Quick, Easy, and Adorable DIY Bandana Dress

DIY Bandana Dress

Every year we go to a big 4th of July party that our friends host. I wanted something other than the cheap 4th of July shirts you can buy everywhere for my girls to wear to the party.

I decided to make them red & blue bandana dresses. These are super easy to make. I made 2 in under 30 minutes {with 2 little girls trying to help me!}.

They are inexpensive too, under $4/dress and turn out really cute. I am not a good seamstress and get frustrated when I sew and I didn’t have a problem making these. So break out your sewing machine {and dust if off} to make a cute dress.

DIY Bandana dress supplies

DIY Bandana Dress Supplies:

I was able to get all of the supplies for my bandana dresses at Hobby Lobby.

Bandana laid out for measurement

Step 1.

First measure out your ribbon, you want it to go about 6 inches over the edge of the bandana. Fold over the top edge.

Ironing bandana

Step 2.

I used an iron to press it down because I hate pinning. Make sure you are on the “wrong side” of the bandana.

Sewing bandanas together

Step 3.

Sew across on both pieces close to the top seam of the bandana. Try to sew in a straight line, I don’t always… Do this for both bandanas. This makes a tube for you to put the ribbon through.

Measuring bandana

Step 4.

Next put two right sides together of the bandana, making sure the tube is at the top on both bandanas. I measured 6 inches down and pinned it.

The pin is where you start sewing. This is for the armhole. Sew both sides starting at the pin and going down.

For my 2-year-old, I started 5 inches down. If you aren’t sure where to place your armhole, hold the bandana up to your child and mark where the armhole should go.

Pinning the ribbon

Step 5.

Put your big safety pin on the ribbon and feed it through the pocket to the other side.

Feeding ribbon through bandana

Ribbon through bandana

Step 6.

Repeat for both tubes.

Ribbon through both bandana pockets

Step 7.

I used a match to burn the edges of the ribbon so it doesn’t fray. Gather the top of the dress together.

Tying ribbons in a bow

Step 8.

Tie each side in a bow and your little girl is ready to wear it!

Don’t have a sewing machine? Check out the HIGHEST RATED SEWING MACHINES on Amazon and get yourself a deal!

Sewing machine

Types: Crafts, Sewing, Adult
Categories: Clothing, Frugal, 4th of July


  • Where can you find Bandana’s in the Boise Meridian area?

  • how adorable those are! i would also suggest to either wash/dry the bandanas first or handwash/drip dry them always afterward. bandanas used to be notorious for massive shrinking. maybe they make them better now.

  • Do they make large bandanas? I just picture the little ones and they would make a tine dress 🙂 I wonder if my girls are too big.

    • my girls are 2 1/2 and almost 5 and they were a good length for them,(I’ll have my older girl wear leggings under hers) you could always make a panel of 2 for the front and 2 for the back to make it longer for older girls. The bandanas are 24×24 inches if that helps.

    • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

      I like the idea of leggings… making it more like a shirt for biggger girls!

  • I have been so afraid to even try making something that can be worn…but this is super easy and your directions are great!! Can’t wait to get to Hobby Lobby and try this!! Thanks!

  • The dresses are darling but the little girls wearing them are the cutest ever!!!! Some ladies at church made hundreds of these dresses only we used pillowcases. We sent them to Africa; check out the website “little dresses for Africa” if you would like to help. I like the bandana pattern alot because it is even more simple than the pillowcases. You just get a wide variety in patterns and sizes with pillowcases.

  • I also was thinking about what if I bought 3 bandanas ( red, white, and blue) sewed them all together first and then put elastic in them to make a skirt for my dd who is 8 and way too tall for these dresses!

    However… my dear friend has a 6 month old baby and a bandana dress would cover her perfectly!! I already told my friend that I am going to have to practice cute baby/todddler dresses on her baby!

    • great idea to make a skirt out of the bandanas! that would be super easy!!

    • I did this when I was a preteen. I made a skirt just like that (three bandanas sewed into a tube, then elastic at the top), and also a matching top (two bandanas sewn together on three sides, with gaps for armholes and a neckhole. I made it all out of turquoise bandanas I found on sale, had another for my head, and found a little white tank top to wear underneath (because the arm holes were kind of big). My father helped me make a macrame belt out of string to belt in the top at the waist. I loved it, and thought it was very cute and flattering. I was mocked when I wore it to school, however. YMMV!

  • I ended up making a dress for my daughter with a little less than a yard of fabric I found at michaels and the cutest ribbon with owls on it. It turned out pretty cute. I’m always for simple things since I’m pretty much a novice with sewing. I was in the process of making one out of 2 of my hubby’s old acu blouses and my sewing machine decided it didn’t want to cooperate anymore. But I at least got one done. 🙂

  • I was also afraid that these dresses would be too short for my 3 year old daughter. The bandanas my local Hooby Lobby sells are 22×22. I love the idea of leggings underneath the dress if it is too short except that it is 106 degrees outside so my daughter would bake in the leggings.

  • Does anyone know if there is a way to make these without using a sewing machine? Would that sewing tape work to make the pocket for the ribbon?

  • What size ribbon did you use? Does it matter what size you use? I have seen directions that range from using 5/8″ to 1 1/2″ ribbon.

  • I just made these for my 3 year old and my 9 month old and they turned out very well. The directions above worked out perfectly for my 3 year old and I just put little shorts on her since it does not hang quite long enough. For my 9 month old I made the arm holes 4 1/2″ instead of 6″ and I just made the pocket for the ribbon deeper so that the dress isn’t quite as long and it worked out well. Thank you for the fun idea. I just got all of my supplies at Walmart and paid about $4 for each dress.

  • The dresses are cute and so are your girls!

  • I am going to do it as a shirt for my 6 year old (she is tall for her age) & pair it with shorts. My older daughters play a lot of softball and their team colors are orange and black so I thought an orange bandana shirt with black shorts would be cute.

  • I stitch the ribbon down through the casing to keep it from sliding out. Really cute idea! Making for my granddaughter.

  • I make these kinds of dresses too! But, I am only 12 years old!

  • I have made 6 of these for friends and family. So easy and so cute!

  • Adorable! I like this alternative to the t-shirts. Very cleaver! I mean I LOVE this idea. Little girls are so fun to dress up in cute baby girl outfits.

  • I was just wondering if you have to prewash these bandanas and do they fade on the ribbons. I make pillowcase dresses all the time and sell them at a little country market in our home town. This would be a cute dress to make very cheap for those who want to spend closer to 10 or 12 dollars for a homemade dress. My other dresses run closer to 20 or 25 for they are very detailed..

  • I would prewash for sure. 🙂

  • Just tried this project last night and it was sooo easy. Thank you for the great instructions!!

  • I just made two tops for my kids and it was so fast! Love the result. Thanks!

  • For those concerned about the length I’ve seen these made with a broderie anglais trim around the hemline. You could add crucial inches with that as well as extra cuteness!!

  • How would you make it with the pointed corner as the front and back of the dress

  • Thank you! I bought a really cool vintage cowboy print bandana years ago, and it’s been in a drawer with the other 50+ Bandanas (yes, I have a problem, don’t judge). Now it is a cute little dress for my red-headed step-granddaughter! 😉

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