Fall is upon us, which means it’s that time of year when cheerleaders and coaches are thinking about preparations for the season ahead. To kick off team bonding with the new squad—and to personalize your warmup uniform—plan a day for your team to get together and crochet team cheer bow headbands! This cute and cozy accessory is easy to make and fun for the whole squad.

This project takes one ball or skein to make. These are terms for different ways yarn is packaged, but they are roughly the same amount. If you go to your local craft store, any package of yarn will do. Be sure to get size 5, or bulky, yarn for this pattern. If you are new to crochet, I would recommend using a light or bright color yarn so that it’s easier to see your work.

This headband is a great project to bring your team together and keep your ears warm on the sidelines as the fall season gets underway. Happy crocheting, cheerleaders!

Difficulty level: very easy
Time: under 2 hours
Supplies:

  • Crochet hook, size J/10 (6 mm) 
  • Yarn needle 
  • Scissors 
  • 1 package of yarn, 5/bulky weight 

I’m a visual learner myself, so if you find that you’re able to learn better from watching someone crochet rather than reading instructions, that is totally fair! You can find videos and step-by-step illustrations on websites for craft stores and brands. Here are a few resources for visual learners:

 

Instructions:

1. Create a slipknot around your crochet hook and pull it snug. You should have a tail of about 3-5 inches of yarn on one end of the slipknot, and the yarn strand on the other side is attached to the ball. I’ll call these the ‘tail’ and the ‘yarn’ to keep it from being confusing.
  
2. Chain 9. Chains are the starting point of any crochet project. To chain, keep the tail off to the side and hold your work and the yarn in place. Dip your hook under the yarn and then twist the hook so it goes up and over the yarn. This is called yarning over. Catch the yarn under the hook and gently pull it through your slipknot, and you’ll have your first chain. As you make more, you’ll notice how the loops resemble chain links. Make sure that you pull the chains tight enough to hold their shape, but still a little loose to keep the headband stretchy.

3. Turn your work, which means you turn your work around so that the last chain you made is now your first chain.

For this project, we are going to be working with double crochets, which sound like they’re double trouble, but they’re not as intimidating as they sound. For double crochets, each stitch we make will be two chains tall. Pinch your chain gently between your fingers to hold it in place while you work. It helps to keep your fingers one or two chains below where you are crocheting. Use your other fingers to hold the yarn steady.

4. To make your first double crochet, yarn over, but instead of pulling the yarn through to make a chain, keep it on your hook. You should have two loops of yarn on your hook.

5. Insert your hook through the top two loops of the third chain. This term is a little tricky, because it actually means the third chain from your hook. Count backwards: the loop on your hook is zero, the chain next to your hook (the ninth chain you crocheted) is now your first chain, followed by your second and third chains. You want to insert your hook into what was originally your seventh chain.

When we start crocheting, the first two chains that we skipped will be pulled up to form the end of the row, kind of like a bookend. They’ll help to keep the height of our row of double crochets even.

6. Once your hook is through the third chain, use it to grab the yarn and pull it through the chain. You should now have three loops of yarn wrapped around your hook.

7. Yarn over again, and pull it through the first two loops on your hook. You should now have two loops on your hook. Yarn over one more time and pull it through the two remaining loops. You should now have one loop on your hook. Congratulations, you have completed your first double crochet!

From this point, it’s rinse and repeat. But since there’s a lot of bulky text up there, here is the simple version of how to double crochet: yarn over so that you have two loops on your hook and put your hook through the chain. Grab the yarn and pull it through so that you have three loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull it through the first two loops, then yarn over again and pull it through the next two loops. You will have one loop left.

8. Double crochet your way across the row. You will have seven double crochets when you finish. Chain 2 and turn your work. Notice that what you just crocheted forms a new row of chains along the top. Yarn over and double crochet into your first chain. The two extra chains at the beginning of the row work the same way the two skipped chains from Step 5 worked, to keep the row even.

9. We are crocheting our headband around instead of up, which makes it easier to customize for the size of each person’s head. Repeat Step 8 as many times as necessary. Be sure to count your double crochets so that there are 7 in each row. Test out the length by wrapping your work around your head as you go. Because yarn is soft and will stretch out more with wear, you do want it to fit snugly: the ends of your work should just barely meet around your head. Once you reach this point, it’s time to turn this long strip of double crochets into a headband.

10. Once you’ve made your final double crochet, keep your hook in that loop. Cut the yarn, leaving about 8 inches (like a new tail), and use your hook to draw this remaining yarn through the last loop. Remove your hook and tug the yarn tightly to close up your work. This is called fastening off.

If you accidentally start unraveling your work, don’t worry! Just put your hook back into the most recent chain, re-crochet your way to the end, and try again.

11. Take your yarn needle and use the leftover yarn to stitch the two ends together and make the wrap shape. It’s okay if the stitches are uneven or crooked—we’re going to cover them up in a minute—but make sure that the ends are tightly stitched together. Once it’s all been stitched, use the needle or your fingers to tie a knot in the yarn as one last fastener. Using your yarn needle, weave in the original tail as well (not the new one you used to make the seam). When you reach the end of the tail, make a knot and cut off the extra.

The headband part is complete, but to complete the cheer bow look, we need to make the 'knot'. This part is nice and easy!

12. The side where you made your stitches is the inside of the headband. Turn your headband right-side-out. You should have 5-6 inches or so left of your second tail hanging down from the bottom of the seam you stitched. With your hand, pull the tail up through the headband and wrap it over to the front. Keep wrapping the tail up and over the seam and pull snugly. This will cinch the headband, giving it a bow-like appearance, and will also hide the seam. When you have a few inches left, loop the tail through the 'knot' on the inside of the headband where it’s hidden. Make a couple of knots, then use your needle to weave in the last of the yarn.

Your headband is complete! Now all that’s left is to test it out on the sidelines.

Let us see your cheer bow wraps in the comments