How To Stiffen Hair Bows

Want to see how to stiffen hairbows? I use one product.

(This is really a gratuitous post, where I show you a few hair bows I’ve been making for my little cousin’s baby. Mackenzie is still in the oven, but when she enters this world we are prepared to decorate her head.)

Check miss Mack’s bows, then scroll down to see how to stiffen hair bows with one awesome product.

Southwest Style Hair Bow in Coral and Teal with Gold Accents + How To Stiffen Hair Bows | SewsNBows

Christmas trees hair bow in lime and red | SewsNBows

Blush Pink Bow with Gold Chevron Accents, Shabby Floral Center and Pearl Strands + How To Stiffen Hair Bows | SewsNBows

How To Stiffen Hair Bows

How To Stiffen Hair Bows With One Awesome Product | SewsNBows

Can I tell you how much I hate floppy bows? Wimpy bows are a travesty, they really are. Meet my new best friend, clear acrylic spray.

(This is another one of those duh moments, like when I finally figured out how to flatten bottle caps.)

Use This To Stiffen Wimpy Hair Bows! Tips For Using Clear Acrylic Spray for Hair Bows

I used Krylon clear acrylic spray. There is an entire family of acrylic spray finishes. Gloss, matte, satin finish, uv protectant…I’d like to experiment with some of those but for now I can tell you that this is my secret weapon against sad bows.

Converse Hair Bow With Glitter Dot Center + How To Stiffen Hair Bows

I advise spraying the whole bow once your ribbons are put together, but before you add bottle caps or feathers. It really helps keep tulle stiff. Plus, it seals in glittery ribbon and glitter dots, like the bow center above. Hurray for no more sparkles falling off your hair bows!

OMG Designer Hair Bow + How To Stiffen Hair Bows | SewsNBows

If you need some of this in your life, I’d love it if you shopped my Amazon affiliate link. You won’t pay any extra. Anything you buy will send a few pennies my way, and I’d be much obliged :) That link will take you to a page of acrylic sprays to choose from.

(Rustoleum and Mod Podge have similar sprays and I haven’t tried them yet. I’m pretty sold on Krylon.)

How To Stiffen Hair Bows To Avoid Floppy Loopers | SewsNBows

Above is a hair bow pre-acrylic. Do you see how the striped loopers are flopping around? My bows are gonna behave, now.

Cowgirls Rule OTT Hair Bow | SewsNBows

I saved my favorite bow for last, this one says Cowgirls Rule. Never a truer statement, y’all.

Mackensie’s mom is my cousins daughter, and I think that would make me a technically third cousin which doesn’t sound very official to me. So I’m calling myself her aunt. Don’t you think?

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Dia De Los Muertos Hair Clip Tutorial

Dia De Los Muertos Hair Clip Tutorial

Today I’m helping kick off the second annual Dia De Los Muertos Tour hosted by Melissa at Rebel & Malice! Be sure to check out the tour schedule & giveaway at the bottom of this post!

I love The Day Of The Dead, a day to honor lost loved ones. The colors and festivities celebrate the lives of our loved ones who have passed away.

Dia Day Los Muertos Hair Clip Tutorial

Last year I showed a Dia De Los Muertos dress & fascinator I made for my niece. This year, my daughter gets a fun ribbon streamer clip. She’s too cool for an entire themed outfit, so this is perfect for my little girl.

For my contribution to the series, I thought I’d show you how to make this easy hair accessory.

Here’s my Dia De Los Muertos hair clip tutorial!

Dia De Los Muertos Hair Clip Tutorial

Gather your supplies. To make this look you’ll need: an alligator clip (the kind with a hole), the skinniest satin ribbon you can find, some little satin flowers, rhinestone mesh, about 5″ of 3/8″ wide grosgrain ribbon, and a sugar skull cabochon.

I have used bits of broken jewelry or buttons in the past, and often find dollar store goodies that I can use for hair accessories. Anything goes.

I got my cabochons from Oh My Gosh Goodies, in case you were wondering:)

How To Make A Clip With Ribbon Streamers | Dia De Los Muertos Hair Clip Tutorial

Begin by looping your ribbon streamers through thelittle hole in the clip. I used 2 strands and kept them long for my daughter’s hair. Ribbon streamers are fun because you can wear them loose, tie then into your ponytail, or braid them into your hair.

Covered Hair Clip With Ribbon Streamers

Cover your metal alligator clip with the grosgrain ribbon strip. Start on the inside of the clip and work your way around. Be sure to heat seal the ends of you ribbon.

Dia De Los Muertos Hair Clip Tutorial

Decorate the top of the clip, starting with your cabochon or resin. I reccomend E-6000 glue, but hot glue works too. Day Of The Dead is all about bright colors and flowers; especially marigolds. Position flowers near the crown and surrounding the sugar skull’s head. Cover any remaining ribbon with rhinestone mesh, Hot Fix crystals, or some type of fun embellishment.

