Introduction: Best, Comfiest Button Headband for Nurses and Other Medical People

Best, Comfiest Button Headband for Nurses and Other Medical People

Pattern created by: Lynda Sandoval

Feel FREE to use it and share it, just give me credit and a shout back, pretty please. Should you desire to support an independent artist who is also unemployed at the moment because of COVID-19, feel free to toss me a few greenbacks via PayPal (mark as personal) to THANK YOU!

So, why did I make this headband pattern? A few reasons. I don’t know about you, but the idea of wearing a squeezy headband on my head for a 12-hour shift, plus a mask, plus my glasses—that sounds miserable. I also find that they slip off my head. Not to mention, I really hate sewing with stretchy fabric. I wanted to create a headband that (1) conserved the precious commodity (in these days of COVID-19) of elastic, (2) that used non-stretch fabric, (3) that didn’t slip, and (4) was comfortable enough to wear ALL day or night. So, after a few trial runs, this headband was born. And man, it’s comfy. I wore one all day while I was making more.


  • A piece of quilter’s cotton fabric (or any non-stretchy, tight weave fabric) big enough to cut a 16.5” x 6” piece.
  • Thread
  • ¾” elastic (or one inch, whatever you have on hand)
  • Marking pen (I use the heat erasable pens from Madam Sew, who gives me no kickbacks, but you can use whatever works)
  • Pins
  • Two medium sized buttons WITHOUT a shank (i.e., flat)
  • Pinking shears (not 100% necessary, but super helpful.)
  • Triangle ruler (also not 100% necessary, but super helpful.)
  • Tube flipper-outer tool (super not necessary, but I remember buying this gadget when I couldn’t afford it, and I’m supremely chuffed to be using it here, therefore please enjoy all the pics of it, even if you just flip stuff right-side out the normal way.)

Step 1: ​Wash and Dry and Iron Your Cotton Fabric, Then Cut It Into a 16.5” X 6” Piece.

Step 2: Fold the Short Ends Toward the Back (uglier) Side of the Fabric ¼”, and Press.

I’ve invited my mother’s hands in to demonstrate things. (Holy Genetics man, but those are legit MY MOTHER’S hands.)

Step 3: Fold the Whole Piece in Half Lengthwise, Ugly Side Out. Press.

Step 4: Sew the Long Open Edge With a ¼” Seam.

Step 5: Mark the Angles

Measuring between the seam you just sewed and the folded edge, mark angles on each short end of the fabric from the long sides to the short end, leaving about a 1.5” opening at each end. I used my super handy triangle ruler for this, but you can also eyeball and wing it. (I’m all about the eyeball and wing method. My LIFE has been eyeball and wing. It works.) Anyway, remember: you are measuring between the SEAM and the opposite edge, not between the fabric edges themselves. Remember also: this is not rocket science, so don’t get yourself all weirded out about it.

Step 6: Sew Along the Lines You Just Marked, Backstitching at Each End.

Step 7: Trim Off Excess Fabric With Pinking Shears.

This is how it looks inside out.

Step 8: Turn the Tube Right Side Out

I used my handy turner-outer tool, but you can also just suffer through turning it inside out the old-fashioned way. But let me regale you with the photos of my fancy turner-outer tool anyway. Maybe you can MacGyver yourself a similar tool, using just the whatnottery you have on-hand. #streetcred. It consists of a tube and a long wire with a curled needle edge on the end.

You insert the pipe into the inside-out fabric tube.

Then you use this long wire with the hook end to stick up through the pipe and puncture through the top of the fabric.

Sometimes you have to “help” the fabric start to turn inward at the top of the pipe, but once you do, that hooked wire pulls the tube inside out in two seconds. It’s a great tool that gives me a THRILL every time I’m able to use it. GONE are the days of the safety pin and swearing under your breath as you inchworm yourself through a tube! Okay, it’s not that bad. But srsly, I love this thing.

DON’T YOU JUST WANT ONE NOW??? These guys give me no kickbacks either. What am I doing wrong? :-D

Step 9: Stick Your Finger Into Each End of the Fabric and Ease Those Seams You Just Sewed Outward.

Step 10: Press With an Iron Carefully, Making SURE There Isn’t Excess Fabric Rolling Inward Along the Long Seam.

I like to offset the sewn seam, and then press it as flat as possible before pressing the whole thing flat.

Step 11: Now, Time to Do the Math...

Based upon the head you’re making this for. You want them to measure across the forehead, behind the ears, and just under the occipital ridge. Once you have that number, do it like this: you started with a cut measurement of 16.5 inches of fabric. Don’t worry about all the seam allowances, blah blah blah. Trust me. What is the size of the head you are making the headband for? Let’s say, 21.25” just to get all “decimal-y” about it. Subtract the length of the first cut from the size of the head. So, 21.25”MINUS 16.5” EQUALS 4.75”.

Step 12: Cut Your Elastic That Length, Erring Short.

Step 13: Stick One End of the Elastic Into One End of the Headband About ¼”, Erring a Bit Long.

Step 14: Sew It Down Really Well.

It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it well. Now is not the time to half-ass it and sew a single, straight line. We want our medical folks’ masks to stay ON. I've sewn three lines here.

Step 15: Stick the Other End of the Elastic Into the Other Open End of the Headband About ¼”, Erring a Bit Long. Ditto #14 Above.

Step 16: ​Fold the Completed Headband INSIDE OUT! You Are Going to Make a Dart for the Forehead.

So, you’ll have the elastic end, and then the folded fabric end. Focus on the folded fabric end, as that will be over the forehead.

Step 17: ​Identify the Top of the Headband.

Identify the top of the headband. And I suggest you consider the edge with the seam as the TOP, but listen, the sewing police aren’t going to find you if you do it the other way, because (1) there are no sewing police, and (2) it’s just not that serious, folks. That’s the way I do it. You do you.

Step 18: MARK an Angle From the TOP Edge to the Folded Edge

MARK an angle from the TOP edge to the folded edge—which is the front and center of the headband that will lie on the forehead. Just…slant the thing a bit. You can see I just did it with a folded piece of paper. We’re really just trying to curve the fabric to the forehead.

Step 19: Sew It. in Fact, Double Sew It. Cut the Excess Fabric With Pinking Shears. Flip Right Side Out.

Step 20: Locate Button Placement and Hand Sew Them On.

Now, time to find out where to put the buttons. Unless you are SPONGE BOB, go ahead and try the headband, even if your head is a little different size. It’s okay. Using your fingers, feel where the buttons go. A little above the ears. Again, not rocket science. Don’t cry over this step. Don’t get in your head about it, worrying that everyone's ears are differently placed. Just estimate the best logical spot for the button on one side, and stick a pin in that spot. Try not to poke your head. (Don’t do this step while drinking a cocktail.) If you have a handy human around, they can MARK the spot with a pen or chalk dot, negating the possibility of poking your head whatsoever.

Before you sew the second button on, fold the headband in half, and make sure the buttons are in the same, symmetrical spots on either side.

Step 21: Give Yourself a Prize for Finishing a BOSS Button Headband That Will Be Comfy for Your Favorite Medical Person to Wear. YOU DESERVE IT. And, So Do They.

This is ACTUAL user and medical front-liner, Jill, modeling the headband I made for her. Her ears are too cute to be painful. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO, JILL!