Hi! Camela, here. I am an artist and sewist based in Charleston, SC. You may remember my blog post about artists that make their own clothing.Today I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make your own heatless hair curler! These ones went viral on Tik Tok recently for their pretty results and with temperatures rising, I always look for fun ways to style my hair that don’t include hot styling tools. While heatless hair curlers range in price from $15-80, we sewists know that sometimes it’s more rewarding to make something with materials you might already have on hand. I used a nice scrap of silk, but you could use really any fabric that has a smooth, satiny hand, such as cupro or tencel.
Since you only need smallish rectangles, this makes a great scrap buster. Use the leftovers from a slinky Simone Slip dress or Veronik Robe and you can do a whole matching set! A real glam moment. The technique we’ll use here, of covering cording with fabric is in and of itself a cool DIY and can be used for all kinds of things: fiber art, macramé, decorative wall-hangings, dog or baby toys. So many options! Let’s get started.
You will need:
- 4 ½ x 36” (11.5 x 91.5 cm) piece of silk, satin, cupro, rayon, or tencel (Any fabric that’s smooth and satiny)
- 2 4 x 18 ½” rectangles of matching fabric
- 2 yrd. (182 cm) piece of 1″ piping cord (twice the length of the curler)
- 18” of ¼” elastic
- Coordinating thread
- Tube turner (optional)
- Zipper foot
- Hand sewing needles
MAKING THE CURLERS
Pin the largest rectangle around the cording, longwise, with right sides touching. There will be about a ⅝” seam allowance. Pin along the cording. This piece of fabric will end halfway down the cording. We double the cording to make it easier to turn it right side out.
Using a zipper foot, stitch as close as you can to the cording, without catching it in the seam. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
Tack the end of the fabric to the cording by stitching across the cording and back stitch a few times to tack in place.
Now, scrunch the stitched tube down toward the center of the cording. This will take a few minutes, so be patient, and go slowly so that you don’t pop any stitches. I like to do these kinds of tasks while I’m watching a TV show. Work the scrunched fabric down to the opposite end of the cording. You’ll start to see the smooth, right side out cording emerge once you get past the center.
Trim the excess cording off, including the center where it was tacked. Also trim the cording inside down about an inch on either end, leaving a fabric overhang to finish the edges.
Fold the fabric down into the inside on either end, about ½”. Along the fold, hand sew a row of basting stitches around the circumference. When you make a complete circle, pull the stitches tight to close the opening. Now, knot it a few times to secure, and trim any loose thread. Repeat on the remaining side.
MAKING THE SCRUNCHIES
Using the two remaining rectangles of fabric, start stitching an inch and half in from the edge using a ¼” seam allowance, backstitching to secure. Stop sewing an inch and a half from the other edge, and back stitch.
Turn the tube right side out (this is where a tube turner comes in handy!)
Line up the two short edges of the rectangle, right sides facing, and stitch together, backstitching at either end. I prefer sewing scrunchies this way for a neater result.
Feed a 9” piece of elastic through the tube, pinning the ends together to form a circle. Stitch the ends together, back stitching a few times to secure. Repeat for the other scrunchie!
HOW TO USE HEATLESS CURLERS
A claw clip is great for holding it in place. After washing your hair, apply a styling balm if you wish. Let the hair air dry for a little while. It’s best to use the curler when your hair is almost dry. If your hair is dry, you can use a spritz bottle to moisten the hair. You can also curl your hair dry for looser curls. You can opt to have the curler in for 3-4 for hours, or overnight for longer hold.
Part your hair down the middle, and use a scrunchie to hold half of your hair in place. Clip your DIY curler on the top of your head using a claw clip.
Pull a section of hair at the top of your head and wrap around the curler from the front to the back. Twist the strands around under the curler back to the front, and add more hair from below this section, adding it all together, and twisting again. This is similar to how you add hair to a french braid. Make your way down till all the hair is twisted around the curler. Secure at the bottom with a scrunchie. This takes a little practice, so if it feels really loose, just try again to get the hair to wrap around the curler smoothly.
Repeat for the other side, and then continue your getting ready routine (or just lounge around in your robe!). You can remove the claw clip when it’s in place if you wish. You can also use an additional scrunchie to secure the curler behind your head to look a little more presentable to the outside world!When your hair is dry, undo the scrunchies. I left it in for about 3-4 hours and got some soft curls that relaxed a little as the day wore on. They would be more curly had I left it in overnight, but I like the relaxed look! Unclip the claw clip. Gently pull the curler up and out of your hair. Unveil your gorgeous curls! You can brush them out for loose waves. Apply hairspray if you desire. Enjoy your heatless curls!
Thanks for going on that journey with me! I love to make my own versions of things with the materials I have on hand! How will you style and accessorize your beachy waves? And better question: What other viral TikTok beauty products can we DIY?!