MAKES | Retro Headband

Retro Headband | Eats & MakesI’ve had my dreads for nearly three years now & in that time I’ve learned styling my hair can be a bit more difficult than my old straight hair. This is mostly because I’m paranoid about getting things stuck up there & because my hair is quite a bit thicker than it used to be… like a lot bit thicker.

So, going to the store & buying regular headbands rarely works for my hair mass. But headbands are cute & they keep my hair off my neck during hot high desert days.


Awhile back I was minding my own business on Pinterest when I stumbled upon Lula Louise’s tutorial for turban headbands — they were just what I’ve been searching for!

I promptly made one & got about a zillion (positive) comments about it at work the next day. They’re incredibly easy to make so I’m sharing the deets with all of y’all!

Retro Headband


  • 1/3 yard of fabric (check the clearance sections & thrift stores for cheap finds!)
  • 1″ wide elastic
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Pins


  1. Cut your fabric into two rectangles 10″ x 20″ more or less. If you want a thinner headband adjust your width, if you have a large head or want to conserve your elastic add more length.
  2. Fold each rectangle in half hot-dog style (they still teach that in school right?) with the right sides facing in.
  3. Using your pins create a rough outline to taper at the ends.
  4. Sew along your outline & then cut off your excess fabric leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.Retro Headband | Eats & Makes
  5. Turn your tapered tubes right side out. Lay them across one another so the centers are overlapping. Fold up each side so that the tubes are “hooked” in the center.Retro Headband | Eats & Makes
  6. Estimate how much elastic you’ll want to fit your head & pin it to the tube. Try on your headband & adjust the amount of elastic until it feels right. I used 5″ of elastic for my headband since this cotton fabric does not provide much stretch, if you’re using a jersey fabric you may need less elastic.
    • Pro tip: Make sure your pins have the pointy-side (very official) on the outside of your headband. That way when you try it on you won’t stab yourself in the head.
  7. Cut the elastic to your desired length while making sure you leave enough seam allowance — about 1/2″ on each side.
  8. Cut a piece of fabric 3.75″ wide & 3″ longer than the length of your elastic (aka: my fabric measured 8″ long).
  9. Fold this piece of fabric hot-dog style with right sides facing one another & sew together leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave tube wrong side out.Retro Headband | Eats & Makes
  10. Sandwich one end of your elastic between the fabric of one side of your headband & sew into place. Gather your fabric slightly & use a zig-zag stitch here or double stitch it to make sure the elastic is secure.
  11. Feed the elastic through the tube with the wrong side facing out. When the entire tube meets where you sewed the elastic to the headband then sew the tube (be sure to sew on the outside of where you joined the elastic). Begin to unroll the tube over the elastic so the right side is facing out (and covering your crazy sewing).
  12. Sew the other end of the elastic to the other side of the headband (again, in a sandwich like in step #10).Retro Headband | Eats & Makes
  13. Feed the elastic through the tube until it meets the other side of the headband. Then tuck the raw ends in about 1/4″ and hand stitch the tube to the headband.

Retro Headband | Eats & Makes


You’re done!

Go strut your fancy, 1940s inspired headband around town!


All of these measurements are just guidelines. This project is very forgiving so feel free to adjust everything to fit your tastes. Also, play around with different fabrics & textures! My cotton headbands have a more classic feel & my jersey ones.. well they just feel like pillows on my ears.


3 thoughts on “MAKES | Retro Headband

  1. Pingback: MAKES | Kitchen Magnets | Eats & Makes

  2. This looks great! Now that spring is in the air I’ve been looking for some fun new hair ideas to experiment with and I’m loving this! I’m already looking forward to picking out fabric! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

    • Yay! Once you get the hang of it they really only take about fifteen minutes to whip up.. so before you know it you’ll have a dozen like me. 😉

      Be sure to let me know how it goes! This is my first time attempting a sewing tutorial so holler if you have any questions too.

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