Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tutorial: Felt flower headbands (from repurposed pantyhose!)


I love headbands. Love, probably too much, but love nonetheless. Unfortunately for me, many headbands hurt behind my ears, and, if they are the kind that go all the way around your head, they slip off. Which is why I've been wearing pantyhose in my hair for at least 15 years. No lie.

Before you think me totally insane, it works! They are perfectly stretchy, not too tight, stay put wonders! Great for a workout all alone, but dressed up they are perfectly lovely as a carrier for all things delightful and accessory like!

I also adore felt - love the felt flower trend, love the pop of femininity when a flower is added to an ensemble.

Thus - felt flowers and my favorite headbands. Perfection.

Things you'll need:

Old pantyhose (preferably the control variety) or tights. Tights are super perfect and come in amazing colors - opt for that if you can.

Felt flowers or ornamentation - you can buy these pre-made at places like Hobby Lobby (in the US at least) or online (I really love Ornamentea, also the place Jordan Ferney got hers for her felt ball garland). I have a tutorial on felt flowers and bows here as well.

Needle and thread.
I prefer embroidery floss because I am a) the world's worst sewer and b) under the false pretense that it is somehow "better"/more secure.


To begin, cut strips (about 1 inch wide) from the tights/pantyhose - for a larger band cut higher on the thigh, for smaller, cut lower. Remember, these will stretch out so maybe go just a little smaller than you think originally, then try them on for size.


The strips won't look like much flat - and the edges don't have to be perfectly straight. Once you give them a pull they curl up, like this:


At this point you'll need to decide how to decorate your headband.


If you are using pre-made flowers (or have a collection of your own already made) go ahead and play around with them.


Decide which configurations of flowers and leaves, just flowers, or anything else you like.


Flip over the arrangement you like. Thread your needle. I should note here - if you like you could do this whole project with hot glue, but, since I know my headbands will be used by certain little ladies I didn't want anything that might itch or scratch - I also wanted to make sure it was as secure as could be and couldn't be pulled apart very easily.


Stitch through in a hidden place and tie off the end of the thread.


Continue stitching together until the arrangement is secure. To make sure the stitching isn't visible from the front try stitching through the surface of the felt, almost all the way through, and back through the back/non-visible part of the piece.


Decide how you want the secured piece to sit on your headband, then open up the headband and secure along the flower.


If you want the flower to lie against your head (to have it follow the shape of your head), be sure to pull the headband tight while securing and stitching to the flower. When complete tie off and cut off any loos threads.


Give a pull on the headband again and it will roll right back up.


That's it! One non-itchy, not tight, oh so right, cute as can be headband!

For a little something extra I stitched a vein detail on the leaves of this headband - it was a winner, I would say, since the model wanted to keep it forever!

If you aren't into flowers you could leave the band alone and use it as-is, or you could use multiples, bare, for a "sporty" band.


To make the sporty band take three bands and lie them down together. Using another band cut into a strip, wrap the bands together and stitch or glue the strip closed.

Stay tuned for some how-to's for making your own flowers and bows (as well as templates to download).


graybird22 said...

LOVE these! Great idea, headbands hurt my head too. And Sarah is finally letting me put things in her hair, so I totally need to try this. ;)

Hatchet Hollie said...

I've been making lots of different hair accessories lately these are definitely next on the list to try!

Tricia said...

I saw all your bows - you're not kidding about "a lot" :)

Let me know how these turn out for you - would love to see some pictures!

Ashley said...

Really cute! I have some old hose I can do this to, even just for at-home-keep-my-hair-back headbands.

Tara said...

You're making me wish I owned a pair of panty hose, or tights. Shucks. I might have to go get some now. These are adorable.

Krystal said...

so clever!

Juan Fernando said...

I reckon this would be a good bonding activity with my wife and kid. She can probably use her old black leggings and tights instead. Really clever girl! Cheers!

Wanessa Moore said...

This post was fetured on truecharismacrafts.blogspot.com
Check it out!

annapolis said...

Oh my word! I have been looking for ways to make nylon headbands like these and when I found your tutorial...well...it was just such a good moment. :) I canNOT wait to try these. So easy! Thank you for a great tutorial. And can I say, you have really great photography and clear tutorials. I appreciate your clarity.

Shell said...

Love these ideas on how to make a pretty headband for myself. Thank you!!