So you're thinking of making your own hair clips? This can be a great way to use some of that creative energy that you've got stored up and just waiting to get out and it's a quick project also! The very first thing you will need to do before beginning this project is assemble your supplies, but which supplies should you get? If you are asking yourself this question, then keep reading and I will clue you in on the best supplies to use when making your own handmade hair clips.
1.)You need to decide which types of clips you want to use. One of the most popular styles is the alligator clip, whether single or double-pronged, these are the style that I prefer. They are cheap to buy in bulk and they hold a fair amount of hair while still being useful for all hair types! If this is your first time making hair clips, I would recommend the single-prong style because then you don't have to worry about the ribbon dipping into the gap between the prongs. You can also get the snap-style clips. These definitely make cute clips, but they are less versatile, harder to work with and only hold a small amount of hair. There are also some people that use actual barrettes. These are pretty popular for the buyers, but they cost a considerable amount more to buy and are harder to work with than just regular alligator clips. I also strongly recommend purchasing your clips online, as you can find them dirt cheap on sites like Ebay! If you find the right deal, you can spend under $5 and get at least 100 clips to use when making your own handmade hair clips!
2.)Next you will need something to cover those bare, ugly clips with! I prefer to use grosgrain ribbon because not only can you find it at great prices online, but the ribbing on the ribbon (say that 10 times fast!) is more forgiving of any small mistakes than a smooth ribbon! I also love to pick a ribbon with a pattern on it like polka dots or stripes. Be careful to choose a versatile pattern so that it appeals to the widest variety of people. While a ribbon with unicorns on it may tickle your fancy, the average buyer may not be into it and it's best if your ribbons can match with several different clothing styles so that the buyer sees them as a better value. I purchased my ribbon on Ebay. The seller I purchased it from had bought many, many large rolls of ribbon in tons of different colors and then cut them up into long strips in order to sell them in variety packs. This way I didn't have to buy hundreds of yards of one color, which would get expensive when purchasing several colors. It's also fairly common to find hair clips covered in felt, and it can make a really cute statement, but you will have to cut the felt yourself, whereas with ribbons, you can purchase them in the same width as your clips.
4.)You will also need some basic supplies for the construction of your handmade hair clips. These include a hot glue gun, a lighter and candle, some sheets of rubber-like foam with a sticky backing and a work surface like a piece of cardboard, wax paper or a cutting board. The glue gun is an essential piece that you can't live without as it is used to attach the ribbon to the hair clips and the embellishments on top of that! I picked up my glue gun at my local Wal-Mart for under $3!!! I recommend using a hot glue gun as opposed to a cool glue gun because the hot glue guns will give you a firmer hold and ensure that whatever you attach to your clips doesn't fall off. The lighter and candle are optional, but highly recommended. If the ribbon ends are not "heat treated," they can fray and start to come apart which will make your clips seem cheap and sub-standard. All you need to do is light the candle and hold the ribbon end very close to the flame until you see the very ends melt a little. This will seal up the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying and you can use it as a selling point when trying to sell your clips. The rubber-like foam is a wonderful tool for creating a no-slip grip on the inside of the ribbons. You can buy this in very thin sheets at your local hardware store and you just need to cut it into tiny rectangles that are small enough that the edges won't peek out from the sides of the ribbon when the clip is assembled. I don't recommend putting the no-slip grip onto the clips before selling them, rather, make it an option that you can add, free of charge, at the buyer's request. Some people don't like to use no-slip grips and you can't remove it once it's placed on a clip. I actually purchased my grips online, pre-cut and ready to go. You can find them really cheap this way if you don't want to measure and cut them all yourself. The reason that you don't want to use newspaper as a work surface is that it can get stuck in the hot glue during the clip assembly and it will get stuck to your projects. If you can find some sort smooth, plastic surface, this would be ideal because it is an easy surface to remove hot glue from!
As you can see, there aren't a whole lot of supplies to use when making your own handmade hair clips and you should be able to get started for under $20 if you do enough shopping around! The way I figure it with this project is that even if I don't sell many barrettes, I don't have a ton of money invested into the project and if all else fails, they make great handmade gifts that are personal and will be received with joy! They are truly a lot of fun to make and this is a project that is easy to bring out and then put away again so that you don't need a dedicated workspace to assemble them. So just make sure to shop around for your supplies and have fun with it! If you would like to see what I've done with my clips, you can check out my Etsy shop called Piper Bella Boutique. Thanks for reading and happy crafting!