Day Of The Dead Hair Clip Tutorial

That’s it! It’s super easy to make a hair clip like this for any occasion. Here’s the Dia De Los Muertos Tour schedule, I hope you get a chance to visit some of these amazing blogs.



Monday October 26 – Rebel & MaliceFrom a BoxSews n Bows
Tuesday October 27 – Call AjaireHattielu HandmadeMade With Moxie
Wednesday October 28 – Paisley RootsAmandaRosePhat Quarters
Thursday October 29 – Lulu & CelesteCalm and CarrionCraft Lady Abby
Friday October 30 – Whisk ‘EmWild & Wanderful Golden Rippy
Saturday October 31 – Just Add FabricFilles a Maman
Sunday November 1 – House of Estrela
Monday November 2 – Rebel & Malice
Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter. There will be a small giveaway for a copy of the DVD “The Book of Life”  and a copy of the book “Rosita y Conchita” by Erich Haeger and Eric Gonzalez. They are not affiliated with this website or giveaway.
Due to the nature of the giveaway, the book and DVD will only be available to residents of the United States and Canada. There will be a separate giveaway for any digital items such as PDF patterns or gift cards.  
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Homecoming Bows & Flowers + Small Town Dynamic

Customized Team Homecoming Bows

Oh you guys, it’s been a crazy month, already! Last week was my daughter’s first homecoming ever. It was so fun! We’re sort of sad that football season is almost over.

Homecoming Bows

I made each cheerleader customized homecoming bows, assembly line style. These aren’t ordinary girls, so I didn’t make ordinary bows. No two are the same, but all have lots of goodies on them. Guess what my new secret weapon is? Nail charms…the little gems and things that nail techs use for manicures! I ordered mine on Amazon. Click my affiliate link there to see pages of nail charms.

Customized Team Homecoming Bows

It was my first year as a cheer mom. I was a dance mom for a couple years and it was okay, but cheer mom is right up my alley. Now I know about Pinktober and homecoming stuff, so next year I’m going to be ready. Below you can see (sort of) the Pinktober cheer bows I made the girls for breast cancer awareness. They also wear long pink socks and pink pom poms. None of the pinks match, which offends my obsessive controlling nature…but it’s very cute nonetheless. I’m going to try to insert myself as an official wardrobe manager next season…if the moms and coaches will put up with me. I will match them from bow to toe and glitter or bedazzle anything that can hold glue.

Homecoming Bows & Flowers

Also please admire my first ever flower bouquets. I wasn’t real sure how to make them, but I found a corsage and boutonnière tutorial at Diana Rambles and she made it look easy. For $20 I made a dozen of these. I can get a lot more stuff with more time to compare prices and bargain shop. I have big plans for 2016 bouquets, with nail files and polishes and lip gloss wired in. They’re gonna be insane.

Homecoming Bows, DIY Flowers and Small Town Dynamics

While I’m writing, I have to brag about my town. When I moved here I knew it would be a great place to raise my daughter. The dynamic is even more than I could have hoped for though. It feels like the whole town revolves around the kids. We have parades and dances and make up any excuse we can to keep them busy and active. At football and cheer practice it’s not uncommon to see every parent in town. High school football games practically create traffic jams on Friday nights! There are always people who complain about one thing or another, but coming from a big city to a small town like this…I can appreciate what we have. One year ago today I was praying to get away from big city life, and He answered. Praise!!!

I’m working on lots of things but I’m all over the place. Selfish sewing, doll clothes, hair accessories, destashing-I’m not sure what to even write about first. But I’ll be back soon with something or another:)

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How To Flatten Bottle Caps : Life Changing Trick

How to Flatten Bottle Caps

How To Flatten Bottle Caps

It seems like I’m always the last to know the secrets of hair bow makers. There are styles and trends just like any fashion, and it’s hard to keep up. These days, flat bottle caps are in. I couldn’t think of an easy way to flatten my boring regular bottle caps, then fellow bow maker told me the trick.

How To Flatten Bottle Caps

How To Flatten Bottle Caps

A tortilla press. Boom.

How To Flatten Bottle Caps

I started with my small tortilla press. I have a little helper here to demonstrate just how easy it is.

Just like that! And by the way, flattening 50 bottle caps was a ton of fun for my nephew. Who knew it would free me up long enough to write this post?

How To Flatten Bottle Caps

Later, I got out my larger tortilla press with a handle. The extra leverage made it easier. I tried flattening several caps at once, but the pressure wasn’t enough. I reccomend one at a time.

How To Flatten Bottle Caps

If you don’t have a tortilla press at home, look for an old fashioned metal one. If you don’t have a little tienda or Hispanic market close by, you can order from my Amazon link. If you click it, it will take you straight to a page full of tortilla presses.

