Sep 15, 2022
DIY Upcycled Denim Braided Headband

If you’re looking for a stylish and unique way to keep your hair out of your face, look no further than this denim braided headband! This funky headband is made from upcycled denim materials, so it costs almost nothing to make. It’s a great casual addition to your wardrobe as a fun and functional accessory

looking down at the top of a braided denim headband being worn by a woman with brown hair

Denim Braided Headband

This denim braided headband is perfect for bad hair days, working out, or just running errands. It’s comfortable to wear and will stay in place all day long. And because it’s made from denim, it’s super trendy and fashionable. You can go ahead and rock that messy bun – with this headband, you’ll look completely put together!

I love using denim for a headband, but you can also make something else to go in your hair. Here are some great knit and crochet headbands, and you can even make this cute one for the kids with fabric flowers! Or this list of adorable DIY summer headbands is excellent.

brunette standing outside in white shirt with denim headband

What Should I Use for the Headband Base?

The headband is made with a long braided denim base and a bit of elastic on the back side that is also covered in denim. This gives it the stretch needed to fit around your head but is also adjustable if needed. It is the most inexpensive option that you may already have on hand. In fact, you can grab a pair of elastic waist pants or shorts that are worn out, and pull the elastic from them to make this 100% upcycled.

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You can also use a regular headband as the base if you have one on hand or want to buy some. I would recommend buying one from the dollar store to keep this as an inexpensive craft. You can braid the denim around it, or braid and then glue it to the headband base. Both are easy and good options that fit this accessory.

headband made of old blue jeans laying on light wood cabinet with mirror

How Do I Know How Big to Make This?

To figure out how big to make the denim braided headband, there are a few options. The first is to simply measure with a sewing tape measure or to wrap a ribbon around your head and then measure it against a ruler.

Start by placing the ribbon or tape measure over the crown of your head, then down around the back and to the nape of your neck. However, when using this method you also want to consider that the denim strips you cut will need to be longer as braiding them will decrease their length.

So, my recommendation is to measure and cut the denim about twice the length needed. Then, you can connect the two ends with elastic, and cover them with an additional elastic strip. The entire headband does not need to have an elastic base, just the back to hold it into place properly.

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Notes: most headbands will be between 18″ and 24″ in length when wrapped around the head. The size differences would vary between a child and an adults.

woman with brown hair wearing denim headband

Can This Be Washed Easily?

Yes, you can wash the denim braided headband. You can hand wash it and then let it air dry or you can wash it on the gentle cycle in the washing machine. I have even heard of people washing headbands like this in the dishwasher and then letting them air dry, although I haven’t tried it myself.

side of denim headband visible on top of brunettes forehead

Can I Decorate this Braided Denim Headband?

There are so many ways to decorate this braided denim headband. Below are a few of the ideas that I love and know will look cute. As always, this is just the beginning idea, you can customize it just for yourself.

  • Use different denim washes for each strip so they are woven together like it is multi-colored.
  • Dye the strips of denim into rainbow colors before you braid them.
  • Attach beads, rhinestones, fake pearls, or small charms to the top of the denim headband.
  • Weave a ribbon or strip of fabric in an alternate color into the braid.
  • Spray with glitter fabric spray so it is sparkling in the sunlight.
  • Add embroidered flowers to the braided denim to add to the design.
braided denim headband held in hands by woman

Supplies Needed

lightwash denim folded with scissors and elastic on white table

How to Make a Denim Headband

Begin by cutting the legs off of an old pair of blue jeans. Then, cut the seams off the bottom hem as well as the inside seam on the legs. This will leave you with two pieces the width of the legs of the blue jeans.

ruler against denim with scissors

Now, cut these into strips that are around 20″ long and at least 1″ wide. You will want 5 strips of denim but can use up to 6 strips for this headband.

tape measure laying on top of denim

Stack the strips of denim on top of each other.

strips of denim laying on white table

Then, use the needle and thread to sew one end of this stack of denim together. This can also be done with a sewing machine if you prefer.

hand sewing denim strips together

Once you have the strips of denim tightly sewn together on one end, tape that end onto a table or flat surface.

strips of denim laying on table

Now, you will begin braiding the strips of denim. You can braid this regularly, or follow a weaving pattern so that the outsides fold over the closest strip, then the middle goes back over and under again.

hands weaving denim to braid

Continue braiding this until you reach the end of the strips of denim. Now, you will sew them together much like you did the other end of the denim strips.

hand sewing the end of the denim braid

Now, measure around your head, and cut a strip of elastic that is just a bit (1/2″ or so) shorter than the difference between the head measurement and the length of the denim braid.

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Sew the elastic to the two ends of the denim braid so they are connected into a circle.

elastic being sewed to both sides of denim headband

Now, cut a strip of denim that is 2″ wide and 1″ longer than the length of the elastic you just attached to the headband.

Fold this over the elastic, and sew it onto each end and then on the other side so it is wrapped around the elastic between the sides of the denim braid.

hands holding headband and sewing cover

Now, you can add other embellishments, beads, or similar items to the headband if desired before wearing.

brunette wearing denim braid headband

More Easy Denim Crafts

Making things with those old blue jeans is so much fun! From holiday decor to more fashion ideas, below you will find some of my favorites. Make sure that you bookmark these ideas, print out the tutorials, or pin them to Pinterest to make soon!

Yield: 1

looking down at the top of a braided denim headband being worn by a woman with brown hair

This upcycled denim braided headband is a great addition to your wardrobe! Free and easy to make and perfect gifts!

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Active Time
30 minutes

Total Time
30 minutes


Estimated Cost


Use different shades of denim for a different look.

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Finished Project Gallery

lady holding her hair aside to show denim headband

Add a bit of color by weaving together different denim washes.

lady in blue jeans and white shirt holding braided blue jeans headband

You can even add a ribbon into the braid for extra flare.

braided light wash denim headband being worn by woman in white shirt

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