Creative recycling, project 1: hair scrunchie

Filati per macchina per cucire (foto)

Struggling for fitting, we finally finished tailoring our final prototype model with chosen fabrics. What now? What do we do with scraps and leftover? Throw them away? Not if we want to survive the sacred ire of your Creative Assistant …

The quick tutorial that follows, also suitable for sewing beginners, is useful to recycling parts of discarded clothes (just keep a few colorful scraps) and to give a simple, proudly handmade gift.

Riciclo creativo, progetto 1: fermacapelli elastico
Hair scrunchie, creative recycling project by © prototipa

What it takes

  • paper pattern
  • paper scissors
  • sewing machine or serger (overlock machine)
  • fabric scissors
  • tailoring pins
  • scrap of fabric, at least 62 x 12 cm (or two scraps, each measuring at least 32 x 12 cm)
  • elastic band (0,7 cm wide)
  • bodkin

Main steps

Draw your paper pattern

  • Draw on a sheet of tissue paper a rectangle of the size of 31 x 12 cm.


  • Download PDF file. (In this case the two pieces, once cut and matched at the point marked in red, will be joined with some adhesive tape. The square at the top instead, serves only as verification and once printed must measure 10 x 10 cm)

Placing and cutting

  • If you have a single piece of fabric, fold it in two along the shortest side and fasten pattern to fabric with some pins.

Cut fabric without leaving any seam allowance. The result will be a piece of the exact size of 62 x 12 cm.

On pattern, indication Center fold means that fabric should be folded double on that side before cutting.

  • If you have two smaller scraps instead, place pattern on both scraps and fix it with some pins, leaving 1 cm left on the shortest side for seam allowance. Then cut fabric. As a result we will have two pieces measuring 32 x 12 cm.


  • Go to sewing machine and, if you have two scraps to join, make a simple seam on the shortest side, leaving 1 cm for seam allowance.
Fermacapelli, riciclo creativo, foto step 1 © prototipa
Step 1
  • Press seam open.
  • Fold fabric, right sides together, and make a simple seam on the long side, leaving 5 cm at each end free of stitching. Seams will be easier if you use some pins. Then press the new seam open.
Fermacapelli, riciclo creativo, foto step 3 © prototipa
Step 3
  • After removing pins, turn everything on the right and make a simple seam, right sides together, along each short side, leaving 1 cm for seam allowance.
  • Close by hand the two 5 cm openings left previously, with small overcast stitches (U-shaped stitches), leaving only the last 2 cm open to allow the insertion of the elastic. (This is the only hand-made finishing of the whole project)
Fermacapelli, riciclo creativo, foto step 5 © prototipa
Step 5
Fermacapelli, riciclo creativo, foto step 6 © prototipa
Step 6
  • Position the seam at a distance of 1 cm from one folded edge. Stitch inside the seam.
Fermacapelli, riciclo creativo, foto step 7 © prototipa
Step 7
  • Insert the elastic through the opening with a bodkin and, once reached the starting point, tie the two ends and hide them inside.
Fermacapelli, riciclo creativo, foto step 8 © prototipa
Step 8
Fermacapelli, riciclo creativo, foto finale © prototipa
Project completed

Alternatively, consider to use a self-designed, self-dyed, or self-printed fabric.

(Highlight image by fotoblend from Pixabay)