How to Sew a Scrunchie

The scrunchie is BACK! And it is the most requested project in Make.Do.’s kids’ sewing classes. Luckily, it’s a perfect project for beginners. Scrunchies are quick, simple, and require minimal supplies. They’re a great way to use scraps from other projects (like this drawstring bag).

Grab your supplies and follow along with the video tutorial or written instructions. You’ll have scrunchies all the way up your arm in no time!

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What you need...

  • Fabric
  • Elastic (1/2" or 5/8" wide)
  • Pin cushion
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Safety Pin

Some important vocabulary...

Raw edge: an unfinished edge of fabric. It will fray or unravel, so it’s good to avoid having raw edges on the outside of sewing projects.

Right Side: the printed side of the fabric

Wrong Side: the back side of the fabric

Cut your fabric 4” tall and 18” long.

If you’re using a ruler and scissors, mark your fabric in at least three places to keep your line nice and straight. My fabric was already close to 18” long, so I didn’t cut any from the end. You don’t have to worry about being exact with your measurements on this one… it’s all going to scrunch anyway.

Cut your elastic 9” long.

Don’t pull your elastic tight when you’re measuring to cut. We want 9” of relaxed elastic. You can adjust the length of the elastic to give your scrunchie more stretch. If 9” feels too tight in your hair or on your wrist, add another inch or so.

Fold one short end of your fabric wrong sides together.

This will hide the raw edge and give your finished scrunchie a clean look. A ¼ – ½” fold will do the trick. Iron flat.

Fold your fabric hotdog style with right sides together and pin in place.

Make sure the edges of your fabric stay lined up as you pin. Sometimes, the bottom edge will slip away and you’ll end up with a hole in your seam.

Sew along the pinned edge.

Start by lining your fabric edge against the edge of the presser foot. Before you sew, lower the presser foot, then hold the threads with your left hand and roll the hand wheel at least three stitches with your right hand. This will keep you threads from knotting up underneath your fabric or from coming out of your needle. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end so those stitches don’t come undone! If you have trouble sewing straight, try keeping your eyes on the edge of the presser foot. Don’t worry about watching the needle… as long as you keep your hands away from the presser foot, your fingers will be safe! Be sure to remove your pins as you go. Accidentally sewing over a pin can be bad for your machine and might break the needle.

Attach your safety pin to the folded end of your scrunchie tube.

Make sure the pin only goes through one layer of fabric. Use the pin to turn your tube right side out by holding the safety pin in your right hand while you gather fabric onto the pin with your left. Then, grab the pin with your left hand and use your right hand to pull the fabric off the pin. Don’t let go of your pin! Keep repeating that process (push, push, push… pull, pull, pull) until the pin comes out the other end of your tube. Then keep pulling until everything is right side out and remove your safety pin.

Attach your safety pin to one end of the elastic.

Use the same steps as above to feed the elastic through your tube. The elastic is shorter than the fabric, so be sure to hold onto the other end to keep it from getting lost. This is how you put the “scrunch” in your scrunchie!

Line up the ends of your elastic and sew together.

You will want to reinforce this seam by stitching over it several times. Sewing through 2 layers of elastic can be tough. Use your handwheel to get started and sew slowly to make it a little easier. When you get to the end of your elastic, use the reverse lever on your machine to backstitch back to the top.

Push the elastic ends into your scrunchie.

This will keep them out of the way when you sew the final seam.

Tuck the raw edge of your fabric inside your tube.

Make sure it’s completely hidden underneath your folded edge. Smooth out your fabric to make everything as flat as possible.

Sew along the edge of the fold.

 I line up the fold closer to the needle so that my stitches are as close to the edge as possible. But you can stick with the edge of the presser foot if that’s easier for you. It can be a little tricky to keep your scrunchie out of the way while you sew. Again, take your time and go slow! Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end so your stitches stay put.

Ta-done! You made a scrunchie!

Spread the fabric evenly around the elastic to balance the “scrunch” in your scrunchie. Now plop it on your wrist or ponytail and be really proud of what you made!!! 

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