How to Make a DIY Fabric Scarf (For a Bag Handle)

Learn how to sew a DIY fabric scarf for a bag handle or hat with this easy tutorial. This beginners sewing project adds color and style to your look!

A french market bag tied with a colorful DIY fabric scarf.

Today, we will be sewing a DIY fabric scarf for a bag handle (or hat, wrist, necktie, or belt!) This stylish accessory, often known as a twilly (Hermes) or a bandeau (Louis Vuitton), will add a personal touch and pop of color to your wardrobe.

I will walk you through the process, which makes it fun and easy to create a skinny scarf that perfectly complements your style.

Target straw hat (affiliate link)

Why you’ll love this Project

Making a unique scarf is a straightforward, quick, rewarding project combining creativity and a bit of practicality.

You will have fun choosing a fabric that fits your vibe and turns your plain bag (or anything) into a personalized accessory! The sewing process is really simple, making it perfect for beginner sewers.

With some planning, you’ll have a unique accessory that looks custom and matches your outfit. 🙂

Plus, the scarf covers the handle, which is a great way to protect it from wear and adds pizazz. (Even if the bag is from Amazon, and not a Hermes Kelly or Birkin bag. Lol)

This is a great way to refresh your accessory or bag collection without spending much money.

Amazon hat (affiliate link) in Wrap skirt patterns post

How do you wear a Twilly?

Whether you have an inexpensive or luxury handbag, a scarf adds elegance and completes your look.

Wrap it around the handle of your bag, starting in the middle of the scarf positioned in the center of the strap. Or make a cute bow and place it on the side.

There are so many different ways to wear your scarf beyond tying it to your purse handle.

Use it as a neck scarf in a variety of creative ways, such as a loose knot, double knot, or bow tie, or as a headband by securing it at the back of your neck.

Additionally, you can tie a bow around your ponytail, braid it into your hair, or wrap it around your wrist as a fashionable bracelet.

Straw purse adorned with a DIY skinny scarf.
Amazon similar bag (affiliate link) and Cute midi skirt patterns post

Scarf Inspiration

See the photos below for lots of different ways to tie and style your new DIY fabric scarf.

Purse with Skinny Scarves

Target purse affiliate link
Walmart bag affiliate link

Wrist, Hair and Neck Adornment

Hair tied with a Hermes Scarf at the back of my neck.

Neck Embellishment

Neck adorned with Hermes Scarf
Collar tie, see Hermes Satin Scarves

Hats tied with Skinny Scarves

Hat with Scarf Decor and Long Midi Skirt

Let’s get started!

Materials

Below are the sewing supplies you need to create your scarf. Click the photos of the supplies below to shop.

Fabric 1/4 yard of fabric of less*
Thread
Rotary cutter

Fabric scissors
My favorite
snippers
Safe cutting surface
Measuring tape
or
My favorite ruler
Sewing machine
Pins
Iron
Ironing board

My Favorite Sewing Products

Below are links to check out my favorite go-to sewing supplies. Love them all! I own all of these brands, some of the products I have are the older versions though as they last forever! 😉 Affiliate links included.

This is a perfect project for using up small pieces of fabric or fabric scraps. All kinds of fabrics work well depending on what type of scarf you want. I’ve used quilting cotton, cotton voile, rayon, and silk. It’s up to you and your personal preference. A 40—or 60-inch wide fabric is plenty wide without having to piece it.

Peplum blouse patterns post

Variations

Here are some variations to try when making your scarf.

Different Fabrics
Use silk or rayon for a drapey and luxurious feel, cotton for a casual look, or even a patterned fabric to add some flair.

Length and Width
Experiment with different lengths and widths to see what works best for your bag handle.

Decorative Edges
Adding a fabric border on the ends, lace, or fringe to the edges would give your scarf a unique touch.

Embellishments
Sew on beads, sequins, or embroidery initials to make the scarf more personalized.

Dye Techniques
Tie-dye, batik, or fabric paints could create a one-of-a-kind design.

