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How to fold bandanas

If you need to make a face mask fast, follow this easy tutorial explaining how to fold a cloth mask using a simple bandana or handkerchief and two elastic hair ties (aka ponytail holders).

How to fold bandanas

It’s easy to make a simple homemade face mask from a bandana and a couple of hair ties. In less than five minutes, I’ll teach you how to make a cloth face covering that you can wear when running errands, like shopping at the grocery store.

No hair ties at home? You can also use rubber bands, fabric strips, or even shoelaces to hold the mask in place.

No bandana? You can also use a square piece of t-shirt material. Read on more details.

How to fold bandanas

Face Mask with a Bandana and Hair Ties

This folded bandana mask is one of the simplest ways to make a no-sew face mask. The friction of the folded layers of fabric holds the mask in place over your nose and mouth. And the hair tie ear loops will keep the mask from slipping down.

Pros and Cons

Each type of mask has it’s pros and cons. No-sew masks are quick and easy to make, but they aren’t as durable as sewn pleated face masks.

This bandana mask is certainly easy to make, but you will have to refold it after each wearing and washing.

Whichever style of mask you choose, make sure it:

  • Covers from the bridge of your nose to the underside of your chin
  • Fits snugly without large gaps
  • Is made from 2 or more layers of tightly-woven fabric
  • Can be washed and dried

Supplies and Materials

You only need a couple of household materials for this mask.

  • cotton bandana, see other options below
  • two elastic hair ties, see other options below

If you don’t have a bandana, you can use an 18″ square piece of other tightly woven fabric. You can easily cut an 18″ square from the bottom of an old t-shirt to use for this mask. Knit t-shirt material won’t fray as much as other woven fabrics.

If you don’t have hair ties, you can substitute any elastic loops that would be comfortable to wear behind your ears. You can tie a 7″ length of elastic cord into a loop with an overhand knot, and use that in place of the hair tie.

Folding Instructions

Step 1: First, lay the handkerchief, bandana, or piece of fabric out flat. Fold the top and bottom inward to meet in the middle. Then, fold the bandana in half again. There will be four layers of fabric.

How to fold bandanas

Step 2: Next, you will use the two hair ties to create ear loops. Slip one hair tie over each of the short ends. Slide the hair ties a few inches toward the middle of the folded bandana.

How to fold bandanas

Step 3: Then, fold each of the short ends of the bandana in to meet in the middle. You want the ends to overlap slightly, so you can tuck one of the ends into the folds of the other end. This will help keep the ends secure.

How to fold bandanas

Step 4: Wear the mask with the folded ends against your face, and the smooth side out. This will help keep the mask from unfolding as you wear it.

If the mask feels too tight around your ears, you can adjust the position of the hair ties to make it wider.

Step 5: Remember to wash the bandana after each use, or if it becomes moist during use.

Variation: Using Rubber Bands Instead of Hair Ties

If you don’t have hair ties – or find them uncomfortable around your ears – then you can substitute simple rubber bands. Fold the bandana in the same way, but use rubber bands instead of hair elastics.

How to Use Fabric Ties Instead

If you prefer you can use strips of fabric instead of hair ties. In this case, the ties would not go around the ears, but rather tie around the back of the head.

Start by making the strips. To make the strips, I cut two 1″-wide, 18″-long strips of stretchy fabric from a t-shirt.

When it’s time to fold the mask, lay the strips down in the same place you would have put the hair ties, and fold the bandana the same way as before.

How to fold bandanas

Wear the mask by tying the fabric strips behind your head and neck

How to fold bandanas

How to Add a Filter

At one point, the CDC showed a version of this folded bandana mask with a coffee filter placed between the folds. Other people have suggested using a paper towel as a disposable filter.

Important to Remember

A DIY face mask is not a replacement for a surgical mask or N-95 respirator. Rather, these masks are meant to help protect other people when you are in public and/or cannot maintain social distancing guidelines.

Children under age 2 are not recommended to wear masks.

Be sure to follow the recommendations of the CDC about wearing masks and face coverings.

How to fold bandanas

Sarah Stearns has helped thousands of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.

