Monday DIY: Braided Sparkle Headband

Happy Monday, Everyone! How was your weekend? I spent mine running around like a mad woman starting with ┬átea at a townhouse on the Upper East Side (for class!), stopping in at the Frick to see Girl With A Pearl Earring, going to M&J Trimmings and grabbing dinner with the roommates JUST on Friday afternoon/evening. Saturday I saw Catching Fire, got brunch at my favorite spot in the east village, had coffee with friends from high school and had a holiday photo shoot with my incredibly talented friend, and Sunday I went to the renegade craft fair in Brooklyn! Luckily I had some time Saturday night to make a sparkly headband, which is something I’ve been wanting to make for weeks.

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What You’ll Need
– Some elastic. I bought a yard because M&J has a minimum, but you really only need about 6 inches, maybe less.
– Rhinestone chain (Optional). You guys know my affinity for sparkle, so I had to add this. This headband would be just as cute without it. Make sure you get enough to go all the way around your head, that way you can cut it down later.
– Embroidery Thread, assorted colors. I used some of my pearl cotton that I have for my embroidery projects. I think it’s the best for this because the strands don’t split, but if you have just some regular embroidery thread it’ll work just fine.

What I did:

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Pick your thread colors. I chose pinks, purples and grays. I chose 7, but you can obviously do whatever. I cut 5 strands of each color. Since this is a braid, I recommend a number of colors that splits evenly into 3s when multiplied by 5 (ex: 6 x 5 = 30, 30/3 = 10 –> good choice while 7 x 5 = 35, 35/3 = ??? –> bad choice). If that doesn’t make any sense, choose a number of colors you want and f*ck the math.

DSC_0261 Like I said, cut five strands of each color. If you want your braid to be thicker, cut more. Lay out all the strands and your rhinestone chain like above, in three groups. This helps the braiding process. I mixed my colors around so there were various colors in each pile. If you want a more braid-y braid look, put colors in similar groups.

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Braid! If you want to add the sparkle, just group it in with one of your groups of thread and act like it’s just another strand of embroidery thread. Work your threads in between the stones if you want them to really shine or just let the threads cover them in some places and not in others if you want a less sparkly look. The hand in the picture isn’t mine, it’s my boyfriend’s. He patiently held the braid while I did this, but if you don’t have the world’s most patient s/o, you can clip your braid to something or use masking tape.

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When you’ve finished braiding, tie the ends by wrapping them around a bunch of times with about a foot of embroidery thread. Make sure you leave a tail out so you can tie it off.

The amount of elastic you need will depend on how much of your head your braid wraps around. I would hold your headband up to your head and then complete the band with your elastic and then remove about an inch and a half of that amount. I am no scientist. If you can think of a better way to do that, use your judgement. My methods for attaching the elastic were bad, at best. The next time I make one of these, I’ll just hand sew my elastic onto the part of the braid I wrapped with thread, which is what I recommend to you, dear reader.
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And done! Super simple. The whole thing probably took me about an hour and a half.

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PS: If you’re looking for a good book about crafting, you should check out Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity. It’s a neat read, but definitely not without it’s problems. One of my hopes for this blog is that I’ll be able to explore some of my deeper thoughts and feelings about crafting/femininity/feminism, but for right now my semester is taking up too much brain space.

Have a good week everyone & Happy Thanksgiving!