Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Easy DIY: ouch-less hair bands

I have long hair, because, honestly who has time to make, much less, keep a hair appointment these days. My daughter has shoulder-length hair. Ponytails are a necessity, but they can be so painful.

I buy hair bands out the whazoo {spelling/actual word?}, as she mysteriously loses them in the playroom at preschool. Riding a tricycle indoors is pretty active stuff - those ponytail bands go flying apparently. Actually, I realized how true this statement is. I have a real photo of her zoooooming through the house on her new tricycle during the winter months. Her hair was much longer and her pigtails were parallel to the floor. My little speed demon.

It dawned on me when I was shopping that many of the hair bands boasting "pain free" and "ouchless" just looked like they were made out of old tights.

I had a couple pairs of tights sized 12 and 18 months sitting around, not sure if they could be donated now that my daughter has outgrown them. But I didn't want to just throw them away. She wore them once, maybe. No one I know has had a baby girl, though. So in a drawer they sat until today.

I decided to go about making my own ouch-less hair bands. Here is a very simple tutorial for DIY ouchless hair bands. Keep in mind that the various widths and styles in this tutorial are from one pair of  infant-sized tights.

Supplies you will need:

  • pair of old tights or panty hose
  • ruler ~ if you like straight lines :)
  • rotary fabric cutter ~ or scissors if you're free-handing this whole deal
  • self-healing mat ~ if you're using the rotary cutter - and you like your tabletop

*Tip: Start by turning your tights inside out. This enables the curl to go the right direction, so that the finished bands will actual have the right side facing out.

Easy how-to:

1. Cut off the waistband and tag if there is one. More recent pairs will most likely be wonderfully tag-free, but you will still want to cut off any brand name and sizing info that is printed directly onto the material.

2. Cut off the remainder of the tummy/bottom area. Then cut off toe seams.

3. Use a ruler to cut strips in desired widths. I cut 1/2" and 1" strips for variety. (As mentioned in supply list - you could totally eyeball this whole project with scissors, but depending on how sharp your scissors are, the material can stick or snag.)

4. Stretch your cut pieces. {Please don't judge my dry skin or terrible nails. I haven't had a manicure since my wedding - 10 years ago this month!}

5. If you are seeing portions that are not curling up all the way around, just stretch in every direction. It's actually very quick - a couple seconds for each piece.

By the way, I have GOT to look up directions on cleaning a self-healing mat! Between the tights and a fleece project, my mat is seriously fuzzy looking. 

Here are completed 1" and 1/2" bands side by side. I assume the wider one will be a bit sturdier, but the skinnier one will be good for wrapping several times like at the end of a braid.

Now, should you not want to waste any of the remaining tights from the tummy/bottom area, you can cut off the seams as shown above and knot the ends. I used 1" cuts for these bands.

Here is my collection of 27 ouchless hair bands from one pair of baby tights {FREE}:

  • 13  -  1/2" seamless bands
  •   6  -  1" seamless bands
  •   4  -  1/2" tied end bands
  •   3  -  1" tied end bands
  •   1  -  1/2" double tied end band
{Do you like my nod to the Olympics. I didn't mean to do that - it must be subconscious from watching swimming and gymnastics all weekend.}

Imagine the quantity and variety a pair of adult size tights would make. Headbands galore!

NOW... just picture how cute this would be with patterned tights! :)

For more creative {and just plain practical} ideas for repurposing tights and panty hose, click here.


  1. This is such a cute idea! I love reusing things of our daughter's and I think she'll love this one too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! And it's so simple - even more so if you have sharp scissors and a very steady hand. :)

  2. Fabulous idea! I love repurposing, and I haven't seen this anywhere else. Very clever. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Carrie! I was honestly hoping it wasn't something that has been done a lot in blogland. I am late to the game, so I have no idea what all has been over-done. :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh my heck, this is so smart!! There's nothing better than saving some money :) I'm excited to try it out! New follower here. Yay for being blog friends! :)

    1. Thanks Sarah! I couldn't agree more - Yay for blog friends! :)
      I wish I had thought of this before tossing my daughter's old Christmas tights. They had red and white polka dots. Woulda, coulda, shoulda... And how great to use with panty hose that have runs. Even the nude kind would work for a non-marking, gentle rubber band to hold stuff together.
      Thanks again for stopping by and following! :)

  4. Such a great idea - so creative! I know that our readers will love it, too. If you get a chance we would love for you to link up this craft at our weekly Bowdabra Saturday Showcase. http://bowdabrablog.com

    1. Hi Sarah!
      I have added the link to your showcase. So glad you liked it! :)

  5. Grandma would have been so proud of you for this one! She was SUPER creative with her old pantyhose :)

    1. Thanks, Mom! I used an old ziploc baggie tonight by cutting off the top to use to catch the water dripping out of one of my plants and thought the same thing. That's something she would do. :)

  6. I never would have thought to do this! Great--and thanks for the idea!

    I really like your blog and am happy to be your newest follower. I'd love it if you stopped by my blog and returned the follow!


    1. Hi Nancy!
      Thanks for following - I hopped over to your blog and followed immediately. Then I stuck around to read all the way back to May before I had to get to cleaning up. :)
      Looking forward to future posts!

  7. Fabulous idea! Will have to try this out with the gobs of tights we go through in the winter! Thanks for sharing!~

    Take care,


    1. Glad you like the idea. Love your site!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. You are a featured favorite on this week's Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! Thanks again for sharing!
    Mackenzie :)

  9. Love this idea. Thank you for sharing. I was trying to find some bands to buy online for my 2yr old but this is a far better idea. Can't wait to get started with some stripey tights!

  10. p.s. you came up second on google search for 'ouch free hair bands' Lol <3


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