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Simple Bow Hair Clips (with no-slip grip)


When my oldest girl was a brand new baby (who is now almost 5 years old), I made bows for her head/hair.

Lots of them.

I got a little tired of telling people that she was a girl, not a boy.  The pink and purple outfits were never distinct enough for people to realize she was a girl.  But if I slapped a little bow on that sweet little head, there was never any mistaking that she was a girl.  Whew.

I loved making her all those bows so much, that I started a little bow making business, through a blog.

(Okay, fess up!  How many of you had your own bow business??)

  That was almost 5 years ago, WOW………and back when blogs were such a brand new trend.  And “blogging” was pretty much a foreign word.  Remember that?!!  Anyway, I should dig out some of those old pictures to show you what my old hairbow blog looked like.  It was a mess! :)  During that time, I made her big bows, little bows, loopy bows, flat bows, and every color of the rainbow bows.  That girl had a bow for every outfit.  Whew……I had a lot more time then.  But my favorite thing to make, were these tiny little hair clips.  With a no-slip grip, of course………so that the little clips would stay in her baby fine hair.

So now that I have another little girl, I pulled out the old stash of little hair clippies with the  no-slip grip on it…….and have been clipping them right to her super fine hair too.  You know, so there’s no mistaking that she’s a girl either.

(Though, this time around…….I could care less if someone thought she was a boy.  Eh, worrying about that takes too much energy.  Ha.)

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Some bows are more complicated and are a serious masterpiece (though I don’t care for the bigger ones anymore)…….

………….but my favorite are these tiny little classic bows.

Simple.  Girly.  And just so sweet.

(These bows were all made years ago.  I’m glad I was a crazy bow maker back then…….I use them all the time again.)

hair clip assortment

And yeah, so many people make them now (no more secrets)……..but maybe there are a few of you out there who never learned.

And you don’t even have to know how to tie a bow to make this variety.  Easy.

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And you better believe they are used in my older girl’s hair.  Especially on ballet days (which was this morning…….and she’s still in her pink leotard).

She can’t have any hair in her face…….and these clippies stay in tight, while keeping the fly-aways under control.

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What’s cuter than a little bow on a baby’s head?

(And yes, those are the leggings from this tutorial.)

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And yeah, she doesn’t have much hair yet (we’re working on that)……but just enough to sweep it away from her forehead.  Yay.

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Lovely, right?

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Would you like to make your own simple little hair bows……with a no-slip grip to keep them in place??

First of all, everyone has their own technique.  And there are probably a variety of no-slip grip solutions out there.  This is just what I did and what I used.  All worked really well for me.

When I was first trying to make a bow that would stay in baby fine hair, I remember seeing bows online that had a no-slip grippy on it.  Some of it looked like velvet, other stuff looked sticky.  Some people used velcro and others used magnet material.  We didn’t have a lot of money and so I was trying to figure out a cheap solution.  I remember walking around Wal-Mart one day, trying to decide what I could use to re-create that no slip grip, and I walked by rows of this shelf liner stuff and had an “ah-ha” moment.  This liner material keeps things from slipping in cupboards and on shelves…….why not baby hair.  So I started using it on my hair clips, and it worked like a charm.

shelf liner

image source

And just when you think you have the best idea ever…… realize other people have it too.  Ha!  Because I have seen other people use this stuff to make their own bows since I thought it up for myself that one day.  How funny!  I swear, we should all participate in a huge think-tank and share all sorts of tricks and secrets.  It would save us all a lot of grief.

Anyway, to make these hair bows (without actually tying a bow), I used 3/8 inch ribbon.  (Grosgrain works best in my opinion.)  I cut 3 pieces that are 4 inches long.  I also use a double prong hair clip that I always buy at Sally Beauty Supply….and they’re about 1 3/4 inches long.  (I found similar ones online here, in case you don’t have a Sally’s.)  Then I cut a piece of the shelf liner that is the same size as the prong section……so about 1 and a  1/4 inch by 1/3 of an inch.  And a piece of felt that is about the same size.

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To begin, grab your roll of ribbon and heat seal the end (I use a lighter).

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Then hot glue about a 1/2 inch of the end of the ribbon to the very bottom of the clip with the right side of the ribbon facing out (if you have a right and wrong side).

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Then add a strip of hot glue to the next section of ribbon…

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…..and then fold it around the contours of the pinch part of the clip.  (Don’t worry, the clip will still pinch and the glue won’t affect the spring at all.)

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Then measure how much more ribbon you’ll need by stretching it to the tip of the clip, then fold it back up the length of the prongs.  Cut the ribbon off.

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Heat seal this end of the ribbon now too.

