DIY headbands for kids / how to make cheap and easy ribbon headbands!


Inexpensive and easy do-it-yourself ribbon headbands for toddlers and kids! My youngest loves headbands and always has to be wearing one, so my kindergartner decided that the best holiday present would be to make her a new headband. I was skeptical but it turned out that it was really easy (and cheap) to make a nice kid’s headband, so wanted to share with you all. I had to help my kindergartner with making it but if you have an older kid they could do it themselves, or even if you’re not particularly crafty it’s pretty simple to make cute headbands for your kids yourself in whatever colors and styles you want. The pictures here are of our first attempt – there are more in the works!

Supplies (What you need to make a decorated headband):

  1. Plain plastic headbands without teeth. You can buy these online or at a craft store for less than $1 each. White or black are the cheapest – it’ll be covered by ribbon so color won’t matter.
  2. Grossgrain ribbon, one or two yards per headband, depending how you wrap. You can go to any fabric or crafts store and buy ribbon by the yard, or you can also order some cute samplers online, like these ones that have two yards each of ten or 20 different colors for less than $10 total, or go crazy with a patterned assortment. I’d stick to a simple pattern like polka dots, though, unless you are (1) planning not to involve your kids and (2) already quite crafty, because you don’t want something that will look odd if it doesn’t line up exactly. Anything between 3/8″ and 1″ seemed to work fine – ribbon wider than an inch would probably be hard to wrap, though.
  3. Glue. If you have special craft glue, that’s super, but honestly I used a drop of crazy glue to make sure the ribbon would stick at the start and the end and then we used Elmer’s in between!
  4. Any optional adornments. You can make a headband with just the above three things easily and it will look adorable, but if you’d like to add extra embellishments that’s always an option. My oldest decided that sequins were necessary, and I figured since it was a present for little sis let the kid choose. Of course, the choice turned out to be cupped sequins, which I did not know were sequins with a right way and a wrong way to glue on, but more on that later. I think the best choices are either plain, with a bow (that you make from complementary ribbon, perhaps), or with one or two of those little fake flowers glued onto the headband.

Instructions (How to make a ribbon headband for kids):

  1. Place your ribbon flat on the table and lay one end of the plastic headband on it, so the headband is standing up.
  2. Fold the ribbon up over the end of the headband, so there is 0.5″-1″ of ribbon now on the inside of the headband. Glue the ribbon to the headband.
  3. Wrap the ribbon around the headband, overlapping the prior piece each time. Add glue periodically. My oldest was doing the wrapping and gluing and she put a dot of glue between the plastic headband and the ribbon about once every inch or two, although I’m sure you could do more or less.
  4. When you have wrapped the plastic headband in ribbon all the way and get to the opposite end, fold the ribbon over the end piece and wrap around extra times, using additional glue (again, I did the ends and put a drop of krazy glue on each one, but I think regular glue would’ve worked fine.
  5. Let the headband dry overnight. Viola – you have a beautiful grossgrain ribbon headband in the color / pattern of your choosing!
  6. If you want to add extra embellishments, once the ribbon has dried on the headband go ahead and glue them on. You can see in the photo that we used sequins, which it turns out was not a great idea since my kindergartener picked out the kind shaped like little domes, so the glue didn’t really hold the sequins on (we should’ve put them with the top part of the dome attached to the headband, or used flat ones.
  7. Gluing on extra embellishments seems to work best for sequins, flowers, rhinestones, etc. But if you want to add a cute ribbon bow to the headband, I’ve found it’s way easier just to cut a new piece of ribbon to make the bow with, tie it around the headband and then tie it into a bow – no glue required!

Bonus: Hair bows

imageTheoretically you can take your same ribbon, buy some alligator clips, tie some bows and glue them on, but either my bow-tying skills are lacking or there’s some trick to getting it to stick to the alligator clip that I’m missing (if you know it, please tell me). So I ended up giving up on this one and just buying a set of 20 grossgrain ribbon hair bows on clips online, for less than $0.60 each including shipping.

What I got was exactly as pictured and they were really nice quality, so I think the lesson is to know when to craft ’em and know when to buy ’em!

All photos are the author’s own except the photo of the 20 hair bows arranged in a wreath – that one is courtesy of Amazon.



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