I don't know about you, but in 2020 I was a one-woman mask factory. I churned out mask after mask after mask and then adjusted my husband's n95 with rubber band straps using cloth elastic for easy re-use. I already had fabric out the wazoo, but my elastic ran out quickly. Once it was finally available, I bought A LOT. Soooo much. And now that n95s and KN95s are recommended and available, my mask factory is closed leaving me with a TON of elastic.
I was sitting there on my mountain of elastic, contemplating what else in my house needs to be stretchy or bouncy or pulled together when my daughter asked if she could get some scrunchies out of my drawer.
Girlfriend is CONSTANTLY stealing my scrunchies and losing them to the black hole of her room. It was then I realized that the mountain of elastic I was sitting on could be put to good use after all!
Scrunchies are the easiest thing in the world to make. They accommodate a lot of different sized scraps, and they can be made in just a few minutes. An afternoon of sewing could give you enough scrunchies to last a 10 year old a good month.
My two favorite cuts to use for scrunchies are Layer Cake/10" square leftovers and Strip Pack/Jelly Roll leftovers. They are perfect because they require ZERO measurement, and I always seem to have a couple strips or squares leftover after a project.
The best elastic to use is poly-braid elastic in any width between 1/4-1/2 inch. I prefer 1/4 or 3/8. Poly-braid has a tighter stretch and holds up longer for more wear.
You can also use knit elastic, but when I do I cut my piece shorter and I know that I may need to replace the elastic sooner, as it tends to not hold up to heavy use.
One 10" square of fabric
One 2.5" strip of fabric from a strip pack (2.5" x WOF)
One piece of fabric between 18-20" long and 4-5" wide (feel free to sew smaller pieces together to come up with this measurement)
6-7" of poly-braid elastic
5-6" of knit elastic
1. Cut the square in half - if I'm lazy I just press it down the middle and use scissors to cut at the crease.
2. Sew right sides together on the short side using a 3/8" seam. Press the seam open.
3. Press with long edges right sides together.
4. Move ahead to "Everyone Continues Here" below.
1. Cut the strip in half to end up with two 2.5 x 22ish inch strips - if I'm lazy I just press it and use scissors to cut at the crease.
2. Sew the strips together down one long side using a 1/4" seam. Press the seam to either side.
3. Trim the short ends if they aren't even.
4. Fold in half right sides together with long edges touching.
5. Move ahead to "Everyone Continues Here" below.
1. Fold in half right sides together with long edges touching.
2. Move ahead to "Everyone Continues Here" below.
1. Starting 2" from the top edge, sew the other long side together using a 1/4-inch seam, stopping 2" before the bottom edge.
2. Turn the tube right side out.
3. Set your machine to stop with needle down. With right sides together sew along the short edge using a 3/8" seam. You may need to pin the start to get it under your machine foot lined up. Start sewing until you need to realign, adjust your fabric, and keep going.
4. Pull slightly to pop that sewn seam inside the newly closed tube.
5. Use a safety pin to work the elastic through the tube. Overlap the elastic ends and sew back and forth several times to securely connect them.
6. Turn the edges in and pin together if you'd like.
7. Beginning a centimeter or so back from the opening, stitch along the edge to a centimeter or so beyond the opening. Backstitch. Voila! Scrunchie!
Scrunchies are very forgiving and easy to adjust. For a larger/fluffier scrunchie, you can use a wider/longer piece of fabric. For a smaller or children's scrunchie, you can use a shorter/narrower piece of fabric and shorter piece of elastic. Try one and see how you like it, then adjust your elastic/fabric from there.
Have fun, and go forth with ponytails galore!
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