Making your own bias tape at home from fabric is very easy and you don’t really need a bias maker to do so. 

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a continuous bias tape by folding squares of fabric to make long strips. 

You will learn what width you need for a ¼” binding and a ½” too. 

So keep reading to start making your own bias tape from any fabric of your stash.

how to make bias tape without maker

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The best thing about making your own bias tape at home is that you can make it with literally any fabric you like. 

This gives you the chance to personalize your sewing projects and have unique finishing details on them.

how to make bias tape without make

In this tutorial, I will be showing you how to make tape without anything but a pin.

And even though is pretty easy to do it like this, I gotta say this.

The fastest way to make bias binding tape at home and with any width is getting one of these hand bias makers. 

These things are great gadgets to have at home, they are small, easy to store, and very practical for this purpose. 

Though you definitely don’t need them to DIY bias tape they will make the job easier.

And if you ever want to buy them in the future you can get your bias maker of 5 different widths here.

But you came here to get the free alternative so let’s get to it!

how to make bias tape without maker

You can get the same quality results as this maker by following these next steps.

Read this after: How to sew bias tape: The best 3 ways!

Making bias tape from fabric without a maker.

To begin with, you will need to have the fabric of your choosing, a sewing machine, and a good pair of scissors.

Fat quarters are perfect to make this tape. Whenever I buy them in bulk and I don’t like a print for my crafts I use it to make bias.

Using fat quarters to make bias tape

Start by cutting one perfect square of fabric. 

Depending on how much bias you want to make you can make the square bigger or smaller. 

Just for you to know, the bigger the square is, the further apart the joins of seams will be between each other.

This is nice if you don’t want a very bulky full of seams tape.

Check this out!: The greatest Netflix shows to watch while you sew.

Cutting fabric on the bias.

In order to make a continuous strip bias cut tape, we will first need to cut a perfect square. 

Depending on how much tape you want it will be the size of your square. The bigger it is the more tape you will get out of it.

how to fold fabric to make bias

Cut your fabric square diagonally (on the bias) to end up with two triangles. 

making bias tape without a maker

Then you will take one of these triangles and place it over the other one with the right sides facing together.

Make 2 of the sides that aren’t cut to the bias to match on the top and sew them at ¼”.

Cust FYI the bias sides are the longer ones. And you are going to sew the shorter ones.

how to make bias binding tape

Press that seam open, and you will end with a diamond shape like this.

diy bias tape

Now we will need to mark the strips by using the bias cut lines as a guide. 

Depending on the width you want your bias is the width of the strips you are going to markdown. 

And this, of course, depends on what kind of project you are going to sew your bias tape on.

On a general rule, for double folded bias tape you have to use 4 times the width you want to end up with.

How to make ¼” single and double folded bias tape.

This width is very useful for binding or finishing simple projects with fabric that isn’t that thick. The most common uses are for seams, quilts, and easy fabric crafts. 

To make ¼” double folded tape, cut your strips with a 1″ width. 

On the other hand, if you want a ¼” single-bias tape cut your strips with ¾” width.

How to make ½” single and double folded bias tape.

With ½” bias tape, you will have more room for thicker fabrics.

This is the most popular bias tape on the market and it can be used in a lot of sewing projects. You can use it for binding, for piping, or to decorate your crafts. 

If you want to make a double folded ½” bias tape you will need to cut your strips with a 2″ width. 

But if you want it to be single folded cut them with a 1″ width.

how to fold fabric to cut strips of bias

Mark all the fabric from one end to the other and cut if there is any excess.

Upgrade your skills: Basting Stitch: Why you need to do it and when.

How to fold the fabric to cut bias strips

The next step is folding this piece to match our lines. 

You will do this by first placing your diamond with the wrong side facing down, and then pulling the points to the center. 

We need to match the lines we made so we can make one continuous strip of tape. 

But the thing you need to make sure of is that the first strip and the last one will not be matched with any lines.

On these pictures, the first and last strips are marked with an asterisk.

how to fold fabric to cut strips of bias

I found that is very useful to “pinch” the edges of the fabric with my fingers to try to form the 1/4″ of seam allowance that I am going to sew next, and then to pin it like that.