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Now add a long strip of hot glue down the back side of the rest of the ribbon.  Then lay it flat across the top of the top prong, then fold it under towards the bottom of that top prong… completely conceal that top prong.  Press the ribbon together to seal the glue together, and keep the ribbon in place.

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Now, grab your 3 pieces of 4 inch long ribbon.  Tie a single knot in the center of one of the pieces of ribbon.   Try to make it a neat little knot and keep the two ends flat and laying in the same direction.  Heat seal the ends of the 2 un-tied pieces.

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Then grab one of the plain pieces and bend it into a circle.  Overlap the ends by about a 1/3 of an inch and then hot glue them together (image on left).  Then pinch the circle right in the center, creating half of your bow shape, and add a little dot of hot glue to the inside center to keep it pinched together (image on right).

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Do the same thing with the other piece of ribbon.  Then cross the two pieces together……not into an actual “X”, more like a squashed one.  Add a dot of glue between the two, to keep them together.

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Then place the piece of ribbon with the knot in the middle, right in the center of the squashed “X” (image on the left).  Place a dot of hot glue right under the knot, so it doesn’t move around.  Turn the bow over and cut off the long ends just a bit and glue them down on the back side (image on the right).

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Now, glue the piece of shelf liner to the piece of felt.  Press the two layers together.

CAUTION: this can get hot.  Test it with your fingers and wait until the glue has cooled from hot to warm and then squish the 2 layers together.  Glue will most likely ooze out.  Just peel it off your fingers and continue on!!

Trim off the excess along  each edge, making a nice clean line around all sides.

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Then hot glue the felt side to the top prong.

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Then glue the bow to the very top of the clip…..right to the ribbon.

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Why I do the bows this way:

  • I make the bows in parts so that the bow looks very clean and even.  You can always tie some ribbon into a bow and then glue it onto a clip……but it’s hard to get a nice even bow that way.  It’s totally just preference though.
  • I don’t wrap ribbon around the bottom prong because it’s hard to slide it through hair (like for older girls pony tails and such) if there is ribbon on the bottom.  If you leave it bare, it can slide into hair much easier.
  • I don’t put the shelf liner on both sides  of the prongs because of the reason mentioned above…..I want to keep the bottom prong bare.

And that’s it. 

Now make more…….you may need some for every single outfit your child (or friend/granddaughter) has.

(And while you’re at it, make doubles of every color.  They look so darn cute when their hair is long enough for pig tails.)


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You might also enjoy these fun hair accessory tutorials:

Faux leather hair accessories

Wool Felt Hair Accessories

And you’ll need a place to store your beautiful hair accessories, so try your hand at this hair clip holder:


Ashley Johnston

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!


  1. Susan says:

    So cute!!
    But OK, what about larger bows? can you get larger clips at Sally’s?

  2. Leona says:

    I totally agree that little bows are much sweeter for baby girls. Some of the big bows are just too OTT!
    You have two very beautiful little girls modelling these gorgeous baby hair clips.
    Thanks for the ideas. x

  3. jami says:

    such a great idea with the shelf liner….i’ve always used velcro in the past, but if you take the bows out in the middle of the day it pulls hair out of the “do” with :) thanks for the tip!

  4. Christine says:

    Wow these are so cute and they look so easy! You are so talented!

  5. Jessica says:

    Hello Ahsley!i
    I like your website, congratulations these bows are very cute, I would like to ask you if you have you decorate before those plastic bands for girls, I would like you to share more things for the hair, thank you

  6. Andrea says:

    Oh my heck! This brings back so many memories of when I learned how to make these while in Rexburg. Thanks for a great trip down memory lane! :)

  7. kristi says:

    So genius! Made my daughter matching bows for her pigtails in minutes. Somehow I had all the supplies on hand! Thanks for a great tutorial!!!

  8. Victoria says:

    Love it, so smart…. now I just have to wait for my baby girl to get some hair to put them in!!

  9. Christy, momMADE says:

    Adding these to my store asap. Love the shelf lining for grip .)
    I’ve been away for a while and love getting your emails to remind me of all the mom made goodness you bring. Thanks!

  10. Kimberly says:

    Genius!! I always wondered how come all these cute little girls could wear bows and my girls can’t keep them in their hair for more than an hour. This could be such a great project to do while watching conference tomorrow. :)

  11. Edie says:

    those are so cute, I must try them for my niece. I love reading your blog!! Thank you for the wonderful tips, the awesome how-to’s and well… everything!

