I have always loved brightly colored hair ties or barrettes growing up. I have always had long hair, and loved to use just about anything I could to ‘decorate’ my pony tails, braids and plain barrettes. My mom taught me many ways to decorate my own barrettes and to ‘make them my own’. She knew I had a unique style that didn’t fit into the normal barrettes that were sold back in the early 70’s but made it into the mainstream in the 80’s. The problem was the expense for so little product. I took the lessons from my mom and have made my own for years. I have taken this craft to the next level and am now making them for my daughter and plan to carry it forward by teaching her, too.
Here are a few you can try for your little ones; daughters, granddaughter, nieces, etc. The ones we are making are great for my almost 2 year old. They are nice and tight in her hair and she cannot pull them out. If you feel these are not right for your toddler, then please do not use them and try larger barrettes.
You will need the following supplies for these three projects.
– Metal Barrettes roughly 1 ½ inches long, or 40 mm. (The barrettes are simple metal ones with a pinch closure. The photo in the Metal Barrettes hyperlink shows a multi-pack, but we will be using the smaller ones for these projects.)
– Fabric Ribbon (You will need Hot Pink, Purple, White, Orange and Lime Green 1/8″ wide; click here for an example; here for the 1″wide pink bow; here for the alphabet and here for the stripes. The colors are a bit off, but you will get the idea.)
– Hot glue sticks
– Hot glue gun
– Sharp scissors
– Fray Check by Ditz (Optional)
Pink and Purple Starburst with a White Bow
The ribbon can actually be any color you like, or even extras that you have in your craft arsenal. For these I have chosen bright pink, purple and white. You can get this ribbon on sale at most craft stores for between $0.50 and $2.00 a spool. I like to stock up when they are $0.50 to use when I get the urge to make more barrettes or even to decorate a birthday present!
What you want to do first is cut the pink and purple ribbons into 4” strips, 6 of each. Cut one extra of pink to tie it together. Layer the cut ribbons on top of each other, alternating colors and then use the extra pink one to tie it in the middle. Put it aside.
Next, cut a piece of thin white ribbon roughly 8 inches or so. If it is not exact, don’t worry. This is to make the bow, and extra will be cut off. Too long is better than too short! Now, use the white ribbon and make a nice small bow, roughly 1 ¼ inch long. Put it aside. (You can also use two 8″ ribbons together to make a simple double bow like the one in the picture.)
Take your hot glue and your metal barrette and carefully dab hot glue along the ‘top’ of the barrette, end to end. Take the tied stack of ribbon and place it on top of the hot glue, and before the glue dries, carefully separate the strands of ribbon. It takes a bit of practice and you may need to re-glue, but don’t worry… flaws are what give many crafts their character! Now take the white bow and hot glue it in the exact middle of the ‘tie’. Let cool and then trim the white edges to make it the same length as the pink and purple. Repeat the above steps for a complete set of beautiful barrettes for adorable ponytails.
Striped and Alphabet Barrettes
The process for making the Striped Barrette and the Alphabet Barrette are very similar to the first one. The main different is the size of the bow. The Starburst project above had a very small bow, whereas these two have larger 2″ bows (2 inches from tip to tip), and are made with 1/3″ width ribbon. For the Striped barrette, take the thin white ribbon and cut eight 4″ strips. You will need the lime green and orange thin ribbon, one strip of each measuring about 7″ each. Put them aside.
Cut roughly 9 inches of the striped ribbon and tie a bow. The bow should be close to the size of the barrette’s length. Next you will dab the hot glue on the metal top of the barrette, same as the above project, and place the white stack of ribbon on it. Gently separate the strands as they dry. Now take the lime green and slide it through the hole on each side of the barrette and let the strands hang down. Do the same for the orange. Next, take the hot glue and carefully put a dab of glue on the bottom of the hole the ribbon is in to adhere it to the barrette. This will make it so we do not have to tie them. You can also shift the ribbon as the glue dries so they are not just lying on top of each other. Lastly, take your bow and glue it in the middle of the barrette and hold in place until the glue dries. You are done!
Since this is a larger bow, you might not want a second one, but if you do, then repeat the above steps. You can also repeat them for the Alphabet Barrette, too. (The link for the ribbons shows a black and white version of the alphabet ribbon. You can use any colors. I used the same lime green and orange because they go along so well together and match many of my daughter’s outfits.)
Simple Pink Bow Barrette
Our last barrette is the most simple of all. You will need roughly 8-9″ of the 1″ wide “Side Saddle” pink ribbon. Tie it in a bow. The wings of the bow should be approximately 2 to 2 ½” inches wide when made. The ends should extend over the sides of the metal barrette. You can garnish this barrette with thin ribbons if you like, but I think the simple pink and white bow is just fine. It looks adorable on my daughter and it is one of her favorites. This ribbon has a tendency to unravel pretty quickly, so if you like you can use Fray Check to seal the ends.
There you are. Quick and easy ideas for new barrettes for your little ones, or even yourself! These are quick to do and easy on the wallet. Have your older kids pick their own colors and make their own barrettes. Parents: Please use the hot glue for the kids… no one likes little fingers with owies!
My Mom and Personal Experience
And the following sites: