How To Make a Braided Leather Headband

comments (5) July 15th, 2009     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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This pretty hairband is a quick and easy project.
Cut out your band using the measurements youve determined.
This is how the strip will look after cutting the two slits. Ready to braid!
This pretty hairband is a quick and easy project.

This pretty hairband is a quick and easy project.

I've always been mesmerized by braided leather wristbands and belts, how they're braided and yet still connected at both ends. They remind me of the leather crafts we did at summer camp when I was young. Recently I was looking for a way to keep my hair off of my face on those hot summer days, and I came up with this braided leather and elastic headband, based on the same idea.

What you'll need:
A scrap of thin leather, soft vinyl, or ultrasuede
A tape measure
Sharp scissors
A bit of 1/4" to 1/2"-wide elastic (black or a dark color is best; I only had white on hand)
A sewing machine.

1. Measure your head. Wrap the tape measure around your head, as you would wear a headband. Subtract 4" (or as long as you want the elastic strip at the back to be). Add back 2" to account for shrinkage due to braiding. This measurement will be the length of the band. The width is up to you; I made mine about 1 1/2" wide, but anything from about 3/4" up to 3" or so should work. It is helpful if the number is easily divisible by 3. Experiment!

2. Cut the band. Cut a rectangle out of the leather that measures the length by the width you determined. 


Cut out your band using the measurements you've determined.

Then mark and cut two slits, dividing the band equally into thirds as shown. Leave about an inch at each end uncut.


This is how the strip will look after cutting the two slits. Ready to braid!

3. Begin braiding. This is the cool part, and kids can join in for this step. Hold the band vertically and, starting at the top, pass the left-most strip over the center one, then the right-most over the center, then the left again (just like you would braid hair). Now stop and, holding the braided section securely, pass the lower end of the band through the right-slit hole, just below where you are holding the braid. Now continue, right over center, left over center, right over center, hold and pass the lower end through the left-slit hole just below the braid. At this point everything below the braid should be flat and untangled; if not, undo it and try again. Once you get the hang of it, it's simple and addictive! Repeat the steps until you have braided the entire band.


Here's the band when you've finished braiding.

4. Sew the elastic. Cut the elastic 5" long if you want a 4" section, so you have 1/2" of seam allownance at each end. Wrap one end of the band around the elastic, with 1/2" of elastic inside, and stitch back and forth to secure. Repeat for the other side.


Wrap the ends of the leather around the elastic to sew them on.

 


Sew the ends of the leather through the elastic to attach.

Isn't that sweet? Makes a great gift or even birthday party activity (an adult can sew the elastic on), and keeps those unruly wisps away!


The completed headband after sewing. I made my elastic section a little too long; I recommend making the elastic about 4" finished so it hides under your hair.
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posted in: sewstylish feature, scissors, leather, sewing machine, accessory, headband, elastic, ultrasuede, tape measure, vinyl

Comments (5)

craftretiree writes: This is great! To expand on this technique will make hat bands to dress up my plain straw hats.This will also make wonderful 'Thank You' gifts for family and friends.
Posted: 7:49 pm on June 4th
PeaBea writes: What a lovely idea, you could of course use T-shirt or other stretchy fabric , with the same result .
Posted: 6:39 pm on June 3rd
BellaPerlaJewelry writes: cool idea
Posted: 1:07 pm on November 23rd
Khayal_Manthoor writes: simple and wonderful


waiting for more

Posted: 3:33 am on September 27th
malekat writes: very nice
Posted: 8:31 am on September 10th
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