How to make no-sew DIY baby headbands on a budget

Baby headbands are ADORABLE. But as much as I wanted a big collection of headbands, bows and hair flowers for my daughter, I just didn’t have the budget to buy a lot. They get expensive quickly. So I learned to make easy, no-sew DIY baby headbands. They’re cheap, fast and cute!

I bought several headbands for my toddler, and she’s had several gifted to her, but I made a good portion of her collection. It’s so easy and cheap that I feel guilt buying one unless it’s at a super clearance rate. It’s funny since I was never much of a “girly-girl” and my daughter’s room isn’t “girly” at all, but we love the headbands. We often coordinate them with her dinosaur outfits!

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She has a mix of thin colorful elastic ones and thicker, stretchy crochet ribbon bands. Each are easy to make, though the crochet ones take a bit more work and I sew the ends of the ribbons together.

For the thin elastic ones, you just need the ribbon, scissors, a lighter and hot glue! You also need a similar headband that you know fits your baby or will soon. You could also put the ribbon around your baby’s head before you cut it to get an idea of how much ribbon you’ll need.

Homemade, colorful baby/toddler headbands displayed on an end table
I made all four of these stretchy DIY baby headbands very quickly, then glued clips onto the flowers. The flowers can now switch between headbands or go in the baby’s or toddler’s hair alone.


  • Thin, stretchy elastic ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Cigarette lighter
  • Measurement of how long you’ll need the headband to be

Making DIY baby headbands

Once I got into a rhythm for making the headbands, it got much faster.

My baby was very small for her age, so I held the ribbon up to her head and allowed it a bit of stretch when I made her first ones since even the crochet ribbon ones were a bit large for her.

Now that she’s a young toddler, she fits her other headbands perfectly. I’m able to measure against either store-bought or DIY baby headbands to know how long to make her new ones. Just make sure that when you measure the headbands you compare them with a similar material since you want the stretch to be comparable. Also be sure to allow a bit of extra length for where the ribbon ends will overlap when you glue them.

Once the ribbon is cut to the appropriate length, take your cigarette lighter and quickly seal the edges to prevent fraying. You just need to run the flame lightly over each side. It should melt a bit. Be careful that you don’t light the ribbon on fire!

Woman's hands hold a lit cigarette lighter to cut ribbon
Once you cut the ribbon to the appropriate length, seal the ends quickly with a lighter. Don’t catch the ribbon on fire! Just get the ends to melt very slightly so they don’t fray.

Then add a small amount of glue to one end of the headband and quickly lay the other end over it. Make sure your headband isn’t twisted when you make the circle. I allow about 1/2″ of overlap to be sure it’s glued securely.

Hot glue gun by a cut ribbon
Add a small amount of glue, then overlap the edges of your ribbon by roughly 1/2″ to firmly connect them.

Next, take the end of the ribbon from your spool and wrap it around the glued section of the new headband to measure out how much you’ll need. I start my ribbon on the bottom of the glued sections, then wrap over and back under. The ribbon isn’t loose, but isn’t stretched, either. I want it to be able to stretch a bit to allow a clip to fit under it later. This allows you to clip a flower or bow in either vertically on the body of the headband or horizontally in the little loop you created.

Cut the ribbon and seal the edges with the lighter. Glue it to the headband, with one end on the bottom and the rest on the bottom again after looping over the previously glued section.

Hot glue gun over a ribbon and ribbon loop
After sealing the edges with a lighter, I glued one end of the short piece under the already-glued section of the headband. Then I wrapped the little piece back around to the bottom and glued it again.
Finished glued headband loop
With both ends glued beneath the headband, there should be an open, unglued space between the loop and the headband on the top of the headband. This is designed to allow you to clip a flower or bow onto the headband.

Once it dries and cools, you’re done! The baby or toddler can wear the loop near the front of their head to display a clipped-in flower, bow or other accessory. The loop can also be worn near the base of the neck when the child is just wearing the headband and the loop doesn’t need to be visible.


I normally make several DIY baby headbands at a time and don’t even get through a whole glue stick.

The cost of stretchy ribbon varies, but I generally find mine at Hobby Lobby, often in the clearance bin. While some of the ribbon I have originally retailed for $2.99, I found some for as little as $0.49.

Your cost will also depend on how many headbands you’re making and in how many different colors and designs.

Sample budget:

  • Gorilla Hot Glue Sticks: Getting a bag of 50 costs roughly $0.18 per glue stick
  • Three spools of stretchy ribbon: $2.99 at Hobby Lobby (I get about 3 yards per spool), or roughly $0.33 per headband

Total: About $18 for all supplies (assuming I have a glue gun, cigarette lighter and scissors), or roughly $0.51 per headband. Mine are often much cheaper, since many of my elastics were on clearance for $0.54 to $90 per spool.

If you paid full price for the few supplies you need, you’d still barely spend anything on each headband. But with a little hunting, you can probably find some cute options on clearance.

I assumed that you’d have a glue gun, cigarette lighter and scissors. They’re all good, versatile tools. But if not, you can get a glue gun inexpensively, and find cheap scissors and a cigarette lighter at your dollar store. You could also take the opportunity to invest in sewing scissors.

Amazon sells some ADORABLE stretchy ribbon, including this awesome aqua-and-pink Mermaid Party grab bag of 10 colors and designs. They have a ton of other colors and designs, but that one is my top favorite.

Hobby Lobby currently sells 3 headbands for $2.99, which isn’t bad. But if you look at the cost of buying a large collection compared to the cost of making your own (and having the supplies to make many others if you lose headbands or want to make more as gifts), there could be a significant difference. You can also make a much larger variety of headbands than your local store may have available.

Dressing up the headbands

Have fun with your new DIY baby headbands– mix and match your headband and loop elastic, or find some cute hair bows and flowers to add. You can find both with clips already attached, or easy glue clips on to store-bought flowers and bows. I’ve also made several flowers and bows that I glued the clips to.

These headbands were easy and fun to make. It only took a minute to glue clips to the store-bought flowers. You could make your own flowers, bows and other accessories and attach clips to them, too.

Mix and match your headbands, flowers and bows to create new looks for days! My toddler likes to bring me hats, her Easter bunny ears, a party hat from a friend’s birthday, and various headbands, flowers and bows to put on her head throughout the day.

Compared to the homemade baby/toddler underwear— which is pretty simple– DIY baby headbands are EASY and so fast! It’s one of the many little ways we cut down on the crazy-high estimated cost to raise a child. Making clothes, accessories and other items for your kids can be budget-friendly, teach yourself and your kids great skills, AND let you have lots of fun!

Does your baby have DIY baby headbands, either from yourself or someone else? What other projects have you taken on to create items for your child? Let me know in the comments!

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