I love making pretty hair treatments for my granddaughter’s long strawberry blonde tresses. Her hair is naturally curly so it likes to twist and turn and get in her eyes a lot. The length, which is down to her cute little bottom, presents a problem as well.
Katie doesn’t like wearing her hair in a ponytail or braids. She likes to wear it down. Neither does she like to keep it out of her eyes via a headband. She says they give her a headache.
While I have made some barrettes, combs and ties that she will wear, her preference is to use hairpins. Therefore, my task was coming up with a way to make functional hairpins look more beautiful.
I experimented with lots of ideas. Some worked well. Others fell short of the goal. All in all it was a bit frustrating and time consuming.
In order to prevent you from making the same mistakes I did, I thought I’d share my successful ideas with you. To begin you will need several items:
Charms (including letters),
Jewels (pearls, rhinestones or crystals),
Small ribbon flowers,
Needle and thread,
Craft glue that bonds multiple types of surfaces.
Look for professional hairpins at a local beauty supply house. They are sturdier and can be found in widths up to at least 1/8″. Choose the color that will most effectively blend with the child’s hair color.
Lace choices should be about Â¼” to Â½” in width and can already be ruffled or flat. Anything wider; however, will likely overpower or get stuck in the hairpin.
Ribbon, on the other hand can be a bit wider; up to Â¾” in width if it is used to make a bow. Thin strips of ribbon, about 1/8″ in width, can also be used to make colorful hair streamers.
Charms are a great way to personalize hairpins to the child’s particular interest. Letters are great too. They can be used to spell out the child’s name. For the most part, plastic works better than metal unless you have a soldering tool or strong metal craft glue.
When looking for jewels, consider both individual and string jewels. Both work well for this project. It you must choose one type, go for the string. You can always cut them apart to make individual jewels as needed. The width should be around 1/8″ maximum. Small broken jewelry items (from earrings and small pendants, etc.) work well for this purpose as well.
I find that ribbon flowers about Â¼” to 1/3″ in diameter work best but feel free to experiment for yourself. Small porcelain flowers about the same diameter also work well.
Step 1. Draft your idea out on paper first. That will help you work through the planning phase and allow you to work out kinks.
Step 2. Gather all of your supplies together before you begin. Be sure to work on a clean flat surface. Plug in your glue gun so it will be ready when you are.
Step 3. If you want to use a lace background start there. Cut a 2″ to 3″ of lace strip. Then with a needle and thread, make a running baste stitch as close to the flat end of the lace as possible. Cut the thread, leaving about 1″ at the end.
Next pull the basting thread tightly to form a lace “O”. Tie the two ends of the thread together and, for extra strength, stitch the lace ends together as well.
Glue the lace background on to the hairpin using hot glue or craft glue that works on both fabric and metal. Let it dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 3. Sew or glue a charm, jewel or flower into the center of your lace base. Make sure it is secure.
Step 4. Tie ribbon into a bow and then attach it to the hairpin with glue or needle and thread. Another option is to cut several streamers of thin, 1/8″ ribbon in 2″ to 4″ lengths. Sew them onto the pin in the center, making even streamers on both sides of the pin.
Step 5. To make pearl or jewel pins, cut the string to the exact length or slightly shorter than the top of the hairpin. You can glue the string of jewels or pearls directly to the hairpin with craft metal glue. Another option is to sew the string onto the pin using needle and thread. Be sure to remove any excess glue so that the two parts of the hairpin aren’t permanently glued in a closed position.
To accent with a just a few pearls or jewels, attach using hot glue and then double secure the attachment with craft glue applied with a toothpick.
Step 6. Make floral hairpins by gluing or sewing ribbon flowers onto the top portion of the pin. Sewing is more secure and should be used whenever possible. Glue works for a short-term fix but is likely to come undone quickly.
Step 7. Glue plastic or metal letters onto the hairpin that spell out the child’s name.
Mix and match various themes like adding flowers to streamers or bows to a string of pearls. Get creative and come up with your own ideas.
The real trick in adding anything to a hairpin is to find the right binding mechanism. Once that is accomplished, you will be able to add a lot of different items like cameos, broken jewelry designs (e.g., butterfly or ladybug) and multiple floral options.
Have fun with this craft and build an assortment of pins that your daughter or granddaughter will love wearing.