  12. Katherine says:

    HALLELUJAH! a few weeks ago, we found out that baby #2 is a girl (baby #1, a boy) and i was so excited to FINALLY get to buy dresses and ribbons. but then i got cold feet and felt totally overwhelmed by all of the choices. i was convinced there was a secret baby girl emporium that moms to boys knew nothing about. this post is wonderful and gives me confidence to start some bows soon! (i didn’t even know what kind of clips to buy… ) thanks!

  13. Christine says:

    I was just at Target looking at hair bows and wondering how to make some cute ones that don’t slip. Perfect timing!

  14. Kristina N says:

    I confess–I had a bow “business,” but I never made a sale on Etsy and only did one decent craft show. And I only have a little boy! :) But I had a GREAT time creating them, and it kept me sane while we were living with my parents–I made them for lots of holidays, even made turkeys for Thanksgiving. We’ll see what this next kid turns out to be, and maybe my own offspring can finally wear them! I never had non-slip grips ones though. Great idea.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Haha……I guess your little boy probably wasn’t a fan of the bows. But oooh, you never know, there might be a girl in there!! ;)

    2. Sweet Pea says:

      gUESS wHAT? iM PREGNANT, aND iT’S A gIrL!!!!!!

  15. Michelle says:

    I was also wondering about the felt. Thanks for this great tutorial. I tried making bows, and I covered both prongs in ribbon and the silly things slip out of my daughter’s hair like crazy. I thought that just covering the top prong would be better, but your idea is brilliant!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Yeah, I had that same problem….that’s why I had to think something up. As for the felt…..the liner sticks better to the felt, which then sticks better to the ribbon. I was having problems with the liner peeling off the ribbon……so the felt created a great middle piece. Good luck!!

  16. vidya says:

    Thanks for sharing this excellent tutorial with us .

  17. Melissa says:

    On my way to buy some ribbon and clips. I always figured it was simple to do but never cared to try until now. Thanks for the inspiration! Also, what is the purpose of the felt? Does the shelf liner not glue well straight to the clip? Just thinking it might be less bulky without the felt.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Great question…..the liner sticks better to the felt, which then sticks better to the ribbon. I was having problems with the liner peeling off the ribbon……so the felt created a great middle piece. Good luck!!

    2. Kylie says:

      The felt also adds thickness, which adds to the pressure between the clips to hold the hair tighter. I had a bow business too (and sold it for a profit last year, go me!) and I used shelf liver too (Walmart generic works better for me), but I never thought to add felt for thickness. Genius, Ashley!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Now I know how these SHOULD be made. Tried them and they fell out- who wants to keep putting bows in little ones hair. Felt like 10 million times during church……..

  19. KellyS says:

    Love this! Pinning it for my baby girl. Hopefully she gets some hair in the front soon. ;) I love the idea of using the shelf liner as a gripper!

  20. katie s says:

    Love it! I will definitely be making lots of these for my little gal, thanks for the tutorial!

  21. Jennica says:

    I make bows! It all started when I was expecting my little girl last year. Now I have my own little business selling them manly to friends and family members, but am hoping it will expand one day. The no slip grip out of shelf liner is a great idea. :)

  22. Becki says:

    Thank you for doing this. Your tutorial is a big help… very detailed. I will be doing this in the near future after some rather big projects of my own.

  23. Katie O says:

    You are friggin brilliant, Ashley!!! And SO generous to share all of your secrets, thank you SO much! Btw, your baby girl is SO adorable—LOVE her smile :) As are your other 2 precious children!

  24. CREATIVE MIND says:

    just awesome AS USUAL :)

  25. anilegra says:


  26. karin says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time! I recently discovered your awesome website when I was looking for a Tinkerbell costume to make (turned out great, btw). I some how found through you and when I was just looking, I found all these cute ribbons and supplies to make bows. I ordered some , figuring I would figure it out. And now you post. Excellent.

    I love your ideas. I have a bunch of supplies getting ready to get busy with, boxes to be made, ribbon belts, hoodie towels and now bows. And YES I was thinking I could sell them at a holiday craft fair at work when I saw a pair of very SIMPLE ones on sale at a consignment store for 8 bucks.:)

    I had with a newborn girl with hair, and after having a boy I couldn’t resist the bows. She wears them now at two, even asks for them. SO those of you with fighters, hang in there. They will turn around soon.

  27. Magen says:

    Thank you. I love the way the bows look and I can’t wait to get making some.

  28. sherry says:


  29. Pam Wacoochie says:

    Hey are you the Hairbows4kids girl?! I bought so many of those bows and I was so sad when you closed it down but I sure am glad that you showed us your secret! Thanks!


    1. Ashley says:

      Ha! YES, Pam!! That was totally me. How funny that you ordered and then even remembered the name…….you sweet thing! So there you go, you can make them all on your own! :) Enjoy!


