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Saturday 19 July 2014

DIY: Hand Coloured Wired Head Scarves

I've been feeling a little behind the ball lately when it comes to crafting and getting creative. Trust me, I've been trying but the combination of the two big girls home ALL DAY and Mathilde keeping me up at nights is starting to get to me. Ok, it's not "starting" to get to me, it's been dragging me down for weeks.

When Fourth of July rolled around again for another year it really hit me just how behind I've been getting with my crafting. Usually I'd be working on something red, white and blue for the girls to celebrate the day with but there was none of that this year. No hand print flags, no fireworks crafts, no confetti rockets... Ok, I did set the bar a little high last year! Anyway, after a few hours away from the kids on the eve of the Fourth (time off to take a diabetes test - all clear), my brain was feeling a little less frazzled and I came up with a relatively quick and easy craft project to work on with the big girls to show a little American spirit. After all, I couldn't let my American daughter's first ever Fourth of July go past without making something red, white and blue.

So here it is, my quick and easy craft project: Hand coloured wired head scarves.

When it comes to celebrating Fourth of July I like to dress the girls up in red, white and blue. This year I decided they needed a little something for their heads - especially seeing as Mathilde doesn't have much in the way of hair yet! With no time to work on hats I thought about different headband ideas. I've been seeing lots of cute pics lately of babies and little girls wearing wired head scarves and decided that's just what we needed to make.

What I like best about wired head scarves is how easy they are to use. No need to worry about tying knots or scarves slipping off baby fine hair. Thanks to the wire hidden inside the scarf easily stays in place with just a simple twist. So simple the girls can even put them on themselves. Or adjust it when they inevitably do a headstand or somersault and mess up their hair!

I wanted to get the girls involved in the scarf making, so rather than purchasing patterned or coloured fabric I stuck with plain white and had the girls decorate it themselves. The girls enjoyed decorating their scarves and once they were done with their colouring I got to work with the sewing machine and some jewellery wire and, voila! - wired head scarves done.

Here's a look at how we made the head scarves. It's a quick and easy DIY that even a sleep deprived mum of a newborn like myself can handle!

What you'll need
Measuring tape
White fabric (I used a silk cotton blend for a silky look without being too slippery)
Fabric Crayons (I used Pentel Arts Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks *)
Sewing machine
Needle and thread
Jewellery wire
Paper (I used printer paper but kitchen parchment would be fine too)

How to do it
To begin with I measured the girls' heads to work out how long their scarves would need to be. I then cut the fabric into strips slightly longer than required (for seams) and approximately 20cm/8" wide.

I gave Ava and Lola a strip each along with red and blue fabric crayons and they set to work colouring.

Ava decided to decorate her scarf like an American flag (with extra blue stripes) while Lola stuck to scribbles, spirals and tracing around her hands.

For Mathilde's scarf I laid the fabric crayons flat and coloured large areas randomly with them.

Once we were finished colouring our scarf fabric I ironed over it to set the colour. Lay the fabric coloured side up on the ironing board and cover with paper to protect the iron surface. I just used regular printer paper but you could use kitchen parchment as well. Make sure to set the iron to a temperature suitable for the fabric you have used.

With the colour set I trimmed the fabric and cut it to shape. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and cut to a point as shown below. You could also make one diagonal cut instead if you prefer.

Pin the fabric in place and then sew it together starting from one end.

I stopped sewing when I reached the center, turned the sewn part the right way around and then started sewing from the other end. I left a gap of about 5cm in the middle. This provided enough space for easily turning the rest of the fabric right way around and for inserting the wire. To save time you could leave the opening at one end instead, however as the stitches that will later close this up will be visible I decided to make the opening in a place that will always be covered by hair when worn.

Turn the rest of the fabric the right way around.

It's now time to insert the wire. I cut a piece of wire a few cenimetres longer than the scarf and twisted a loop at each (as shown below). The wire should be the same length as the scarf once the ends are twisted. The loops at the end prevent sharp wire from poking through the fabric.

Insert the wire and secure in place with a few small stitches through the loop at each end. And try not to pay attention to my dodgy manicure! No time for crafting and keeping my nails looking nice. It's one or the other!

Now fold the raw edges in the middle in, pin in place and stitch closed.

All done!

The girls couldn't wait to wear their new head scarves for Fourth of July. They were pretty pleased with how they turned out. They did look pretty cute! And, the best bit... unlike regular scarves the didn't keep falling off!

I really like the simplicity of these scarves so we'll definitely be making some more in different colours and patterns. Ava's scarf is long enough that I can wear it too - although truth be told we do wear the same hat and bike helmet size! I think I might have to steal Ava's scarf every now and then when I feel like going for a "cute" look - or if I haven't had a chance to wash my hair and want it to look done!

Oh, and I discovered the hard way the perils of attempting a photoshoot with my hair down while holding a two month old baby!

* This is an Amazon Affiliate link. I will make a small amount of money if you purchase through this link.


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