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Crafty Night – Hairband Holders!

July 8, 2012

This tutorial was prompted by a request from the lovely Iris at The Married Life. Big thanks to her for prompting me to get this done – and if you are visiting here from her blog, welcome! Thanks also to some of my favourite girls – Angela, Karan, Erin, Dana, and Amanda for making it a really fun night!

Every once in a blue moon the planets align juuuust right….and there are a handful of my girlfriends that are able to hand the shorties off to our husbands and get together for a craft night.

Craft nights are a GOOD THING, if you like that sort of thing. There’s the usual comfortable flow of conversation (uninterrupted by children!!), which is always good, but there is also a near constant exchange of ideas, opinions, and a whole lot of laughing. It’s pretty awesome.

Not to mention, of course, that a craft night doesn’t count unless there is food and drinks.

My friend Angela hosted, and suggested making hair accessory holders like these ones for our girls. Anyone with small girls knows that the hair stuff just starts to multiply – hairbands and elastics and clips…it goes on and on.

The idea behind this project is you use a large can of something (the original tutorial used an oatmeal can; we improvised with a number of things – hot chocolate can; iced tea can; you name it), and you cover it with some batting and fabric, decorate it, and use it to store your hair stuff – hairbands go around the can, elastics or clips can go inside; clips can go on ribbons along the sides.

This is a dead easy project – and depending on the fabrics you use, it could look just lovely for an adult too!

You do not have to be a sewing genius to pull this one off – pretty much if you can manage to use a glue gun without accidentally gluing your face to the table, you are good to go!

Before you start, consider the following:

1. Do you want to use the inside of your can for storage?

2. Are hair barrettes and clips a big part of your life? Do you want to be able to store them on the outside of the can?

3. How do you want to embellish the top of your can?

Keep these questions in mind as we go!


* Fabric – a fat quarter will do.

* Can – this can be anything with a removable lid – oatmeal can, lemonade can, hot chocolate can. Try to get a can at least 5″ in diameter. If you choose a can with a smaller diameter, you’ll have to build it out with batting to make it thick enough for the hairbands to stay on!

* Batting – how much will depend on how many times you need to wrap your can to get your desired thickness. On a 5″ can, one layer is plenty. On a narrower can you may need to use three or even four layers.

* Ribbon that matches your fabric

* glue gun

Optional Supplies:

* A big flower, to embellish the top of your can with.

* Coordinating fabric, to make a flatter/round flower for the top of your can.

* Buttons

* A wooden base to glue your can onto – you can usually pick these up for a few dollars at craft stores. I didn’t, but Angela did and hers is gorgeous!

* Sewing machine and thread, if you want to be able to hem your fabric.

Let’s jump in!

1. Prepare your can.

If you are planning to use the inside of your can for storage (that is, you want the lid to be removable), you need to take whatever is IN the can out of it and give it a good wipe down to make sure you are not going to walk around wearing oatmeal in your hair later.

If you really only want this can for hairband storage, and don’t care about being able to store elastics or clips in it, you can choose to just leave your can sealed with whatever food product is in there. The advantage here is it will give your can some weight so it won’t tip over very easily. The disadvantage is that you waste a whole lot of oatmeal/iced tea/hot chocolate/etc. You decide!

2. Measure your can, without the lid on it (if you are planning on a removable lid) or with the lid on it (if you are not).

You need a height and a circumference to work with. My can was 8.5″ high and 16″ around.

3. Cut your fabric.

To determine the size of fabric you need, add 1″ to the circumference measurement and 5-6″ to the height measurement.

This will give you the dimensions of the piece of fabric you need to cut to cover your can. If you are planning to leave the can open, only add 5″ to the height measurement. If you are leaving the can closed, add 6″.

I was planning to leave my can open, so my fabric ended up being a 17″ by 13.5″ rectangle.

4. Cut your batting.

To determine the size of batting you need, use the circumference measurement as is, and if you are going to leave the lid open, subtract 1/4″ from the height. There must be a little gap at the top so the lid will still fit on.

If you are leaving the lid on, just use the full height of the can – the whole thing is going to be covered anyway so it doesn’t matter!

Since I wanted to take the lid on and off, I subtracted 1/4″ from the height and ended up with a piece of batting 16″ by 8.25″.

Lay out your fabric with the batting on top as shown, just to get a feel for how it’s going to go together.

Align the batting with the left edge of the fabric, 2″ down from the top (which left 3″ of space at the bottom). Again, if you are planning to leave the lid on, you’d have 3″ of fabric at the top and the bottom.

5. Hem one edge (optional step!!)

As most people who visit here know, I’m much more sewer than general crafter – so to make sure things were neat I immediately turned to the sewing machine! I simply folded the edge of the fabric in about 1/4″ and ran a seam down the edge. This doesn’t have to be a precise measurement at all – just eyeball something that looks reasonable and stays relatively straight and you will be just fine.

