Im *SO* glad that scrunchies are back in style, because I’ve never stopped wearing them since the mid 80s and there was a point in time when I was a little embarrassed about it. And even though “kids these days” would likely still make fun of me for actually using them in my hair and not just wearing them on my wrist, I’m way beyond caring :P!
Scrunchies are fun, easy and quick to make! They’re perfect for gifts this time of year and are a great scrap busting project. There are one hundred and one tutorials out there already, but I wanted to share the measurements and techniques that worked for me after some trial and error. All you need is some fabric (of any kind!), 3/8″ elastic (you can also use 1/4″, but more about this later), a safety pin, some thread and a sewing machine. Heck, you could even sew them by hand if you wanted to.
I mentioned that this project is great for scraps and I’ll get into specific measurements in a minute, but Fat quarters are also a great size, as well as Jelly Roll strips. But one thing that worked perfect from me was this… have you ever ordered from Stash Fabrics? They wrap your order in fabric remnant strips, which are totally adorable, but also PERFECT for making scrunchies!
Shown above is my latest order, as well as some wraps I had saved in my scrap bin from previous orders. Aside from these I pulled some random bits I had, as well as the Alison Glass Mariner Cloth I had from my last Undercover Maker Mat. I thought it would be just right for some FANCY scrunchies and they are my favorite of the bunch!
Ok, let’s get on to the How-To…
You will need one strip of fabric for each scrunchie. You will see a wide variety of measurements out there, but I found that a width between 2.5″ and 4″ (3″ is my ideal size) and a length of 20″ – 23″ works great for the look and feel that I want. Most of my fabric is from fat quarters or WOF cut in half, so the majority of mine average about 22″. A thinner strip (2.5″) will yield a less “poofy” scrunchie, while a wider strip will make it bulkier. You can go thinner or wider with your strip and can do some experimenting to find your own preference.
Begin by pressing one short end of your strip about 1/2″ wrong sides together.
Next, fold your strip in half along the longest dimension, right sides together, and sew the open edge with an approximate 1/4″ seam. Back stitch at the beginning and end to hold your seam while turning.
Your tube will now look like this. The next step is to turn your tube right side out. There are many tools and methods for doing this. I prefer to use a safety pin which I will detail below.
Secure the pin through one layer of fabric on either end. Turn the pin and end of your tube to the inside and begin working it down.
Continue pushing the pin through, scrunching and pulling the fabric as you go, until your tube is right side out. Remove the pin.
I prefer to use 3/8″ elastic in my scrunchies vs 1/4″ because I find it has more stretch, but also holds tighter. This is definitely a personal preference that will be dependent on your hair thickness and how you like to wear your scrunchies, so you can experiment. I have fairly thick hair and wrap my scrunchies twice around a pony tail or knot. I cut my elastic 7.5″ long. This holds tight and secure, but not to the point of discomfort.
Next you will feed the elastic through your fabric tube. You will once again use your safety pin.
Be sure to hold one end as you feed it through so that you can see the elastic on both open ends of your tube.
Overlap the ends of your elastic approximately 1″ and pin to hold in place.
Secure the elastic by sewing several times back and forth in the middle of your overlap. I keep my pin in place to help prevent shifting when placing under my presser foot, but remove before sewing.
You can also knot your elastic, but I prefer the smoother finish of sewing. If you choose to knot your elastic, you will need to cut your piece longer to account for this.
To finish your scrunchie, tuck the raw edge into the folded edge and sew a single seam close to the folded edge, backstitching at the beginning and end. You will sew through the elastic inside and it will be a little thicker in this spot, so just make sure your tension looks good.
If you prefer, you can sew this opening closed by hand with a slip stitch around also, but I find using the machine is quick, secure, and you can’t see it in the ruffles of the scrunchie anyway.
Voila, you’re done! Now you can have a scrunchie for every day of the week, to match every outfit, and to give to anyone you come across with hair, because once you start making them, trust me you won’t want to stop!
I found that an assembly line method worked really well for making these. I cut all my strips, pressed the ends, sewed the tubes, then while binging some Mrs. Maisel on the couch one night, I turned all the tubes, cut the elastic, fed it through and pinned it, then finished the sewing all at once the next day.
Here are the ones I made using the Mariner Cloth. Aren’t they amazing? So soft, too!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Rock on, scrunchies!