Free Pattern: Bow Headband

The best thing about sewing is making exactly what you want. I was looking for a free pattern or tutorial online for a “Bunny-ear” or “Dolly-bow” headband….but I couldn’t find one with the specifics I was after:


  • woven fabric (since I have so many scraps)
  • tie-front (but not the extra bow piece to tie on, as it could get lost in the wash)
  • elasticized back (so you can keep the bow tied, and still have adjustable fit)
  • all sizes (as long as I was making one, why not make them for my shop?)

I did find some for sale….but seriously, is a headband pattern worth $4 to $8?  And even those weren’t exactly right: one used the same width and length of elastic for infants through adults.

So I drafted my own pattern. You can get it here:

Blog Headband Pattern updated 2017 pdf

(right click to open in new window, then file or print by clicking this tab in the upper right corner:

print download

This is quick and easy to sew, all you need is about 1/2 hour of time and :

  • 1/2″ yard  of cotton woven fabric (.5 meter)
  • OR  1/4 yard if you choose crosswise grain (.25 meter)
  • small piece of elastic (specifics below)
  • thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • sewing machine (no serger required)

How to Make the Bunny Headband

  1. Start out by measuring the head circumference:


….and then choose size from this chart, OR just go by age:HeadbandMeasureChartPic


2. Print out the pattern: (please note the photos show the original pattern in B&W, it has been updated in color to make it easier to use)


3. Cut out the pattern size you want (sorry there is no “layers” function as I don’t have Illustrator…..when I start digitizing larger patterns I’ll have to get it though….).  There are just two pattern pieces: the tie ends (2 parts to tape together at the star) and the back which covers the elastic:


4. Cut out your fabric:

  • 1 Back Elastic Cover
  • 4 Ties (can be 2  each of 2 different fabrics, or all 4 of one fabric):


Headbands are a great scrap-buster: when I looked at this particular scrap I realized the print would work better with the headband placed along the crosswise grain.   Technically it’s better to use the straight-grain which is stronger and has less stretch, however since this is not a garment (requiring correct drape and flow), I decided it was okay to turn the pattern pieces 90-degrees:


I used a coordinating print for the underside. It’s important to use the same grain for both the outer-fabric and under-fabric:


(It’s much easier and faster to cut straight lines using a rotary-cutter alongside a ruler!)

You should have:

  • 1 piece Back Elastic Cover
  • 2 mirrored Outer-fabric Ties
  • 2 mirrored Inside-fabric Ties


5. Sew the tie ends: Pin the ties together, right side of outer fabric touching right side of inside fabric:


Stitch along the edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance (.6 cm), leaving the non-rounded end un-stitched:


Trim the seam allowance  at the ends:


Turn the ties inside out: using a chopstick makes this easier:


Press ties:


(Optional) edge-stitch:


6. Back elastic cover: Fold the back elastic cover in half lengthwise, right sides of fabric together, and pin along the raw edge:


Stitch along the long edge, with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving the short ends un-stitched:


Turn inside out (easiest to do with a safety-pin):

IMG_9499  IMG_9500

IMG_9501 IMG_9502



7. Add back elastic. Measure elastic piece (here’s the chart again):


Cut elastic and pin a safety-pin onto one end of your elastic:

IMG_9504  IMG_9505

Starting with the safety-pin, pull the elastic through the fabric tube; when the end of the elastic matches up with the end of the fabric tube, stop pulling and stitch the tube end to secure the elastic:


Continue pulling the elastic through to the other side of the tube:


Remove the safety-pin and stitch the second tube end to secure the elastic:


Stretch to adjust gathers:



8. Put it all together!  Place elasticized tube in the center of one non-curved  tie end:


Fold the fabric tie around the elasticized tube:


Stitch across the end, securing the elasticized tube into the tie end:


Pull apart, flip inside out, and your raw edge is hidden!

IMG_9514  IMG_9515

(Optional) you can bar-tack the pleat closed…if you are selling headbands this is when/where you can stitch in your labels:


Repeat for other side:

IMG_9518  IMG_9519

And voila!



9. Time to tie your bow! This is the hardest part for me to explain so if anybody has a better way please let me know….it’s also difficult to do with one hand while the other has the camera….

The upper tie  dives under the lower tie and upwards:


…and then folds down:


The lower tie  folds backwards:


The the upper tie  comes down over the flipped lower tie:


..and gets tucked under and through:


Pull the tie ends and secure your bow!



Here are some cuties I made to send to my daughter in design school….all made of scraps from pajama bottoms I’ve sewn for her:


Here are some itty-bitties….see why I wanted appropriate elastic widths?


Please have fun with this pattern but do not copy or sell the file…of course you are welcome  to sell headbands sewn using this pattern (please give credit to 7PineDesign, thanks!)

Pinterest link:

..BowHeadbandPattern copy



This entry was posted in Free Pattern, How To, Sewing Tips, Today's Sewing Projects, Tutorials and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Free Pattern: Bow Headband

  1. Diane says:

    I love you method for attaching the band to the elastic, thanks for sharing

  2. says:

    Quick and easy, right? Thanks for following!

  3. Susan says:

    Great instructions! I just made one out of a couple of bandanas, seconds I had no idea how I would use until I read your blog post. Turned out so cute. My granddaughter will love it. Thank you so much.

  4. says:

    Watch out, they’re addictive! Hope your granddaughter loves it!!

  5. fat lady says:

    Coming in late here to say many thanks for this pattern.
    I’m currently sewing dresses and shorts for an orphanage in Uganda and was looking for a little extra accessory for the older girls – something pretty and feminine but not flimsy or fragile, easy and quick to make from leftover dress fabric, and needing no expensive or hard-to-find haberdashery.
    This hairband is perfect – thanks again!

  6. says:

    What a great idea! You’ve inspired me to do the same. I often put a pocket on donaation dresses, so how fun will it be for the girls to find a little surprise inside! Thanks Sheena!

  7. maravilha,todos os trabalhos

  8. says:


  9. Tibeca says:

    I need to sign up for your newletter because I keep missing blog posts! Off to search my scrap pile to sew up a huge stack of these.

  10. says:

    Don’t you love a good scrap-buster?? I tend to donate quite a bit of scrap to local quilter guilds, but it is nice to make up a quick project with stuff I already have in my stash. Also a fun project for the kiddos!

  11. Lynn says:

    OH!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS TUTORIAL!!! I think this is the best pattern for the cutest bow headband on the internet! (And believe me, I have looked at the ALL!!!)

    Your directions were excellent, and I even got the bow tied right the first time.

    I truly cannot thank you enough. Wonderful pattern. ADORABLE headband. Thank you for sharing with us!


  12. says:

    Aww thanks! You are most welcome!!!

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