Scrunchies are back and they’re much more fun than the 80s and 90s the last time I tried to pretend that my fine hair could handle them.
They’ve been popping up in stores in corduroy, velvet, faux fur and all manner of glittery fancy fabrics that Full House never saw.
We’ll talk about how to sew a scrunchie 3 different ways plus a little hack if you don’t have thick luxurious scrunchie-loving hair.
This is a great project for a quick handmade stocking stuffer, and it’s a good scrapbusting project. So grab some luxe fabrics and let’s dive into this.
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How to sew a scrunchie: fabric choices
You can make scrunchies with just about any fabric. From knits to more fancy fabrics, anything will do here as long as it’s not too heavyweight.
The new scrunchies are in fabrics like: corduroy, taffeta, lamé, velvet, velour, faux fur and suede.
Some other choices are cotton quilting prints or cotton voile for easy sewing. You can also use sweater knits or good old reliable jersey knit.
For the scarf variation, pull out a vintage scarf.
The best part about making scrunchies is that they take hardly any fabric. So take a dive in your scrap bin and see what you come up with.
Cutting your scrunchies
For each scrunchie, cut a piece of fabric 3″x18″.
When you have your fabric cut, cut a piece of elastic 6″-8″ long. If you have thicker hair, go for the longer length. My thinner hair works well with the 6″ length.
On to the sewing.
How to sew a scrunchie
Fold your fabric right sides together.
If you’re using velvet, it’s good to hand baste along the long edge. This will keep the velvet from slipping around on you as you sew it.
Next, sew along the long edge with a 1/4″ seam. Use a straight stitch for woven fabrics. If you’re using a knit fabric like stretch velvet or a sweater knit, use a narrow zigzag (1.0 width, 2.5 length)
After that, place the tube part of the tube turner inside the scrunchie. Use the dowel to turn the scrunchie through the tube.
Rotate the tube so that the seam is in the middle, and give it a press with some steam. If you’re using velvet or corduroy, use a press cloth of scrap velvet or corduroy!
Add the elastic to your DIY scrunchie
Now we need to add the elastic that’s going to make the scrunchie do it’s scrunch thing.
Dangle the elastic into the tube on one open end. Next, lay the elastic right on top of the seam. Shorten your stitch length and stitch back and forth over the elastic a couple times.
Insert the easy threader into the tube on the other end. Bring it through the side with the anchored elastic and thread the eye.
Pull the threader back through the opposite end and center the second side of the elastic right over the seam. Stitch back and forth over it a couple times just like you did with the first side of elastic. Sewing the elastic this way makes it ultra secure.
Finishing the scrunchie
Pinch the open ends together right sides together, matching the seam. Depending on what kind of fabric you’re using, you might be able to stitch with your sewing machine over the elastic with a 1/4″ seam partially around the tube. You won’t be able to stitch more than about half the tube.
I found that knits did the best with sewing the ends together with the machine.
And if you can’t fit your sewing machine foot inside this tiny tube, no worries.
Thread up your needle.
Go about halfway around the tube, then turn the raw edges to the inside. Slip one end over the other so that it’s even with the seam you’ve been sewing. Move the needle from one side to the other, taking tiny stitches about 1/8″ away from each other.
This should just take you a couple minutes. And if you’re internally freaking out about the quality of your hand stitching, know that it’s going to get lost in the scrunch action. You will only be offending your hair!
When you’re done, make a good knot and bury it in the seam. Cut it off.
So that’s the basic scrunchie. Since I love a good theme and variations, let’s go exploring how to spice up your scrunchie…
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.