Friday, August 24, 2012

Pleated Headband Tutorial

I guess I've had hair accessories on the brain because I've been making a whole bunch of different ones lately!  In the past, most of the hair clips I've made for the girls have all been the same style because I like them and they're easy.  For this fall, though, I decided to branch out and try some new ideas!  Enter the pleated headband!

The girls have peasant dresses made from this super gorgeous Alexander Henry print called "Mocca," and I wanted a fairly dramatic hair accessory to match.  These came together super easily and are pretty customizable!  

To make a pleated headband, you will need:

-A scrap of fabric, at least 3" wide by 14" long
-Scraps of coordinating felt (craft felt is fine)
-1/4" elastic or a premade elastic headband
-Hot glue gun
-Sewing stuff (thread, scissors, iron, etc.)

The first thing you'll need to do is cut your piece of scrap fabric into a rectangle.  For the girls' headbands, my rectangle was about 5" x 15", but the one I'm making here was for a 6 month old and it was a little smaller...more like 3.5" x 14".  Remember, you'll be folding it in half lengthwise, so make sure to at least double whatever you want your finished width to be!

Now take the two short ends and iron them under to the wrong side.

Fold the piece in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch it together along the long side using 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn the tube right side out and press, placing the seam in the center.

Now start pleating!  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  Just make folds until you like how it looks.  I made mine about 1.5" wide, but you can do smaller or larger pleats if you prefer.

Here's how mine looked from the side after a couple of pleats.

Continue pleating and ironing down your pleats until you are happy with the look.  You can pin your pleats to secure them if you'd like, or just wing it and head to the sewing machine!

Sew a straight stitch down the center of the pleated piece, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end to secure your stitches.

Next cut 2 pieces of felt that are slightly smaller than your pleated piece.  Also cut a piece of 1/4" elastic to use as a headband, or grab your premade headband.  For infants up to 12 months, I cut my piece about 15" long, for toddlers I use 17" and for anyone over age 4, I use 18".

Dab a little hot glue on one end of your elastic and overlap the two ends, forming a loop.  Make sure your elastic isn't twisted!

Now take one of your felt pieces and cover it with a layer of hot glue.  Glue it down to the underside of your pleated piece.

Run a bead of hot glue lengthwise down the center of that piece of felt and attach your elastic headband in place.  Make sure to hide the seam in your headband by placing it on the felt area!

Next cover that whole felt area with hot glue and place your other felt piece over it, sandwiching the elastic in between.

Turn it over and admire your work!

I can't wait to see the girls in their new dresses with these fun headbands!  You could even embellish them with buttons or whatever you like.  This print is pretty bold, so I just left it plain.  I think I need some for myself!

If you make some, I'd love to see them!  Be sure to share in the flickr group!  Have a great weekend!

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