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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.  To open it,  you will need the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program.  If you don’t have it, you can download it for free here:

Then open the pattern:  right-click on this link, then open in new tab:

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 (note: if sewing for babies or children that you don’t have nearby for measurements….for example as a gift to send…please go up one size)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




  • Susan

    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.

  • fat lady

    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!

  • [email protected]

    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!

  • Tibeca

    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.

  • [email protected]

    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!

  • Lynn

    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!


  • Paula Wall

    I am so proud to find you pattern you shared with us I have 4 grandaughters that will love these and enjoy them so much. Thank You !! Paula Wall

  • Jana Rhame

    Love this headband- 4 grandgirls and I was looking for a fun and quick way to complete an outfit!!

  • [email protected]

    I’m so glad you like it! Maybe you can teach your grandgirls how to sew! I was lucky to have a grandmom who encouraged me to make my first outfit for myself, when all I’d ever made was doll clothes.

  • Kathleen

    Thank you so much for this pattern and tutorial. I had made a little summer sunsuit for my niece, but she surprised us with a boy! So I’m donating it to an auction for our high school scholarship program. and made the headband today as an accessory. It finished the outfit perfectly!! Thanks again.

  • Dori Johns

    How kind of you to create and share this thorough tutorial! With the holidays right around the corner, there are several ladies (of all ages) who will be getting at least one in their stocking from me. Handmade gifts are the best! Thank you so very much, Janet.

  • Didi Dwiar

    Oh my goodness!!! I just made one of these and it looks so professional. I absolutely love it. It is so comfortable. Thank you so much for this great pattern. It was so easy to follow. What a fabulous tute!! The sizing is perfect too! Thank you, Thank you. I will be making loads of these for my grand daughters, daughters and me. 🙂

  • Tania

    Thank you so much for the pattern, you are so kind sharing such a beautiful headband, made it today for a little girl birthday present, I made also a little apron and a mitten. It’s for her kitchen plays.

  • paola naomi

    muchas gracias por compartir , eres muy amable, me encanta, me gustaría tambien crear cosas bellas como tu, Saludos desde chile

  • Nereida

    love it, I need to know where is can print the pattern, I am just learning how to do
    headbands for my granddaughters.

  • Claudia Ayala

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous pictures patern! I have my first granddaughter and she loves to wear headband!!

  • Valeta

    So I have tried this pattern twice now.. the first one did not come out and that is not because there is anything wrong with the pattern or the instructions. It is because it was my first time attempting an actual project, because I’m fresh outta the gate with sewing. I had to overcome and adapt because of my remedial skills and I am happy to report that my second attempt was a success! Thank you so much for this pattern and for inadvertently teaching me patience.

  • Josefina

    Felicitaciones!!! Me gustò muchisimo, excelente explicaciòn y por fin encontrè un buen patròn de diademas y facil de elaborar. ya me hice dos diademas. Gracias muchisimas graacias.

  • needlewings

    OMG, these are so cute and fun! I have two baby girls in my life that are due in the next few months. I am working on the new born to 6 months size now! I made one with a little dress to match in her baby colors of lime green and watermelon. I am in love!!! Thanks so much! I could hug you!!! One thing though, on the back elastic covering pattern for the new born size, it says 1/2 inch elastic. I could only fit in a 1/4 inch piece elastic when you have a quarter inch seem allowance for the covering.

  • Morela

    Mil gracias por el tutorial. me estoy estrenando como abuela! Es fácil de realizar. y la terminación impecable! Seguí todas sus indicaciones y no tuve problema al descargar el patrón.

  • C Marsh

    I love sewing for babies (cause they’re not picky). I just finished a cute outfit but it needed a headband. Your pattern is as everyone has said easy to do and the instructions are very well done. The only thing I did different was when sewing the tie ends to the elastic I used an outer fabric tie on one side and an inner tie fabric on the other. This gave me a view of both of the fabrics I used in the outfit when the headband is tied.


  • Carol Cox

    loved the tutorial and the pattern…i have 5 little girls under the age of 5 to make these for…(grandbabies! LOL) and i am sure they will love them as they love things for their hair…..p.s. you might look into a small tripod to hold your camera, it would free your hands…. we understood the tutorial perfectly, anyway…just a suggestion…!!

  • Miranda Cunningham

    I love that you included preemie!! Thank you so much. I am looking for some items I can sew for my preemie girl that will grow with her. I want to use the leftover fabric from two lovies I am making her. If I make the headband wide enough All I should have to do is extend the elastic in back. Thats if she dosent lose or destroy them. But I figure something that will last as long as the lovie lol! so a bow, pacifier strap, may have some left for something else. Thank you!

