How To Sew A Scrunchie With Or Without A Sewing Machine

The 1990s were a dramatic decade with trends like slip dresses, checkered skirts, and of course – Liz Hurley’s dramatic safety pin Versace ensemble. But, there’s one 90s trend that’s making a definitive comeback – the seminal scrunchie

Floating colorful scrunchies on woman's hands

If you’re looking to partake in the hair scrunchies fad yet again – we’ve got some excellent news. What if we told you, you could have a scrunchie for every day of the week – and that too at little to no cost? Sounds good, doesn’t it? From sewing a button to creating something amazing! Let’s get on with our in-depth DIY hair scrunchies guide with all sorts of neat quirks and tips. We’re sure you’ll be a scrunchie-pro in no time!

Why is this trend so popular?

Even though it’s just a hair accessory – the scrunchie has a long and distinguished history. Legend has it that they arrived on the scene in 1986 thanks to the efforts of one woman – Romy Revson

Revson, a pianist and a nightclub singer, wanted an accessory that wasn’t made of plastic or metal to save her lovely hair from damage. A sentiment we can all relate to. 

In an interview, Revson mentioned that she was inspired by the elastic in her waistband pants and started experimenting with fabrics, needles, thread, a bobbin, and lots of elastic. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Scrunchies became an instant hit, thanks to the novelty of fabric and the incredible puckering detail (aka the hair tie). Consequently, it’s easy to see why this particular hair trend keeps finding its way back to the popular fashion trends of the present. 

It offers women an easy, pain and damage-free alternative to tying back their thin or thick hair without dealing with the clutter of pins. 

Not to mention, they also double as fashion accessories – with people using them as wrist and forehand bands. Talk about endless opportunities for fashion statements.

Girl wearing scrunchie in her hair

Things that you’re going to need

Now that we’ve gone over why everyone should think about jumping on the scrunchie bandwagon – let’s get down to business. Below is the list of supplies you’ll need to stock up on before we embark on our scrunchie escapade.

Also, note that our tutorial consists of two ways to get the deed done. One involves sewing, and the other doesn’t. That’s because we know we’re not all dab hands with a hand needle and thread, plus utilising the sewing machine for a teensy scrunchie is so much easier!

So, we recommend sticking to the very end to discover all there is to making scrunchies

List of supplies

  • Sewing machine/ Handheld Machine
  • Strong sewing thread (any colour you prefer)
  • Sewing foot (all-purpose)
  • Fabric (cut into a strip that measures 56 x 9 cm)
  • 1cm wide elastic strip
  • Fabric glue or hot glue gun (for the non-sew scrunchie)

How to sew a scrunchie with a sewing machine

Sewing projects can be such delightful fun. We’re 100% certain you’re going to love this easy sewing project with step-by-step instructions. Also, we’ll be mentioning a few pro tips about how to glam up your scrunchie (should you wish it), so watch out for that too!

Finally, we recommend you go through the entire DIY scrunchie tutorial first before attempting the sewing bit to ensure there aren’t any obstacles.

Step 1

Alright, it’s time to get busy. Start by inspecting your fabric type. If you’ve chosen to work with a knit fabric like Lycra – you can go ahead to the next step.

But, if the fabric you’ve picked tends to fray, like cotton, you’re going to have to fold over one end for durability. 

Take your fabric piece and fold over any one of the short ends on the wrong side by about 1.3cm

Sewing machine with fabric on a table

Step 2

Next, fold the fabric lengthwise on the right side until the raw edges are aligned

If you’re using a machine to stitch the scrunchie, make sure to choose the straight stitch option with the length set at 2.0. Additionally, sew along the edge with about 1cm for seam allowance. Do not stitch the ends just yet. 

Conversely, if you’ve opted to hand-stitch the scrunchie, you can sew the accessory using a running stitch or a back one.

We’d recommend you go for the backstitch, even though it may take a while because it’s the more robust option. Moreover, this technique is easier for beginners.

Ensure you’re using small stitches while hand-sewing the scrunchie because this will ward off the fabric splitting at the seams. 

Step 3

Once the stitches along the edge are complete, it’s time to turn the fabric the right way out. You can do this by attaching a safety pin to one side and threading back through the middle of the material. 

