DIY Projects / Tips & Tutorials

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.

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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11 years ago

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.

11 years ago

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:)


11 years ago

Wow, $12 for 5 of them on their site? You could make dozens of them for that price! Will have to give this a try for sure.

11 years ago

this is genius i have no idea how i never came up with this!!!!!!! Christmas gifts for all!!!!

11 years ago

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.

11 years ago
Reply to  JulieCC

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.

11 years ago

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
Debi Gary
11 years ago
Reply to  Katie

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.

11 years ago

Just made a bunch!! Thanks for great idea…


[…] you guys see the post Megan had a week or two ago where she showed how to make some Anthropolgie inspired hair ties? Yeah, me […]


[…] elastic, so I made 12 elastic hair ties. These things are cute and effortless to make (tutorials: 1, 2, 3 or purchase: 1, 2, 3, […]

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