How to flatten bottle caps isn’t a big secret, I just didn’t know how. I hope somebody finds this post one day and does a forehead slap though- I sure wish I knew sooner! On another note…

Hair bow making is a very saturated market. As a result, a lot of techniques are jealously guarded secrets. Most of the time I’m just guessing how to make things look a certain way, so I was thrilled to death to learn this trick. I like sharing what I learn, but there’s a bit of debate about it. Many believe that giving away trade secrets increases competition and is bad for business.

A good ribbon wholesaler gives you a huge edge for competitive pricing, so I understand wanting to protect your sources. As far as skills…There are people who are going to buy hair bows, and people who are going to make them. There are certain things I don’t ever aspire to make. Dinner, for example. Frozen burritos will forever have a customer in me. Sometimes it seems like there’s a lot of fuss when there needn’t be. I’ll share tips with people who want to make bows, and make bows for people who want to buy them.

Is the competitive dynamic the same in sewing? I’ve never sold my sewing projects so I’ve not experienced it. Maybe it’s the same way with every craft & trade. Thoughts?

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Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes

If you want to make a store bought costume more original, or just need to save some money this year; this post is for you. I’ve made some elaborate costumes over the years, but I think the easy DIYs and budget friendly costumes are the best. Here are some of my favorites from the past; and some tips for DIY Halloween costumes.

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes

Add A Cape

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Girls Comfy Batman Costume

This Batman costume was fully handmade, but you can add a superhero applique or fabric paint to any store bought tee for a super comfy costume. Or, get off the hook completely and just buy a superhero shirt. Alternatives are wizards, vampires, Zorro, Elsa, etc.

You need a cape though! I love this no sew cape tutorial and template from Jolly Mom.


Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Easy Flapper Costume

Shop your own closet or thrift a suitable dress to make this adorable flapper costume. Add pearls and lace (or the entire contents of your craft room) for a sweet, 1920’s look. Variations: Wild west/saloon girl, mob boss, witch, fairy, etc.


Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes & Tons Of DIY Ideas | Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn

Chop off pants or overalls for a Mark Twain themed costume. Every little boy has a pair of highwater pants and a dingy old t-shirt, right? Here’s my Tom & Huck Photoshoot with my gremlins nephews.

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn

Carry a whitewash paintbrush for Tom, or maybe a rope belt for Huck. Don’t forget a straw hat! A similar idea for girls would be long dresses, bonnets, and aprons for a Little House On The Prairie look.

Just Be A Pirate

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Easy No Sew Pirate

Pirate costumes are easy because nothing needs to be hemmed. Leave your edges raw and let them fray. Don’t bother cutting nicely. It doesn’t need to fit properly, and nothing has to match. Shop your closet.

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Easy No Sew Pirate Costume

Make a sash with a long rectangle of any fabric; an old sheet will do. Chop off pants and add a drawstring pouch for trick or treating. Cut the sleeves and hems off a shirt to make a vest. Cheap plastic swords and eyepatches are a fun addition. Use these same tips to make a hobo or rodeo clown. See my family pirate costumes for more ideas!

Glam It Up

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Girly Tin Man Costume

This DIY Tin Man costume was made with inexpensive metallic fabric. In fact, the whole outfit cost less than $20 to make! You can add a tutu and bow to a store bought costume for a cute no- sew DIY. You certainly don’t have to sew to make a glam costume. Start with sweatpants and a sweatshirt if you like. You can girlify any costume by adding ruffles and lace. Which brings me to the next tip:

Glue It

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Wicked Witch

Seriously, glue it. Tape it. Heck, staple it! This awesome Wicked Witch Costume was based on the Disney movie, Oz The Great And Powerful. I love the costumes in that film, omg.) When I couldn’t figure out how to make the winged shoulders work with a sewing machine, I got out the hot glue gun. Done in an hour!!

Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes | Wicked Witch


Tips & Ideas For DIY Halloween Costumes

Top off any costume with a fun halloween fascinator. Or wear it to work/school and pretend to be festive if you aren’t in a costume mood. My fascinator tutorial will show you dozens of ideas to complete your look. (Or pretend to give a darn.)

Dollar store jewelry is your friend on Halloween. Dig in your kids toy box for props. Glue some yarn to a baseball cap to make a wig. Make spats or boot overs. (Maybe I’ll make a tutorial soon? It’s basically a leg warmer!)


Makeup or face paint is a given, but think outside the box. Don’t forget about temporary tattoos if it goes with your costume. Colorful hair extensions are fun. Glitter is everything.

Not for children or the feint of heart: I superglued rhinestones onto my face once. You can superglue gold gems to your teeth too. (Yes, I swear. And while I’ll be super impressed with your hardcore Halloween attitude, I assume no liability if you superglue anything to your body. Use discretion, obviously.)

Oh, zombie makeup and fake blood makes anything a costume, bonus points for an 80’s prom zombie. Iconic outfit zombies are awesome…Marilyn’s white dress, anyone?

I hope I’ve got some ideas churning in your head. I bet you can fashion a costume right now with things you already have. What’s your favorite costume you’ve made or worn?

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