Her work has been featured in Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and more.

How to fold bandanas

Bandanas are simple, yet versatile tools for any woman’s accessory collection. They’re more casual versions of a scarf, and when properly applied to a given situation, they can replace several different hair accessories.

Since they are usually made from cotton fibers, they are absorbent and can take a wide variety of colors and patterning techniques, so that you can find bandanas in nearly any color you can imagine, as well as a wide range of designs and even character and themed styles.

In older generations, bandanas were considered true multipurpose tools. In addition to their original use as handkerchiefs and neck wear to help keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter, bandanas could be tied in different fashions to make them into small sacks for carrying.

They were used to carry dry goods and small shopping items, carry lunches and foodstuffs by workers in various industries, and who can forget the iconographic image of the hobo with all his belongings tied up in a bandana which was then secured to a stick which he lay over his shoulder.

Today, we tend not to rely on bandanas for more than fashion accessorizing, but they are still versatile in that role. So let’s take a look at the different methods of tying bandanas to wear on the head.

Headband or Alice Band

One of the simplest and oldest uses of bandanas is as a headband, tied to keep the sweat from the eyes and the hair out of the face. The conversion of the regular bandana shape into a headband/Alice band is much simpler than many expect. However, there is one tip that many people never think of on their own which can make a big difference in the finished look:

Don’t ROLL your bandana to create the headband shape. Doing so only leaves the two ends of the diagonal fold flapping loose. Instead fold the bandana, and if you want to make a truly neat and tidy fold, use this method:

Step One:

Spread your bandana out on a flat surface and smooth it out. Fold the bandana diagonally and create a triangular shape. Smooth along the folded line to crease the fabric.

Step Two:

Reopen your bandana and take the ends you previously brought together and bring them to the central crease. The points of the opposing corners should touch in the center. Smooth the newly folded edges to crease them and allow them to lie flat.

Step Three:

Continue the folding process by halving the folded fabric on either side of the central crease and bringing the folded edges in to the center. If you have a extra-large bandana, you can repeat this step as many times as needed to get the desired width of the finished band.

Step Four:

Fold the outer edges of the bandana in a final time along the central crease. You can now place the center of the bandana/headband at your forehead and draw the ends around to the base of the skull, under the hair for an Alice band, or simply draw the ends straight back along the tops of the ears to form a traditional headband configuration.

Hey! Thinking about adding a bandana to your look for the day? Bandanas have been around for centuries as a multi-purpose tool- not excluding fashion. Notoriously known in fashion from the iconic Rosie the Riveter poster from World War II, bandanas aren’t only for wearing around your head though! Fun fact, the name is believed to derive from the Sanskrit word “badhnati” which translates to “binds” or “to tie.” Enough of a history lesson, though. These popular little squares of fabric come in a plethora of patterns and materials that are just begging to be a part of your outfit. Keep reading for more!

Prepare yourself, as the bandana is the white tee of the accessory world. It can be made as a top, a bandeau, a hair tie, a headband, a belt, a bracelet, an accessory, or the focal point of an entire outfit for any season or occasion! Also, don't forget to comment below to tell me how you like to wear bandanas!

Best Places to Buy a Bandana

Our Favorite: Amazon |Luxury Option: Topshop | Budget Option: Forever 21

How to Wear a Bandana Around Your neck

How to fold bandanas

How to fold bandanas

The most common way to wear a bandana, is actually around the neck. Different textures, colors, patterns, and even knots are at your hands to spice up your outfit and add some versatility to your look. Not all ties around your neck have to be like a scarf or a bib, though. I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

I enjoy a bandana tied around the neck with a simple white t-shirt, or paired with a chambray button-up. I’m not talking about looking like a bandit either. A way to wear it around your neck is to lay it flat and fold it up to about an inch or two to tie in the back- think a choker!

Without folding it up, lace a chunky ring onto it before tying it, you could even use the ring to link two bandanas together! Of course, this isn’t only for summer. Bandanas can be used year round! Off the shoulder tops, v-neck tee’s, or even a dress would work well with a bandana accessory!

