Upcycling Fabric Waste into New Scrunchies

By Melisa Gooding

2 years ago

Lockdown is a testing time for many, with days merging together it is important to plan fun and creative activities whilst staying at home. This is a straight forward step-by-step upcycling project. Its purpose is to upcycle fabrics into new accessories whilst you learn/practice skills about sewing and upcycling. You can then celebrate your creation by wearing it, posting photos of it or sending it to a loved one.

There is an art to upcycling, to see the potential in what could be labelled as ‘waste’, to be a new item or in this case an accessory to be cherished. Upcycling means that those discarded items avoid landfill, with an estimation of £140 million worth of clothing going to landfill annually (Wrap, 2020) this comes at a critical time. Crafting is also a mindful activity that helps you to relax whilst focusing on your creation. You become absorbed in the activity, entering a flow state which calms the mind and reduces stress.

You Will Need: 

  • Fabric (thin cotton works well but I also tried this successfully with an old part of polyester trousers. The key is to use thin fabrics.)
  • Elastic (around 15 cm long per scrunchie)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine / needle and thread
  • Measuring tape



Step 1

Cut your fabric around 45 cm x 11cm – this is a rough guide you can make it longer (if your hair is particularly thick or wider if you want a wide styled scrunchy). If you have fabric that is too small you can add it to other fabric by measuring it and sewing along the seam.



Step 2

Fold the fabric long ways in half and give it a quick iron so it stays in place.


Step 3

Attach the elastic to one end of the rectangle with a pin and then sew the open side and the end with the elastic, go over the elastic a few times to secure it in place.


Step 4

Attach a safety pin to the loose end of the elastic, so it is easy to find, then turn the tube inside out (so it will be the right way round), by using a chopstick or similar.


Step 5

Sew the elastic on the other side so that it is securely attached and pop the closed end in the open end of the scrunchie and sew together, going over it a few times so it is secured.


Enjoy and share your creations online using the hashtag #UpcycleRevolution.