Homemade Hair Donut/Bun Maker From Socks- Tutorial

 photo IMG_1077_zps30f5e889.jpgIf you've been following my blog for a while, you'd know that one of the things I get the biggest kick out of is taking things that were destined for the trash, and repurposing it into something useful. I love doing that with food, and that's when I do it the most, but I also really enjoy crafting and making useful items with "trash".
Take socks, for example. Often they get holes on the bottom, especially mine do, since I alwayls wear socks around the house without shoes, and that wears through them pretty quickly. So when socks are no longer usable (and I mean after I've already darned the small holes), I've actually made some projects with those socks.

Take this necklace, for example, which I made from old socks.

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I also made this cute upcycled sock headband.

So when my friend, S, told me about this bun maker she made for her kids out of old socks, I was intrigued.

You see, it's because I have thin hair, and when I try to make a bun with just my hair, its not a very substantial bun. 

When I was a ballet dancer when I was in middle school and high school, I was always jealous of the other girls' perfect buns, especially come recital time. Had I known about this super easy trick, using a hair donut to make the perfect bun, especially since it's free and super easy to make... it would have been cool.

I wear buns often now. And now that S taught me how to make a sock hair donut, it is my standard accessory, worn nearly every time I make a bun.

And it looks great.

So, here's how you make it.

Take a sock, ideally a cotton sock, that no longer is usable. (As you can see, the elastic at the top was shot, in addition to the holes in the heels.) A knee sock is ideal, since it will give you more volume, but you can also do this with a shorter sock.

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After washing it well, cut off the toe portion of the sock.

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Start rolling the sock up from the toe portion of the sock. The reason for this is two-fold. Since you put the cut edge on the inside, it stops fraying. Also, this ensures that the bump by the heel is at the inside, so that by the time you roll up the hole thing, the heel bump doesn't affect the hair donut's shape.

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Roll up the whole thing like that, until the very end.

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If, like me, your sock ends in the middle like this, that's not so great for the shape of the donut. Pull it out further, so that you're able to pull it over the edges of the donut.

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If need be, sew the edges of the sock donut to secure it.

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Now, to use, just put your pony tail in through the hole in the donut, spread your hair out over the donut in all directions, like a "fountain", then pull it down over and around the bottom of the donut and secure your hair, either with hair pins, or, as I prefer, another pony tail holder.

If you would prefer a video tutorial, you can watch this youtube video, or countless others, about how to use your hair donut/bun maker.


P.S. If you have lighter hair, you may want to use a lighter colored sock for this.

What do you do with your old socks? Any projects? Do you ever wear buns? Do you use a hair donut? If so, how much did one cost you to buy? Ever hear of making a bun maker from old socks? Does this look like something you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Fun! I did this about five years ago when my hair was much longer, but even then my hair is so fine and thin that the sock would sometimes show, and I didn't have enough hair to really support the weight of the sock bun. I'd love to hear how it is working for you; maybe you've solved these kinds of issues!

  2. This is brilliant! I have a hairagami which works a bit differently, but since I too have thin hair, it's a skimpy bun.

    What I really want to try is a hair-roll-thingy to make a French roll, like 1950s moms wore. (At least on TV.) If I skip the bun part, and just keep the sock snake, it should work. With bobby pins.

    There must be an orphan sock here somewhere.

  3. I saved the hair from my brush and felted it into a bun roll. Perfect match!

    1. Audrey, this is brilliant! I've never heard of human hair felting but now that I think of it, I don't see why not!

  4. I use the twist-pins (I call them "hair screws") to make buns. My hair is not especially fine, but it is extremely slippery, so any kind of fabric willl not hold it. They're not too expensive (about 3 euros for a pair) and they last forever if you don't lose them. If I don't feel like going through the fuss with the hair screws, then I'll just make one with a regular hair elastic. It's not quite as neat and it only works if my hair is less than a certain length, but most days it's good enough.

  5. I love your posts about making something useful or crafty out of something that would have ended up in the trash! You have such good ideas, plus they open my mind to be more inventive with the things I already have in my house.

  6. When I was a kid people around me reuse old socks for a lot of things:

    1. If you have a lot of them, tie them to a wire hanger that has been stretched into a long stick and you get a duster (nylons cut into smaller segments work especially well since it generates statics).

    2. String them through a wire and attach to a long stick to make a mop.

    3. If you have some knitted from thicker yarn, put a sponge in it and make a scrubber.

    4. If you have very stretchy socks (again nylon works really well for this) cut off the top 2 inch elastic part of the sock and give it one stretch, the cut side should curl up and you have a hair tie.

  7. You are such a creative girl, love this idea, I usually buy various Hair Bun Accessories, never try to make my own, must give it a try, Thanks a lot for embedded video..:-)

  8. Have you got any other ideas if no socks are available.

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