Tutorial: Anthropologie inspired hair ties

A little while ago i stumbled across some adorable hair ties from Anthropologie – they had rave reviews – and i couldn’t help but giggle. As someone who sews i immediately recognised the fact that these hair ties in all the pretty colours (and the typically Anthropologie high price) were in fact made with fold over elastic.

So then i made some :)

In fact, i made a tonne. And it took a few minutes – so ridiculously easy. These have become my go to hair tie now, and they are literally cents on the cost of the Anthro ones. boom. And now i’m thrifty too.

Ready set, lets make hair ties…

So what is fold over elastic? It’s a soft elastic that is designed to fold in half and encase the raw edges of items like underwear etc. It’s very soft, and stretchy, and comes in cute colours. Because of those properties it’s also commonly used to make baby headbands – you’ve probably seen them on any baby you ever seen :) It’s useful stuff – and i often use it to finish the necklines and even sleeve hems of clothing for my kids.

Ok – so get yourself some fold over elastic in cute colours. I know some people have had trouble finding fold over elastic – but you can often find it in good sewing boutiques. I’ve had more luck in more “one of a kind” sewing stores, over large chain stores. If you live in DC/VA/MD then i can highly recommend G Street fabrics as having a great selection. When i lived in a small town in Iowa, without many sewing options – i bought fold over elastic on ebay in large quantities. It was really really cost effective :)

Cut your elastic into 12″ long strips ( after a bit of experimenting i found this to be the best length).

Cut the ends on an angle to prevent too much frey (and it’s cute)

Tie a knot leaving about 1/2 of the edge peeking out…

then make more!

Annnnd bonus… what if you want to make a sparkly one like Anthro? And you can’t find sparkly fold over elastic (that was my problem). Try taking some fabric glitter glue, spread a thin layer of your elastic and let it dry completely, then tie your knot and you’re good to go! I’m not sure how long this one will last – i’ve used mine once so far and it held up really well.

Yep, new favourite hair ties.

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  1. says

    Ha, I totally noticed that too! If you do a search for glitter elastic or glitter fold over elastic it will bring up multiple search results for what is obviously the same elastic they’re using at Anthro, they think they’re so clever over there. I may copy you and make a few of these myself, I hate almost all regular hair ties.

    • MegMeg says

      Thanks hun, i’ll try again! My searches were fruitless – i must be a terrible googler (hehehe new word?).
      They really do think they’re so clever – it kills me how much they are charging. Gotta laugh! The truly funny thing is that i never would have made myself hair ties like this if they hadn’t done it first, for fear of them looking “homemade” – and yet when anthro does it its mainstream. It’s kind of a funny irony i reckon :)
      You should definitely knock a few up, they’re pretty darn comfy. hugs!! xoxo

  2. says

    I’ve totally searched for that same glitter fold over elastic for this exact purpose, to no avail. The glitter glue should work great! And if a little comes off in my hair, I’ll just look a bit angelic, which can’t hurt:)


    • MegMeg says

      i’m glad i’m not the only one!!! i was getting so frustrated not being able to find any :)
      We can be angelically glittery together hehehe

    • MegMeg says

      LOL i know right?! You could buy a grocery bag of fold over elastic for $12 – they are certainly genius business people over there :) You should definitely try some, we can all have buckets of hair ties hehehehe

  3. JulieCC says

    My daughter recently picked out some brightly colored/multicolored ones like this at a tourist attraction – $4 I think for two headbands. I’ve been looking all over for “elastic ribbon” and can’t find it. But I just saw your post this morning and was at Joann’s today and all they have is Babyville foldover elastic (comes in white/patterns/colors) – which is cute, but I’m still looking for the bright ones, or glittery. I guess I’ll resort to glitter glue. ;-)

    I’d like to find a width, though, that is half of what the fold-over elastic is since that’s the size my daughter’s headbands are. I do want to make smaller ones for pony holders.

    • MegMeg says

      Oooo yes i know what you mean. Personally i haven’t seen any that thin – but i’m sure there must be some around, i know i’ve certainly seen narrower on elastic. I bet Maddie (www.madalynne.com) would know, she is a wiz at all things lingerie construction (which i believe is what the narrow elastic is used for).

    • says

      Hi Meg, I meandered over here from Jen’s post on hair ties. This is such a brilliant idea because my long heavy hair needs nice little hair ties that don’t pull my hair out. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before! I have a little crush on foldover elastics and use it for lingerie. Most of the time FOE is 5/8″/1.5cm. Sometimes you can find narrower (like 1cm or 3/8″) but it’s harder to find at retail. I do Etsy searches because it seems like making baby headbands is quite the thing! Look for “narrow foldover elastic” or something like that. Also, white foe is really, really easy to dye… even Rit colors come out brilliantly.

      • MegMeg says

        Amy! Thanks so much for the tips! I hadn’t thought of dying FOE before – and now i DEFINITELY need to try!!
        I’ve certainly had trouble finding the 3/8″ elastic, so i’m really grateful for he Etsy tip :) I would love to start sewing lingerie – down the road i suppose!!
        And seriously – i have hte same issue with heavy thick hair – i have been loving these hairties, so far they’re the only ones that don’t hurt me, and seem to stay in all day without loosening (which is somewhat of a miracle). FOE is so magical, one of my favourite notions :)
        Thanks for popping by and saying hi! XOXO

    • MegMeg says

      Julie, thanks so much for including those links!!! You are a doll! I had a lot of trouble finding true glitter elastic – and you’ve saved all the work :) thanks hun!! XOXO

  4. says

    This looks great — totally trying it! I have a ton of FOE sitting down in my sewing room so I might even whip some up before work tomorrow!

    I’ve seen cute FOE at all my local big-box fabric stores recently–Joann’s, Hancock’s, and Hobby Lobby (for those in the US). The big box stores are starting to carry more cloth diapering and children’s underwear materials and kits and now they usually have FOE in cute colors in that section.

    (And, by the way, your cool factor just went off the charts now that I know you used to live in Iowa. That’s where I grew up:) ).

    • Debi Gary says

      I was so happy to see this as I have been looking and looking for this elastic. Will def check it out. I’ll add an idea I saw at a boutique while on vacation…they added beads like the Pandora or Troll type that go on the braceltes to the elastic before tieing it…added some additional bling to the hair tie. I’m going to try it as I have a lot of additional beads. Will make great gifts. Thanks again.

      • MegMeg says

        Debi i LOVE the beads idea!!! That would totally make a great gift – and they would look so cute on your wrist when you’re not wearing them. awesome idea!! xoxo

    • MegMeg says

      Oooo Katie thats awesome! The last time I was at Joanns or Hancocks was about 6 months ago, so i guess i’m a little out of date :) I’m really happy to hear they’re carrying more FOE and cloth diapering stuff (i had sooo much trouble finding cloth diapering materials years ago!).

      meanwhile, yes!!! it’s the first place we lived when we moved to the US – we lived in a little town just outside of Cedar Rapis :) Its where my kids were born and it’ll always be special to me.

      hugs! xoxo

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