Wednesday, April 23, 2008
One of the things I like to do is use frou frouy hair bows for my kids. Since they both have hair...I mean a lot of hair...it is a challenge to get things to stay. Most cute hair things don't stay in very well. I like Gymboree's elastic bands with the curly ribbon. Elastic bands stay the best in their hair. Especially the very thick Je's hair. I have used the barrettes over plain rubber bands, but they come out sometimes. My problem is, that Gymboree hair things are expensive. Full price is $4-5 for one set. Given the number of color options that could be some serious money. I found plain white plastic barrettes on ebay, and began sewing ribbon bows on the barrettes, but since barrettes are less durable than rubber bands, they don't hold up as well. Last week, I was at Walmart and found some cute ribbon with softballs on it. Je has started softball this year, and since she is a little reluctant, I thought new hair bows might be nice. I bought some thick elastic bands, and some ribbon in her team color, lime green. It was at the Target $1 shop for scrapbooking. The set I bought had several designs, with lime green and other colors, in stripes and polka dots. I decided to try to make bows on elastic bands.
First I took one of our favorites for a pattern. Then, I laid out 10 strips of ribbon and cut them about 8 inches long. I laid the strips on top of each other, folded them over the elastic, and stitched right above the elastic band. I sprayed the ribbon with spray starch, then used a micro (1/2 inch) curling iron to curl the ribbon. It works best after the starch has dried.
I found directions online for curling fabric ribbon permanently. Instead of pins, I used wooden springed clothes pins. I think they worked pretty well. I also melted the raw edge of the ribbons to prevent fraying. I held the grill lighter close to the ribbon, but not close enough to burn it. The down side is that you have to curl the ribbon before attaching it to the band. I didn't do that so I improvised with the curling iron. I tried the curling technique using dowel rods and the oven, and it worked very well. I made another set after this one with that ribbon. It was a little harder to get the lengths even, but the finished result was pretty good.
I only used six strips of ribbon after I curled them. I was afraid if I did more I would have trouble controlling the ribbon. Next time I will try ribbon all the same width and try more strips. I wanted to do it with what I had on hand. All in all, I am pretty happy with the results. I definitely will try this again, to match the girls outfits. I know it is anal but...I like things to match. It works for me!