Looking for a thoughtful DIY gift for a dancer?
Look no further! Check out this list of 9 gifts you can sew for a dancer.
Both of my daughters are dancers so I understand the types of projects that will delight & serve the dancer in your life.
Dancers need many of the same items that any athlete needs. But they also need some specialized gear.
What type of dancer do these gifts work for?
ALL dancers! Ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, Latin, contemporary, salsa. You name it! Whatever dance your loved one does – there’s a gift idea here that you can make.
How to make your gift personalized for a dancer.
The lovely part of DIY gifts is that you can tailor it to your dancer’s style of dance or personal preferences beyond dance. Favorite colors? Hobbies? TV shows or movie characters? You’ll can use your dancer’s favs to find a patch or a fabric to put make it theirs. Or embroider their name onto one of these! It doesn’t get more personal than that!
How to make sure your handmade gift won’t end up as waste.
As makers, it’s up to us to be mindful of where our makes will end up down the road. The beauty of ALL of these projects is that they’re FUNCTIONAL. So even if your dancer decides to pass it along at some point, someone can find a use for it.
These projects are also designed to be washable, reusable, and fully compostable at the very end of their life. If you use my tutorials to make these, they’ll be made with all natural or upcycled materials. All natural materials like cotton, linen, and hemp will breakdown in a home compost pile at the very end of their usable life. And upcycled materials help shrink our overall waste by repurposing textiles & keeping them out of the landfill.
Alright, are you convinced yet that there’s something good for you here? I hope so! Let’s jump in.
What gifts can you sew for a dancer?
1. Small zipper pouch for a bun kit
If your dancer has longer hair, chances are they’ll need to pull it in a bun on occasion (or all the time!) A little zipper pouch is perfect for hair ties, bobby pins, & a bun cover. I’ve go a tutorial here that shows you how to make a cute small zippered bag.
This mini pouch doesn’t fit most hair brushes, so if you’re looking for a larger bag, I have another tutorial for you! Of course. Because I love making tutorials 🙂 !
2. Mesh bag for dance shoes (like pointe shoes!)
My older daughter got pointe shoes last year and the sales person encouraged her to use a mesh bag to store her shoes in between dance classes. The mesh helps air the shoes out. It also helps her keep her shoes together, so she’s less likely to lose one (believe me, we’ve lost our fair share of single shoes).
We bought a bag at the dance store but it was made with synthetic materials. So I had to create a more sustainable version, obviously. My tutorial for a DIY dance shoe bag is right here. And if you want to find the mesh material I used (100% hemp), I’ll link below to where to get the mesh.
3. Dance bag for ALL your dancer’s gear
Chances are your dancer already uses SOMETHING for their dance bag. But they might be ready for a personalized, handmade upgrade from YOU!
My girls each have a couple of dance bags, depending on how many classes they have that day. If it’s a light day, they’ll just take a small. If it’s back to back ballet and pointe, my older daughter takes a larger bag.
I have 3 different tutorials you can choose from.
The first is for the world’s easiest tote bag – my most beginner friendly tote (although all of these are beginner friendly).
I have a 2nd tote bag tutorial that’s lined. This is is also very beginner friendly but has just a couple more steps than then world’s easiest tote. It has 4 pockets, too!
And if you want to take it up another notch, I’ve got a tutorial for a tote bag with a zipper closure! Extra secure to keep those dance shoes from bouncing out on the bike ride to dance :).
I made this bag with an old pair of pants, but you can definitely use regular fabric and skip the upcycling step.
Alright, enough about DIY tote bag options! Here’s the next handmade gift idea for a dancer:
Scrunchies is one of my favorite beginner sewing projects. When I teach kids to sew in my camps & classes, this is a go-to project!
I sell 100% plastic free, organic cotton kits in my shop, which you can see here.
And I have a full video tutorial on DIY scrunchies right here:
If you’d rather read a tutorial than watch one, I also have a written tutorial right here.
Ready for the next handmade gift idea?
5. Stretchy headbands!
These are great for keeping your dancer’s hair out of their face during dance class. They’re also cute to wear outside of dance class!
And, of course, I have a DIY tutorial for how to make a stretchy headband. I made this one out of old clothes but any stretchy fabric will work!
Next gift idea for a dancer:
6. A pillow!
Both of my daughters have to bring a pillow to one of their conditioning classes.
I made a really cute one with leftover fabric from a duvet cover I made my oldest daughter. She takes it to her conditioning classes. The cover is removable & washable. These envelope style covers are SUPER easy to make.
Here’s a gift that’ll keep your dancer cozy in the winter.
7. Leg warmers
I haven’t made a tutorial on this one yet but they seem simple to make. Check out this tutorial by Marci Harriell.
Leg warmers keep your dancer’s legs cozy in the cold months & are a fun fashion statement. You can keep your project more eco-friendly by using upcycled fabrics. If you decide to slip some elastic in the top or bottom, you can use 100% cotton & rubber elastic rather than synthetic elastic.
8. Microwavable neck & body heat
Dancing, like any athletic activity, might cause some aches & pains on occasion. A DIY microwavable heating pad can bring relief & cozy comfort from sore muscles.
I don’t have my own version of this tutorial yet but this one looks easy to follow.
And if you use cotton thread & fabric, this is a totally compostable, all natural heat pack that you can compost at the very end of its usable life!
Ready for the last DIY gift to sew for a dancer?
9. Water bottle holder
Sometimes the only thing a dancer needs to bring to class is a water bottle.
This is another project I have made a tutorial for (although I have made a holder in the past!). This tutorial looks pretty do-able, with a few modifications (scroll below to see what I’d change).
Here’s how you could make it more eco-friendly:
- use 100% cotton batting instead of the fusible interfacing.
- leave the corners intact & sew across the edge, rather than cutting them out (check out my tutorial for a Sotak drawstring bag on how to do that!).
And I’d add an adjustable strap, rather than a static strap, so your dancer can wear it across their body. Here’s my tutorial for an adjustable strap.
Those are my 9 DIY gifts to sew for a dancer!
If you need a little inspiration on fabrics, keep reading!
Where to find fabrics that a dancer might like.
My fabric shopping advice always starts with what you already have. Shop your stash! You might find a pattern you forgot about that’ll be perfect for your dancer.
I also love thrift stores for unique, one-of-a-kind textiles. You can upcycle a cool print into a bag!
If none of those work and you need to shop for new fabrics, I love Etsy. Just enter the style of dance (e.g., ballet fabric) into search, and I’ll bet you’ll find something your dancer will enjoy.
I always try to buy organic cotton when I’m shopping for new fabric. You can definitely find all the colors of the rainbow in organic fabrics on Etsy. If you’re looking for a very specific print, it might be a little harder to find an organic version, but chances are you’ll find a print you like.
Let me know what you end up making for your dancer! Which of these projects speaks to you the most? Leave a comment and let me know!