Basic Hair Clip Tutorial for Babies and Toddlers

Today I sat down and photographed, step-by-step, the process of making a hair clip. While I am not really a fan of these huge, crazy, fluffy bows you see out there, I do like a little touch of color in Elliott’s hair from time to time. These little clips are just the right size for babies and toddlers and I’d been seeing them on so I thought I’d try my hand at them. When I searched for directions, though….I found the internet was lacking in that department and thought I would make a tutorial contribution of my own! I hope you find it helpful!

You will need:

  • Single-prong clips (ebay, beauty supply store…)
  • 3/8″ ribbon (grosgrain or velvet stay in hair the best)
  • scissors
  • glue (I used hot glue, but if you use a craft glue the process is a beat neater and smoother)
  • Fray check, clear fingernail polish, or a cigarette lighter to seal the ends of the ribbon


They look something like this…


This is what the clips look like. They’re about 1.75″ long.


Start with a clip and a 7″ length of ribbon.

Seal the ends of your grosgrain ribbon. I use a lighter: just hold the flame near (not touching!) the end for a few seconds.

Start on the inside, bottom of the clip near the joint and glue the ribbon down.


Then put glue on the underside of the bottom ‘jaw’ of the clip and fold your ribbon under, pressing and smoothing it onto the clip.


Turn the clip upside-down and put a spot of glue inside one finger tab (yes, I’m making up terms here…bear with me. lol) Press and hold until dry.


Turn the clip over once more and apply glue/ribbon to the other ‘finger tab’, allowing your ribbon to follow the ‘V’ shape of the hinged area.


With the clip top-side up, apply glue only to the outer side of the finger tab. If you get ahead of yourself and put it on the entire top, you’ll end up with a clip that’s glued shut and that’s just no good at all.


Now, hold back the remaining length of ribbon with your thumb and apply glue as you keep the clip open (again….no gluing the clip shut!).


While you’re still holding the clip open, press down the ribbon to cover the top outer part of the clip.


Flip the clip over and glue remaining ribbon.


Your clip should look like this….and not be glued shut.


If you want to add a little bow, you’ll need a piece of matching or coordinating ribbon about 3.5″-4″ long. Don’t forget to seal the ends.

With the wrong sides together, fold over one end about 3/4″-1″ and glue the tip down.


Add a dot of glue on top of where it’s already glued.


Bring the other end over to create a little bow that’s about an inch long.


Glue bow to top of clip.


While holding the clip open, add a drop of glue directly below the center of the bow. Attach the end of a piece of ribbon that you’ve cut to 1.25″ long.

Wrap ribbon around center of bow and secure underneath with another dot of glue.


Your clip should look something like this!

If you have any questions or input, please let me know! Thanks and have fun!



Sad little eyes


  1. Carly says

    Those are really cute! I’d love if you posted a picture of one of the clips in Elliott’s hair so we can see how they look when modeled! Now I want to go out and make hair clips and I don’t even have a girl baby!!!

  2. Corrie says

    Talk about timing. Abby’s cousin just asked for small hair accessories for her birthday. Now I have one more thing on my list of things to do!

  3. Luisa says

    Your tutorial is super-easy to follow. You did a great job! I ordered my supplies from ebay tonight (could have saved some $ and gone to Hobby Lobby but I’m still recovering from foot surgery) and can’t wait to get started!

  4. Kam says

    Hi thank you for the tutorial.

    I have been trying to do this with the hot gun but I find it gets very messy and clumpy. Do you have any other suggestions?

    You can use tacky glue for a smoother, less globby process, but I tried it and it takes forever. I decided to stick with the evil ways of hot glue. :)

  5. Phyllis says

    Thank you for taking time to show us how it is done. Thank you for the easy instructions. I can’t wait to try one.

  6. says

    I love it! I’m a bona fide hair accessory addict ever since I learned to make bows and korkers. I’m into making some crazy busy ones…but not necessarily overly big. I even figured out how to make some silk flower clippies…then went over the top with some pretty big flowers..but in the end, I think they actually look pretty cute on my 3 year old.

  7. Stacey says

    Thank you very much for this great tutorial! I had searched everywhere for an easy way to do these… and this hit the spot!

  8. Kate says

    Target is selling these bows for $5 a pair. I just knew I could make them for MUCH less. I bought the supplies this weekend and then did a search and your tutorial popped up. Thank you! Made my first one tonight and it turned out great and looks cute! Tried it with glue first but it was a mess. Wish I could seal the edges so the clip is completely hidden, but now sure how to best do that without making a mess…hmmmmmm….

  9. heather says

    if every how-to project was this detailed and didnt just asume we know what “you” ment things would be soooo much easier! love the clip great instrutions keep more ideas coming!!!!!

  10. says

    Great tutorial, thankyou!! I had a go today and after destroying one and messing up two, I’ve made 6 gorgeous little clips! The hot glue takes a bit of getting used to; if only it didn’t dry so quickly!!

    Awesome job with the pictures and instructions, thankyou!

  11. says

    have already been following ur site around three days. really enjoy what you posted. by the way i’m conducting a study about this subject. do you know other good websites or maybe online forums where I can get more? many thanks.

  12. Christina Gruber says

    Hey I just made this – too cute. I had the same ribbon too! If you have anymore that you do or a site please let me know, I love making these for my little girl!

  13. JoAnn says

    Thank you for making it simple. I have been looking for something like this. I find that if I put the tacky glue on the ribbon spread it with my finger and let it sit for a minute it goes smoothly. It does take longer, but you are right it is smoother. Depending on my mood to how quickly I want them done!! LOL thanks again

    • says

      Yeah, when my daughter’s hair was thin and fine, I would line them with the hook side of velcro and they stayed great. :)

      Thanks for the tip!

  14. Lystessa says

    I have been wanting to make these for ages, and I finally did it… These are SO FUN! Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial and measurements, it made the process all fun and no stress. Now my mind is racing with more ideas for embellishments. I used my low-heat glue gun for the first time and managed not to burn myself at all. 😉


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