With the weather getting much warmer and deciding to do a bit of gardening, I needed to make another headband–and this no-sew braided headband Tutorial using a t-shirt was perfect in every way. Sure, you can always just slap a bandana or a plain headband across the brow and go on with life, but seriously, who doesn’t love a pretty headband that also works to wick away the moisture?
It’s not just the look, though, it’s also the fact that with the braiding, the headband will simply stay in place so much better than if I’d just popped on a single strip of t-shirt. And, with just that little bit of texture, it’s absolutely up to the task of keeping all my little flyaway hairs from sticking to my forehead and feeling like even more of a hot mess than just being out in the humid early-summer sun.
This braided headband is definitely going to get a workout in my wardrobe. I plan to wear it when I’m putting on makeup, going for a jog or even just when the day gets hot and I’m done messing with my hair. It’s just an all-around great tool to have in my bathroom drawer! Let’s get started making this easy up-cycled t-shirt no-sew braided headband!
Here’s what you’re going to need:
- T-shirt or fabric
- Sharp pair of scissors
- Hot glue gun with fabric hot glue sticks or a fabric adhesive
- Fabric tape measure
I headed into my closet to scrounge around and there, I found a t-shirt that had seen better days, and, frankly, it wasn’t the most comfortable shirt to start with. Slightly stiffer than I like my shirts and kind of the-worst-print-ever-conceived, I felt like this was such a bad t-shirt, I wasn’t even going to make a headband with it–until I turned it inside out and discovered the perfect grey. Now, even though my t-shirt was in pretty good shape, you can use shirts with holes, stains, pilling or even shirts that are stretched out. Just take care to work around any damage to the shirt that you’re not going to love being on your head and you’ll be fine.
Now, if you can’t find a t-shirt that you’re willing to sacrifice to make the world’s coolest headband, you may absolutely use fabric. But in order to get your braided headband to work and look the way mine does, I’d recommend that you use a jersey material, not just a straight-cotton (too stiff) or any other non-jersey material. Because of its stretchiness and general softness, jersey is the best choice for this project
You’ll also want: a sharp pair of scissors, a hot glue gun with fabric hot glue sticks or a fabric adhesive (though these usually take longer to dry, just so you know). In addition, you’ll want to use a fabric tape measure or find some other way to measure the length of your fabric so you know what to cut.
How to Make A No-Sew Braided Headband
First, you want to cut off the hem of your t-shirt on the bottom. You’re not going to use this for anything, so you can either set it aside for a future project or just discard it. Try to cut in a straight line to help you out later in the no-sew project.
Working perpendicular to the hem line you just cut off, you want to cut 5 strips, about 21-inches long, from one layer of the t-shirt, about 1-inch wide. If you’re making two headbands, you can cut these strips at the same time from both sides of the t-shirt. Try to make your strips all about the same length. And remember: you can always trim it if it’s too long, but you can never add to the length of your fabric.
In addition to cutting your strips, you’ll also want to cut out a rectangle of t-shirt about 2-inches wide by 3-inches long. This is a rough size, so just eyeball it. You will be making a hem with the long side, but you will not be making a hem with the short sides, so take that into account and make your cuts as clean as possible so you’re not disappointed in them when the project is done.
Once you have your strips and rectangle cut, you can discard the rest of the t-shirt or save it for another project in the future. You’ll just need the strips to make the no-sew braided headband.
Take each strip, one end in each hand, and stretch it as far as it will go, lengthening the strip and also curling the edges. Do not try to stop the curling of the fabric edges, as this is the desired shape for the headband. Be sure, if you’re working with a patterned fabric, to kind of work the curl to either show the pattern or hide it (like I planned to), if you can.
Lay-out each of your strips perpendicular to your body and side-by-side. Hot glue the far end of the strips together, not stacking them one-on-top-of-another, but kind of off-center, so as to give some texture to the braid.
Once the hot glue has cooled completely, tape the end of the strips that you glued together to the table. Be sure to use masking tape or packing tape–not a super strong tape as that will be harsh on your fabric and pull the threads out when you remove it.
The next step in how to make a no-sew braided headband is to braid! Braiding 5 strands together is a little more complex than the traditional 3 strands, but the concept is the same. You work with the outside strands, working them toward the center, then back again, taking turns with each strand to ensure that each strand has a “turn”.
Tighten the braid as snugly as possible as you go. You don’t want a loose braid coming apart on your head–that’s not cool. Work all the way to the end of the fabric strips–this will ensure that the braid stays snug.
Hot glue the loose ends of the braid together at the end, making sure to secure the fabric as close to the beginning of the braiding as possible, again, to make sure that the braid stays snug in place. Remove the taped end of the braid from the table and discard the tape.
Fold over the long side of the rectangle of fabric and hot glue in place, forming a hem.
Wrap the rectangle of fabric around the spot where the two ends of the braided headband meet and hot glue the hem side down. Once you allow that hot glue seam to cool completely, you’re ready to wear your DIY braided headband immediately! If you want to wash it, just toss it in with your other t-shirts. Just don’t dry it in the dryer or you risk the glue pulling apart.
If you don’t dry it, the hot glue will hold and, if you decided to use fabric hot glue, the joints will be flexible and stretchy. If, for some reason, you instead chose to use regular hot glue, you can still wash your headband in the washing machine, but be aware that it can be kind of stiff in comparison to fabric hot glue.
If you liked this No-Sew Braided Headband tutorial make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this no-sew braided headband, take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices others make.
- Unused or old t-shirt or fabric alternative
- Cut off the hem of your t-shirt on the bottom.
- Cut 5 strips, about 21-inches long, from one layer of the t-shirt, about 1-inch wide.
- Cut out a rectangle of t-shirt about 2-inches wide by 3-inches long.
- Take each strip, one end in each hand, and stretch it as far as it will go, lengthening the strip and also curling the edges.
- Lay-out each of your strips perpendicular to your body and side-by-side. Hot glue the far end of the strips together, off-center, so as to give some texture to the braid.
- Tape the end of the strips that you glued together to the table.
- Braid 5 strands together.
- Hot glue the loose ends of the braid together at the end.
- Remove the taped end of the braid from the table and discard the tape.
- Bring the two ends of the braid together and hot glue them end-to-end. Set aside.
- Fold over the long side of the rectangle of fabric and hot glue in place, forming a hem.
- Wrap the rectangle of fabric around the spot where the two ends of the braided headband meet and hot glue the hem side down.
- Let glue fully cool and dry and you're done!
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