Chou-chouNot a very spectacular project, but this thing proves to be very useful in summer. I think it is also called scrunchie, but it is called chou-chou here and I like the name better.

I found several tutorials for making chou-chou, but they always involve hand-stitching, which I’m too lazy to do for such a simple thing. Then I see another way of doing it, it is much easier, and more importantly: no hand-sewing! This project only took around 10 minutes to make, and it is also a good way to make use of all the fabric scraps.

Here’s how to make it:


You will need:

  • Fabric: 10×50 cm. Use non slippery fabric so the chou-chou won’t slip off your hair. My fabric here is cotton/linen mix. The measurement is not exact, you can make it longer or wider. I just snip 10 cm off my 50 cm cut fabric.
  • Elastic: 20 cm. I use ordinary hair elastic, but you can use any thin elastic strip.


Sew the short ends together with 1 cm seam allowance.


Fold the upper fabric inside as pictured, and hold it with one finger.


Fold the lower fabric over, sort of wrapping the first fold of fabric inside.


Starting with a backstitch, sew the edge with 1 cm seam allowance. Don’t catch the fold of fabric inside. When you almost reach the end, just pull the fold of fabric inside and continue sewing. It is easier done than written here!


Stop stitching about 3 cm from the first stitch. Backstitch to secure. Now you have a sort of crumpled tube with a little opening.


Here’s the fun part! Reach into the little opening and pull the tube out.


Suddenly you have this!


Using a big safety pin, thread the elastic inside.


Tie the ends together. Pull the elastic several times to make sure that it is tight and secure. If you use thin elastic strip, you can also stitch the end together.


Tuck the elastic inside and stitch the opening closed.


Backstitch both ends of stitching to secure. If you want to be neater, you can also use hand-stitching to close the opening.


Turn the stitched edge to the inner side and there’s your chou-chou.


Then you will want to make more!


Hope it is useful!

  • Wike @ cachoices

    mba nov, tutorial ini ngingetin aku waktu jaman SD suka pake2 mesin jahit nenek untuk bikin ikat rambut dari perca2 neneku;) tapi masih asal n ga rapi, yah asal jadi dan bisa untuk di pakai saja. thx ya mba udah mau share,i love it.

  • Fer

    I love this idea, really simple and adorable.
    I make a lot with fabric scraps.

  • Claudine

    Thank you for this tutorial. I have tried to figure this out in the past, but never come up with anything this elegant.

  • Cintia


    I love your blog and all the things you write. I always come here to see new posts. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tutorials!

    But… I could not make this “chou chou”. (Here in Brazil we call them “fru fru”) I had to sew the folded fabric inside after I pull out the tube, cause this part remains unestitched. Sorry – maybe I could not understood this part of the tutorial. May I ask you a little help?

    • verypurpleperson

      Hi Cintia, of course you have to sew it closed after you pull the tube out. The last few pictures in my tutorial show that :)

  • tee

    its very2 useful and really love it.thank you it.

  • Trudy Callan

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve got some pics up on my blog from the photo shoot of the retro-looking skirt I just made along with a quick and easy tutorial of how to make one in under 25 minutes with just leftover material and no pattern. Come by and see if you get a chance.

    Trudy of Sewing With Trudy

  • Agostina

    i don’t know why, but i dreamt about you and sidra!!!! hahahaha. all i remember was asking him something about his name. i think it was about the pronunciation of it. weeeeeeeird.
    uhm, i have a question to ask:
    when sewing a charlie bag, you need to fold the outer bottom corners in (step 8 of the how-to). do you still do it when making reversible bags? it’s a doubt i had for months now.
    thank you novita :)
    lovely chou-chous! i used to have a lot when i was a kid.

    • verypurpleperson

      That’s really weird! 😀 But people often wonder about the pronunciation, maybe you had that in your mind too.
      The reversible bag has darts on the bottom corners, which gives shape and room to the bag, so the folds are no longer needed.

  • chantele

    Its really quite cute! Very minnie mouse like! Daisy Dayz Home

  • CSLau

    Hi! I following your blog sometimes, just love so much of your creations. And this tutorial just make me feel that its easy to make, I will try when I am free. Thank you for sharing!

  • robie dodson

    I think you may be the only person in the world to bring back a scrunchie (US term) so fashionably! It looks darling on you!!!!

    • verypurpleperson

      Thank you! I know scrunchie is a bit of fashion no-no in US, but it’s quite popular here in Japan. There are a lot of craft books about making chou-chou (plain one, with lace, bows, buttons, every imaginable variations of chou-chou), books about how to do fashionable hairstyle with chou-cho, and fashion magazines come with chou-chous attached to them as gifts. Here’s a song by a popular Japanese girl singers group, the title is ‘Ponytail to chou-chou’: It’s a bunch of cute girls dancing in bikini with their hairs in ponytail and chou-chou (of course!).
      I love Japan hahaha.

  • Debbie Rodrigues

    Very useful indeed!
    In Brazil it is also called chou-chou, but it must be written differently (I don’t remember anymore if it is xuxu or chuchu).

  • Angela

    Oooo… very nice! I used to use those all the time when I was in elementary school. Thanks for the tut!

  • Sholpana

    Like ur post!
    I make such things the same way n also circle scarves))))

    • verypurpleperson

      Circle scarf! That’s a great idea! Thanks ^_^

  • iNa

    Tfs Novita :)
    This post brings back the memory of how my mother used to made me hair scrunchies when I was little..