  30. Janice Bear says:

    Totally not the point, but where did that sweet denim dress come from!?

    1. Ashley says:

      Hey Janice…….I got that at Baby Gap, about a month ago. It was on super clearance so I’m not sure if they have more…..but if you’re looking for one, it’s always worth a try!


  31. Amanda says:

    Thank you for doing this tutorial! I’m expecting a baby girl in December and had no idea how to make hair bows. I love that these are petite and cute instead of as big as a baby’s head! :)

  32. Adin B says:

    Those are just some adorable clips. Now that I am expecting a baby girl and due on November, I have a reason to make these lovelies now. yaye! :) thanks for sharing. It looks easy to make. :)

  33. Taylor says:

    Neat tutorial…I can see myself making these all the time! Thanks so much!

    Blessings! <

    Titus 2:4-5

  34. Marie says:

    Very Cute. I wonder how the shelf liner compares to clear silicone. I’ve only used silicone.

  35. Patti says:

    My grand daughters are going to LOVE these!

  36. alys favero says:

    Thanks for sharing! Super cute and easy. I love how clearn yours look. Need to try this. My little one is 6 months and has very little hair, so the no slip is a great idea!

  37. Amy says:

    These are darling! I’ve been meaning to make more bows now that we’re into the pig tail phase of life and I wanted something quick! You can find that shelf liner at the Dollar Tree too:)

  38. Lindsay says:

    Love these! I need to make some of these with the no slip grip for my 14 month old. She is finally getting some hair to clip into! I’ve been wanting to make more bows lately, but will have to wait until after we move this weekend! Can’t wait!
    Hot glue that has dried completely also makes for a great no slip grip.

  39. Emily says:

    So cute! I’ve never been a fan of the big bows either. No bow making business here but I was on etsy with some crocheted goods before I quit crocheting (carpal tunnel). I’ve moved on to sewing though, so I’m okay. :) PS love the pictures!

  40. Meagan says:

    im 13 and i have two little girls who i babysit for next door, and i made them the cutest hair flowers to match their little picture outfits for family pictures. these r soooooo cute and way eaiser!!! i may have to try these! (and make thousands)

  41. Natalie says:

    I was hoping you would show us how to make bows. We just had our third baby, our first girl! I’ve asked around about what bows don’t slip, I am one of those who has never made one before. I knew I could make my own I just needed your wonderful tutorial to help me. Thank you , thank you!

  42. Karan says:

    These are just so cute. Just had 3 brand new nieces born in the last 3 months and I thinkl I will have to make several up for Christmas . Great tutorial.


    Oh and your little ones are just adorable.

    1. sera says:

      the babys are adorable

  43. Christin says:

    Those bows are so cute and easy. I love to make bows, I have 4 girls and my oldest (7 years old) still loves to wear them, I even wear them sometimes. Haha!

  44. Steph @ Crafting in the Rain says:

    I was just going to say–I recognize that leotard from Target–just bought one yesterday for my daughter who’s in ballet :)

    These are great cute clips!

    No, I didn’t have a bow business, but I did run an Etsy store for a couple of years with scrabble necklaces, cards and glass magnets. Strangely enough, I didn’t start my blog until long after my Etsy store was out of the picture!

  45. Tia says:

    Thank you so much for this! I was one of those people who didn’t know how to make these, but I love them and notice they are kind of expensive to buy! I think I will give them a try :) By the way, ALL of your tutorials are so wonderful, thank you for them all!

  46. Sarah says:

    I love your website! And these bows are adorable – but I’m wondering, did you make the pink tank top with the flower on your oldest daughter? If so, do you have a tutorial? :)

    1. Ashley says:

      That’s her ballet leotard. I bought it at Target! ;)

    2. Carmen says:

      Hi ashley i loved the hair clip tutorial thats a good idea i just had a baby girl and no clips fit her so i want to make my own too but i wanted to kno where you bought your material and also what felt

  47. April @ Red-Dirt-Mama says:


    I would have never thought to use shelf liner. I use silicone but this is WAY easier and faster! Now my little one is 18 months and she won’t wear much of anything. Of course I would find out about this now! ;)

    1. Anonymous says:

      hellow i thinck hair clipes are great and thay look fun from jacqueline steed albany hazaile meaire 4 more chase middleton beach albany wa 6330

  48. Stevie says:

    Super cute!! I had a bow making time too — although I didn’t start much of a business, I just sold some at one of the local baby consignment stores. Then I got bored and moved onto my next craft (plus my oldest would NOT keep bows in her hair to save her life so it seemed pointless).

    I love the simple bows!!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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