I also love the look of a satin bandana under a faux fur coat, rather than a classic cotton bandana. It’ll add a great juxtaposition of textures to your look.

How to Wear a Bandana As a shirt

How to fold bandanas

How to fold bandanas

A classic tribute to a large trend in the 90’s, the bandana tube top! With bandanas becoming more popular as fashion statements around this time, there are tube shaped bandanas that are advertised as masks but are actually excellent to pull down and make a cute tube top over it! Best part about this look? You don’t have to remember how you tied the bandana last time you wore it. These also come in a ton of patterns and fabrics, and are easily found online. (PSA: Amazon is a great place to buy the large bandanas too, which you’ll need if you’re wanting to tie a single bandana for a tube top.)

If tying bandanas doesn’t bother you, try tying the corners of two bandanas together starting at the back of the neck and crossing them over front, to tie them in the back with a pair of high-waist shorts or flared jeans for a cute cropped summer look! Of course, you can mix up the colors of the two bandanas you’re tying together for a two-toned top too.

If the classic triangular top is what you’re going for, make sure you have the large square bandanas, fold it in half (to make a triangle) and tie it in the back. This gives you a great open back look. If you wanted to add an element of asymmetry you can twist the knot to the side and show a little kin with a pair of “mom” shorts, or cropped jeans and sandals for a cute casual but chic twist.

One for the brave, is tying the bandana in the front where the look resembles a bow in the front. Perfect for summer!

How to Wear a Bandana as a Headband

How to fold bandanas

How to fold bandanas

So, remember I mentioned Rosie the Riveter and her iconic up-do? It's a look that will never get old, but you better believe there are more ways to wear a bandana in your hair.

As previously mentioned, the tube style bandanas are a great one to use as a headband, or you could wrap it around up in a high pony and it'll look similar to a scrunchie! As for the square bandanas, these can be folded in half (triangle shape) for a headband, or folded up into an inch in width to wear as a headband too.

When wearing the bandana as a headband, the tails from where it is tied off can be tucked in for a more seamless look, left to flow, or (drum roll please) even tied into your braid! Yes, braid the bandana in with your hair. I've seen it done before, it's cute.

At the very least, the bandana can be used as a crown, also. These are cute when your hair is done in a side braid, especially if the knot is up top.

Hair up, hair down, hair in a bun, hair in a crown. ok, joking aside. These are a great accessory for your outfits.

How to Wear a Bandana on your purse

This is one of the easiest ways to style a bandana, in my opinion, and it gives you a chance to accessorize your most important accessory- your purse or bag!

I love tying a black and white polka dot bandana to the shoulder strap of one of my solid colored bags. It’s a simple addition that makes a bland bag as full of personality as you are- or just spices up your look!

This gives you an opportunity to also have fun with knots, or even bows. Tying the bandana in a cute bow will never let you down.

Truly, if you wanted, you could wrap a bandana around the handle of your bag. This could give it extra color, extra pattern, a different texture, or even cover a handle on that favorite bag of yours that is worn. Just wrap it around, knot both ends, and viola!

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Whether you tie it around your head, tied across your jaw as a dust guard, around your neck or casually slung across your arm, a bandana adds the perfect finishing touch to every outfit. Most people tie it as a headscarf or a headband. But how exactly do you get the cloth to look good and stay in place during a long bike ride? The good news is that learning how to fold a bandana is not as hard as it seems, especially when you start with simple tying techniques. We are going to take you through them, step by step.

Folding a bandana as a head scarf

For this, you need a classic square bandana, as sold in our shop. Place it in front of you on the table, with a corner pointing to you. Fold this corner up to the centre of the cloth. Lay the resulting edge over your forehead. The folded little corner lies inside and points backwards.

Now move your hands to the side corners of the bandana and pull them backwards around your head. Knot there together. After the first knot, check whether it is taut enough (but not too tight!), Then, tie another knot. You can either tuck it in or leave it as it is. A corner is now visible below the node. You can either leave it just as it is or you can hide it by folding some more and tucking it in. Finished!

