The little girl I drive in my carpool was wearing these cute ribbon barrettes the other day, and it kicked me back to my childhood and those braided ribbon barrettes we all used to wear. C’mon, you know you had about 17 pairs. My mom used to make them for me in whatever color I wanted, complete with the dangling tails of ribbon and even little square beads on the end.
I kind of had to make some. Since I don’t have a girl, I asked my carpool daughter if she’d like some, and she agreed. I found some instructions online, and I busted some out today.
What do you think? They’re pretty easy to make once you get the hang of it. I have a few suggestions, though, to go along with the instructions you can find here. I’m going to duplicate their instructions with my modifications below.
- two colors of 1/8″ satin ribbon, a yard each
- double bar barrettes, which look like this:
1. Cut two strips of 1/8″ satin ribbon, in complementary colors, to 1 yard each.
2. Line the ribbons up together and stack one ribbon on top of the other. Start directly in the middle (the halfway point of the ribbon); don’t worry about the ends at this point. Just the very center needs to be stacked cleanly.
3. Put the ribbon under the double bars at the clasp end of the barrette. The instructions I found tell you to do this on the opposite side, but then when you are finished you have an upside-down barrette, so that’s not good. Make sure you have an even amount of ribbon on either side of the barrette.
4. Start braiding by taking the right hand ribbons and feeding them over the first bar and under the second bar. You need to keep them stacked. You will end up with one color of the ribbon covering the right bar on the barrette.
5. Now you’ve got two ends of the ribbons both on the left side. Take the ribbon you did NOT just feed through on the right, and feed it over the left bar and under the right. Make sure you are feeding it so the same color you just used is on top.
6. Now you’re back to having one end of the ribbons on each side. Next, take the right hand ribbon (which is the one you just worked) and fold it over, feeding it through the right bar and under the left (like you did in step 4). You should now have your other color on top. Once you’ve got that through, pick up the other ribbons and feed them through, over the left bar and under the right, just like you did in step 5. Again, you should have the other color working on top this time.
7. Continue braiding, alternating colors, until you get to the end of the barrette. The action is a little awkward, especially since you have two slippery ribbons that you are trying to keep totally flush with each braid. The best method I devised is to fold the ribbon over and secure it with your thumb while you feed the rest of the ribbon through. Once you’ve pulled it relatively tight, you can release your thumb and adjust. Here’s a kind of step by step of that:
8. To secure it, I tie a double knot at the end.
You want to leave the 8″ or so of strings hanging, since that’s part of the point. You can trim them even and you can add beads to the bottom by threading one on, tying a knot at the end of the ribbon, and letting it hang. I haven’t been able to get my hands on any of those cube wooden beads we used in the 80s, so I haven’t embellished with beads yet.
Cute, though, right? Am I totally out of the loop since I have boys, and have you ladies with girls brought these back ages ago? I’m gonna give it some thought and try out some variations, and maybe I can make everything old new again. Too bad I don’t have a girl who can wear them.
Look at me, doing crafts that aren’t even part of the Massive Craft Undertaking. What am I thinking? I guess I’m high on crafting, folks.