I’ve always been at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my hair. I usually keep it shoulder-length (having a short neck makes that shorter than the usual shoulder length) and if I don’t pull it back it it “curls” (okay, frizzes) unless I put a fair amount of taming product in it. So what possessed me to grow it out is beyond me, but I’m getting used to it.
What I’ve learned is that my hair really benefits from doing something with it, everyday, and the more I experiment the more I see that I need a little something extra to make things just right.
One of my current favorite hairstyles, especially for those days when I can’t get anything else to work, is a big fluffy bun (achieved by much teasing after it goes into the pony-tail) but I can never get it perfectly straight. You know what? It works off-center even better, as long as I add a little something to it to make it look deliberate.
Let me draw you a picture (literally):
Thankfully I have some bows and combs left over from the 90s that are simple enough not to look dated (I got rid of the sequins and lace ages ago) but I wanted more–not just for this hairstyle but others, too.
Decorated bobbies and hairpins are very popular these days (just look at etsy to see all the styles available, plus headbands and fascinators, oh my!) and I’d purchased some from a local store to add to my stash. Something I noticed, though: the ones I purchased are so sturdy and so tight that if I put it not quite right the first time, I’m liable to ruin my handiwork trying to remove the hairpin!
I like my pins functional as well as decorative so, of course, I’m making some myself.
You don’t need very much to make a set of floral hairpins for yourself. From a single spray of craft-store flowers I’ve only used 2 small sprigs: one in full and one in pieces to get 4 separate blossoms.
- 5 Bobby Pins
- Scissors* or Wire snips
- 4 faux Pearls or Beads
- Hot glue gun and glue (optional)
*You want a fairly fine-gauge wire so you can work with it without it kinking up too much. A wire that size can be easily cut with scissors but can also damage the blade so it’s best to use wire cutters or keep a pair of scissors that you only use for wire, just in case.
A lot of the bobbies and clips I see (though not all, of course) use just hot glue to attach the decoration and, frankly, I don’t trust hot glue alone to hold up to the level of handling I put my hair and accouterments through. So I prefer to sew or wire the ornaments onto the hardware and use the glue to help secure them further. Takes a little more work, but I think it’s worth it.
For the spray bobby:
|Start by securing the wire (about 12 inches) to the curved end of the bobby pin at the wire’s center. For items that will be attached to the length of the pin it’s recommended that you flip it over and attach it to the longer, flat side rather than the shorter bumpy side that I’m used to having on top.|
|Lay the sprig of flowers along the length of the pin and secure it at the top by wrapping the left-hand wire over the spring and through the loop of the pin and pulling back to the left, and repeating with the right, criss-crossing over the spray and holding it tight to the pin. Continue down the length of the pin, being careful not to trap the stems that branch off from the main stem (unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for).|
|At the end of the pin’s length and just before getting to the rubber tip, wrap the remaining wire tightly around the stem and pin three times and trim the wire close to the end.|
For the accent bobbies:
|Cut 4 equal lengths of wire (6-8 inches, each) and secure each to the remaining 4 bobby pins as above, leaving the beginning wraps in the curve and twisting the wires together a few turns. Trim the ends of the wire to the same length.|
|Thread a set of petals (in my case there were two layers of petals plus a plastic stamen) onto both wires. The bead or pearl helps secure the petals and you can either thread it onto both wires going in the same direction or feed one wire in through the left end of the bead and one in through the right, the idea being to keep the holes on the beed to the side and more hidden, if you don’t want the wires to show as much. I notice very little difference in reality between the two, so do whatever works for you.|
|Feed the wires back through the hole in the stamen and petals, going back down the bobby pin. To secure the wire back to the pin, keeping the flower in place, you also have 2 options. The first is to wrap each wire separately in the over-and-through method used above which allows the flower to be arranged facing up or along the side of the hairpin. The second is to weave both wires in, out and around the top of the bobby pin simultaneously. This method has the benefit of securing the flowers to the very top of the pin, facing up and out rather than parallel. I liked the differences so opted to do 2 of each. Trim the wires when you feel the flower is sufficiently anchored.|
At this point I did add a drop of hot glue to secure the flowers and wires where I set them, a little extra insurance.
See how pretty they turned out?
(And major props to Todd who was willing to wear the wig I’d arranged with the flowers so I could get the picture I wanted.)
Of course, decorated bobby pins are only one option. Keep in mind, when making your own hair ornaments, that the larger the ornament, the larger the base, clip or comb that need to hold it otherwise your accessories could very well drag your hair down instead of lifting it up!