How to make your own bias tape

simplicity bias tape maker

Meet my newest favorite toy: my bias tape maker. If you’ve bought any bias tape lately, you’ll know that it averages 50 cents to $1 per FOOT. Yeah, it’s not cheap. I bought my machine at Wal-Mart for about $65 (everyday price). I wasn’t really sure if this little toaster-sized gadget was worth the price, but thought I’d take a shot.
bias tape maker review

Kinda looks like some torture device from the deepest basement of the psychology department, huh? It all folds up into a neat little box. All the pieces close up, making it pretty easy to put away.

bias tape machine
It’s very easy to see where the pieces go, just two little bits and you’re ready to roll.
how to make bias tape
To get started you pop off this little nozzle do-dad. Just push the tab and it pops right out.
bias tape nozzle
See the little channel? That’s where the magic happens.
Your fabric gets threaded through there. But first let’s talk about the fabric.

fabric strips

Speaking of fabric – your fabric needs to be twice the width of your nozzle. The machine comes with a 1 inch nozzle, so my strips are 2 inches wide. There are extra nozzles available at JoAnns or on Amazon, and they range from 1/4 inch to 2 1/2 inches. Just double the nozzle size to get your strip width. Learn how to cut the strips on the bias in my tutorial.

bias tape machine tutorial
Take your strip and wind it up on the spool so it can be fed into the nozzle.
threading a bias tape machine
Kind of cup the fabric and fit it into the channel on the nozzle.
make your own bias tape
On the top of it there is a little slot where the edge of the fabric plays peekaboo. Push it in as far as it can go.

bias tape

Now here’s the big trick that I learned after doing a couple of dozen of these: After you get the fabric in as far as it will go, then use a straight pin and stick the pin into the fabric and push it through the end of the channel. The pin will slide through with the fabric once you pull it out.

load bias tape nozzle
Once you have it through just pull and straighten it up in the channel. Now we’re ready to get it made!
bias machine
Clip the nozzle back into place.
bias tape tutorial

Take the top plate off of the iron section by pushing it backwards and lifting it off.

quilting bias tape machine
Lay your fabric over the iron plate and past the roller, then replace the top plate.
how to make your own bias tape
Hit the run button to get it started – then gently, GENTLY pull on the end to help it roll out smoothly and not bunch up. With your other hand you can help guide it to keep it straight in the channel. The machine will run 12 ft. of fabric in less than a minute. And SHAZAM! You’re done!
handmade bias tape

It really works very fast – you could probably have made 3 of them in the time it took to read this :) So now.. what do you do with it? Well here’s a few ideas for you. You can:

Trust me, once you use the machine and have fun with it, you’ll find 101 ways to use it!

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Disclaimer: I purchased this machine on a whim my own, Simplicity has no idea who I am (haha!) Just thought I’d share a fun, new (to me) tool.

About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.

Comments

  1. I can’t sew a button – wish I could!
    Kelly

  2. That’s a handy little machine! Thanks for hosting!
    ~Liz

  3. Perfect post! I was just thinking last night about how one of those machines work, and if it would be worth purchasing one. I made a quatrefoil shaped lampshade and really wanted bias tape that would match the lining. This machine could have come in handy!.

  4. Thanks for hosting…..I’ve got to have one of those little gadgets… it would have came in handy when I was making my St. Patricks Day Potholders:)

  5. sorry to be a downer, but isn’t bias tape cut on the bias so it is stretchier. Normal bias binding fibres are cut at an angle of 45 degrees to the length of the strip, makes it stretchier as well as more fluid and more drapeable compared to a strip that is cut on the grain. This machine is just folding the material – not really turning it into bias binding?
    cheers Fiona

  6. Hi Gina! Thanks for showing us the bias tape machine – looks handy! Thanks for hosting!

    Heather @ settingforfour.blogspot.com

  7. Thank you for hosting!

  8. Thank you for hosting! Little Bit from DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

  9. Don’t do very well with sewing!! but this is a really cool tool!!

  10. what a clever little device that bias tape maker is! Didn’t even know that it existed – thanks for the handy tip and thank you Gina for hostessing :)

  11. I love that little device. I may have to get one. : ) Thanks so much for hosting and have a lovely week!

  12. Love this machine! I have a couple of foot attachments for my sewing machine that make bias tape, but it is much more of an ordeal that this. I’m thinking bibs, place mats, kids’ clothes, pillows… Thanks for sharing!

  13. Thanks for hosting! This is my first visit – and I’ll be back :)

  14. Great tutorial! Thanks for hosting, as always I am happy to link up here.

  15. Ooooooh, I asked for one of those for V-day, but changed my mind at the last minute! :P Not sure why.. probably because I bought fabric instead! ;)

  16. Thanks so much for hosting! Have a great day!

    ~Semi Domesticated Mama

  17. Thanks for hosting again!

  18. Thanks for hosting.

  19. I have that same machine. It is awesome isn’t it? Thanks for hosting.

  20. I have one of those machines and love it! thanks for hosting
    emily

  21. What a fun new toy!
    Thank you for sharing and for hosting!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  22. that little machine is awesome Gina! i LOVE IT!!!! oh the possibilities! thanks again for holding this wonderful party! know that you are appreciated! : ) (hugs)

  23. Thanks for sharing the bias tape maker..I have wanted one but never gotten a chance to see it in action other than from the website that clearly wants me to just buy it. It’s nice to hear from a regular person that it works well and that you like it! Makes me want one even more!! Thanks so much for hosting! I just love linking up here every Thursday!!

    Katie @ Little Becky Homecky
    http://littlebeckyhomecky.blogspot.com

  24. What a neat little machine and your tutorial made it look so easy. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful day, Gail

  25. Thanks for hosting!

  26. I would love to own one of those machines. How clever! I linked up my DIY Organic Dishwasher Detergent. It’s really easy to make and smells fantastic!
    Thanks for hosting the party once again. Have a great day!
    Rebekah-www.potholesandpantyhose.com

  27. Thanks Gina, I always enjoy this party!

  28. Thanks Miss Gina, for hosting. Have a happy week!
    XO

  29. Thanks so much for hosting! Loving all the ideas.
    Link-Back Love: http://ten51design.com/about/inspiration/

    Have a great week! – Julie from Ten51 Design

  30. Thanks for hosting! im a first time linker! Your site is so cute!

    - Samm @ LittleHouseintheBigD.blogspot.com

  31. What an interesting machine. I had no idea such a thing even existed. Thank you so much for hosting

  32. Thanks for hosting! Great tutorial! I might get one of those machines.

  33. Thank you for hosting! Excited to be linking up again this week!
    Maggie
    http://www.thehllonheelshousewife.blogspot.com

  34. Ew, neato! It really works!

  35. I never knew there was such a fun machine to do this. Thanks so much for hosting Gina.

  36. Wow, a new toy that I NEED!

  37. This machine looks to me to be some foreign “thing” — I cannot tell you how much I admire people who sew. (Did you ever visit The Cottage Mama? She loves to sew too.) I so wish I had that skill, to have the aptitude to sew. You are blessed! My mother sewed and, unfortunately, I did not inherit that blessing! Good for you with your talents.
    Best,
    Gloria

  38. I had one of those metal things with my grandmother’s antique sewing machine. Now I know what it does. Thanks for sharing.

  39. WANT one but need a GOOD detailed tutorial on how to CUT MY FABRIC….HELP…..
    Deby

  40. Please….

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