Quick and Easy: Sew a Scrunchie | Madam Sew

Quick and Easy: Sew a Scrunchie

handmade scrunchies in different fabrics on an arm
3 handmade scrunchies in different fabrics on a ponytail

Don’t scrunchies remind you of your carefree childhood and entice you to find out how to sew a scrunchie? If you are anything like me, born around 1978, a glare at any scrunchy will take you on a walk to memory lane of the sweet old days.

Would you like to learn how to sew a scrunchie and go back in time? Trust me; it's easier than you think if you use our free tutorial for beginners!

When I was about 8 years old (somewhere in the mid-80s), I used to envy my friend who had a scrunchy to match every outfit or hers. My mom made some crunchies to match the attires I wore in those days. And girl, they were so special to me!

I learned that fashion is cyclical. You can easily identify some items from your earlier years that are making a comeback with a more contemporary spin. The scrunchies of today are made from luxurious materials such as velvet and silk, in addition to tried-and-true options such as knits from old t-shirts.

It's possible that the do-it-yourself scrunchie approach I'm going to show you how to make today will take a little more time, but the finished product will seem more polished. These do not have any visible stitching at all!

Even if you are a beginner, you should have no problem making scrunchies on your own if you persue the coming sections.

So, without further ado, let's be nostalgic and make some beautiful scrunchies!

How To Sew a Scrunchie?

Many free tutorials for beginners teach how to sew a scrunchie. However, most of them just sew a tube and close the short ends by machine stitching the 4 layers of fabric with a free sewing pattern. This results in a flat part in your tube that isn’t pretty.

With the method I'm showing you, there is no visible topstitching to close the tube. I decided to go for the more professional finish. A little more hand stitching is involved, but it remains a very easy and beginner-friendly project.

You can use rich fabrics like velvet, silk, t-shirt knits, or plain cotton. It's perfect for a little DIY gift for a girl, and you can use your beautiful fabric scraps!


    • Fabric, 19 inches x 4 inches for a regular scrunchy. If you want an XL scrunchy, you need a 24 by 6 inches.
    • 8 inches of 1/4 inch wide elastic – make this 9 in if your hair is really thick. You can turn it 2 times around your ponytail with this elastic length.
    • Matching thread.


    • Scissors or a rotary cutter + mat
    • Sewing machine
    • Pins or clips
    • A hand needle
    • An elastic threader or a safety pin

Steps to sew a scrunchie

1. Cutting your fabric

You need a long strip of 19 by 4 inches. I was so enthusiastic and couldn’t decide which scrap I liked better, so I immediately cut 4 pieces :-) to make 4 scrunchies.

Fabric cut into long strips to make scrunchies

2. Ironing or pinning the fabric

Fold this fabric strip in half, lengthwise, right sides facing, iron the crease or/and – if you want – pin down. For these small ironing jobs, I’m using a wool pressing mat and a precision iron.

3. Turning hole

Stitch the long edge at ⅜ inch seam allowance and leave a 1-inch gap. Now, backstitch at both ends. This gap is the turning hole. Position the gap closer to one end, not right in the middle of the strip. If you use very thick fabric, make the gap a little bigger.

fabric strip for stitching on wool press mat
1 inch gap

4. Pulling through the ends of the fabric

Insert one end of the tube (the part with no gap) into the other half of the tube. I find it easiest to push the fabric through the tube's middle. Pull it through until it peeks out at the other end. Make sure that the seams and the raw edges match up and that the turning hole remains on the outside. The right sides are facing each other on the inside of the tube.

fabric tube with gap on wool press mat
fabric pulled through the other end using fingers
fabric tube end inserted in the other end using hand
pulled through fabric tube held in hand
fabric pushed through the middle of tube with thumb

5. Hand-stitch

Now, the hand-stitching part begins. Thread a hand needle and hand sew the 2 short raw ends together. This circle is too small to use in your sewing machine. This means you are sewing a circular seam, sewing 2 layers together. I used a hand backstitch stitch to close this seam. Make your stitches nice and tight for a professional look.

needle and thread held in hand with threadroll and fabric tube
fabric tube sewn by hand using needle and thread

If you want to learn more about hand sewing, check out the hand sewing basics series on our blog.

6. Turning out the right side of the scrunchie

Now reach into the gap and turn the scrunchie right side out. You should now have a ring-shaped fabric piece with an opening in the long seam.

fabric roll pulled from the gap held in hand
ring shaped fabric with long seam held in hand

When I wrote this blog we didn’t have the tube turner set in our store but if you need to turn a lot of fabric tubes and you are looking for a great tool to do this, check out this nifty set in the Madam Sew store!

7. Insert the elastic

Feed your elastic through the opening in the ring with an elastic threader or safety pin. Hold on to the other end of the elastic, or pin it down, so you don't lose the elastic inside the ring.

fabric roll opening held in hand
fabric roll, elastic and safety pin placed on a wool press mat
safety pin used to feed elastic to the fabric roll using hands

8. Stitching the ends of the elastic

Stitch the ends of the elastic together with a free sewing pattern with a hand stitch or a quick zigzag stitch under your sewing machine.

stitch the ends of the elastic
fabric roll with elastic stitched with free sewing pattern

9. Closing the Gap

Now close the gap with an invisible hand stitch. Fold the seam allowances in and iron them flat before you start sewing. I’m using a precision iron for these small ironing jobs.

fabric on wool press mat ironed with precision iron
final stitching on crunchie to close the gap

If you want more information on how to sew an invisible hand stitch, check out the ladder stitch tutorial we published recently on our sewing and quilting blog.

10. DONE !

You have now learned how to sew a scrunchie.

Finished hand sewn crunchie

Final Thoughts

That wasn’t so hard, right? How much time did it take to make one? Not much?

Great! That is what we aimed for in our free tutorial for beginners.

So, if now someone asks you how to sew a scrunchie, you should be able to guide them too! Don’t hesitate to add some tips about your free sewing pattern!

Do share your makes on our social media channels. We love to see what you are all making! You know what? You can use the same method for infinity scarves and headbands, too! Who is trying it?

Interested in other fun sewing projects for your hair? We have a blog that explains how to make a twisted head band and another tutorial that explains how to make a cute diy winter ear warmer head band.

woman wearing a blue scrunchie
woman wearing a scrunchie

Happy sewing!


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1 comment

I made these by the bag full when my youngest daughter was in high school 70’s-80’s. When she got married and I altered the bridemaids dresses, I used remaing pieces for matching scrunchies. They loved them. No one’s asked for them since. Guess the remaining ones need to be passed around for another go around.

Jeannette Cyr

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