Handmade Kids’ Hair Clips (using Alligator Clips)
If I hadn’t learnt how to make hair accessories for my little girl, I probably would’ve spent a fortune acquiring her impressive collection of hairbands, hair clips,hair ties and assorted hair paraphernalia. From the time she was a baby, I’ve loved to accessorise her from head to toe, and perhaps the only thing that hasn’t changed is how much she loves wearing her fringe up with a hair clip, especially if it matched her garments and shoes! The little fashionista that she is, Little B now knows her privileges include a mum who loves to craft jewellery and accessories and uses this to maximum advantage! Yes, she customises the colours she wants and ‘orders’ them with fluttering eyelashes, no less.
One of my favourite projects to do with B are these cute mini alligator hair clips fashioned out of mostly grosgrain ribbons in multi-colours and different accents in a variety of textures. In this batch (as photographed), I’ve used wooden beads, wool felt, fabric-covered buttons and other ribbon bows. It’s a really easy to do project and you’ll be so proud of what you’ve created, I promise, plus the bonus of not wasting more of your money buying expensive hair clips that many mums complain they keep losing!
These days you can order the generic clips in small to bulk quantities from eBay and Etsy.
In this project, I’m using ‘double-prong’ mini alligator clips. Prices can start at $12-$20/100 pieces for bulk lots, and cost more if you’re buying much less. If you aren’t keen on the amount of work, you could even buy them pre-covered in ribbon and then add the various accents yourself. My tip is to remember to refer to your hand ruler for size impressions and avoid a buying mistake by stocking a size too small or too large for your purposes. Bear in mind that baby girls have a lot smaller heads and will need a smaller mini sized clip than a child aged 4-12. An advantage of alligator clips is that they are kinder to the finer hair of baby girls. The cons? They are more easily ripped off by babies and toddlers, please take care that these clips could pose a risk to babies and toddlers if they were to put them in their mouths.
I would not recommend them for those below 5. Barrette hair clips could be safer, these are the ones with two metal parts at either sides that close when pressed down together, secured by a clasp. They can be covered in ribbon too.
Materials & Tools:
Glue Gun & glue stick (craft ones are fine)
grosgrain ribbon or ribbon of your choice (as base)/ assorted colours
wooden beads, felt accents, fabric-covered buttons, or mini ribbon bows
The best way to measure the length of ribbon you need is to take a long length of ribbon at least a yard long, and clip it starting from the innermost part of the prong. Carefully extend the rest of the ribbon length over the other side of the clip, then fold it into the crease of the ‘clamp’ end, and extend it to the end of the clip with a little extra bit under the bottom of the clip’s inside. Snip off the excess, remove the ribbon you’re left with–this is the ‘master’ guide you need to work with.
Measure out many different ribbon types according to the length of the first ‘master’ guide, then cut these ribbons to the same size.
Start over and clip the ribbon starting from the innermost part of the prong as shown in the following photo, facing bottom up. Flip up a little of the ribbon and apply glue in small dots over the length of the clip as you press the ribbon over the glue. Watch that you don’t burn your fingers. Keep dotting a little glue along the length of the clip as you press the ribbon over the metal clip.
Keep gluing the ribbon till you reach the end of the clip with a little extra bit under the bottom of the clip’s inside portion. Dab your last dot of glue and leave it clipped to dry.
Dot a bit of glue on the top of the clip once dry, and add your desired accent, like a wooden bead.