve been making. Thanks to my very stylish sister-in-law Kerri who sent us the project idea, and a Pinterest tutorial here, we started chopping up t-shirts and scrap knit fabric to make these fun accessories.
We even cut little scrappy flowers to match and glued them to clips. They can be added to the bands or used alone. Once the strips of material are cut, it takes about 2 minutes to finish a headband. We have them in all coordinating colors for sports teams and they worked great this week in the windy weather on the softball and soccer fields!
We started with some old t-shirts and some new, clearance-plus-40%-off t-shirts from the giant “ancient military-sounding clothing store”.
I decided to run through the tutorial and see how tough it was before I mired the three young ones in a frustrating task. I chose a multi-colored floral knit fabric that was left over from a jammie project. I cut five, 1” strips that were about thirty inches long (you can double the head circumference as the tutorial suggests, but I found that one and-a-half times was sufficient with a little left-over wiggle room).
You have to pull the knit to find which direction the greatest stretch happens. You need the strips to stretch a ton. I also learned that cutting the t-shirts from neckline to hem results in less stretch. I wound up making a few shorter headbands from these strips and sewing elastic to them to extend the reach.
I stacked the strips on each other and stitched across the top, about an inch down from the end. I taped the end to a table and started braiding. Weaving is more accurate.
Spread out the five strips like a fan. Take the furthest right strip; pull it under the next strip to the left, over the next strip, under the next strip and over the last strip.
Straighten all the strips out again and keep the tension constant. Repeat the weaving with the furthest right strip-always starting under the next strip to the left, straightening the strips and keeping the tension stable. You will figure out the best way to hold the strips once you get underway.
The first time I tried, I followed the tutorial and got very tangled. I eventually got the hang of it and finished the whole headband. I stitched off the bottom of the band and went back and unraveled the top back to where it went right. I wove the rest and re-stitched the top.
I made a couple more and decided it was time for the girls to try.
They picked out the colors they wanted and we cut strips. After stitching the tops of each bunch, I taped them to the coffee table in a line. We all queued up and they watched me start my headband. I started each girl’s headband as they watched the weaving order. Soon, each girl was quietly muttering the mantra: under, over, under, over, under, over, under, over, under, over, under, over, under, over, under, over.
Fingers twisted and wove, raveled and unraveled. Three rows were woven, mistakes were made and three rows were unraveled. Time to start again. Four rows were woven, mistakes were discovered and four rows were unraveled. Another do-over. It was so quiet and harmonious. I was pleasantly surprised.
The process was repeated for about fifteen minutes. Soon we had four, reasonably successful headbands. The middle child declared it “too tough” and asked me to finish hers. The youngest started over and over and got it pretty well down. The oldest suddenly had a headband epiphany.
“This is sort of like those bracelets we make with embroidery thread. I’m going to try something.”
She got some more strips, tied the ends together and started knotting. After a few minutes, she had a spiraling line of knots. A large, stretchy, headband version of the friendship bracelet.
While the girls made a few more, I started cutting out flower shapes from the fabrics we used; I folded and glued them together and then to clips.
Once we had several long, woven strips, we stitched the ends of each closed and made each woven strip into a circle. Each circle was stitched closed. A square of matching fabric was cut, the ends folded in and then wrapped around the stitched line. The opposite ends were folded in and the band was hand-stitched closed, covering the rough-cut ends and stitching. Done!
We plan to make plenty more of these in the future-and several are on the way to Kerri and her sweetest little one!