No Elastic Scrub Cap Sewing Tutorial for COVID-19 Support

My sister is an ICU nurse, working directly with COVID-19 patients. She mentioned that a lot of wonderful people are making and donating much needed masks, but at her hospital, they also really needed scrub caps to help supplement and extent the life of disposable ones they are using.

I looked at several patterns online and even tested out a couple, but many had problems. They were too small—unable to accommodate different hairstyles; they needed elastic and/or bias tape which are both scarce due to mask making; and/or they were not well suited for bulk/quick sewing. So, I came up with my own design.

Model, I am not

This is a bouffant-style scrub cap that requires no currently scarce materials, and is a quick and easy sew. Please feel free to use this pattern for personal use or to make for the medical staff in your community. My only request is that you do not attempt to sell your caps or use them for profit.

I apologize for the poor quality of the photos below, and that I did not bother to tidy up my sewing room. I felt speed was better in this case than well-lit, edited photos and a space free of thread bunnies.



  • Paper for creating pattern
    • You can use taped together copy paper, brown kraft paper (or paper grocery bags), or, like I’m using below, poster board.
  • 1 yard of cotton woven fabric, like a high quality quilting cotton, with little to no stretch. This amount will make at least two caps.
    • Prewash in hot water to allow for any shrinkage before the caps are made, then tumble dry and iron before cutting.
  • One yard of ribbon, bias tape, cording, or a tie you sew yourself (I like the flat strap method at the end of this post.)
  • Cord lock (optional)

Creating the Pattern

There are only two pattern pieces. Easy peasy.

Note: I designed this pattern with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. If you prefer to use a standard 5/8, be sure to adjust your pattern.

For the first piece, the band:

  • Create a rectangle 20-3/4  x 5 inches.
  • Mark the center point.

For the second, the top, you’ll need a piece of paper at least 14-1/4  x  7-1/2 inches. Taped together copy paper is fine.

  • Measure down one side making marks at 7-1/8 and 14-1/4 inches.
  • At your 7-1/8 mark, draw a perpendicular line straight out, measuring 7-1/4 inches. This is going to be your pattern’s center point. 
  • Draw a curved line connecting the straight line you just made to your mark at 14-1/4 inches. Eyeballing the curve is fine.
  • Cut along your curved line and fold over at the center line.
  • Trace curve on other side of your paper to make symmetrical half-oval shape.
  • Cut out.

  • From center line measure out 1-3/4 inches to the right and make a mark along the top of the curve.
  • Make a second mark 1-3/4 inches to the left of the center line. (If this is confusing, see photo of completed pattern in next step.)
  • The marks you just made should be 3-1/2 inches apart and equal distance from the center line.
  • Add a circle mark to the center line. You will transfer these three marks to your fabric.

Cutting Your Fabric

  • Multiple layers fabric can be cut at once. I like to use a mat and ruler, with a sharp rotary cutter, but good, sharp fabric scissors will also do.
  • Cut one of the circular pattern pieces (the top) on the fold, transferring marks to one layer of fabric only.
  • Cut two of the rectangular pattern pieces (the band), transferring center mark to one piece of fabric only.


  • Make a box pleat on top piece:
    • With your circular pattern piece right side up, pinch one of the side marks you made.

    • Fold inward, matching your side mark to the circle in the center.

    • Repeat with other side and pin in place.

    • Baste stitch within seam allowance (I’m using a dark thread so you can easily see)

  • Set top piece aside and turn attention to the band pieces. With right sides together, sew short sides, joining both pieces into one large loop.
    • Note: I am using a serger, but that is not necessary. However, if you do use a regular sewing machine, please be sure to finish seams by sewing them together with a zigzag or three-step zigzag on the seam allowance side of your joining stitch. This will keep the fabric from fraying as it is worn and washed.

  • We are going to create a casing along one of the long edges by turning the raw edge up 1/4″ and pressing, then another 1/2″ (total of 3/4) and pressing again.
    • Tip: I find it quicker to let my machine do the measuring by sewing lines at 1/4 and 3/4, then pressing up at the stitch lines.

  • While you are pressing up to create the casing, find that mark you made at the center point of one piece. I put a pin there to help keep track of this spot. Once your casing is pressed, add two more pins, each about a quarter inch from that center mark. This is to signify an area that you will not sew, so that you can insert your tie into the casing.


Those guide lines work a lot better if you don’t forget that you had your needle moved away from center position. Oops!

  • Starting at one pin, stitch the casing down, about 1/8 inch from the edge. Stop when you come around again and read the other pin, leaving an opening for your tie. Reinforce with some additional stitches at either side of the opening for strength. This open area will become your center back.

  • Join band to top
    • Align pieces so center back of the band lines up with the center of the pleat you made on the top.

    • With right sides together, pin raw edges all the way around.
    • Sew or serge with 1/4 inch seam allowance.



