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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.)

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.)

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Lovely, right?

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.

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.

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

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).

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

…..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.)

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.

Heat seal this end of the ribbon now too.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

Then hot glue the felt side to the top prong.

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

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.)


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
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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 the 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!
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  1. Jennifer says:

    I made my first one today and it turned out ADORABLE! Perfect for my 12 month old’s sparse hair! I’ve never made a hair bow in my life, now I’m hooked! What a great tutorial! It was fast and easy, thank you!!!

  2. Jasmine Poole says:

    Just amazed…. Totally mesmerized. I really like the way you have pointed out all the steps. Have gone through it and prepared a one for my baby. She really looks like angel. She is my angel but this enhances her looks. Thanks a lot for the reference.

  3. Britt says:

    Hi Ashley,
    Love your site, I’m in England and just love all the bows from America, I started creating my own bows as in England there is just nothing like the selection you find in America. I’ve accidently created my own business purely through parents asking ‘where did you get that bow from’, I now have a web site ( ), but was wondering what bows do you sell the most of and are there any tips to make bows quicker?


  4. very cute baby headbands says:

    Very cute baby headbands !!!

  5. destinee says:

    Hi, would this still work to make a larger bow? if you just used longer ribbon?

  6. Janet says:

    Bow making has definiely become a stress reliever and I have started selling some. My problem is knowing how much to charge for each product, making enough profit for my time and materials. Soooo confused. Lol

  7. Pat says:

    I was reading about using silicone I am making headbands and saw some in the store that appeared to have small strips of silicone or glue that stretches with the headbands on the back to prevent slipping. Do you know what that product might be. Thank you in advance for your help.

  8. Lynette says:

    Ok, so after trying this I figured out a trick for putting the felt and liner together. Cut a big rectangle of each, the length of the inside top of the clip. Then hot glue the two large pieces together. Use plenty of glue. Then as you make clips, cut to size. That way you’re not hot gluing tiny grids together and burning fingers. I just couldn’t manipulate the tiny pieces very well and was making a mess! I have 4 sets of bows ready to go, thanks for your tips! :)

  9. Alice says:

    Thank you for the shelf liner tip! As a grown up i still have fine hair. I love bigger style clips than the mini barrettes in my hair. I had already started using ear plugs as cushions than I wind in between the slots in the barrettes, but this is so much simpler and now t can keep the bottom prong so it will slide in easily!

    And my ear plugs fix and yours works way better than the slide proof barrettes in the store. I just got one from the store made by Goody and the non slip is on the back prong and it STILL slides though my hair! Thanks to you I can now easily make any of my barrettes work with spare shelf liner I already have at home! YEAH!!!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Cute :) Great job! Jen @

  11. jaimejean says:

    I’m not very good at following written instructions, and video blogs don’t provide enough detail, but this post with detailed instructions and and images every step of the way made it so easy for me to make my own bows. I’m addicted!!!

  12. Stephanie says:

    Love it! Didn’t have shelf liner on hand but great idea! Linked to you as a source of inspiration on my blog. Thank you!

  13. MG says:

    Thank you SO much for such a great tutorial! I’ve made several and will make a bunch more too. I was searching for clips to stay in my 16 month olds hair. I was making elastic headband ones for her that won’t stay on anymore. These are great. My knot doesn’t look quite as nice as yours but pretty good. Thanks!

  14. Amanda says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been paying way too much for bows! I’m about to go into a bow making frenzy!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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