Mixing Fabrics
Using two or more fabric types and sewing them together could create interesting textures and patterns.

Reversible Scarf
Making the scarf reversible with different fabrics on each side gives you two looks in one.

Instructions

Below are detailed directions with a step-by-step guide for making a skinny scarf.

1 Choose Fabric, Measure, and Cut

The first step is to pick a piece of fabric you love, considering the color, pattern, and drape you want to complement your purses or bags.

Use my scarf pattern (available to download from the free library when you subscribe to my newsletter), or grab a ruler or measuring tape to decide the length and width of the scarf you want. Then, cut the fabric into ​2 rectangles of fabric the desired size, using fabric scissors.

In the photo above, I chose 2 contrasting fabrics, but you can use the same fabric for both sides of the scarf.

2 Sew

With the right sides of the 2 scarf pieces together (the wrong side of the fabric facing out), align the raw edges, then stitch all the way around the perimeter using a sewing machine. (short edges and long sides of the scarf) Leave a 3-inch opening that you will use to turn the scarf right side out.

I usually leave the opening in the center of the scarf, as it is easiest to hide the hand stitching we use to close it up, but you could also position it at one end of your scarf.

3 Snip the Corners

On the wrong side, carefully clip the 4 corners and trim the seams with scissors which helps to make the finish smooth and neat. Don’t get too close to the stitching.

4 Turn

Gently turn so the right side of the scarf is facing out, using the opening. Use a tool to help open out the ends and corners of the long tube.

5 Press

Iron the scarf. (You can also iron as you go. For example, after you sew 3 sides, press seams open, as pictured above.) Make sure all the edges are flat and the scarf looks smooth. Hand stitch the opening closed or topstitch if desired. Optional: add embellishments or decorations, such as beads, sequins, or embroidery.

6 Tie on to your Accessory

The last step, tie the scarf around your bag’s handle in a stylish knot or bow, adjusting it until it looks just right.

Target bag affiliate link

FAQ

What is a twilly?

A twilly is a long, narrow, skinny scarf often made from silk or lightweight fabric. It is a stylish accessory for adding color or pattern to outfits, handbags, or hair.

What is the purpose of a twilly?

A twilly is incredibly versatile to complement an outfit; it can be wrapped around purse handles, worn as a headband, tied around the neck, or used as a wrist accessory, making it a fashionable and functional addition to any wardrobe.

How do you tie a twilly to your purse?

There are several ways to tie a twilly on a purse handle. One popular method is to fold the twilly in half, loop it around the purse handle, and pull the loose ends through the folded part. Another method is to tie a simple knot at the top of the purse handle and let the twilly hang down. You can also create a bow by making a loose knot with the twilly and then tying a bow with the loose ends. Each method adds a stylish touch to your purse while protecting the handle.

Walmart bag affiliate link

Expert Tips

Below are a few simple steps I take when making and sewing a fabric scarf.

Pre-Wash Fabric
Before I start, I pre-wash the fabric to prevent shrinkage after sewing. I dry it the way I plan to in the future. If it is delicate, I sometimes air dry it.

Iron Fabric Before Cutting
I like to iron the fabric to remove wrinkles, making it easier to measure and cut accurately.

Pressing
Ironing is essential for the best results of a finished garment or accessory. (Pro Tip!) I like to iron as I go to help keep edges and seams neat and make the final pressing easier. I have added this step to the instructions above.

Related Projects

Explore more accessory styles and patterns in these posts.

Crossbody Shoulder Purse Printable Pattern
Baguette Style Purse
Hobo Bag DIY
Cute Apron Pattern
Lavender Eye Pillow
Drawstring Bag Patterns

This simple, silky fashion accessory can be tied in so many easy ways, complementing and adding a lovely touch to your everyday look!

Please let me know how you like this easy project and your finished scarf(!) in the comment box below. I love to hear from you. Remember to download the free sewing pattern and subscribe! Then, follow me on social media for more inspiration!

xo,
Cindy

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