  • Use a safety pin to guide tie through casing.

  • To avoid tie from being pulled out with use, stitch a line though casing, catching the tie, at center front of hat.
  • If your tie is a ribbon or something that may unravel, hit cut ends with fray check.

When wearing, the ends can be pulled to tighten then tied in a bow. Alternately, you can purchase cord locks like these on Amazon, to make for greater ease in adjusting.

I hope this helps! Happy sewing and thank you for doing all you can to help the medical personnel in your area.

If you have questions, please let me know in the comments below.





Homemade by Heidi: Valentines to Print and Use

It has become a bit of a tradition around here for me to create and share valentines for you to use. In 2012, they were the vastly popular Doctor Who themed valentines. Last year, I made conversation hearts.

I’ve continued the conversation hearts this year (because they are easy I care), with—not just one— but two themes.

First up, for those who have been in a relationship for a long time and want a special way to express exactly how you feel:

marital valentines

Marital Valentines Free PDF Download

I’ll be giving the Let Me Put My Cold Feet On You one to Walt. I can’t help it. I’m a romantic.

Up next, for the fellow writers among my readers, I’ve designed some cards for you to give your loved ones. I know they will appreciate them.

writer valentines

Writer Valentines Free PDF Download

I hope your loved ones enjoy receiving them as much as I enjoyed making them, however unlikely that may be. Happy Valentine’s Day!


Free Printable Valentines

random valentines

(Sorry about the poor-quality phone photo.) (I’m not really sorry.)

Just popping in to share this year’s Valentines. No mushy love stuff here!

Underneath the heart is says, A RANDOM VALENTINE MESSAGE FROM: [insert your name here]

I’m under no illusion that these will be as popular as last year’s (more than 13,000 views!), but for those of you who are not Doctor Who fans, feel free to use these instead.

Random Valentines PDF


How To Turn A Barbie Doll Into A Weeping Angel

How To Turn A Barbie Doll Into A Weeping Angel

We have a little tradition of making one homemade present for each other every Christmas. Several weeks ago, in order to gather a key component of my gift for Newt, I put out a call for help on Facebook:

Anyone have a jointed-arms Barbie needing a home? She can be ugly, naked, scribbled on, and/or ratty haired. I just need her arms to move. Working on a craft project/Christmas present for Newt.
(Don’t you wish I was your Secret Santa?)

People are fairly used to me being strange, I think. A few days later, a friend dropped off a sad, ugly, nearly naked* Barbie Doll, just begging to be made into something fabulous dangerous. He did not even bother to ask what I would be doing with it.
*She was not totally naked. She was wearing a men’s athletic sock. I don’t even know.

How To Turn A Barbie Doll Into A Weeping Angel

I looked up a couple of online tutorials for inspiration, but like I generally do, I decided to do it my own way. I don’t like to be bossed around.
If you are interested, these are the ones I looked at.
The Creative Crossing Weeping Angel
Wich-Crafting Weeping Angel

Both tutrorials pointed out that even jointed Barbie’s arms need to be cut off and reattached in order to properly cover her eyes. Both tutorials also suggested using a hot glue gun to reattach, but somehow I failed to notice. I wish I had–it would have saved me many swears.
I should have glued them on nice and tight, then covered the joint with air dry clay. Instead, I just used air dry clay to attach them. Do not do this.


If you’ll notice, I also have Barbie in a bottle, which I have glued to a base. I had planned to use the bottle method as outlined by Creative Crossing but later changed my mind. You’ll see why.


Anyway, after giving Barbie some Popeye arms “reattaching” Barbie’s arms, I moved on to her hair. First up, a haircut. I trimmed it as closely as I could, then used tweezers to pull the rest out. Once she was nicely bald, I sculpted new hair with air-dry clay. I used a stylus to create ridges and add texture.


I free-handed a paper pattern to create her wings, then formed them from foam core board and glued them to her back. (Step not pictured.)
Then I got ready to dress the little angel. I used plaster fabric–it is the same material casts are made from. Small rolls are readily available at craft stores. I happened to have a bunch lying around leftover from another project.


Once I got the Barbie all dressed, I realized that the bottle made her look pregnant. This is where the swearyness began. I ripped off the plaster, broke the bottle off the base, and discarded it.


Plan B: A lump of clay and a large skewer stick for support. (Sorry about the terrible photo, but I think it’s clear enough for you to get the idea.) Once the clay cured (a couple of days) I ran a bead of Gorilla Glue around its edge to ensure that it did not pop off the base.


While I was reworking things, I decided to add clay to the wings in order to give them a more sculpted look. This was a great idea for aesthetics, but a terrible idea for my temper. The clay cracked as it dried which looked awesome except when whole pieces started falling off the foam core. I carefully glued them back in place, fitting them together like a puzzle.
Anger making aspect number two: The wings were now too heavy to easily attach. My glue needed time to cure and I could not hold them easily in place. I ended up having to use a lot of electrical tape in order to hold them steady while the glue dried.
If I were to make one again I would craft the wings entirely from sculpty (oven dried clay), forming them to the contours of the doll’s back.