That was easier than you thought – Right! And the other methods of hair and headbands are just as simple.

Fold a bandana as a hairband:

If you have long hair, tie it up at the top of your head so that you can tie the Bandana as well. Now fold the cloth diagonally. Then fold the two-layered tip, which is opposite the diagonal, to just below these diagonals. Twist two more times in the same direction. You should now have a narrow band.
Stretch this band from the neck around the head so that you can knot the ends at the top of the head – preferably slightly to the side. If it sits well, you can let your hair flow freely again. If you don’t want a visible knot, then twist it round to the neck.
If you’re a woman, this way of tying a banana also looks fierce combined with an updo or a bun.

Fold a bandana as a headband:

Als Stirnband faltest du das Bandana schmaler, setzt es weiter oben an und führst es horizontal um den Kopf. Wahlweise kann der Knoten seitlich oder hinten geknüpft werden. Ebenso kannst du variieren, wie viele deiner Haare du aus dem Stirnand hervorziehst, sodass es nur teilweise sichtbar ist.

Want to achieve this look?

Then grab a cloth and experiment with our binding techniques. Bandanas add a really casual element to any outfit without any effort and depending on the type of look you want, you can easily vary it. We have made our Bandana „Freak Show“ particularly versatile so check it out! Have a look at the accessories section of our shop and you’ll find it!

There are many ways to tie a bandana around your neck and today I’m going to show you the easiest way! I like to start simple before getting too complicated with trends like this but there are so many ways to style a bandana.

If you want to add some spice to an outfit in such an easy way, this is it! Tying a bandana around your neck is simple, stylish and classic.

Today I’m going to share how to tie it (it’s so simple!) and also some of my favorite bandanas to check out!

How to fold bandanas

Paisley + Sparrow is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post may include affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you shop using the links below at no additional cost to you.

I love a good casual outfit. Distressed denim and a graphic tee are a fabulous base for your every day! When I’m heading out of the house in that outfit, though, I like to step things up a notch especially with a pop of color in the form of a bandana.

Accessories of any sort are a great way to do that. You can add a cute hat, a classic bandana or even a pair of statement earrings!

In the last few months, I’ve started wearing bandanas around my neck and have loved how it looks! Our nanny often times wears them so she was the one to push me over the edge to try it out.

They’re super easy to wear in a variety of ways, but one of the simplest ways is to simply roll them up and tie them on!

How to fold bandanas

Check out what's in this post!

How to Tie a Bandana Around Your Neck

For this style, first you need to fold the bandana. Here’s how to do it.

How to fold bandanas

1. Lay it out flat

Lay the bandana out flat on the table (or another hard surface).

2. Fold it in half diagonal

Fold 2 corners in towards one another so the ends are touching in the middle. This creates somewhat of a triangle.

3. Fold it again

Next, fold those ends in to one another again. This will help prevent the small end from coming undone and give you one long piece of fabric.

4. Keep folding!

Keep going until you have a long, skinny strand.

How to fold bandanas

Alternatively, you could start from one end and fold it in all the way to the other end.

Depending on your scarf, you can fold the sides in together at the same rate, or if there’s a pattern you like simply keep that on the outside as you fold!

How to fold bandanas

4. Wrap it around your neck

Wrap it around your neck so the ends are in the front.

5. Knot it!

Tie it in a double knot! You can tie it loose like is shown here or even wrap it around twice for more a choker style. (Find lots of different ways to do it here.)

How to fold bandanas

Looking for fun bandanas under $20?

These bandanas are all perfect for styling your bandana around necks or any other fun way you want to wear a pop of color!

    (Madewell) (Madewell) (Levis) (Amazon) (Amazon) (Amazon)

I want to know! Is this something that you’ll try? Or have you already tried it? I hope this helps you learn new ways to switch up your accessories!

Don’t forget to swing on over to this post for a full video with 8 different ways to tie a bandana!

A bandana is also called a kerchief, known as a head scarf. It is used to warp the hair as a hair accessory. It comes in two main geometry, triangle and square. The triangular or square kerchief is usually tied around the head. Moreover, the bandana can be other fashionable accessories, like a headband or a bracelet.

