May 26, 2020 - Fabric & Sewing

5 Fashion Accessories to Make at Home

Making African wax print fabric hair accessories in Tanzania East Africa

With Covid-19 and most people working from home, it doesn’t mean your style has to be boring. Although some industries are starting to return to work, many people are still going to be working from home for the foreseeable future. If you’re starting to get stuck in a rut with your working-from-home style then you can easily accessorise, which is a great way to spruce up any outfit!

Our guide provides you with 5 fashion accessories you can easily make at home to brighten up any outfit and the added bonus – it will give you something to do at the weekend!

Make Staying at Home Fun 

You can make staying at home and working from home fun by making these fashion accessories. You could even purchase different fabrics if you don’t have any spare leftover fabric pieces at home that you could recycle, and make variants of the same accessory. It’s a great opportunity to help you to relax, focus your mind, reduce stress and anxiety and shut yourself off from what’s happening in the outside world. Being more productive in your spare time will make you feel more positive and help improve your mood. Play around and enjoy getting creative!

A Stylish Hairband

Hairbands are a great way to add some interest, colour and pattern to your hairstyle (especially if it’s getting a bit out of hand due to the lockdown). They are also great accessories for covering up a bad hair day so your colleagues on a Zoom conference call will not notice and may even give you a compliment instead!

Betty’s fabulous team of female tailors in Tanzania, East Africa, made these simple hair bands using the fabric offcuts from our African print clothing production. They start by making a simple fabric band with some elastic at the back to keep the hairband in place when worn. Then they make a fabric bow that can be re-positioned easily or removed entirely if preferred by the wearer.

ankara fabric hairbands Kitenge customer modelling her African print dress and ankara hairband

A happy Kitenge customer modelling her African print dress and hairband

Tips: if you are not sure how to make hairbands then you could watch a ‘how to’ video guide on YouTube or check out Pinterest for some inspiration and step-by-step tutorials. If using elastic you may need to play around with the elasticity because if the hairband is too tight on your head then it is likely to come off easily.

A much easier alternative is to make a head wrap by cutting out a piece of fabric to the correct size and sewing around the edges (or joining two pieces of material together) by machine or hand. There are so many different ways to wear a head wrap, which you can discover on online tutorials.

Watch our tailor, Betty, demonstrate how to tie an African print fabric head wrap in Tanzania:

A Colourful Scrunchie

Scrunchies are a fun accessory to make especially if you have some leftover fabric offcuts at home. You could easily make scrunchies with your children if they are not able to go to school at the moment. When school starts again then your children can wear their handmade scrunchies and show their friends what they made during the lockdown. The brighter the colours and the more interesting the fabric design the better!

A Lightweight Scarf

Scarfs are really simple and easy to make at home with or without a sewing machine. They are a good choice for adding some interest to a simple and plain-coloured outfit. You can use a variety of materials but lightweight 100% cotton will probably be most comfortable as we transition from spring to summer. You can choose to use either plain coloured fabric or a unique, patterned material.

If you don’t have a sewing machine (or a needle and thread) and have some old t-shirts that you don’t wear anymore because they are either too big or too small then why not turn them into a unique summer scarf? Upcycling is becoming increasingly popular, as it is sustainable by prolonging the lifecycle of a garment and preventing it from ending up in a landfill. Follow these simple YouTube instructions and wear your fabulous creation on your next video call:

Beautiful Jewellery

There are so many different jewellery ideas that you can make with fabric from earrings, to necklaces, rings and bracelets. You can be as creative as you like with your designs. Do you have any old beaded necklaces or bracelets at home that you no longer wear that could be up-cycled with fabric or an old t-shirt? Watch and follow the YouTube video instructions below to find out how!

There are lots of interesting videos on YouTube that show you how to make fabric earrings and rings but you will probably need more equipment such as a glue gun, pliers and earrings hooks that can be purchased online. When you shop online for craft supplies try to support small businesses as much as possible as they need your help and support the most during the pandemic. Etsy is a great platform for this.

A Bag for Every Occasion

The number of different bag designs is limitless. Why not start off with a simple tote bag, which is very handy to scrunch up and keep in your handbag for when you need to go food shopping? You will not get caught out again for forgetting to take a reusable fabric bag with you to the supermarket.

The below example shows a simple tote bag style that our tailor-made in Tanzania using bold African wax print fabric. They also make great gifts if you are stuck at home and would like to make a present for someone who lives with you or that you can easily post to a friend/relative as they can be folded fairly small.

Turquoise African wax print fabric tote bag diamond pattern model wearing sewing project idea

For all Yogis out there, do you have a yoga mat bag to keep your mat clean and easy to store at home? The below photo shows the yoga mat bags we made with a simple shoulder strap and drawstring tie. You could also make a simple strap that ties around your mat.

African print fabric yoga mat bag

For more bag design inspiration definitely take a look at Pinterest and YouTube.

Create the Perfect Accessory with Kitenge

While you’re here why not take a look at Kitenge’s range of beautiful African print fabric that you can use to make colourful accessories at home? The fabrics can be purchased by the yard (1 to 6 yards) so you can order exactly the amount you need for your project at home. There may also be some fat quarters available for quilters and craft lovers depending on our made to measure garments production in Tanzania. Get 10% off your first order when you subscribe to Kitenge’s newsletter!



Please read our Covid-19 update for the latest worldwide delivery information. For more great fabric ideas and further inspiration, visit our blog 20 Fabric Items to Make at Home. We’d love to see your creations so please feel free to tag us in your photos @KitengeStore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or send us an email at 🙂

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