This was also around the time Barbie’s arms started falling off. Repeatedly. None of my glues were sticking well. It was lucky no one was home. I got more than a little cranky. Eventually, Gorilla Glue did the trick, but the arms were looking pretty rough. I decided to make my angel look like one of the more corroded ones from the episode with Angel Bob (The Time of Angels) (I did not know that off hand. I looked it up.) (Newt would have known.)
Once I finally got the wings to stay on the @%!# Barbie, I moved on to crafting her dress. This was one of my favorite parts of the process, second only to painting.
The plaster fabric is quite easy to work with. Just cut to your desired size, dip in warm water, and apply. It is very mailable and therefore, easy to form folds and ripples in order to emulate real fabric. Make sure you do at least three coats for durability. I also smeared a little of the plaster on Barbie’s arms and face to rough them up a little.


Be sure to give ample time for all the clay and plaster to dry before painting–at least 48 hours.
I used gray tinted latex primer as a base coat. We just happened to have a can in the garage. (Side note: The only things I actually purchased for this project were the clay, wooden base, and foam-core. All in all I spent about $5. Yay me!)


Once the primer was fully dry, I pulled out my acrylic craft paints. I thinned some black with water until it was about the consistency of ink. Then, working in sections to avoid drying, I painted it on, making sure to push it into all the crack and crevices, then quickly toweled it off with an old rag. (A paper towel would likely work as well, just be careful of paper lint/fibers.)
As a final touch, I used a mossy green color, to look like, well, moss. I stippled it on, sparingly, with a stiff brush, considering where moss would actually grow on a statue.
Here is a full shot of the completed angel.
Warning: DON’T BLINK.

P.S. The Weeping Angel is a copyrighted character. Please feel free to create these dolls for your own terror and enjoyment, but do not sell them. Additionally, I accept no responsibility for angel dolls or images coming to life and sending you back in time. I hope you enjoy 1941.

For other my Doctor Who-inspired projects, see:

Free Printable Doctor Who Valentines
Doctor Who Freezer Paper Stenciled T-Shirts
Doctor Who Bedroom Makeover
TARDIS Halloween Costume

Bookish Gifts That Aren’t Actually Books

If you love books like I do you may be wondering about the title of this post. I mean, why shouldn’t you just give books?
The answer: You should. Give lots of them. Especially to me.
But, if you want to give something handmade*, you might like to try one of the following ideas. That is, if you can get past the wanton destruction of innocent books.

Book Notebooks
I made these doodle pads for Newt for Christmas a few years ago. First I picked up a couple of used Harry Potter paperbacks and cut off the covers. Then I trimmed blank white paper to fit and had them bound at Kinkos. Easiest craft ever and she loved them. Win. Win.
But what to do with all the pages?

Book Wreath
book wreath

book wreath
I made this wreath for my living room using these instructions. Wouldn’t that make a fun gift?

A Hiding Place
For your chocolate:
Eating Well Heiding Place

Eating Well Heiding Place 3



Or even ironic storage for your e-reader:

The site where I originally found book hollowing instructions no longer exists, but there are a lot of tutorials out there.
This is a good one.

Other Constructive Book Destruction
This one is not a craft, but Wreck This Journal seems to fit well on a this list.
Newt loved her copy to pieces, quite literally.
Wreck This Journal

This is still my favorite page, though I think she may know a few more words she could add to it now.
Wreck This Journal
I wrote a whole post about it here.

What do you think? Are you charmed by my crafty creativity? Or horrified at my destruction?
What books would you like to creatively destroy?

*We have a tradition of creating one handmade gift for each other every year. Come back Friday to see what I’m making Newt this year.

On My Mind 11/20/2012

I love this. That is all.

Under the heading of Social Media:

Since I never post anything of interest on it, I am giving up my Frantically Simple Facebook page. You are all invited to subscribe to my author page instead, if you like. I hope to have good news to share there sometime in the near future.
Sidebar link has been updated to reflect the change.
Also: I have a Tumblr now.

Chalking. Adorable form of self expression and so much nicer than a tattoo to the face.

We use pastel chalks on dry hair. It washes out after one or two washes.

Newt also wears lipstick and mascara now. She is really growing up.
I really like who she is growing up to be.

This happened…

…and it made me very happy. (Don’t grow up too fast, Newt.)

We will be making this again:
edible Thanksgiving centerpiece

You can make one too!

Or, a fun tablerunner.
Or learn how to cook a turkey.
Or learn how to ruin a turkey. Twice.

We don’t have books in the dining room any more, but maybe this is a mistake? Books should live everywhere!

Speaking of Thanksgiving: I’m thankful for you!
Have a lovely holiday.

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