I’ve seen a lot of sweet cabochon hair pins lately, and they are super simple to make. The thing is – you’re really not limited just to flowers! You can make your own shapes by using a bit of polymer clay! I thought a pair of cute little bows would make for great hair pins – what do you think?
Making your own design is a little more time-intensive than buying cabs, because you have to bake it first, but the possibilities are wide open. Have you worked with polymer clay before?
If you have not, I’ll give you a quick run-down of how to use it. (If you have, you probably won’t need any of this tutorial since all it requires is gluing your finished piece to a hair pin!)
I like Sculpey clay, though any oven-bake polymer clay is totally suitable. You will want to pick up a roller and possibly a cutter or two. You don’t specifically need to purchase clay supplies – the baking aisle will also have great tools. The thing is – DO NOT mix your normal kitchen utensils with clay. Polymer clay is not food safe, so if you use your utensils to work with it – they are no longer food safe either. If you spot some cutters or a rolling pin at a thrift store, that’s perfect – just be sure you’re keeping your clay tools separate.
For the bows, I found it easiest to roll my clay out about 1/4 inch thick, cut a square, and the trim that into slices (two thick and two thin). The edges don’t look great but that’s okay, the edges will end up on the underside. I always cover my surface with wax paper first, to keep things clean.
Take a thick slice and fold the ends under. If you accidentally squash it, you can probably puff it back up with a toothpick (unless you really botch it – but then, just roll it back out and start over. Clay is totally forgiving like that!)
Then, take a thin slice, and wrap it around the center.
My kiddo wanted to play in the clay too, but rather than let her play with mine, I got out her totally kid-safe play dough to stamp and roll on. She’s a crafter in the making, folks…
When you’ve got enough bows (or whatever shape you choose), bake it according to the package instructions. Each brand varies slightly, but you can expect to bake in in a low temperature over for about 30 minutes. That will make the overall time for the project over an hour, but baking time is of course not active crafting time.
Next, you just need a heavy-duty permanent adhesive to attach the bows to your hair pins. I like E6000 for jobs like this. It may break the clay down over the years, but this type of small accessory has a tendency to get lost after a few seasons anyway, so I’m not terribly worried about it being heirloom quality or anything.
You only need just a small dab of glue – don’t overdo it.
Drying them will require finding a place to set them flat. I find that facedown, with something to prop up the pin, works best.
Then, you’ve got a sweet little set (or two!) of hair pins!