Try opting for a medium-sized safety pin instead of a large one to ensure the pin doesn’t get stuck halfway through. 

Step 4

Once the fabric is turned the right side out, press down on it gently to make it settle. If you’re using a knit fabric, you may have to flatten the fabric out using your fingers so that the seam settles on one side and isn’t visible. 

After that, take the strip of elastic and attach the medium-sized safety pin to one end. Then, thread the elastic through the fabric tube while holding on to one end of the elastic to ensure it doesn’t disappear inside the tube completely. 

While doing this, you’ll notice your fabric scrunching a little as it gathers on top of the elastic.

Step 5

Gather both ends of the elastic, overlap them by 2.5cm and stitch the ends together. Of course, if you’re trying to save some time, you can always opt to tie the elastic ends together, although this won’t be as sturdy. 

Nonetheless, if you’re a beginner and would like to spend less time and energy on this project, feel free to knot the elastic and make sure to pull the strings to tighten it. 

Step 6

This is the final step of the sew-a-scrunchie tutorial – YAY! 

Handmade colorful scrunchies with a sewing machine

Move the elastic around a bit to ensure the knot or joint is hidden. Next, grab the raw edge of the piece of fabric and feed it into the pressed edge.

This step is vital to ensure your DIY scrunchie has a clean finish. If you’ve used a knit fabric, just feed one edge of the fabric into the other. In both instances, make sure the fabric overlaps by 1.3cm. 

Using a machine, pick a matching thread to stitch the gap (through all the layers) of the fabric tube closed. Use the backstitch to ensure a more durable stitch. This will ensure the gap doesn’t open up with prolonged use and help keep the elastic band in place. 

On the other hand, if you’re hand stitching your scrunchie, you can hem the gap using a ladder stitch. But, while hand stitching, you want to sew around the fabric all the way through without catching on the elastic

Pro tip: If your scrunchie is looking a little too puffed up, you can topstitch around the outside seam edge to give it a flat look

Optional Variations

If you want to make your adorable scrunchie stand out even more, you can try out some of these variation ideas.

  • Lace: A little lace can go a long way when it comes to decoration. You can dress up your scrunchie by adding a delicate or thin lace into the seam (while attempting step two).
  • Sequins: There’s nothing like sequins to brighten up the look of any fabric. You can choose to sew whatever sequins you prefer on your scrunchie once it’s complete. If you’re not sure about the kind of sequins – try looking online to learn your options. 
  • Bunny ears: Floppy bows (aka bunny ears) add a fantastic quirky touch to any scrunchie and can help raise your hair accessory game to new heights. If you’ve never made bunny ears before, you can rely on a sewing tutorial to help you through. 

How to sew a scrunchie without a machine

​Don’t worry; we haven’t forgotten our non-sewing readers in our hair ties tutorial. If you’ve got your heart set on making a scrunchie without the help of a needle and thread – this section is for you.

 Scrunchie with scissors on a board

You can have a non-sew scrunchie ready in minutes by following the above sewing tutorial from steps two through six. The only difference is that instead of sewing, you can utilise a hot glue gun or fabric glue to join the seam and the gap

But, if you want yours to have a clean finish, ensure the glue (be it fabric or otherwise) isn’t visible on the right side of the fabric. 

Also, if you’re using fabric glue, you’re going to have to follow the instructions regarding drying time to ensure the strip of fabric is stuck together well and good. 

Finally, when it’s time to join the elastic ends, use a knot to tie off the ends instead of using glue. That’s simply because the adhesive may not be strong enough to keep the ends together for prolonged use. 

Once your scrunchie is ready, scroll through step seven and pick on the variation you like most to embellish your scrunchie if you choose. 

Who would have thought making scrunchies at home was as easy as ABC? We know words like sewing patterns, hand stitches, etc., are enough to make even the most stalwart DIYers run for the hills. But, there’s nothing to fear with our trusty (and printable) scrunchie tutorial by your side. All you need is some fabric, a piece of elastic, and a handful of easily acquired supplies – and you’re good to go! Even if you don’t have a bulky machine you can settle for a handheld machine or use the no-sewing machine way to create your very own fashionable scrunchies! Next project: Suit up! This is how to make a tie from scratch!

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