6. Get gluing.

Now it’s time to start gluing. Fire up your glue gun and start gluing the batting onto your cylinder. Remember that if you are planning to remove the lid, you need to make sure the top edge of your batting is about 1/4″ from the top of the can.

Simply run lines of hot glue down the edges of your can and roll the batting into place. Don’t get too hung up on how perfectly straight everything is – it really won’t matter much!

7. Glue on the fabric!

Once you are happy with your batting, start gluing the fabric into place, remembering the alignment of the pieces from when you laid them out to look at it in Step 4.

You want to be sure that you are leaving approximately 2-3″ of fabric above the batting (to the top of the can), and 3″ below.

Starting to look good, right??

8. Neaten up and glue down the bottom.

Make sure the fabric is pulled fairly tightly across the bottom of the can – you want this to be neat. I started by folding in opposite sides of my fabric, and gluing them down (think like wrapping a present!).

Next, pinch together the “loose” sides of the fabric and smooth them to the middle to form a point (this is hard to explain, but look at the picture to see what I mean)…

….and then fold them down and glue them! They look kind of like dog ears when you are done.

In truth, you can probably fold this down however you like – pretty much the only goals are to pull it tight, tuck in any raw edges, and make sure that everything is as flat as possible so that your finished can will stand up okay.

9. Finish the top.

What you do here depends on which way you are finishing your can. If you are going to leave the lid on, simply repeat Step 8 on the top. Don’t worry about the fabric not looking perfect; you are going to cover it with a flower anyway.

If you plan to take the lid on and off, use a glue stick to tack down the fabric inside the can. It should reach and inch or two down into the can, and you just need to smooth it as tightly and neatly as possible into the can. It doesn’t have to look perfect, just as neat as you can get it.

10. Add the ribbon!

Cut a section of ribbon long enough for your can. Since my can was open, my ribbon was long enough to align with the fabric inside of the can, go down the outside, and tuck under the can until about the center of the bottom. If your can is closed, just make the top of the ribbon extend to about the middle of the top of your can.

Now, use your glue gun to glue your ribbon over the seam where the fabric overlaps down the side of the can. If you want to be able to put hair clips on the ribbon, just glue it at the top and the bottom, leaving the part of the ribbon that goes down the side of the can free – that way you can just clip the hair clips onto the ribbon, and they will sit flush against the side of the can.

If you don’t plan to use your ribbon for clips, just glue down the entire length of your ribbon.

11. If your can is open….more ribbon!

Cut a circle of ribbon long enough to go around the circumference of your can, with a little bit of overlap. Use your glue gun to attach the ribbon to the INSIDE of your can, overlapping the edge of your fabric, where it is tacked down with the glue stick.

12. Finish the top of your can.

The last thing you need to do is embellish the top of your can/lid! There are a few ways to do this.

The easiest way is to buy some artificial flowers from the craft store and glue them onto the top of your can. They can look really pretty! (See the pink and purple cans above for examples).

If you want to do a flatter flower, as I did, cut a circle of coordinating fabric that is big enough to cover the lid of your can. Then cut a series of roughly circle-ish shapes that get progressively smaller. I probably cut about 10 circles, and honestly the rougher the “circle” the better – it will give your flower more dimension. I elected to mix things up by flipping over every other piece of my fabric to give my “flower” some more dimension. I stacked them and sewed a button in the middle. First though, I decided the button needed to be brown – my lovely friend Erin balanced my button on a pencil while I attempted to paint it brown!

Finally, glue your flower to the lid of your can.

If you want to go really hog-wild, you can do what Angela did! She opted to leave the lid off of her can entirely and found an orange plastic bowl that nested PERFECTLY in the top of her can. Now she has a shallow dish to store other hair stuff in!

She also glued her entire can to a wooden base that she painted brown and embellished with ribbon. Isn’t it pretty??

Yep – I’d say Angela won at craft night this time – hers really is gorgeous.

Although, I think that a close runner-up would be Erin and her lovely bow board!!

Erin’s daughter is younger and not doing the hairband thing yet – so she elected to make a board with ric rac and ribbon to attach hair clips to. There’s a tutorial for that here.

You know, generally speaking I’m much more in the “sewing” camp than in the “general crafter” camp. But doing this craft – especially doing it with some of my favourite people – was a blast!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cal Morton permalink
    July 9, 2012 7:27 am

    This is such a nice ‘story’ you told here – what fun that you guys got together! Looks like you had a ball at craft night. You do need this kind of thing, once in a while. Good for you guys, and what you produced is very cute.

  2. July 10, 2012 1:38 am

    Thank you so much for your links to our projects! I absolutely love how your hair bow holders turned out. So cute! And the bow board is adorable too! Thanks for reading The Ribbon Retreat Blog!

  3. Angela permalink
    July 12, 2012 8:54 am

    They all turned out really great! So nice and colorful:0) I am so happy all the clips and hairbands are organized now and easy to get at. You wrote up a fabulous step by step tutorial! It was a lot of fun! We may owe you a small fortune in glue sticks:0)

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