Bridal Squad Headbands – DIY and What Not to Do

Remember that friend, Amanda, that I married in high school? I wrote that ridiculous story here. Well she’s getting married for real! I suppose all good things must come to an end… I think us both being married must annul the first marriage, right?

One of her other bridesmaids planned her bachelorette (I get to plan the bridal shower – just wait and see what I’ve got planned there…) but I wanted to throw in a fun DIY to help.

The bridesmaid planning the bachelorette was all about it: headbands!

Back up.

Amanda is a major 80’s lover so part 1 of the bachelorette night was 80’s night at a local bar, then the other part was hiking a mountain.

Headbands that double as sweatbands, get it?

It’s all the rage to make sure that everyone surrounding the bridal party knows who the bride is and who her tribe is, so we figured Amanda would like it and I’d have a fun way to participate in the planning.

So, without further ado, here is an excellent DIY beginning with a strong word of caution.

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  • Headbands – Less than a buck per headband, perfect! Plus I really like these in general. TMI, I sweat a lot when I workout and I love wearing the extra headbands to the gym now.
  • Fabric Paint – You’ll notice that the paint I linked to is a “soft” version which means that the paint doesn’t stick on like hard plastic.
  • Paint brush
  • Scrap paper/newspaper/cardboard
  • Blue take/masking tape
  • Cricut or other vinyl cutter – you could try this DIY by making your own stencil out of card stock. If you do it that way, grab some spray mount like this stuff linked here, and use it to glue the card stock stencil down to the headband before you begin.


While the bridesmaids were very encouraging and said they love the headbands, I regard this project as a fail for myself. See for yourself…

Finished headbands

I was so disappointed when I saw all those blotchy marks! The worst part is that I know I could have prevented it if I’d only tested the paint I’d used on an extra headband before.

This is what I used and I want to make it abundantly clear that I DO NOT DISCOURAGE THE USE OF THE PRODUCT when used correctly.

I’ve used it on cotton shirts and it works like a dream! I think I made three mistakes on this project:

  1. Not testing the paint on the fabric beforehand.
  2. Laying down the paint too thick.
  3. Not letting the paint dry between coats.

I admit it, I was short on time and had to get this done quickly – that’s what my blotchy spots boil down to.

Now that I’ve gotten the how and why of my major mistake out of the way, here’s the diy!

Fabric Spray Paint Headbands

Step 1: Applying the vinyl patterns to the fabric.

Any self-respecting vinyl user will tell you to use transfer tape, but don’t use it here.

…Not that I’m not a self-respecting vinyl cutter… anyways,

Vinyl essentially works by using varying levels of stickiness. The vinyl sticks to the paper backing, but it sticks better to the transfer tape so the paper backing peels off, then it sticks better to the mounting surface so the transfer tape peels off.

That doesn’t work here because vinyl sticks way better to transfer tape than to fabric.

Instead, flip the vinyl over and slowly peel the paper back off, making sure to fold the paper back onto itself as you peel. If you’re slow and careful, you can get the whole vinyl sticker off without losing any of the cut bits, then you can just stick it onto your fabric surface without harming any transfer tape!

Step 2: Weeding

Use a combination of an exacto knife and tweezers to weed out the part of the vinyl you don’t want.

Remember: The part you don’t want is the part you do want! Since you’re essentially making a stencil, peel out the pieces that show where you want the paint to go.

I find that using my exacto blade tip to hold down pieces that I didn’t want coming up is very effective.

If you do accidentally peel up a piece of vinyl that you need, no worries, just stick it back.

Vinyl stuck all over leg

Clever or lazy? I stick the vinyl scraps all over my legs when I work… vinyl sticks well to skin and itself! Then I use duct tape and stick that to the vinyl to get it off my leg. If you’re a non-shaver, I recommend you skip this step, but hey you do you.

Step 3: Prep to Spray Paint

Tape your headband down to a piece of paper to hold it flat and still for the next couple steps, especially if you’re moving pieces around to paint a bunch of different headbands.

Measure around where you need the paint to go and cut a hole out of a piece of cardboard that will allow you to paint what you need, but hide the rest of the fabric.

MISTAKE NOTE: I did this on my nice new dining room table because I figured I could control the paint.

I was wrong.

This can has some serious spray distance and I was washing black off the table for weeks! A) Do this in a place that can get messy and B) cover up any part of the fabric you don’t want painted.


You’ve been warned.

Step 4: Spray Paint

THIN layers! Like, a quick breeze of paint then that’s it.

Another helpful tip: Find something to put your cardboard protector on between sprayings. As you paint, it will build up on the cardboard and seep into the hole you made, making a mess on anything you put it on.

Step 5: Wait

See, this is the step I skipped to get those awful paint blotches. Don’t be a me. Don’t be impatient.

The can only says 5 minutes but I’d give it more time.

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you get the desired darkness

That’s it! If you’ve followed my advice on how not to do what I did, you should have some lovely, non-blotchy headbands!

But hey, they did look pretty nice in the hiking photos.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if I wasn’t clear on anything and I’m also always up for comments/suggestions!