If you’re looking for a fast and useful craft, make a fold over elastic (FOE) hair tie. They are the perfect solution to preventing a bad hair day.
After all, it’s nice to pull long(ish) hair back to prevent overheating and unsightly hairs sticking to your sweaty face in an abstract pattern.
For years now, I’ve seen people sell colorful elastic hair ties (that can be worn as a bracelet until that clutch situation when you’re in need of a pony tail) all over the interwebs.
And I kept asking myself why people didn’t just make their own for a fraction of the cost?
Making an FOE hair tie is a simple four-step process after all!
Where Should I Donate Hair Ties?
Hair accessories are always in demand, especially for nonprofits that serve young women.
Here are two wonderful nonprofits that will accept your handmade items.
Hope In A Suitcase
The Hope In A Suitcase mission is to, ““provide children and teens in foster care with a suitcase and the essentials they need to make their transition to the foster care system just a little easier.”
Handmade hair accessories are always welcome. They try as part of their toiletry bag item collection.
Where Do I Send Hope In A Suitcase Donations?
Hope in a Suitcase
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 927
Beverly Hills, CA. 90210
While I have seen things like Catie’s Closet in other states, it was typically a single organization serving a single school.
So, I was really excited to learn about the work Catie’s Closet is doing to reduce absenteeism by providing essentials to students living below the poverty level .
They currently serve 55,000 students in 87 schools across 9 school districts in MA and NH.
I will let them explain exactly what they do…
Where Do I Send Catie’s Closet Donations?
Catie’s Closet has two donation centers where you can send hair accessory or clothing donations.
19 School Street
Dracut, MA 01826
63 Sprague Street
Boston, MA 02136
Looking To Stay Local?
If you are looking to stay local with your donation, I imagine there are similar organizations to Hope In A Suitcase or Catie’s Closet that support foster children, shelters that serve children and families, or community organizations serving students in need.
4 Simple Steps To Make An Elastic Hair Tie
Now that you have some ideas on where to send some of the extras you’re sure to have, let’s make a fold over elastic hair tie!
Elastic Hair Tie Materials
– 5/8″ fold over elastic (aka FOE)
Fold over elastic comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Some even have a tacky plastic on the inside to prevent slipping.
– Scissors or rotary cutter and cutting mat
Scissors will certainly do the trick, but a rotary cutter will provide an even cleaner edge. I also find it’s faster to use a rotary cutter if I’m cutting a bunch of elastic at once.
– A lighter (or some matches if you can’t locate a lighter)
You need a lighter to finish the edges of the hair tie to prevent fraying. If your lighter cannot be located because BBQ season isn’t in full swing, a match will serve the same purpose.
– A human capable of tying an overhand knot
Hair Ties In No Time!
Step 1: Cut an 10 inch length of your chosen elastic.
Cut a 10″ strip of elastic for standard sizing that will fit the wrist of an adult and most teens.
If you’re making these for younger kids, cut an 8″ length of elastic instead.
Step 2: Fold the elastic in half and line up the ends so they’re even.
With the edges lined up properly, it’s much easier to tie a knot.
Step 3: Use an overhand knot to finish and secure the folded elastic.
Here is an animated example, just in case you need a refresher on how to tie an overhand knot: http://www.animatedknots.com/overhand/index.php#ScrollPoint.
Make sure you pull the ends of both sides of the elastic to tighten the knot. If you leave it too loose, it makes the end of the hair tie a little bulky.
Step 4: Cut the ends at and angle then lightly singe elastic ends to prevent fraying.
Just wave the flame over both ends very gently for about 3- 4 seconds.
You’ll know its done when the ends take on a darker color and start to harden.
Voila! You’ve made your own fold over elastic hair tie.
Now you can sport your handmade accessory like a “pro” by fashioning your favorite ponytail (high or low) and fastening it with your new tie.
Or, you can wear it like a bracelet until you need it.
Where Can I Buy Fold Over Elastic For Hair Ties?
There are a variety of online shops that offer fold over elastic for hair ties.
Stores like JoAnn Fabrics carry fold over elastic, but it’s more expensive than if you were to order online (unless you are smart and work the coupons).
When you decide to make a purchase, pay close attention to the cost per yard if you’re on a tight budget. Since the standard size hair tie needs 10″ you will only get 3 ties per yard if you buy single yards of various prints.
What may seem like a good deal may actually be more expensive. So divides the price per yard by three (3) to see what each hair tie will cost.
Online Shops For FOE
A variety of fold over elastic can be found in these online shops:
If you are someone who prefers to use Amazon Prime, here are some recommendations:
Please note: As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small commission if you purchase a product using an Amazon link I provide. I am not an affiliate for The Ribbon Retreat or Bowtique Emilee.