It's really been more like "Panic! Holy crap, I have a blog due today! Tuesday", but let it never be said a deadline wasn't good motivation.
Recently, I happily sold a very special line of hair combs and headbands to Ballard Home Comforts, a cute home decor and personal accessories boutique on the main street in Ballard. This week, I'm working on a new batch of combs in the same vein and thought I'd share the tips so you can make your own clip-brooches to liven up your wardrobe this winter.
Twig and Floral Hair Clips/Brooches::
Three finished clips done and getting packaged up!
- hair clip
- flat back pin
- e600 glue
- protective face mask
- a table protector you don't care about ruining (like a towel or wax paper)
After cutting felt ovals, or whichever shape you prefer, prepare your hair clips. Although it would be possible to hand-sew a hair clip and pin back to your felt, you'll save time and probably even get a superior hold by using a glue method. In this tutorial, I'm suggesting e600 glue, however it's important to use a mask and ventilate your area when using this glue.
This hair clip has holes that run down the center. Although that will help the glue have places to hold the clip to the felt, if you try to glue the piece on with the clip closed, you'll probably glue it shut. I wedged my clip open with a spare pin bar.
What e600 glue lacks in charm when it comes to how it smells and makes you feel about the health of your brain cells, it makes up for in how it lets you stick things to metal. I think about the loads of cute hair clips I've made in the past whose decorations popped off because hot glue wanted nothing to do with metal clips and it makes me bummed I didn't find this glue earlier.
Your glue will take a while to dry, so I like to make as many of these backs as I think I can stand at one time and keep them ready so I can get right into decorating when the mood strikes.
Think about if you want the clip to be worn on the left or right and turn your clip accordingly. Be sure that your bar pins have the latch end facing in such a way that the knob end faces down in the locked position.
This is a great scraps or vintage-baubles-without-a-mate project. All you really need is a silk flower that catches your fancy and any other decorations you like. Or you could screw the flower and glue some Dia de los Muertos skulls and little bits of chains and lace onto it. Whatevs. The magic of glue means quite a bit of artistic freedom. However, since I'm me, that means I'm making twig and floral themed combs.
Whatever you decide to add, get a little crazy with the glue and really give it enough for your objects to have something to grip onto and be surrounded by. e600 glue will dry clear and be a little flexible and it will stay wet for a while while you work so it's easy to make little puddles and keep sticking things into it to build in layers.
The one big pain about e600 glue is that it takes time to set and dry. That means I usually find some weird place to prop up my pieces to support their bases and all the little parts from shifting while it dries. (Here it is, pictured resting on a tag that's wrapped around a bundle of wire.)
You could definitely switch to hot glue at this point (which I've been very close to doing in some frustrated moments now and then...) because the hot glue should stick the fabric flowers to the felt quite well. However, it can make those annoying strings that get stuck all over your work and it dries kind of opaque and makes it really noticeable on the finished product if there's any visible anywhere. Additionally, if you start using materials with smooth, less porous surfaces, hot glue may not take them well. It's certainly quicker and less finicky though, so depending on how you feel about the pros and cons, as well as your materials, you can make your choice.
After your clip dries, use sharp scissors to trim the felt if you like. This will make sure you don't see any felt from the front of the clip. But be careful! You don't want to cut some wonky, jagged shape that looks goofy on the back. Try to keep it nice. :3
After the glue fully cures (which you should give it overnight to do at least) I'll come back with my very fine scissors and trim up and clean the flower petals and leaves and stay certain edges or portions that may need it. I personally try to choose the highest quality silk flowers available at the markets I visit, however even the priciest ones can get a few loose threads in handling or being shipped. A simple clean up will really make a huge difference in the completed project.
(Are you staring at my flower's frayed edges now? STOP. XD)
This one I will detail with a little paint or some soft fluff on the little filaments once the glue is cured and I don't have to worry about handling it.
Here's a shot of the wire portion. My favorite part! This particular wire is challenging and fragile to work with, but it's covered in real, natural wood bark, so it looks really nice when it's finished, in my opinion.
I don't have my normal head mannequin with me but I do have a crazy wig I popped onto a vase to demo my favorite clip of the lot. I wish I could keep this one... Maybe I should. :3
If you would like to order one of the pieces shown in this post, you can nab one before they hit the retail shop for a special blog-reader special of 25$ each. I'll be making at least a dozen of these, so I'll also take requests for the next few days. Simply e-mail me or comment!
Question of the week:
If you had a work table stocked with everything you could possibly need to make a hair clip that summed up your style or personality, what would the finished product have on it?