Today’s post will tell you how you can create a hairstyle by a bandana. If you learn some skills from here, you can handle the bandana easily. Also, you can find many bandana hair designs below. First, let’s see what steps we will take to play the hair tricks.

Step 1 Decide what function you want a bandana to be and begin with folding the cloth if you want it to be a headband.
Step 2 Fold a tip of a square piece cloth and make a triangle look
Step 3 Fold the bottom tips upwards
Step 4 Fold the bottom several times until it meets the previous folding line
Step 5 Finish the headband and style your hair look
Step 6 Tie the bandana around your head

How to fold bandanas

When you are familiar with the tricks of bandana, you are longing to have more hairstyles with bandana for sure. Here are 6 ways for you to rock the bandana.

1 Tie it under a updo
2 Tie it in a ponytail
3 Wrap it behind the top bun and tie a front knot
4 Tie it in a side bow
5 Wrap it around a bun
6 Wrap it around the head simply

How to fold bandanas

The bandana is popular in many cultures and the designs are different. If you also love the hairstyles, have no hesitation to tie a bandana to spice up your hair do. You can start with checking out the bandanas hair designs below. We have picked up some pretty hairstyles with bandana for you. Enjoy!

How to fold bandanas

Yesterday, I started deep-cleaning the studio and found six SEVEN square bandanas tucked into the couch, folded up in the upstairs built-ins, and randomly tossed into the supply closet. And that’s just at the studio – I honestly have no idea how many more I have at home.

You know the bandanas I’m talking about right? The ones that you’re supposed to use for neckerchiefs, etc that are square-shaped with some kind of fun pattern on ’em (and usually under $15).

I’m sure you know the type…and I’m guessing if I have this many laying around, you probably do too?! Although, if it’s just me, by all means, let me down gently. 🙂

So, I came up with 6 quick tutorials for putting all of those rogue bandanas to good use for summer. Because let’s face it, we’ve all bought these little guys, but putting them to good use (and looking cute while doing it) is a whole other story.

Click through for all 6 DIY looks and the step by step instructions for recreating them on your own, in 60 seconds or less.

6 DIY Ways to Style a Bandana for Summer

How to fold bandanas

1. The Standard Neckerchief

Who doesn’t love this casual / cool replacement for a necklace? To get this look, fold bandana in half at the points, to form a triangle.

Then, roll (or fold) the long end of the bandana down toward the point. Wrap the rolled bandana around your neck and double knot – leaving the ends loose, as shown in the photo.

You can tie the knot tight to your neck or super loose, for a totally different look.

How to fold bandanas

2. The Prim and Proper Ponytail

For those times when you want to look like you tried, but also really just want to keep your hair our of your face. It’s kind of like the updated BFF of the scrunch, but much cooler.

Fold bandana in half at the points, to form a triangle. Then, starting at the long end, fold the bandana down toward the point (a 2 inch fold is a good width for this one).

Once your hair is up in a ponytail, wrap the folded bandana around the ponytail base twice and then tie the ends in a knot.

How to fold bandanas

3. The Tucked and Knotted Headband

This tucked and knotted headband is simultaneously chic AF and super casual – one of my faves.

Fold bandana in half at the points, to form a triangle. Then, starting at the long end, fold the bandana down toward the point (1-2 inch fold).

Once your hair is up in a ponytail or bun, wrap the folded bandana around your head and tie the ends in a secure knot. Then, tuck the loose ends underneath each side of the headband.

How to fold bandanas

4. The Mini Neck Bib

Get your (mini) cowgirl on…or something like that…with a mini neck bib. Start with the same basic fold as the other tutorials. Fold bandana in half at the points, to form a triangle.

Then, starting at the long end, fold the bandana down toward the point (1-2 inch folds) and leave the bottom point of the triangle out (unfolded) as shown in the photo. Wrap around your neck, with the triangle in the front and double knot the loose ends in the back.

How to fold bandanas

5. The Neckerchief Take 2

A more stylized take on the basic neckerchief.

