This Is How To Make A Bandana In 3 Simple Ways

With the 80’s style fashion gaining popularity, the demand for elaborate headbands and bandanas has increased immensely. A bandana is a fun accessory to add to your wardrobe, mainly because it is versatile. Whether you tie it as a headscarf, headband, necktie, quick no-sew face mask, or a dog bandana, it will always look effortlessly stylish. 

Female wearing bandana

If you want to try incorporating a bandana into your outfit, then you can easily make one at home. It is so easy to make from the things you already have. So, to make a bandana for you or your pet, follow our easy tutorial, and there you have it! A stylish piece of fabric that you can use in countless ways. Once you mastered that craft, check out how to make a scrunchie as well for the perfect vintage look!

What fabric should you use for your bandana?

Since bandanas are made globally for all kinds of weather and population, you will find them in various fabrics. You will come across them in every material from silk to polyester, acrylic, and cotton. However, the best of them are always made up of natural, breathable fabrics. They are a form of kerchief that you can use to style your outfit, protect yourself from the weather, and cover your face or head when necessary. 

Therefore the ideal material for making a bandana are cotton fabric, linen, silk, and hemp fabric. These fabrics will allow your skin to breathe and won’t cause any reaction. You can easily get these from any fabric store

Pro Tip: You can check the softness and weight of the material by touching them. 

Size of the fabric 

Every bandana that you will ever come across will be square. Yes, the shape isn’t going to change, but the sizes may vary. There are three standard sizes available in the market. However, you can customize the size according to your preference. In this guide, we will talk about the standard sizes, that are:

  1. Large: 68.5 cm x 68.5 cm
  2. Regular: 56 cm x 56 cm
  3. Small: 46 cm x 46 cm

Once you find the suitable type and size of fabric, you can gather your supplies and start this DIY project.

How to make a bandana without sewing

It is not necessary to own a sewing kit or a machine for making a bandana. There is an easy no-sew method that you can try out. Here is how to do it:

Woman with scissors cutting out fabric

Step 1: Cutting the fabric

Cut out a square piece of fabric in your preferred size. Measure all the edges perfectly as you don’t want uneven sides while folding. 

Step 2: Preparing the fabric

Iron your fabric straight, as you will be using different products for hemming. You don’t need your fabric to have an uneven surface. 

Step 3: All the ways to make a bandana

There are many ways to stop your fabric from fraying. Since you are working with natural materials, there are only a few that you can use. Here is what you can try: 

  1. Fabric Glue: Use fabric glue on all four edges to turn 1/2 cm of the fabric inside. Place a weight on all four folded edges to secure the hem in place. 
  2. Frayed Fabric: You can fray the edges even more by rubbing the ends together if you are working with rough cotton or hemp fabric. This step will stop the threads from becoming loose on their own. 
  3. Pinking Sheers: All fashion designers use these zig-zag shears to prevent the fabrics from fraying. Cut the raw edges of the fabric with these shears and see the magic happen. 
  4. Fabric Tape: You can also use a strong fabric tape that is activated through the heat to seal the edges of your fabric. However, avoid using this tape on silk or synthetic fabrics as it might burn. 
  5. Nail Polish: If you do not have any hemming supplies at hand, then use clear nail polish on the freshly cut edges to prevent the cloth from fraying. 

How to make a hand-sewn bandana

If you have a sewing kit at home, then a hand-sewn bandana is what you can try out. But, don’t worry; it is not as hard as it seems. Just follow these simple steps for the perfect results: 

Step 1: Cutting the fabric

Cut a square piece of cloth in the size that you desire and spread it out on an ironing board. Iron the fabric smoothly to move on the hemming process. 

Step 2: Preparing your material

Measure out 1 cm of fabric from each side and fold it in. Iron the folds in place so you can work efficiently with crisp creases.

Step 3: Sewing your bandana by hand

With the help of a needle and strong thread, stitch the folded fabric in to secure the hem. There are two kinds of stitching techniques that you can use:

  1. Running Stitch: A running stitch is a simple straight stitch. Start by sewing the hem in a straight line and lock the stitch by making a loop with your thread and passing your needle through it. Pull on the thread tightly, and your hemming is secured. 
  2. Whip Stitch: A whip stitch is used when you want the threads to be invisible on the right side. It consists of diagonal stitches with most of the thread on the inner side. Diagonally stitch the folded hem with the fabric to secure the edges. Lock the stitch in the same way as you would lock a regular stitch. And that’s it – no more threads on the right side.

How to make a bandana using a sewing machine

With a machine, making a bandana is a 5-minute task. Here is our easy sewing tutorial that you can follow even if you are a beginner: 

Hands sewing on a machine

Step 1: Cutting the fabric 

Cut out a fabric of your choice in a square shape. Iron it to get rid of any wrinkles or any folded edges

Step 2: Preparing the fabric

Lay your fabric out on the ironing board and fold 1/2 cm of the fabric from each side. Iron all four edges to mark crisp creases. Do not fold less than 1/2 cm, as you will need a bit of seam allowance while working with a machine. 

Step 3: Before the sewing machine

Secure your folds in place with common pins and transfer your fabric to the sewing machine. Cut off any loose threads at this point. 

Step 4: Sewing your bandana with a washing machine

Prepare your machine by attaching the thread of your choice. We suggest using a thread of the same colour as your fabric to make your hem appear seamless. Then, run a straight stitch around all four edges of the fabric, and your bandana is done

Decorating tips for your new bandana

Now that you are done making a basic bandana, it is time to add some personality to it. The points and material of decoration will vary according to the way you have decided to use it. Use these six easy ways to personalize your bandana and make it look unique:

Fabric colors ,brushes and fabric on wooden table

1. Embroidery

Small patterns embroidered over your bandana would definitely earn you a ton of compliments. Motifs like tulips, leaves, and paisley are ideal for this project. 

2. Fabric paint

If you have a command on paintbrushes, then fabric painting is the best option for you. Whether you decide to paint a logo, initials of your name, or abstract shapes, it will turn your bandana into a beautiful piece of art. 

3. Iron-on patches 

Using a patch is an easy way to customize your no-sew bandana without putting in much effort. Iron the embroidery patch on one angle of the square, so it is visible on one side of the triangle once you fold it. 

4. Embellishments

Another way is to add beads or stones along the hemline. It gives a beautiful finishing touch to your bandana while adding weight to the edges. It works best if you want to wear it as a bandana scarf or a necktie

5. Ribbons and laces

While securing the hem of your fabric, you can add a dainty lace or ribbon on the edges to give it a neat and feminine appearance. This style works best with large-sized ones that can also be used as a trendy top for women. 

6. Quilting 

To keep your neck warm, you can layer three pieces of fabric over each other and quilt it into a thick bandana. You can search for decorative sewing patterns online that are used for quilting.

Dog wearing red and white bandana 

Now that you know all about making bandanas and their different types, get crafty! It doesn’t matter what level of expertise; you can make this trendy accessory at home. If you have steady hands, go for the hand-sewn method. If not, you can always opt for the sewing machine. And for the beginners out there, the no-sew method is the one for you. With all the right tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can make all kinds of bandanas, wherever, whenever. Do you know what the best part is? You get to save a few bucks too!

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