Tag Archives: tutorial

How to make a Head Covering from a Vintage Handkerchief: A Tutorial

Have you ever picked up a vintage handkerchief at a garage sale, and tried to use it as a bandana-style head covering, only to find it much too small?


You blew your nose in it instead?

Well I tried to use them as head coverings, because they are so cool and vintage-looking. I found a way to modify them so that they work well, and I thought I would share this bounty of wisdom with you.


(Please pardon the bag of potting soil in the corner)

Okay. All you need for this project is a handkerchief, some coordinating ribbon (I recommend grosgrain, because it isn’t as slippery, but I used this sheer stuff because we didn’t have any grosgrain) and basic sewing supplies.


First step: Iron your handkerchief. (I made sure my tea was in the photo because I thought it looked artsy. If you follow my example you may end up with a tea-stained head covering and ironing board.)


Now, using chalk or a pencil or something, draw a curve on the top half of your handkerchief.

angleThe higher the curve, the bigger the head covering will be, as illustrated by the red curve (small head covering) and the purple curve (large head covering).


I folded the handkerchief in half to cut the curve, to make sure that both sides would be exactly even.


This is (approximately) what it should look like when you’re done cutting. (I obviously didn’t do a very good job at ironing this. Good grief.)


Cut your ribbon into two pieces, about six inches long. I didn’t even measure. Long enough to tie into a bow easily.

Now, hem it however you wish. I chose to serge the edge, and then fold it over and hem, placing the ribbons in at the corners.


Is it just me or does the serger look like it’s bleeding?


The ribbon should go under the folded edge, like this.


If you don’t have a sewing machine, just hem it by hand.

Trim the ends of your ribbons into points, and dab a bit of fray check, or clear nail polish, or Elmer’s glue, on the ends to make sure they don’t unravel.


Now, iron your new head covering and use the ribbons to tie it onto your head like a bandana.


Ta da!

(And yes, that is a pen sticking out of my hair. If you want to know how to put your hair up with a pen, check out the only other tutorial I’ve ever done, here.)

P.S. If it grosses you out to put something on your head which someone once blew their nose into, just imagine that it was used, instead, to dab away a young damsel’s tears when her fiance went off to war, or something.

How to put your hair up with a pen/pencil: a tutorial

Yes, this is my first tutorial. Ever. I think.

Here we go: Emily Smucker presents….

How to put your hair up with a pen or a pencil or a spoon or whatever long straight thing you happen to have on hand.

Step 1: Put your hair in a ponytail

(Just for the record, the girl reflected in the patio doors is my little sister taking the pictures. Thanks Jenny.)

Step 2: Grasp the ponytail with your hand

Step 3: Loop your hair up over the top of your hand.

Step 4: Wrap the remaining hair around the base of the ponytail

Step 5: Around and around and around

Step 6: And around, until you have used up all your hair

Step 7: Slide the loop of hair off of your hand…

Step 8: And up over the rest of your hair, like this

Step 9: Stick a pencil or a pen through it

Step 10: Ta da!

Noteworthy notes about this hairstyle:

I wear my hair like this every day. I never had the problems with my hair falling out once I put my hair up like a lot of Mennonite women do.

You can do this hairstyle without putting the ponytail holder in at the beginning. You can just hold it with your hand. I did that for years and years but now I try to put a ponytail holder in it because it helps it stay up longer.

This style usually lasts me all day. If it falls down, it takes approximately 12 seconds to put it back up.

If you are wondering why there are those long-ish hairs at the nape of my neck, I will tell you. Once I did my hair in a whole bunch of little braids. When I got done I realized that there was a teeny strand that I had missed. So I ripped it off and then it grew back enough to just hang there without staying up in my bun very well.

One more thing:

It is possible to put your hair up like this using a spoon, a stick, a knitting needle, a crochet hook, and any number of things. However, sometimes things like sticks and spoons are very hard to get in and out and cause lots of pulled hairs and are in general a big pain.