To get this look, fold bandana in half at the points, to form a triangle. Then, fold the long end of the bandana down toward the point (2-3 inch folds are a good width for this one).

Wrap the folded bandana around your neck, then wrap it around again, and double knot it at the ends.

How to fold bandanas

6. The Oh-So Bow Headband

Fold bandana in half at the points, to form a triangle. Then, starting at the long end, fold the bandana down toward the point (a 1-2 inch fold is a good width).

When you get close to the end, tuck the point underneath the folds (as shown in photo), and then fold over one last time. Wrap around your head, bring the two ends up to the top and tie in a double knot, leaving the ends loose to form a bow shape.

This is a good one for any kind of hair – up or down, long or short, etc.

There are so many stylish ways to learn how to wear a bandana on your head.

How to fold bandanas

The Jackie O

Tie a diagonally folded bandana under your hair at the back of your neck like the former First Lady.

How to fold bandanas

The Alice Band

Fold a bandana into a thin strip and tie at the nape of the neck, letting your hair flow freely down your back.

How to fold bandanas

The French Mademoiselle

Give some ’tude to a messy bun or ponytail by tying a bandana around it.

How to fold bandanas

The 50s Movie Star

Fold a large bandana diagonally around your head, wrapping the ends around the neck and tying at the nape.

How to fold bandanas

The 2Pac

Fold a bandana in half diagonally, then over and over again to form a thin strip. Tie it around your head with the knot in front for a supremely cool headband that doubles as a sweat stopper.

How to fold bandanas

The Royal

Fold a bandana into a triangle and wrap it over your head, tying under the chin and letting the ends hang free like Queen Elizabeth II or Princess Anne. Little Red Riding Hood never knew how chic she was.

See how the most popular folds are done. Check us out on Youtube!


Around Your Neck

The neck is another versatile spot to learn how to wear a bandana.

How to fold bandanas

The Grace Kelly

Super easy and stylish, fold your bandana into a narrow strip and tie, wearing the knot to the side.

How to fold bandanas

The John Wayne

Cowboys and Wild West fans all love a basic triangle knotted at the back of the neck. Keeps the dust and sun off, and doubles as a handy mask when needed.

How to fold bandanas

The 70s Disco Queen

Fold a bandana into a thin strip and wear it as choker like Joan Jett or Mick Jagger.

Around your Wrist & Ankle

The wrist and ankle are a stylish to learn how to wear a bandana to spice up your outfit.

Around Your Wrist

How to fold bandanas

A classic that is also practical when you’ve got to keep those hands dry for some fast finger work. Fold the bandana into a triangle then a thin strip, wrap around the wrist, tie, and tuck in the ends so they’re out of the way.

Around Your Ankle

How to fold bandanas

Super stylish and makes a statement. Fold into a triangle and then into a strip of whatever width you choose, then tie and tuck the ends in. Pair with your sneakers. Also doubles as ankle support for a sprain or to keep pant legs from getting tangled in bicycle chains.

Around your Waist

Learn how to wear a bandana around the waist to make a fashionable statement with little effort.

As a Belt

How to fold bandanas

A large bandana can be a deliberate choice to color coordinate with the rest of your outfit. Or it makes a handy backup if you’re experiencing a wardrobe malfunction and need a way to hold your pants up.

As a Belt Loop

How to fold bandanas

Dangle a bandana from a belt loop or pocket for an easy hit of color and style. Be as bold or subtle as you like by letting more or less show.

On your Chest

Learn several cool ways how to wear a bandana on your chest to make a creative outfit you can be certain no one else will be wearing

The Bella Hadid

How to fold bandanas

Fold a large bandana into a triangle and tie it in the back for a provocative cropped top.

The Bustier

How to fold bandanas

Wrap a large bandana around your torso and tuck it into your bra for a quick and cute bustier.

The Bra

How to fold bandanas

Fold a large bandana in half diagonally and tie in the center of your chest for a spontaneous and sexy top.

The Pocket Square

How to fold bandanas

For casual events, a bandana makes a cool and quirky pocket square. Iron first for best results.