Once they are perfectly matched sew at 1/4″, press them open and then you are ready to cut along the lines.

This will give you a continuous bias strip.

Continuos bias tape how to

Making Bias binding without a Maker

Now that you have your bias strip is time to fold and press it.

And for that, you will only need a pin.

Yes, you read me right. Take one pin and do this next.

You are going to take your strip and fold both edges of one end to the center just at the half.

Then you are going to press about 4″ of the strip this way.

Take your pin and with the help of your Ironing Board Cover insert it like this to make a “bridge” for the tape to pass under.

This space has to be exactly the width of the bias.

making bias tape without a maker

Now the only thing you have to do is gently pull the tape from the folded end and pressing 4″ at a time.

You will love this: Free No-Show Socks Sewing Pattern and Tutorial

The difference between a single folded bias and double folded bias.

Up to this moment of the tutorial you are making what we call a single folded bias tape.

And the difference simply is that a double folded bias tape is a single folded tape that just was folded again…

Yeah… I know… Duh!

single folded and double folded bias tape diy

On the top picture, you are seeing my single folded bias tape and one the bottom one, the same tape but folded at the half and pressed again.

And that was it!!

how to make bias tape without maker

Pretty easy right???

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31 Comments

  1. When I’ve used purchased double bias tape, the fold isn’t exactly in the center so that when you make your final line of stitches right at the joint, you stitch through the back side to secure it. Are you folding your tape off-center or centered, and if the latter, how are you securing the backside without topstitching onto your front side?

    1. Author

      I generally fold centered, just because making it off-centered and balanced through all the tape length is very difficult. But to secure it in the backside I simply make an invisible stitch grabbing only the first layer of fabric and ideally only one fiber of the main fabric at a time.


  2. Thank you so much for this information. You’ve really saved me so much time with this pin trick. All your tips are great. Will use them as we make dresses for our Shoebox gifts.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much Kathy, I am very glad that I can help!

    2. Y can’t u tell and do..ur instruction and doing atvthe same time .not everyone are are very clever..help us





  3. Hi Dafhtne,
    Here is another suggestion to avoid the smallest pieces in the bias strips. When putting the two large triangle fabric pieces together in diamond shape, slide them along the joining edge so the little corners are sticking out on either side. You could mark the cutting lines before sliding, if you like, but not necessary. Cut off the small corners. The rest of the construction still works this way. I tested it with paper first and it works.
    Great idea to make a continuous strip with only two sewing joints.

    1. Author

      Hi Hanna!
      I would love to see that! Would you mind sharing it in our sewing club (My Golden Thimble Sewing Club) ??? I am sure everyone will love your technique :O

      1. Hi Dafhtne,
        I’m not on facebook, but if you email me, I’ll send you a series of photo’s I just made, showing the extra steps in the process, based on your initial method. You may use them to share it on your Sewing Club for me.

  4. Thank you so much!! I tried several different techniques but yours was by far the easiest to understand for a beginner like me.

    Theresa

    1. Author

      Hi Theresa, I am so glad that this was useful to you, thank you so much for letting me know!! This keeps me motivated to share more tutorials like these ones.


  5. Put your bias around your ironing board and makes it much easier to cut!

    1. Author

      Awesome tip!! Thanks Paula!

      1. I’m going to have to try this! How many feet of tape do you get from one fat quarter?

        1. Author

          Hi Noelle, Between 9-13 depending on the width you cut it.

  6. Put your bias around your ironing board and makes it much easier to cut! Thank you for the pin trick.

  7. It’s genius!! Thanks so much!!

    1. Author

      I am very glad it helped you!

  8. omg i don’t know you but you just saved me 10 zillion hours of effort and a lot of burnt fingers with that pin trick! thank you so so much!

    1. Author

      You are very welcome!! Who knew it was that easy, right??


  9. Your post is so timely given the lack of elastic, double-fold binding AND bias maker tools anywhere! Genius but so simple. Thank you!!





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