  • Claire

    I can’t seem to print this amazing pattern off, and I need to make this 😍
    Could you tell me the length and widths of the original Patten please. I zoomed in but these are cut outs, so couldn’t get size that way either. X

  • [email protected]

    Sure absolutely! The problem might be with Adobe Reader so make sure that you download the latest version (link in post). But you can draft the pattern easily, the measurements are:size Newborn to 6 months cut 2 tie ends and 2 linings 10 3/4″ x 2 1/8″ and then trim off the curved ends. Size 6 to 18 months: cut 2 tie ends and two linings 12″ x 2 3/8″. Size 2 to 6 years: cut 2 tie ends and two linings 13 1/4″ x 2 5/8″. Size 6 to 12 years: cut two tie ends and two linings 14 1/2″ x 3″. Size Teen to Adult: cut two tie ends and two linings 15 3/4″ x 3 1/4″. Then for the elasticized back piece the measurements are: Size Newborn to 6 months: 6 1/8″ x 1 5/8″. Size 6 to 18 months: 7″ x 1 3/4″. Size 2 to 6 years: 7 3/4″ x 2 1/4″. Size 6 to 12 years: 8 1/2″ x 2 3/4″. Size Teen to Adult: 9 1/4″ x 2 7/8″. Alternatively I’d be glad to print the pattern and send it in the mail to you, just send me an email with your home address to: Janet Vandermeulen, 7 Pine Street, Newburyport MA 10950

  • Helen Paris

    Hi, the project was easy to make and easy to put together – I had one major problem though. I followed the size for new born and when it was all done, I found it would fit a doll’s head – much too small even for a wee new born. I am going to go up two sizes and see if that is better. I would love to make lots more of these.


  • Sue

    Love the design and pattern I will be making these for my grandchildren.
    Bye Sue ( From Maitland NSW Australia)

  • Laurilli J Bazille

    Thank you so much! I was looking for a headband pattern for my new 9-13-18 Great granddaughter and this one is perfect. Thanks again for a great tutorial.

  • Dianne McNeal

    This pattern is adorable. I plan to make it for an American Girl doll. Thank you for your generosity in sharing.

  • Annette

    Thank you SO much for this pattern. I’ve made a few of these for myself now. I wanted to make sure I loved them before I sold some at a craft booth. 😉 I use mine almost everyday and it has held up beautifully. Great pattern, easy instructions and so fun to sew!! Thank you for sharing with the sewing world. 😀

  • Renee Bell

    What a treat to have stumbled upon this quick and easy tutorial for making a bow headband. I am making a Rosie the Riveter costume for someone and just couldn’t seem to find any headbands that were flattering. This took me about 30min to complete – including cutting, ironing, and sewing. The bow took me 1.5 tries, just to make sure I got it in the center/even.
    Thank you for sharing this lovely pattern for free – I can see this becoming an addiction and I will certainly be making some of these for my grand babies. xo

  • Vickie

    I tried this with cotton and it’s way too tiny! Do u have a suggestion? Or does this oonly work well with knits?? Thanks. It turned out really cute just way too small! Thanks

  • Melissa

    Thank you for this absolutely wonderful, straightforward tutorial + pattern! I really appreciate your photos for each step, and love the way you attach the ties to the cased elastic band to conceal it, and show exactly how to make such a cute bow. I just made my first one, and am a *little* obsessed 🙂

  • [email protected]

    Hi Vickie! I’m sorry to hear that it turned out too small. You can certainly tie the bow with smaller tails, that will increase the circumference. In future you may want to go up a size. And be sure that you are using just the 1/4″ seam allowance in the pattern, not a wider “garment” seam allowance. Hope that helps!

  • Francisca

    Your pattern found it’s way to Amsterdam in The Netherlands, where two little twin girls are very happy with their headbands. Thank you so very much!

  • Francisca

    Haha, those Dutch are everywhere! Please say ‘Eindhoven de gekste!’ to your husband from me.
    Best wishes, Francisca

  • rene

    So I rushed my printing job and didn’t check the scaling, I ended up with a super super small headband and I thought, Lady you be crazy if you think this will fit any baby! So my bad, I apologize for yelling at you! I saw that my scaling was down to 73% and I made a newborn size, it turned out xtra super small! Anyhow, fixed the scaling and made a 6 – 18 month old, and it turned out awesome. Thanks for the method and sharing the pattern, it is a keeper and a winner! Thanks very much.


    Guauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, mejor imposible…..Gracias mil y bendiciones full por ese don de compartir……..Desde Venezuela, soy FELICIA Y ETERNAMENTE AGRADECIDA…..

  • [email protected]

    Oh I totally get it, I just printed a stack of Angel Gown patterns, then checked the scale, and realized I had printed straight from the file and not through Adobe Reader! Glad I caught it before mailing them out lol!

  • Anouschka

    Thank you so much fot this amazing pattern and tutorial! I looked every where but didn’t understand how they did it. Thsnk you for explaning.

  • Magda Dicks

    Thank you so much for the Bow Headband pattern. It came out so beautiful!!! After trying many other patterns, I finally found the perfect one!!!!🥰🥰🥰🥰

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