Friday, April 3, 2015

Stretchy Band DIY

 I'm on spring break right now...aka I'm bored!  We just finished our 4th/5th grade musical before break and even though my husband and I spent tons of time at school rearranging my room and switching out a bulletin board, I was still itching for a project.

I've always wanted a stretchy band, but could never force myself to spend the money for one thinking it would only be used a few times in the year.  I had some fabric from the musical left over and decided to make one for myself!  Final price: $19.06

The big question:  WHAT'S INSIDE????

I asked some other music teachers on facebook and the consensus was something stretchy!  Here were the possibilities:

1: 2" elastic
2: bungee cord
3: surgical tubing
4: fitness resistance tubing

Elastic sounded too easy to me so I asked my sewing expert mother who agreed it wouldn't be the sturdiest choice.

So off to the hardware store I went hoping to buy bungee cord by the foot.  Alas, I can only dream.  It didn't seem right to link the bungees together so I went back to the drawing board.

After researching medical supply stores in my area, I learned that I could buy surgical tubing at the hardware store!  Aisle 7 to be exact!

I bought 10 feet, which is just a little too small for my classes of 15-20 students. I can use this test stretchy band for my small preschool class of only 5-6 students.  

So here are my DIY instructions!


Surgical Tubing (10ft per 8-10 students)
Cotton Fabric (multiple colors)
3 Zip Ties


1. Cut fabric stripes into 20"x5" strips. 
In order to get the "scrunch" you will need approximately 2.5x casing per tubing.  (example: 10ft. tubing = 25ft. casing)


2. Sew short ends together to form one long piece.  
Remember "right sides together" and keep all your seams on the same side.  I also made a point to back stitch the ends for durability.  Kids will be pulling and stretching!

3. Fold in half and sew down long side.
Remember, "right sides together!"

4.  Turn
(I hate this part.  Absolute torture.  Thankfully, my husband was willing to help so we tag-teamed it, but still, awful!)  My mother always says to use a safety pin to help.  Here are some pinterest links that might work too! Ribbon Technique  Saftey Pin Technique

5.  Insert tubing into casing
You'll start to see the "scrunch" here!

6.  Zip tie tubing together 
Overlap the tubing about an inch and place 3 zip ties on overlapping sections starting with the middle.  Pull VERY tight and snip off ends.

EDIT:The zip tie idea worked great when my husband and I pulled, but the stress of a kindergarten class was a different story.  My friend Sally Utley from Sally's Sea of Songs told me that the REAL stretchy bands are simply tied together with a square knot.  (Left over right, right over left)  So far that has worked better!

7.  Hand stitch casing together
Fold both ends in to create finished edge.  Insert one color into the other and hand stitched closed.


My husband and I have pulled and stretched as hard as we could and everything bounced back!  I'm excited to try this with my preschoolers!

Btw: I just ordered a 50ft roll from Amazon and I'll be making a much larger one for my whole class next week!  


  1. You are so crafty! I've never used a sewing machine in my life and could not imagine making this myself. Nice job!

  2. I used to sew rag dolls and had success using a wooden spoon handle to turn their legs right side out after I sewed them. I found it easier than a safety pin.

  3. How is it holding up to regular use?

    1. aAfter I tied a square knot instead of the zip ties, it works great! I've been using it since last April and have done some activities from Artie Almeida's Parachutes and Scarves book in addition to simple melodic work. I'm happy!!

  4. LOVE this! Which hardware store where you able to find the tubing at?

  5. I found it at Home Depot! But when I needed more for a bigger band, I ordered from Amazon.

  6. I found 25 foot rolls of the tubing on ebay for less then $15

    1. Hello, can you please tell me where can I buy this stretchy band so cheap. Thank you so much.

  7. I've actually made several sizes of stretchy bands for my elementary music classes. I used 1 1/2" wide knit elastic and strips of polyester fleece. They've held up for more than 7 years with hundreds of students! And they were a favorite activity with K-5th graders. I sold my used ones a few months ago after retiring and I'm making new ones for current teachers. Using fleece avoids having to turn the band right side out before inserting the stretchy part. Also, the fleece and elastic tube is entirely machine washable and dryable. No need to remove the tubing. Check them out at my Etsy shop:

  8. can it be used for pullups by a 74 kg person

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