Even though a female’s hair is her crowning glory, there are times when it simply gets in the way. That is particularly true for school girls who play on the playground at recess, enjoy sports in gym, or take part in certain artistic endeavors.
My granddaughter, who is six, does a little of each. When she does, it isn’t uncommon for her has long, curly red hair to become more of a problem than an asset.
Consequently, her mother and I are always looking for new ways to help keep her hair out of her way. She loves hair accessories like headbands, barrettes and combs.
In a previous article I outlined how to customize headbands. In this one, I’ll cover the same for barrettes.
To create beautiful personalized barrettes you will need:
Plain barrettes in different sizes, shapes and colors;
Flat trim (e.g., ribbon, lace, braid, sequins or beads);
Letters (e.g., metal, plastic, rub-on, stick-on, etc.);
Decorations (e.g., cameos, charms or jewels);
Hot glue gun;
Glue sticks and
Follow these step by step instructions to create a variety of hair accessories that will be both beautiful and fun to wear:
Step 1. Determine the size, shape and colors of barrettes you want to create. This will make your life easier when you go shopping for supplies.
Small barrettes may work well for thin hair but larger ones will be necessary for excessively long or thick hair.
Step 2. Purchase the supplies noted above from an arts and crafts or discount department store.
Look for ribbon, lace or braid that is the right width for the barrettes chosen. Cutting ribbon down isn’t advised since it will likely end in uncontrolled fraying.
Braiding is generally one-half inch in width or larger so don’t choose it for barrettes that are smaller than that. Like ribbon, braiding cannot be easily cut down.
When it comes to beading and sequins, you may use either strands or individual pieces.
Choose any type of lettering (e.g., plastic, metal or other) desired. You can use stick-on, rub-on or other letters that can be securely attached with glue. Coordinate letter colors chosen to compliment or contrast with the piece.
Choose other decorations as desired. Cameos, charms and crystals, opaque stones or ribbon roses are great options.
Be sure whatever is chosen will fit onto the barrette. Be sure the decorations chosen will fit on the barrette. It is acceptable for some items to be larger than the base as long as they can be balanced on the piece. Balance is important to keep the barrette from titling or pulling away from the hair.
Step 3. Cut trim (e.g., ribbon, lace, braid, etc.) to the length of the barrette plus about one-quarter inch. Fold the ends under to the back side of the trim and glue into place so they cannot fray. Glue the trim onto the barrette.
Spray the finished piece with Scotch Guard to prevent easy staining of the materials.
Step 4. Cut sequin or bead strands to the length of the barrette or slightly shorter (no more than one-eighth inch). Tie the ends of sequin strands to keep the sequins from fall off.
Glue strands into place on top of the piece.
Step 5. Using the letter type of your choice, spell out the name, nickname or initials of the individual for whom the barrette is being made. Another option is to use terms of endearment like “princess,” “angel”, or “little devil.”
Attach the letters to the barrette using the type of glue that will work best for the surfaces involved.
Step 6. Hot glue other decorations onto the barrette as desired using whichever glue works best for the surfaces involved.
Step 7. Spray barrettes with one or more colors and coats of glitter.
Step 8. Think about combining one or more trim treatments together. Here are some ideas:
Cover the barrette with braid and then add a ribbon roses and small pearls as accent.
Glue ribbon to the piece and then add the individual’s initials to finish it off.
Use several different colors of 1/8″ ribbon to make a bow the same length as the barrette. Glue it into place, letting the bow’s long streamers flow down and mix with the hair. It’s very “Xanadu” sweet and charming.
Attach a row of ribbon roses onto the piece. Mix in one or more charms to add more interest and extra texture or accent it with stick-on crystals, pearls or opaque stones, etc.
Spray the barrette with glitter and then add a metal or plastic charm representing something special to the individual (e.g., their favorite animal, their favorite school subject, their pasttime of choice, etc.).
Let your imagination have fun and create headbands that will be personalized to say “I think you’re special!”