Scrunchies from upcycled or reclaimed fabric
The blue star and blue polka dot fabric was from my grandmother's stash of fabric. The purple fabric was from a pair of my grandmother's pants. The red print, bright green, and black watch plaid were from some of my old clothes (a skirt, a t-shirt, and pajama pants). The blue tie-dye was from some tie-dying experiments I did in 2013.
Above are some pictures of my scrunchie making process. It's a bit more complicated than this, but the basic idea is that I cut rectangular strips of material and then sew them around hair elastics. The hair elastics I use are made from organic cotton and natural rubber and are (eventually) biodegradable.
I initially learned how to make scrunchies by taking an old scrunchie apart and copying it. The scrunchie I took apart happened to have been made by sewing a rectangle of fabric into a tube, inserting a strip of 1/4" sewing elastic, and sewing the ends together to make a loop. I could make a passable scrunchie using this method and 1/4" sewing elastic, but it didn't feel quite right. Even experimenting with different lengths of elastic and different widths and lengths of fabric, my scrunchies always felt either too loose (that is, in danger of falling out) or too tight and uncomfortable.
Plain old hair elastics felt right in my hair, neither too tight nor too loose, so I wondered if using hair elastics for the elastic inside the scrunchie would yield better results than the 1/4" all purpose sewing elastic. But my brain — which was used to the "sew tube, insert strip, sew together" process described above — was having difficulty figuring out how to sew around a loop. I'm sure I could have figured it out eventually, but I realized it would be quicker to just find a tutorial online on how to make hair-elastic scrunchies.
Lo and behold, I found a free online scrunchie tutorial that shows how to make scrunchies with round hair elastics. The results are great: stretchy and soft enough to be comfortable, but tight enough to hold your hair. And, once you know how to do it, it's just as intuitive (and faster) than cutting and looping the 1/4" elastic.
I've continued using this tutorial: it's a free and very easy one from 5 out of 4. If you want to make your own scrunchies, I'd highly recommend it. And if you want to source your own biodegradable hair elastics, those sold at Kooshoo and Terra Ties work well for srunchies.