As I rarely tie my hair up, I don’t tend to have many hair ties. Just a basic set of brown elastic after all my no snag clear Claire’s Accessories ones were in the sun and perished before I could really use them. But brown is so boring, and if I’m going to get back to tennis and dancing, I’ll likely need to tie my hair up.
At the moment, it’s the longest it’s been thanks to it being another 7-8 months since it was last cut. But I quite like it this length – apart from it starting to get more tangly in the last fortnight. When I’m doing my steps or exercise at home, I’ll tie it up, so it’s good to have hair ties downstairs, so I don’t have to walk around with a tie in my pocket.
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I discovered fold over elastic (FOE) and thought as it comes in so many colours I’d just make some of my own. It means I can choose the length of the tie. Long enough to sit on my wrist if needed so it’s ready to use – my normal basic ties are too tight for my wrist.
Because I only wanted some of this fold over elastic* I just ordered some from Amazon to avoid big postage costs. But if you’re buying more haberdashery items, then you can find different colours and lengths available on other fabric and sewing accessory websites.
The coral and turquoise colours were nice a bright for spring and summer, and I couldn’t go wrong with classic navy. I might even make some for the girls in the tennis team to go with their club t-shirts, in case they don’t have one with them for matches.
The fold over elastic hair ties are so fast and easy to make. If you can tie a knot, you can make these. If you’ve got children who want to make gifts for friends, then why not make a stash – with price of elastic quite low, you can get 5 hair ties out of a metre length.
To make no sew fold over elastic hair ties you only need 3 items; fold over elastic (about 1-1.5cm or 5/8 inch wide), ruler and scissors. A lighter or matches are optional.
Simply cut your elastic length at 22cm for an adult hair tie, or 20cm for a child’s. I found the longer size goes 4 times around my ponytail with my fine hair. If you’ve thicker hair it will be 3 times. You can change the length to suit you but remember you need enough length to knot it.
Fold the elastic in half lengthways. You can choose to have the matt side on the outside, or the shiny side.
Knot in a normal overhand knot using your finger, and pull it really tight. I made sure the knot went really close to both ends of the elastic but you want to make sure there’s still a little left to avoid the knot coming undone. You want to make sure your knot doesn’t twist the elastic around – you want to have the folded length still set in place.
You can leave the tie as is, but to avoid the ends fraying, you can melt the ends by puting the ends above a lighter or match flame. I singed mine a bit, but hold the elastic higher above rather than on the flame and you shouldn’t get the slightly black ends. I don’t mind that. An alternatve would be to add clear nail polish onto the ends and let it dry.
That’s it, your hair ties are ready.
What’s great about these fold over elastic hair ties is that they don’t snag or pull on the hair. I can just pull mine out gently with no issues, and they stay in, even in my fine slippy hair.
You can make narrow hairbands using fold over elastic in longer lengths, the same way.
If you want to sew the 2 ends together you can do this either by machine or by hand. Just sew a small square with cross from corner to corner to make sure it holds tight. But making these hair bands is so fast and they work well with a knot, there’s no point going through the hassle of setting up a machine or getting out needle and thread.
You can store them in a small jar, or make a card hair tie holder. Cover a piece of thick cardboard (about half the width of your elastic length) with nice fabric, velvet, or pretty paper. Stick down with fabric glue, double sided sticky tape or just staple at the join of the material or paper. Then slip on your hair ties.
Alternative storage ideas for hair ties
- Carabiner clip* – buy multicoloured ones and clip matching coloured hairbands on
- Curtain rings – similar to carabiners, loop hair ties on.
- Jewellery bracelet stand* or ring holder
- Small jars – you could even label the jars to pretty them up.
- Mini baskets or containers for drawers*
- Vintage tea cup or saucer
Who would you make these for? What else would you use fold over elastic for?