How to Make a No-Sew Sailor’s Knot Headband

How to Make a No-Sew Sailor’s Knot Headband

The weather is changing and I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors, so I decided to make a no-sew sailor’s knot headband from an upcycled t-shirt. Now, I could have gone with just a strip of t-shirt to wrap around my head, but that seemed too boring, too uninspired. Nope, I wanted something with flair and pizzaz…for when I’m gardening.

How To Make A No-Sew Sailor's Knot Headband

In all seriousness, though, having the sailor’s knot helps to keep the headband in place so much better than a single strip of t-shirt. Plus, it’s great at keeping all those flyaway hairs from sticking to me and keeps me from feeling like a hot mess. It would be perfect for when I’m putting on makeup or just going for a jog. I love my new sailor’s knot headband–and I can’t wait to make more! Let’s get started making an easy upcycled t-shirt no-sew sailor’s knot headband!

What You’ll Need to make a Sailor Knot Headband:

sailor's knot headband supplies

How to Make a No-Sew Sailor’s Knot Headband

I was able to scrounge around and found a deep green t-shirt that had seen better days. You can see in some of the pictures that there’s a bit of pilling and the t-shirt was a little stretched out. You can use shirts with holes, shirts with patterns or shirts with stains, just work around anything that might end-up center-stage on your headband and you’ll be fine.

Tshirt for headband

If you just don’t have a t-shirt that you want to sacrifice for a headband, you can certainly use fabric. But to make the no-sew sailor’s knot headband work and look as intended, you’ll want to use a jersey material, not straight-cotton or some other stiff material. Jersey is where it’s at for this project

cutting off hem

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 project..

cutting strips

Working perpendicular to the hem line you just cut off, you want to cut 8 strips, 21-inches long, from one layer of the t-shirt, about 1 ½-inches wide. If you’re making two headbands, you can cut these strips at the same time from both sides of the t-shirt, which is what I did. Saves time and gets you plenty of strips to work with!

cutting rectangle

In addition to cutting out the strips, also cut out a rectangle of t-shirt about 3-inches wide by 4-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.

finished materials

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 sailor’s knot headband.

stretching strips

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.

sailor's knot materials

Separate your 8 strips into two sets of 4. Make sure the ends are as matched-up as possible in each set, so you’re working with the full length of each strip.

c shape fabric piece

Lay one set of 4 strips in a “c” pattern in front of you with the bottom leg of the “c” pulled all the way up to the side of the top leg of the “c”.

fabric strips

Lay out the second in an upside down “u” shape on top of the “c” then cross the left leg of the “u” over the right leg, meeting in the center.

tying headband knot

Slip the left leg of the “u” under the top leg of the “c”.

pulling pieces through

Then pull the top leg of the “c” down to the bottom loop of the “u” and pull the “c” leg through the loop.

sailor's knot tutorial

Start pulling each of the legs up, alternating as you tighten it in increments.

starting sailors knot
continuing sailor's knot

Keep going with the knot. You’re doing great! You can add as many or as few knots as you’d like. I’ve seen as few as two and as many as six. Whatever you prefer is fine as it is your no-sew sailor knot headband.

tightening sailor's knot

Tighten the sailor’s knot as snugly as possible. I like to do this for the look, but if you wanted the knots to look a little more chunky you can loosen them up.

tying sailor's knot headband together

Tie the loose ends of the strips together, making sure to secure the knots as close to the end of the strip as possible. This help with a future step.

trimming ends of headband

Trim any of the loose ends close to the knotted strands (not the sailor’s knot obviously). You are finished with the main part of the headband at this post and you can set it aside while you get ready for the finishing touches.

gluing hem

Put a line of glue to help create a hem on the edge.

folding hem

Fold over the side of the rectangle of fabric and hot glue in place, forming a hem. This makes it easier to glue around the headband in the next step.

wrapping fabric on headband

Wrap the rectangle of fabric around the knotted strands and hot glue the hem side down. This gives the headband a nice, clean appearance.

finished Sailor's knot headband

Once you allow that hot glue seam to cool completely, you’re ready to wear your DIY sailor’s knot headband immediately! Enjoy the new cute fashion accessory that you made without any sewing.

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 used fabric hot glue, will be flexible and stretchy. If, for some reason, you decided 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. Now get ready to make another, because you’re going to love how well this stretchy headband fits and how cute it is on your hair.

no-sew sailor's knot headband

If you liked our how to make a no-sew sailor’s knot 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 it take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices others make.

Yield: 1

How To Make A No-Sew Sailor's Knot Headband

How To Make A No-Sew Sailor's Knot Headband Create Card

Ladies, this is a perfect summer craft! Look fabulous no matter what you're doing with this No-Sew Sailor's Knot Headband. Fun and easy to make, this is a great craft to make with this kids. This is one I make every year. It also makes a great gift.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $2.00

Instructions

  1. Cut off the hem of your t-shirt on the bottom.
  2. Cut 8 strips, 21-inches long, from one layer of the t-shirt, about 1 ½-inches wide.
  3. Cut out a rectangle of t-shirt about 3-inches wide by 4-inches long.
  4. 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.
  5. Separate your 8 strips into two sets of 4.
  6. Lay one set of 4 strips in a “c” pattern in front of you with the bottom leg of the “c” pulled all the way up to the side of the top leg of the “c”.
  7. Lay out the second in an upside down “u” shape on top of the “c” then cross the left leg of the “u” over the right leg, meeting in the center.
  8. Slip the left leg of the “u” under the top leg of the “c”.
  9. Then pull the top leg of the “c” down to the bottom loop of the “u” and pull the “c” leg through the loop.
  10. Start pulling each of the legs up, alternating as you tighten it in increments. Tighten the sailor’s knot as snugly as possible.
  11. Tie the loose ends of the strips together, making sure to secure the knots as close to the end of the strip as possible. 
  12. Trim any of the loose ends close to the knotted strands (not the sailor’s knot). Set aside.
  13. Fold over the long side of the rectangle of fabric and hot glue in place, forming a hem.
  14. Wrap the rectangle of fabric around the knotted strands and hot glue the hem side down.
  15. You're done! Enjoy your No-Sew Sailor Knot Headband!

Notes

  • Once you allow that hot glue seam to cool completely, you’re ready to wear your DIY sailor’s knot headband immediately!
  • If you don’t dry it, the hot glue will hold and, if you used fabric hot glue, will be flexible and stretchy. If, for some reason, you decided 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.
  • EASY NO-SEW & SEWING PROJECTS

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